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Partied

Posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2005

Dave!I must be officially old now, because my idea of a blow-out New Years party seems to be a lot more mellow than it used to be. My nephew, on the other hand, seems to have the right idea...

Fine Girls

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sithful

Posted on Sunday, January 2nd, 2005

Dave!Oooh... new spoiler images of the final film in the George Lucas Star Wars prequel trilogy fiasco have been leaked all over the web! Well, not really "spoilers" per se (because we already know how everything turns out) but it would seem that George is trying to find some ways of keeping things interesting for us in Episode III (which would be a pleasant change from the horrendously bad Episodes I and II). Three images jumped out at me...

Sith Spoilers

SPOILER 1) They are finally starting to bridge the gap between trilogies, as we're getting something almost TIE-Fighteresque and almost X-Wingish about the ships now. This space dogfight shot is so delicious it has me wishing that Lucas would drop all pretense about knowing how to write good drama/romance and just stick to what he knows best, because a Star Wars movie made entirely of spaceship fights would kick ass!

SPOILER 2) Badass Christopher Lee (ridiculously named "Count Dooku") gets his ass handed to him by lameass Hayden Christensen (appropriately named "Annie Skywalker"). This is wrong on so many levels. I mean, seriously, why in the heck didn't anybody tell Lucas how implausible this is? "Hey George, you've made an error... I realize that you count on your fans suspending disbelief enough to accept that robots, spaceships, and aliens are real... but NOBODY could possibly believe that Christopher f#@%ing Lee would EVER be served by Hayden Christensen!! It's much more plausible that a puppet with a lightsaber could own Christopher f#@%ing Lee in a fight, so why not have Yoda take care of it?" Not that it would do much good trying to tell him anything... I mean, Lucas thinks high comedy involves burp and fart jokes. But Lucas also seems to think that repeating themes over and over and over again is brilliant writing, so I guess that's why we've got Annie and Dooku battling it out in front of the Emperor in his throne-room now, just like we'll have Annie and Luke battling it out in front of the Emperor in his throne-room come Episode VI. Also, I suppose it's easier to write the same thing over and over and over again rather than having to think of something original... because, heaven forbid we should actually get some fresh new ideas in a Star Wars film (oh look... somebody gets their hand chopped off AGAIN).

I hope that Episode III is at least watchable. I just don't think I can take another movie that's as heinously lame as Episodes I and II. The sci-fi geek in me would probably implode.

Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Series

Posted on Monday, January 3rd, 2005

Dave!Lately I find myself purchasing more DVDs of television shows than actual movies. I'm not sure why, unless it's because I am so desperate to watch good television that I'm having to go back in time to do it. Let's face it, when the most hyped program airing tonight is Who's Your Daddy (a reprehensible show that asks a woman to pick a father she's never known out of a group of potential daddies for big money) what other choice does a television junkie have? Here's what I've been watching lately...

Roswell: The Complete First Season. What is so shocking about this show is not how well written and acted it is, but that it ever managed to survive on television for three full seasons. Something this well done is usually lucky to last three episodes. Roswell is about a trio of young aliens trying to figure out who they really are and where they come from, all while trying to stay hidden from local law enforcement and FBI alien hunters in Roswell, New Mexico (home of the alleged UFO crash of 1947). Sure it sounds tacky, but the electric chemistry between the two leads (brooding alien Max played by Jason Behr, and his cute human love interest Liz played by Shiri Appleby) makes for compelling television. Season One was so good that I was compelled to immediately order up Season Two so I can keep watching. Highly recommended...

Roswell

Tour of Duty: The Complete Second Season. I loathe most all war movies and war programs of any kind, because I think glamorizing something as tragic as war is pretty lame entertainment. But Tour of Duty was different and went as far as possible to depict the horrors of war within the guidelines of what television would allow. Despite the subject matter, the characters seemed more real... more human... than most any TV drama I've seen, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. The first season started with new recruits being shipped off to Vietnam, unprepared for what they would find there. The second season continues the story of those characters who managed to survive, but suffers a bit with the addition of love interests for the primary leads of Goldman and Anderson. While the second season is inferior to the first (the move from Hawaii to L.A. for filming didn't help), it still comes highly recommended.

The Simpsons: The Complete Fifth Season. When I travel, there is always a few Simpsons DVDs in my bag because they are a guaranteed dose of funny when the perils of travel wear me down. Some consider Season Five to be the height of Simpson-y goodness that eventuated a gradual slide in quality with the following seasons, but I couldn't disagree more... I find The Simpsons just as entertaining and relevant today in Season Sixteen than it's ever been. That being said, Season Five is pretty amazing, and my only complaint is that they are not releasing the DVDs fast enough. Highly recommended.

Law & Order, Criminal Intent: The Third Year. Probably my favorite of the Law & Order franchise thanks to the brilliant chemistry between Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, the tales from the files of "New York's worst criminal offenders" are wonderfully brought to life thanks to clever writing and even more clever acting... this is the role D'Onofrio was born the play. While the content is top-notch, I am a little pissed that they've skipped over "The Second Year" and more than a little pissed that they've changed the look of the packaging from "The First Year." I hate, hate it when they change the packaging between seasons. Still, if police drama is your thing, you can't do much better than this... highly recommended.

Next on my list is Tru Calling: a good show that ended up being a great show by the end of the season, which is a real pity since it's been cancelled.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hard

Posted on Tuesday, January 4th, 2005

Dave!Forget running the country, making travel reservations is hard work. It's really, really hard work (well, if you don't care how much you'll be spending, it's actually kind of easy work... but to get any type of bargain is so hard). For instance, I've got another trip to Germany coming up. I am entirely flexible as to when I leave and when I return. You would think that such flexibility would mean that I could easily get a decent fare considering that Northwest has about a billion specials running right now.

You would be wrong, of course.

Apparently those wholly incredible wunder-rates only apply if you sacrifice a goat to the internet reservation gods, because I spent close to three hours trying to find them to no avail. I picked the proper dates. I selected the correct day of the week. I even crossed my fingers. Nothing seems to work. I ultimately ended up with a crappy $600 non-upgradeable (the horror!) fare.

Why is it so insanely difficult? I mean, why can't I go to the Northwest airlines site, tell it where I want to go, then have two calendars come up (one for departure, one for return) that will tell me when the sale rates are in effect? It's all computerized, so how difficult could it be?

Web Air Fare Sale

Something like this would do two things... 1) Customers could easily spot which dates the sale is in effect, which dates are available, and how much the ticket will end up costing them. 2) Airlines could no longer post goofy, unachievable fares, and make their customers waste untold hours trying to find that "magic combination" that gets them the advertised promotional rate.

There are sites that attempt to do something like this, such as Orbitz's excellent "Calendar Matrix," but it's only for domestic flights and really doesn't show where you get the sale rates. Oh well. Whichever airline comes up with something to make reservations for sale fares easier to figure out will be the one that ends up getting my business. Right now they all suck.

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Guano

Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Dave!Sienna: The Sun is reporting that Jude Law has proposed to the blisteringly hot Sienna Miller. I've been in love with Sienna since her days on the funky Keen Eddie television show, and am a little crushed here.

Death: Is it wrong to wish Jared dead every time one of his stupid-ass Subway commercials shows up on television? I feel badly about even thinking it, but I just can't help myself. And it's not just that I want him dead, I want him really dead... like chopped up in little pieces and then lit on fire. Or run over with a steamroller and then disintegrated in a vat of acid. Or maybe even blown up with... uhhh... must... stop... thoughts... of... Jared... death... by... Wyle E. Coyote...

Quiz: And speaking of sub sandwiches, why does Quiznos bother to post a menu showing the sandwich contents if they are just going to ignore it? A Quizno's Veggie consists of the following: guacamole, black olives, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mushrooms, mozzarella, cheddar, and Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing. So, you would think that if I ordered a "Veggie with everything that comes on it except the mushrooms," it wouldn't be rocket science to figure that out. But they manage to screw it up every time. Usually they're denying me my guacamole, but last night they tried to add green peppers to it. Maybe I am going to have to start drawing diagrams? Oh well, I'll still take a delicious Quiznos sub over a boring Jared Subway sub any day.

Guano: How fabulous! Blogography has won the most prestigious of all blog awards: The Golden Guano! What makes this recognition particularly special is that it's awarded by somebody I truly admire and respect: me! I have decided that my Guano will have been won for "Blog Most Likely to Touch You In An Inappropriate Place." Feel free to go grab one for yourself at My So-Called Strife (available in black, white, and lovely hot pink) and come up with your own blog category...

Golden Guano

Lou: I usually delete comments which are just thinly veiled attempts at advertising other people's blogs (i.e., "I agree totally with what you said. Come visit my blog at www.lame.com!"). The reason I do this is because A) the person obviously didn't bother to read my blog, why should I bother to read theirs, or ask somebody else to do so? And B) it's kind of senseless... how many people are actually going to click on such a link? That being said, "A-Lou's Diary" ended up being an interesting use of a blog as I've seen. It's "written" by a 5-year old Belgian(?) boy who has been blind since birth and is facing complex mental challenges. Apparently it's a big hit in the French-speaking world, and is being translated into English now. I just wish "Lou's Daddy" would find some other way of advertising it.

Goodness: Alias is on tonight! The sweet hotness of Jennifer Gardner has returned to set us free and bring peace to all the world. Oh joyous day!

Categories: Blogging 2005, Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Leavenworth

Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Dave!Twelve miles down the road from my home in Cashmere is the German-inspired theme town of Leavenworth. It's billed as "The Bavarian Village," but is referred to as "The Barbarian Village" by locals because of the massive influx of tourists that descend like a plague anytime some German-inspired event comes to town. Most of the festivals (like Maifest and Oktoberfest) are predictable. But to ensure a constant stream of tourism dollars, Leavenworth invents things like "Christmas Lighting Festival," "Winterfest," "Icefest," "Artfest," "Winefest," "Accordionfest," "Kinderfest," "Autum Leaf Festival," and "Christkindlmarkt." They'll probably add a dozen new events this year, and I am anxiously anticipating "Wienerschnitzelfest" and "Sauerkrautfest."

But anyway... it's a charming little town that's worth a visit if you happen to be wandering around Central Washington. In many ways, I consider myself lucky to have it nearby, because it's an easy way to kill time with visiting friends and there's a wide assortment of good restaurants and interesting shops available.

Tonight I took a quick fifteen minute drive into Leavenworth for dinner, and see that the town is still all lit up from the Christmas Lighting Festival, but the tourists are eerily absent...

Leavenworth

Hmmm... my little pocket camera doesn't do so well at night. Next time I'll have to take my "real" camera with me (because that's the only way to truly capture a bratwurst in all its glory).

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Alias

Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Dave!Anybody who knows me even a little bit is aware of my unrequited love for good television. Unlike the movies, TV shows allow you to form an ongoing relationship with characters in a way that cinema can't match. Most television is pretty bad, but a few shows elevate the medium to dizzying entertainment heights. That being understood, how amazing was Alias last night? The series kind of lost its way last year, but creator J.J. Abrams had promised to restore the show to past glory this season, so excitement was mounting. Could he manage such a feat?

Apparently he could, and did so 20 minutes into the first episode.

Bastard.

How is it possible for somebody to be so astoundingly talented? In just twenty minutes Abrams brilliantly turned the dynamic of the show around 180 degrees, returning us to all the things that made Alias so much bloody fun to watch. Every character has been taken back to their roots, including series lead Jennifer Garner's "Sydney Bristow"...

Deliciousness

And if that wasn't enough, Mia Maestro has joined the cast as Jen's super-spy sister, so now we've got two hotties kicking ass on the show. Still not enough? Angela Basset has joined up as well.

Un-freakin-believable. Espionage never looked so good.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Time

Posted on Thursday, January 6th, 2005

Dave!What's something you often must do that's a complete waste of time? Navigate those stupid computerized answering machines... "press one to check the status of an order... press two to place a new order... press three for technical support..." oh how I loathe wasting time trapped in voicemail hell.

Who's a public figure you wish would stop wasting everybody's time? Bill Gates. If this asshat can't get his Microsoft Windows shit working for a simple demo at CES, what chance do his customers have? How much time do people waste every single day because of his bug-ridden piece-of-crap OS? And now he equates free culture advocates (such as myself) as "modern-day sort of communists." Well f#@% you Bill, it's only a matter of time before people wake up and overhaul the inane copyrights that restrict creativity in music, film, and expressive media (and also ridiculous patents held by tech-whores like you that are killing real progress in the industry). The Creative Commies have risen...

Creative Commies

What's something you'd like to do more of if you had extra free time? Well, if it were summer time, I'd say riding my motorcycle... but during the winter months I guess I'd have to say reading.

FQ CLOCK: What time is it where you're at right now, and what time zone are you in? It's 1:56am and I am in the Pacific Time Zone of the USA. If I stay up for another hour, I'm hoping I can sleep in until at least 7:30am.

Have a good time at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shop

Posted on Friday, January 7th, 2005

Dave!I loathe shopping. If it were possible, I'd order everything over the internet and never step foot in an actual store ever again. But we're in the middle of a winter storm warning here, so I volunteered to drive my mom to Weantchee and drop her at some kind of function she needed to be at... with two hours to kill, I decided shopping was better than waiting in the car. Oh well, at least the holiday shopping circus is over with.

Parked: My first stop was Shopko to get a plastic tub for storing my computer cables. Just after parking, I got a call from a friend on my mobile phone. While talking to them, a car pulled up next to me which I ignored. A minute later my car shook so hard that I nearly dropped my phone. Turns out an enormous woman exiting the Cadillac in the spot next to me decided to be an inconsiderate bitch and shove her car door into the side of mine. I got out and screamed "HEY!" but she just laughed and said "blame the store for making their parking spaces too small!" Enraged, I screamed "THAT'S NO EXCUSE TO DING MY CAR YOU IDIOT!!" But she ignored me and walked away. WTF??!? If I had a sledgehammer in my trunk, that bitch's POS would be on the receiving end of some serious damage.

Large: My next stop was JC Penny to buy some undershirts. Unfortunately, everything is too big. Plenty of Large, X-Large, and XX-Large, but no Mediums. When I ask the clerk what's up with that, she says that they don't bother getting much of the smaller sizes in anymore because most people need the larger ones. Well excuse me for not being bigger, but WTF??!?

Mart: I despise Wal-Mart. Well, not Wal-Mart per se, but definitely the people who shop at Wal-Mart. For that reason, I go there only when forced, and would gladly pay more money to avoid the cavalcade of morons that seem to congregate there. But there was something I needed to pick up for my grandmother, so off to Wal-Mart I went. Once I got used to the screaming, tonight wasn't all that bad.

Fashion: Next up I head to the fabric store to get some cloth so I can make some new shirts. Yes, you read that right, I make some of my own shirts. Well, I don't actually make them, I just design them, cut them out, mark them up, then take them to a seamstress or tailor to have them sewn. I fully realize that most people think this is utterly bizarre, but allow me to explain... 1) I need tall sizes, but tall sizes are not easy to find here. 2) I like my shirts fitted and, since I can't buy Donna Karan or other well-tailored shirts here in Wenatchee, my only choice is generic off-the-rack stuff that billows out on me and looks sloppy. 3) Donna Karan and other well-tailored shirts cost at least $100 each, and I can have two or three shirts of equal quality made for that amount. 4) I actually prefer shirts I design to what I can get here in hicksville Wenatchee (I discovered that I could design clothes quite by accident back when I was drawing comic books). In all seriousness, it's so easy that I don't know why more people aren't doing this. My latest is a kind of laced-neck peasant shirt (which seems to be an upcoming fashion trend from what I've seen in my travels). I've modified it a bit to have buttonless wide-cuff sleeves, a banded collar, and a split flop band at the bottom so it looks good when not tucked in...

Dave Shirt

Calendar: And lastly, I needed a new wall calendar for my office at work. The good news is that everything is half-price at the "World of Calendars" kisok. The bad news is that there's not a lot left. My most appealing choice is "The Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen 2005 Twins Calendar," but I fear that might be grossly misunderstood, so I take a pass. Since I don't want kittens, puppies, dolphins, butterflies, or greased-up firefighters with their shirts off and their hoses out, I settle for Curious George. There's something comforting about that crazy monkey.

All of that only took about an hour and fifteen minutes, so I spent the rest of my time shopping for a new book at Hastings. Here's hoping that don't have to go through all that again for at least another six months.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Elektrafying

Posted on Friday, January 7th, 2005

Dave!Oh my. Yahoo! Movies has put up some yummy production stills along with the first full five minutes of the forthcoming Jennifer Garner love-fest known as Elektra. Sure the movie clip features a brief snippet of badass action and has a kind of interesting opening but, to be totally honest, I am not holding out much hope for the quality of this film. Though that's not exactly why I want to see it so badly...

Elektrafying

At least they made movie Elektra look like the comic book Elektra a little more this time. Not that it matters much... it's not like I am going to be watching the movie thinking "the shape of Elektra's halter top is entirely unlike the comic, thus ruining my enjoyment of the film." Uhhh... no. What will be going through my mind is the exact same thing going through every other guy's mind in the theater: "breasts... breasts... breasts... breasts... breasts... breasts..." I feel like I should probably apologize for this entirely offensive and sexist remark but, well, men are dogs... what else can I say? I'm just doing my best to live up to the label.

Anyway, to take a look at the sweet hotness that is Jennifer Garner all dressed up like a comic book super-hero (and view those first five minutes of her movie), click here to see Elektra at Yahoo!

UPDATE: Proving that you just can't get enough of a good thing, Patrick notes that IGN has an exclusive scene from the movie featuring Elektra getting the ultimate "kiss of death" from Typhoid Mary. You can read about Jennifer Garner's bid for male fantasy dominance and view the clip over at FilmForce.

Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Taped

Posted on Saturday, January 8th, 2005

Dave!Today I was planning on going into work, but an impatient truck driver decided to run through a train crossing and get creamed by a freight train, thus closing the street I use to get to the office. Sure I could have taken an alternative route, but I instead decided to take it as a sign that the work gods didn't want me on the job this morning, and stay home today. I'm not a big believer in signs, but sometimes I choose to selectively interpret things in such a way as to benefit me and call it a sign. I'm a bit psychotic that way.

Anyway, I did manage to get some work done at home, but then turned my attention to my extensive videotape collection, or at least the third of it I managed to drag out of my closet...

Tape!

I have hundreds of 8mm tapes filled with television shows I collected throughout the 90's. Some good, some bad, but all preserved in sub-standard quality from a crappy cable connection I was cursed with at the time. Such is my love for television.

But here's the deal: Many of these shows are out on DVD now. In fact, a good half are on DVD and I've got them. Dozens of the remainder are due out on DVD this year, and I'll be getting them as well. Dozens still I have no idea why I taped in the first place (The Single Guy?!?). This means that I've got several shelves stacked with useless tapes I'm never going to use. I guess it's time to throw most of them away, then record what few shows remain on DVD until they're finally released for sale...

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Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Personality

Posted on Sunday, January 9th, 2005

Dave!In addition to the Political Compass Test (which I last saw at Neil's World and took here), another meme crawling through the blogosphere is the Myers-Briggs "Jung Personality Test" (which I last last saw at Jay's Party). Ordinarily, I pass on these types of things, but I went ahead and took it while waiting for the washing machine to quit.

I have to say, after trying to answer the questions as honestly as possible, the results seem fairly accurate. I took the Short Test, Word Test, and the Word Choice Test, and got the same result every time: Apparently I am an ENTP (Extoverted - iNtuitive - Thinking - Perceiving), which is classified as an "inventor" who shows "enthusiastic interest in everything and always sensitive to possibilities. Non-conformist and innovative. 3.2% of the total population").

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Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lomoizer

Posted on Sunday, January 9th, 2005

Dave!Thanks to a link over at Kotke where Jason has updated his entry on the subject, I started playing around with the Lomo Effect again (as I did in a previous entry). It's one of those nifty little Photoshop tricks that can take boring images you don't know what to do with and transform them into something interesting...

Lomo Originals

Lomo Shutters

Lomo Statue

Oddly enough, I find that it doesn't work very well on good images you tend to like, but it does have a certain kind of magic on the others.

Categories: Photography 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Forgotten Domains 1: Davetopia

Posted on Monday, January 10th, 2005

Dave!Hello and welcome to Blogography's Forgotten Domains Week!! Each day I plan on picking one of the dozens of domain names I own and explaining why I bought it, what I had planned for it, and what eventually happened to cause it being forgotten. So I'm sorry if you find this kind of self-indulgence boring but, what can I say, with the exception of MacWorld (which I am unable to attend) this is a pretty slow week for activities.

DAY ONE: DAVETOPIA.COM

Ah yes, to understand the story behind Davetopia, we must travel back in time to 1984... the year I graduated, and the year a film titled The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension was released. The film itself has many impressionable moments (including my favorite quote line from a movie ever: "No matter where you go, there you are"), but one thing about this bizarre alien invasion flick really stuck with me...

All of the aliens were named John.

John Little John, John Bigboote, John Parker, John Whorfin, John Ya Ya, etc. For some reason I just found it hysterically funny. So much so that I decided to name everybody, everything, and every place "Dave." Eventually I got over it, but I annoyed all my friends, co-workers, and family for weeks. I was so obsessed that I wrote a computer program called "DaveWorld" on my Atari 800 computer. This "killer app" was a random fake news generator for an imaginary place I called "DaveWorld."

The DaveWorld Times would generate stories like this: 15 Davember, 1984. Today in Daveburg, Dave Davidson won the Davenia Cup as his prized Daverian Husky took top honors in all categories. "I'm thrilled!" said Davidson as he headed off to spend his winnings on a vacation in Davapulco." or some such nonsense like that. Then, for no good reason at all, when the internet started exploding ten years later, I was bored and moved DaveWorld to the web.

The web-based "DaveWorld" was constantly evolving, and dozens of people ended up working on improving it at one time or another. Eventually, it was a fairly complex "living world" that had everything from weather patterns and politics to geographical data and road maps...

Davetopia

Davetopia

At one point, DaveWorld was a popular geeky place to hang out... but it ended up eating up so much of my free time that I eventually decided to close it down. But, over the years, I'd occasionally get an email from somebody asking me "whatever happened to DaveWorld" and "are you that DaveWorld guy?" Fast forward to the year 2000, and I had the idea to resurrect DaveWorld again with the latest web technologies and have some fun with it. Problem was, "DaveWorld.com" had already been taken. So I decided to use "Davetopia.com" instead.

Problem was, I never had time to work on Davetopia, so the idea kind of died off. I still keep paying on the domain in case I change my mind or have some extra time on my hands, but it's been pretty much forgotten for a few years now. That's more than a little bit sad to me, because back when the internet was young, it sure was a lot of fun.

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Review

Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

Dave!Yet another meme I've stolen from Neil (and I notice Patrick has found it as well). This one is "Year in Review" which encourages you to copy the first sentence from the first posting of every month in 2004. This meme is potentially more horrifying than the Music Shuffle Meme, heaven only knows what's going through my head...

  • January: In coming back from celebrating the New Year with friends in Seattle, I have to travel back over Stevens Pass which just happens to be in the middle of a winter storm warning... — From the entry "Happy New Year".
  • February: Alrighty then... a show of hands as to how many people are actually gullible enough to believe that Justin Timberlake's exposure of Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl Half-Time Show was an accident due to a "costume malfunction." — From the entry "Look, Boobies on TV!".
  • March: I just got an e-mail from somebody who noticed that my cartoon persona looks a little different in last night's entry. — From the entry "Meagan Wins".
  • April: This week has the perfect theme for where I live: beautiful things... Spring has sprung, and there are literally beautiful things everywhere you look. — From the entry "Theme Thursday: beautiful things".
  • May: After a nasty lull when Phil Hartman left, Saturday Night Live finally seems to be gaining some momentum again. — From the entry "SNL Harry Potter".
  • June: I am not a big video game fan... I never really have been because I just don't have the time to play them. — From the entry "XboX".
  • July: After the easy Theme Thursday last week, I suppose it's no accident that this week's theme is a bit more difficult. I mean, what do you shoot for cliché? — From the entry "Theme Thursday: cliché".
  • August: HRC Cologne: A quick hop with the most excellent (and amazingly cheap) GermanWings airlines, and Perry and I were off to the beautiful city of Cologne. — From the entry "Day Seven: Cologne".
  • September: Just because I don't like the idea of being the only one having nightmares tonight, here's a tale of your tax dollars at work. — From the entry "(Un)safe".
  • October: What happened the last time you thought yourself to be in danger? I've only been in a couple of truly dangerous situations, but the one that sticks in my mind is being held up at knife-point while walking through a not-so-nice part of San Francisco in 1999. — From the entry "FridayQ: danger".
  • November: ACK! PLAGUE SHIP!! For the past week, it would seem that everybody onboard has been coming down with a cold, including the crew. — From the entry "Cruise Day 9: At Sea".
  • December: Today is World AIDS Day. I've known three people with AIDS. — From the entry "Fight"

Not as bad as I thought, actually.

Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

MacWorld

Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

Dave!It's rather obvious that I am a complete and total Macintosh whore. I worship Steve Jobs, and fall in love with everything that comes out of Apple. If I were very wealthy, I'd buy a dozen of each product they make.

Today was the annual MacWorld show in San Francisco. As usual, Steve Jobs had a killer keynote that gave me entirely new Apple gear to fall in love with.

iPod Shuffle. When I get to work each morning I have a daily routine that involves opening iTunes, selecting a playlist, setting it to shuffle, then hiding iTunes and never looking at it again. I mean, why would I? I've already got a playlist... there's nothing more to do. Now I can do this exact same thing with a $100 skip-free MP3 player that's so tiny and lightweight as to be unnoticeable. For travel, this is a brilliant, brilliant thing...

iPod Shuffle

Yes, yes, I know. There are other companies making similar shit for cheaper, and I've already read some scathing reviews criticizing Apple for not putting a screen on it and, if you feel that way then fine... DON'T BUY IT! But for me, this is exactly the iPod I've been waiting for. Exactly. Now, before a trip, I can just plug the iPod Shuffle directly into my laptop, select a playlist to upload, then forget about it. I've got 12 hours of music with 12 hours of battery life and nothing to think about. Then, for the next trip, I just pick a new playlist and go. It's simple. It's elegant. It's perfect. It's Apple.

Of course I ordered one, even though I don't have the money to be doing that just now. Click to see it at Apple.

Mini Mac. Apple has long been criticized for having expensive products. Personally, I find their stuff grossly underpriced for how amazing it is, but that's just me. Well, now anybody who already has a monitor and keyboard can get a pretty decent Mac for just $500. As if that weren't enough, it's astoundingly small, just 6.5-inches square and 2-inches tall...

Mac Mini

The size factor has me pretty excited. I want one in my car that I can hook up to a small display and my stereo system (load up maps, music and even video and you're good to go!). I want one on top of my TiVo to stream video to my TV and music to my stereo. I want one at work to sit on top of my desktop Mac so I can switch to it while I've got an intensive graphic rendering. I... just... want... one. People are going to do remarkable things with this little box. The fact that it comes with iLife for free is just icing on the cake. A pity I don't have $500 so I could buy one to play with. Click to see it at Apple.

Software. After watching Steve's demo for the new features in the next version of OS X Tiger, I'm dying to possess it. After seeing the enhancements to iLife, I placed my order. After watching Steve demo the new features of his Keynote presentation software in iWorks, I put in a requisition for it. Nobody does software like Apple, and that's just one of a billion reasons I thank the computer gods every day that I don't have to use Microsoft Windows.

Wow. Never a better time to be a Mac addict, and it just keeps getting better.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Forgotten Domains 2: Daveism

Posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

Dave!And here we are at Day 2 of Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. Today we're going to get a bit philosophical...

DAY TWO: DAVEISM.ORG

Once upon a time, there was a remarkable forum where people could go to discuss philosophy and religion in a safe and sane environment that was free from prosecution and hatred. The name of this magical place was "Infinity Dialoguers" and it was good. I had many an enlightening conversation debating the nature of the universe with some amazing people, and such dialogue helped to form the principles on which I live my life even today. But all good things come to an end, and the forum was shut down in May of 2004.

After a few months, I decided that I wanted to collect all the writings and philosophizing I had put up over at Infinity, and form a cult around a new religion which I dubbed "Daveism" (just joking, there was no plans for a cult, but I'm sure that's how some people would have looked at it). One weekend I put the site together and began to post my writings...

Davism Logo

Davism Nav

Unfortuantely, while Infinity had folded, the founder had not. I eventually received a notice telling me that all materials uploaded to the Infinity Dialoguers forum became property of the collective, and I was forbidden to re-publish my writings without permission (though, fortunately, it works both ways). I guess we should have read the fine print on that membership agreement. Anyway, I could no longer post my previous stuff verbatim, and would have to rewrite everything. Naturally, I didn't have that kind of time, and the domain was taken down.

For the curious among you, Daveism is a simple philosophy for living that was based on the fallacy of fear, hate, and worry. I strongly believe all problems boil down to those three things, and finding a way to minimize them leads to happiness. One day, I really do hope to work on the site again, because I honestly think that I've got something to say there.

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Forgotten Domains 3: SimDave

Posted on Wednesday, January 12th, 2005

Dave!Onward to Day 3 of Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. For today, shall we play a game?...

DAY THREE: SIMDAVE.COM/DAVESIM.COM

One of the things I loved about the early days of the internet was the challenge in doing something new, different, and cool. There was no CSS, no Flash, not a lot of anything really. About the only funky tool that designers had was animated GIF graphics (my how things have changed). And, since I loved being on the cutting edge of technology, I wanted to exploit animated GIFs in a way that I hadn't seen before. But what would that be?

Turns out is was a mini-game based on the "Sim" series of simulation games (SimCity, SimEarth, SimFarm, SimIsle, etc.). Only this time I decided to simulate myself!

SimDave

"SimDave" (as I called it) was a very crude "game" that allowed you to change the environment around a simulated "me" to see how I would react. For instance... you could choose to turn on the radio and watch me dance. You could change the channel on the radio to a country-western station and watch attempt to hang myself. You could make me change clothes or run around naked. You could feed me pizza, ice cream, or give me a present. You could put me to bed or have me exercise by doing jumping-jacks. All in all, there were about 40 separate things you could do to poor little SimDave, including electrocuting me with the toaster, flushing me down the toilet, or having me mauled by a bear. It was a tough life (albeit simulated) for me.

Simdave1

Anyway, for a while SimDave was a big draw for "Dave's Web" and I got a lot of nice compliments on it, which encouraged me to keep improving the graphics and giving people more things to do with me. The biggest compliments I got was when people would send me new scenarios for SimDave (including one pornographic simulation which involved whip cream and a hooker). But, alas, it was not to last. When I redesigned my site in 1997, I renamed it "DaveWeb" and purchased a domain and hosting package to go with it. Tragedy struck when I lost the entirety of SimDave... all 80-or-so animated GIFs and hundreds upon hundreds of hours work was gone. I am not a very emotional person, but I was pretty choked up about it. I dare say that, retro as it would be, it would still be a cool thing that people would like.

Zip forward to the year 2000 when Flash animations started really taking over the web. Suddenly the possibilities for user-interaction were greatly expanded. One day while working on an animation project for a client, it suddenly occurred to me that I could resurrect SimDave, this time as a cool Flash-based game! With the intention of doing exactly that, I immediately went out and registered SimDave.com and DaveSim.com (just in case Maxis, makers of SimCity and The Sims, would sue). Unfortunately, all I managed to complete was the "Sim Dave" animation sprites (which are the basis for all the DaveToons I draw for Blogography). Just as with dozens of other ambitious projects I've started over the years, I never had the time to finish it.

SimDave Sketch

This is one of those times that I really, really wish I had more free time. The nostalgia involved in getting a new SimDave game on the internet is something I dream about often.

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Forgotten Domains 4: DaveSpot

Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2005

Dave!We're cresting over the half-way point of Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. Today? Before Blogography, there was Dave Spot...

DAY FOUR: DAVESPOT.COM

Back in the day (that would be the mid 90's), having a web site was expensive. Having your own domain name was expensive. Bandwidth was expensive. Server space was really expensive. Of course, everybody was using really slow modems, so it wasn't like you could have a lot of stuff on your site anyway. But eventually, as prices fell and bandwidth increased, I began putting a lot of stuff online. Personal stuff. Work stuff. Nonsense stuff I collected. Just about anything really. After a while "Dave's World" was a mishmash of junk, and I decided that I really should have separate sites for my work and personal stuff.

Problem was, "dave.com" was taken and I couldn't think of another domain name for my personal spot on the web. Wait a second... "personal spot?" There we go, DaveSpot.com!!

Dave Spot

Dave Spot

Dave Spot

It started out as you see above... just a simple FAQ, a set of my favorite links, some photos, and a list of sites I maintained. Eventually, a fifth button was added. A magical fifth button titled "journal" where I wrote about the stuff that was going on in my life. Yep, it was a blog before there were blogs! Of course, back then, any "blog" you had was hand-coded, so it didn't get updated very often.

Then Movable Type happened and DaveSpot was radically changed into an actual blog. Problem was, I didn't have the discipline to keep it going, and I killed it off after just three months (and reinstated the old site in its place, sans journal).

Come April 2003, I decided to try blogging again, but the "curse" of two failed blogs at DaveSpot made me want to start fresh (besides, "DaveSpot" can easily be translated as "Dave's Pot" which isn't exactly what I had in mind). Thus Blogography was born and DaveSpot was no more. Of all my "forgotten domains" this is one that I probably won't renew. Surely somebody else out there can put it to better use.

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Help

Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2005

Dave!What happened the last time you needed help? I forgot my wallet at home when I went to the gas station this past Sunday. Fortunately I saw somebody I knew that could help me out with a $20 instant loan.

What happened the last time you helped somebody else? A friend hurt himself while moving into a new apartment and was laid up, so I helped him put his motorcycle into storage for the winter.

What happened the last time you helped yourself? I cancelled my subscription to Showtime which helped me out on two levels... 1) It helps me financially by saving me $12 each month, and 2) It helps me psychologically by dealing with rage I feel over Showtime ass-clowns cancelling the brilliant Dead Like Me.

FQ ASSIST: Do something to help somebody today! Got a few extra dollars? Donate it to the Tsunami Relief Efforts (like the Red Cross at Amazon) or some other worthy cause. Don't have a few dollars to spare? Take a minute and use a FREE "click-to-donate" site (like The Hunger Site) or other worthy activity. How did you help today? I ran the gamut of free clicks at The Hunger Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Child Health Site, The Literacy Site, The Rainforest Site, and the Animal Rescue Site... then donated a bit of cash at Doctors Without Borders. If my apartment allowed pets and I didn't have to travel all the time, I'd go to the local animal shelter and adopt a cat or a puppy.

Help is on the way at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Forgotten Domains 5: Critical Duck

Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2005

Dave!We're sliding toward home on Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. This time we're going to work...

DAY FIVE: CRITICALDUCK.COM

I was an early fan of digital video back in the days when "digital video" meant you needed a $3000 digitizing card, a high-end Mac, and a "massive" hard disk array with a pricey high-speed SCSI interface. Even then, the results were unpredictable and problematic. Skipped video frames and audio-sync issues were the norm, not the exception. Of course, now even a $500 Mac Mini can easily edit video with no additional hardware, and then burn a DVD of the project once you're done (assuming you have a SuperDrive).

Anyway, sometime between then and now, when the DV format was just starting to make things half-way affordable, a friend and I decided to invest in an expensive DV camera and start a video production company. He would shoot the footage, and I would edit it and design the visuals. In order to get some practice, I shot some tape of a rubber duck to edit with. That footage set the tone for the company, and gave us a name...

Critical Duck

Off-and-on for two years, we made instructional videos, promotional videos, educational videos, and even a music video! But it never ended up being enough income to quit our day-jobs, and eventually we wanted out. So we sold the camera, he took the software, I took the name, and it was over.

I still love digital video, and every once in a while I find myself wanting to get back into the game. Maybe one day Critical Duck will ride again?

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Galactica

Posted on Friday, January 14th, 2005

Dave!Good sci-fi is hard to find on television. In fact, since Farscape was cancelled, it's darn-near impossible. Even Farscape (which I enjoyed immensely) paled when held to the gold standard of sci-fi TV: Star Trek (that would be the original series, not any of the crappy imitators that followed). It's for this reason that I was pleasantly surprised when I gave the new Battlestar Galactica a chance and it paid off. This is especially bizarre when you consider how cheesy and badly-acted the original version was.

Battlestar Galactica

Airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, Galactica runs opposite the latest Star Trek franchise: Enterprise. I had TiVo record them both in order to directly compare the two, and it's not pretty. Where Enterprise is slow, plodding, and pointless... Galactica is edgy, quick, and darkly satisfying. Where Enterprise has characters that are shallow, tired, and predictable... Galactica has characters that are multifaceted, fresh, and conflicted. Where Enterprise has beautiful special effects that are pretty to look at, but boring and historically sparse (remember Odo the non-shape-changing shape-changer?)... Galactica has cutting-edge special effects that are raw, exciting, and everywhere (the new Cylons are no longer laughable men-in-suits, but CGI badasses). Enterprise is the prequel to a documented future... Galactica is forging ahead into a completely unknown future.

How sad. The once brilliant Star Trek has fallen to new levels of lameness with Enterprise. The once embarrassing Battlestar Galactica has risen to jaw-dropping dramatic heights. Oh well, at least there is finally some decent sci-fi on television again.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Forgotten Domains 6: Artificial Duck

Posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Dave!We've just arrived at the penultimate episode of Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. This time we're going to work...

DAY SIX: ARTIFICIALDUCK.COM

Yesterday I told the riveting tale of my venture into the digital video business but, before there was Critical Duck Films, there was Artificial Duck Company. And before there was Artificial Duck, there was Wind-Up Duck Screen Printing. And before there was Wind-Up Duck, there was Big Duck Studio... as you might have guessed, I've got kind of a "duck" thing going on here. I honestly don't know why, but it probably has to do with the fact that I find ducks to be funny. Make of it what you will.

Anyway, if you've read my FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) you might know that I am a graphic designer by trade. But my career path to becoming a graphic designer was not without complexity. So here, for your reading pleasure, are the duck-related bits from my wild work history.

THE EARLY YEARS: I've always loved to draw and paint, but I never thought it could be an actual job. So when "Personal Computers" were introduced to my school, I knew where my future lay. By the time I was a high-school senior I had already started accepting programming work for local businesses, orchardists, farmers, and even computerized the attendance records for my own high school. Programming a computer was something I was good at, seemed to pay okay, and was in demand, so I naturally thought I had found my vocation. Big Duck Studio was born...

Big Duck

For better part of my senior year I was a student by day and Big Duck programmer-for-hire at night (though most of my friends called it "Big Dick Studio" - ha ha). I was learning a lot, having fun, and making a little spending money. It was all good. At least it was good until one Saturday night I suddenly realized that I was hunched over a computer debugging code while all my friends were out partying. At that moment I decided I did not want to spend the rest of my life glued to a computer monitor, and Big Duck was dead.

GETTING ARTISTIC: After graduation I had no idea what I wanted to do (though getting work so I could afford to go to college the next year was a high priority). I found a part-time job as a janitor but always in the back of my head was the desire to have my own business again (though something not involving computers). Then one day a friend asked me to design a T-Shirt for his family reunion, and everything just clicked. I would partner with a screen printer and do T-Shirt designs in my spare time! For reasons I can't recall, the name I chose for my new endeavor was Wind-Up Duck Screen Printing...

Wind-Up Duck

I think the name came from an old toy frog I found that would hop around if you wind him up (by turning a key that stuck out his butt). Since I found ducks to be hysterical, the wind-up frog became a wind-up duck. It was a good idea, but the guy I was working with kept raising his prices until pretty soon I couldn't make any money at it. I had thought about shopping around for another printer, but I was getting ready for college and decided I'd just quit the business altogether.

SEMI-RECENT HISTORY: After wasting a few years of my life in a drunken stupor while attending college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. Eventually I accidentally stumbled into graphic design work (which neatly combined my love of computers and art), but it was still part-time and I needed a way to make some extra money. Screen printing, which used to involve spending hours hand-cutting stencils, had become high-tech and much faster, so I thought perhaps I'd resurrect "Wind-Up Duck" and get into the biz again. Only problem was that the name sometimes confused people (they thought "wind" was like "gusting wind"), so it was time for an entirely new duck. Artificial Duck Company had a nice ring to it...

Artificial Duck

But eventually my job went from part-time to full-time, and there was never any space in my schedule to do any work for Artificial Duck. I bought the domain name with the intention of hiring partners and putting up a web site to get business, but it never happened. So, while I do some work under the "Artificial Duck" banner from time to time, the domain itself has been all but forgotten (why advertise something you never have time to do?).

Even so, I love my "Artificial Duck" logo, and it makes for a popular T-Shirt design that I can hand out to people.

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Threes

Posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Dave!This time, it's not my fault... Neil says I have to do this "Meme à Trois"...

  • Three names you go by: Dave, David, Duke.
  • Three screen names you have: Dave2, Daveweb, Blogography.
  • Three things you like about yourself: I ride a motorcycle, I'm open-minded, I'm tolerant.
  • Three things you dislike about yourself: I don't speak a foreign language fluently, I am easily distracted, I can't keep up with my email.
  • Three parts of your heritage: American, Dutch, German.
  • Three things that scare you: Bush, Deep Water, Heights.
  • Three of you everyday essentials: Food, Water, Macintosh.
  • Three things you're wearing right now: Joe Boxers, MIA/POW Bracelet, Glasses.
  • Three of your favorite bands/artists: Depeche Mode, a-ha, The Corrs.
  • Three of your favorite songs at present: Until She Comes by the Psychedelic Furs, Inner Smile by Texas, New York Minute by Don Henley.
  • Three new things you want to try in the next 12 months: Try to renew my love of painting with watercolors, Try studying a foreign language, Try to simplify my life.
  • Three things you want in a relationship (love is a given): Honesty, Passion, Fulfillment.
  • Two Truths and a Lie: Kindness is its own reward, Violence is cowardly, There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
  • Three physical things about a love interest that appeal to me: Cleanliness, Cuteness, Hotness.
  • Three things you just can't do: Listen to a country-western song, Watch a musical, Enjoy using Microsoft Windows.
  • Three of your favorite hobbies: Travel, Hard Rock Cafe, Television.
  • Three things you want to do really badly right now: Eat breakfast, Ride my motorcycle, Go back to sleep.
  • Three careers you're considering: Marine Biologist, Astronaut, President of the United States.
  • Three places you want to go on vacation: Greece, Australia, New Zealand.
  • Three kids names (either boy or girl): Ellis, Emma, Beelzebub.
  • Three things you want to do before you die: See as much of the world as possible, Ride my motorcycle every chance I get, Refrain from hating anything or anybody.
  • Three people who have to take this quiz now: Let's see... who hasn't blogged in a while? How about: Jenny, Kirk, and Steven?
Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

MovieMeme!

Posted on Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Dave!Ooooh! A movie meme! I wonder why nobody thought of this one before? As seen on Kazza's Blog. The Rules: Pick ten movies you enjoy. Pick a line of dialogue that you like. As people guess the films, strike out the entry. NO CHEATING!

UPDATE: Added another quote from each film here...

UPDATE: I went ahead and finished this up by answering #9 myself. It's kind of a shame nobody got this one, because that means none of you has seen the movie Creator. This thoughtful, charming, intelligent, romantic, funny film is one of my all-time favorites. The fact that it stars the brilliant Peter O'Toole is just icing on the cake. Run right out and rent it immediately.

  1. "Now, that is a big trunk! It holds a tuba, a suitcase, a dead dog, and a garment bag almost perfectly."
    "Someone stole Marilyn's jacket last night. And Poe is missing." - Wonder Boys (Amy got it!)
  2. "Memories are meant to fade. They're designed that way for a reason."
    "Look it, everybody needs to take a walk to the dark end of the street sometime. It's what we are." - Strange Days (Richard got it!)
  3. "Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?"
    "That's popcorn! Get it away from me, I can't stand popcorn. I hate popcorn." - Real Genius (Aravis got it!)
  4. "The closer you get to being a pro, the closer you can get to the client. The knife, for example, is the last thing you'll learn." - Leon: The Professional (Richard got it!).
  5. "Look, if you want me to talk in front of him you may be asked to kill him later. It works for me, your call." - Long Kiss Goodnight (Art got it!)
  6. "You have got albinos chasing you down the street, prowlers breaking into your apartment, don't you see? They're only after one thing!" - Foul Play (Tonya got it!)
  7. "He was very nice about it, but he made me feel like a third class witch doctor!" - The Day the Earth Stood Still (Dennis got it!)
  8. "You know something, I don't think the sun even exists in this place."
    "Hey! Ya happen to know the way to Shell Beach?" - Dark City (Rick got it!)
  9. "That's it? One course in 'The Big Picture' - twelve credits?"
    "One of these days we'll look in to our microscope and find ourselves staring right into God's eyes, and the first one who blinks is going to lose his testicles." - Creator (NOBODY got it!)
  10. "Oh, just a few special effects... sort of the Universal Studios tour of evil. It normally works pretty well but, evidently you weren't going for it. That last wish of yours was a deal breaker." - Bedazzled (Ben got it!)

Hmmm... looking these over, I wonder if even I would be able to figure them out!

Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Aquatic

Posted on Sunday, January 16th, 2005

Dave!Finally got around to seeing Wes Anderson's latest masterpiece... The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou starring Bill Murray and numerous other talented people. This film received a disappointing 50% over at Rotten Tomatoes which leaves me flabbergasted, because I think it is easily one of the best films released in 2004. Not only is Murray's acerbic wit in full force, but all of Anderson's usual comedic touches are sprinkled throughout the film like candy, waiting to be discovered, unwrapped, and savored.

Zissou!

Aquatic tells the story of once-famous (but now washed up) oceanographer-filmmaker Steve Zissou who is hoping to hunt down a kill the mysterious "leopard shark" that ate his best friend. He also plans on documenting the adventure to create a new film which he hopes will bring him back to the limelight. Along the way he has to deal with a stranger who may or may not be his son (Owen Wilson), a failing marriage (to Angelica Houston), overwhelming competition (Jeff Goldblum), and a myriad of money trials to finance the operation.

And all of it is hysterically funny, of course.

What's truly magical about the film is the detours into occasional fantasy with stop-motion animated sea life (Sugar Crabs! Electric Jellyfish! Rhinestone Bluefins!) and a cut-away set that's entirely brilliant...

Zissou!

I understand that the comedy in this film is miles away from more pedestrian fare like you'll find in the latest Adam Sandler flick, but if you like a little intelligence to your funny, I can't recommend The Life Aquatic highly enough.

Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Forgotten Domains 7: Hard Rock Run

Posted on Sunday, January 16th, 2005

Dave!And here we've come to the final episode of Forgotten Domains Week, where I review domains I own but have forgotten over the years. Last up? A domain that may actually get used one day...

DAY SEVEN: HARDROCKRUN.COM

I've long had a site devoted to my obsession with the Hard Rock Cafe called DaveCafe. But that site is pretty much just another blog, and I've always wanted to do something more interactive with my fellow Hard Rock fanatics. One thing we all have in common is our desire to maximize the number of properties we visit in a given trip. But it's a bit trickier than you might think to calculate driving times, hotels, and what-not... and it would be nice if there was a resource to assist with such planning.

At least that's what fellow Hard Rocker Perry and I thought as we were planning a run through England, Wales, Germany, and The Netherlands...

HR Run

HR Run

HR Run

So we set to work creating such a site. A place where people could plan Hard Rock visits and share their experiences, with the hope of having it ready before the Europe trip took place.

Unfortunately, in order to take two weeks away from work for the run, I pretty much had to work non-stop for two months in order to get caught up enough to leave. There just wasn't time to put the required hours in to get the graphics completed, and Hard Rock Run never quite came together.

Still, of all the forgotten domains I've blathered on about this week, this is the one that I would most like to have happen one day. If only I could find the time to work on it.

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cheddar

Posted on Monday, January 17th, 2005

Dave!This afternoon I noticed the pause button on my TiVo remote is the exact same color as Tillamook Sharp Cheddar. There's something profound with this connection between television and cheese, but it's escaping me just this moment. Probably has something to do with the abundance of incredibly stupid reality programs crowding up the channel spectrum (though it's really unfair to cheese to make such a comparison).

Let's face it... as good as Betty White is, she just can't single-handedly combat such an overwhelming load of crap TV with only a few appearances on Complete Savages and Boston Legal (though last night's 60 second appearance there was fantastic).

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Ice

Posted on Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Dave!Well that was fun. My usual five-minute commute to work ended up taking just over an hour. First I couldn't get TO my car. Then I couldn't get IN my car. Then I couldn't get out of my parking spot. Then I couldn't get out of the driveway. All thanks to a lovely ice storm that blew through last night.

Things actually started yesterday around 4:00. That's when I heard the gentle "plink plink plink" of frozen moisture falling onto the skylight at work. By the time I left at 5:00, little beads about 2mm in diameter were washing across the landscape like sand, making a "swoosh swoosh" sound when walking through it. By the time I went to bed at 11:00, the beads turned into drops that were too big too freeze on the way down, so we had heavy rain in freezing weather.

The result was not pretty. Here's my car door handle frozen solid, with the ice having flowed into the mechanism. I eventually managed to free it by squirting hot water into the seams...

The Ice Storm

Of course, getting the handle to work is only half the battle. Here's the door seam after I've been chipping into it for five minutes with an ice pick. I couldn't use hot water, because it would probably have cracked my windows...

The Ice Storm

Here are pieces I finally managed to chip away from the trunk with a screwdriver (so I could get to my ice scraper). The only reason I was able to do this is because Saturn cars are not made of metal, they are made out of some kind of flexible polymer. I kept flexing and denting in the panels and eventually the ice would crack enough to be removed. A pity that kind of thing didn't work on the windows, where the ice had bonded so hard that no amount of scraping would remove it...

The Ice Storm

Once I got to my ice scraper in the trunk and used it to open my door, I was able to turn on the defroster. Twenty minutes later the ice was easily removed. Well, not easily, you're still having to try and balance on a sheet of ice while you scrape, but easier than a screwdriver. Of course, then the challenge is to actually drive on an incredibly slick surface. It was not easy, and it took at least ten minutes to successfully get out of the driveway. Fortunately Cashmere has a top-notch snow-removal crew, so the roads were okay, but you still had to hit the brakes five car-lengths before the stop or else you'd end up in the middle of an intersection.

I really, really hope I don't have to go through this tomorrow.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Nude

Posted on Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Dave!I am to the point right now where I quite honestly don't know what to make of American society. We've become a nation of hypocrisy that defies all logic to understand, but so long as it's labeled "conservatism" everybody seems to be onboard with it. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but it's become so annoying that what I really want to do is beat the crap out of somebody.

(Then submit a video of said beating to America's Funniest Home Videos so I can win $10,000).

Today's rant brought to you by your friends at the FCC, this country's first and last defense of common decency!

The Federal Communications Commission was founded in 1934 to regulate communications via radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. Unfortunately, the same prude bitches that formed the committee in 1934 are apparently still in charge. So let's see... assuming the average age of its membership back in the beginning was 35, that would make them 106-years-old today.

And there you have it! That explains everything! The most popular show on television is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation which regularly features graphic depictions of gore and violence. The most popular new show on television is Desperate Housewives which regularly features graphic depictions of sex, sexual innuendo, and sex. Yet the FCC has no problem at all with such programming. What they do have a problem with is a nipple on a breast flashed on the screen for 5 seconds (FINED!). They don't have a problem with Oprah discussing oral anal sex, but they do have a problem with Howard Stern discussing the same subject (FINED!). It's random bullshit that even a genius couldn't figure out (I should know... I am a genius, and I sure can't).

To me, this is compelling evidence that the FCC is indeed staffed by 106-year-old geriatric, senile, ass-clowns just as I suspected! They don't know what they hell they're doing because they've lost all cognitive ability. Their brains simply don't work anymore. The lights are on, but nobody is home. And because of this, television networks live in fear.

Case in point: Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 1965: ACCEPTABLE. Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 2003: ACCEPTABLE. Showing a cartoon with a naked ass in 2005: WHO THE f#@% KNOWS! And that's why FOX television decided to blur out the cartoon ass on a cartoon character in a cartoon show (the brilliant Family Guy) in a recent cartoon airing. A CARTOON! They have no idea if such a thing will get them fined, so they're having to play it safe so that an organization who controls what we are allowed to watch won't punish them.

And that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. f#@% the FCC for being outrageously inconsistent and generally STUPID. f#@% FOX Television for being such pu$$ies. f#@% EVERYBODY ELSE for allowing stupid shit like this to happen in the first place. What's next? The internet is communication and under FCC jurisdiction... so will the dumbasses decide that web content needs to be regulated? Well, better safe than sorry! From now on, all nude cartoon representations of myself will be appropriately censored...

Toon Nudity

And, as another public service for conservative America, here's a clue: IF WHAT'S ON TELEVISION OFFENDS YOUR HYPOCRITICAL ASS, THEN GET RID OF YOUR f#@%ING TELEVISION! OBVIOUSLY YOU'RE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO TURN SOMETHING OFF WHEN IT BOTHERS YOU, SO DO US ALL A FAVOR AND JUST DON'T WATCH IT!! That way, we can abolish the FCC, and let advertising dollars and television ratings dictate what stupid crap is aired on TV... exactly as the founding fathers of this country intended.

   

Fogged

Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2005

Dave!It's foggy out today.

Fogged

Categories: Photography 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

TiVoNotToGo

Posted on Wednesday, January 19th, 2005

Dave!I love television, but my work and travel schedule makes it very difficult to keep up with the programs I like. Fortunately, I have a magical TiVo box that sits on top of my TV and handles the recording of my shows whether I am home or not... it has all the great features of a VCR, but without all the programming hassles and videotape. I tell it that I want it to record "Veronica Mars" and it will faithfully do so, even if the show changes times, changes days, or even changes networks. It will also skip shows that it knows to be reruns if I ask it to. It's a wonderful device in many ways, and has made my being a TV junkie so much easier to manage.

Yes, I love my TiVo... but I can't wait to get rid of it.

And here's why: with the many advantages TiVo has over a VCR, it has some serious drawbacks. With a VCR, I can use the tape with any other VCR or even loan it to a friend so they can watch it. Well, TiVo finally has the ability to offload video to a computer with their TiVoToGo service, but it sucks ass:

  1. Some shows can be tagged as non-transferrable, such as pay-per-view and some premium programming, meaning you can't watch them on your computer at all (whereas a videotape can record anything).
  2. All video requires a "media key" to be unencrypted. This is to prohibit sharing the content, and doing so may result in your account being revoked (whereas a videotape requires no such bullshit).
  3. The video is not in a standard format and requires special software to operate... currently only available for Windows 2000 or Windows XP (whereas a videotape will work on any VCR without special conditions).
  4. The TiVoToGo service will only work from specific players, meaning those of us with DirecTV boxes that have TiVo built-in or multiple tuners are shit-out-of-luck (whereas a VCR is a VCR is a VCR).

Yes, you read that right, TiVo is offering a service in 2005 that has more limitations than a VHS tape from nearly thirty f#@%amp;ing years ago!

Tivo Sucks

So, since I can't use TiVoToGo (after having waited five years for it), that means in order to get a television show on my laptop, here is what I have to do: 1) Record it on TiVo. 2) Record it from TiVo to my DVD recorder. 3) Burn from the recorder to a DVD. 4) Copy the resulting files from the DVD to my computer. 5) Watch the shitty quality, second-generation video. What a bullshit waste of time that is. Granted, much of this is not TiVo's fault... they are bowing down to the television networks in fear that people will start giving away programming that they should be paying for, but that doesn't make it suck any less.

Of course, that is not really how I get video on my laptop. Here's what I do: 1) Start up my BitTorrent client and download a show in pristine HDTV resolution (when available). 2) Watch the beautiful result whenever I want.

And there you have it. I am still glad to have TiVo for managing the loads of TV shows I like to watch... but, unless I am sitting in front of the television, it's practically useless for watching the content at my convenience. Since this is apparently the best they can do (and new alternatives for transporting video are appearing all the time) I say with no amount of sadness that TiVo's days are numbered. If I wanted to mess with this kind of antiquated, backwards thinking... I'd still be using VHS videotape.

UPDATE: A comment directed to this entry over at Thomas Hawk had said: "Does Dave travel with his VCR? I have never in my life been next to someone on a plane with a VCR and TV on his lap. Ive actually never seen anyone leave their house carrying a VCR." To which I respond:

No. I don't travel with my VCR (I don't even own one anymore), but that is exactly my point: I can't travel with TiVoToGo either (as I am a Mac user with a dual-tuner DirecTV TiVo). So, on top of being no better than a videotape in functionality for me, it also has several ADDITIONAL disadvantages over 30-year-old VHS.

And there's the problem... I am in no way opposed to purchasing yet another new dual-tuner, DirecTV, TiVo Series 2 player (assuming they ever release one), but given that there's no software for the Mac yet, and that they could start tagging all my favorite shows as "non-transferrable" at any point in the future, what's the use? Let's say I buy a TiVoToGo capable player and Mac software is released, but then ABC, NBC, and CBS refuse to grant TiVo transfer rights for any of their programs... what happens then? 80% of the shows I'd want to transfer would no longer be available, and I'd have spent the money for nothing.

This is progress? All it's done is forced people to come up with new ways of circumnavigating a system of roadblocks to getting the convenience we should be able to have in the first place.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: New

Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Dave!What's a new food or drink you've tried? Just two days ago I was at the mini market and saw new "Doritos Black Pepper Jack" chips (with black ground pepper and pepper-jack cheese) and new "Mountain Dew Pitch Black" (Mountain Dew Cola with a splash of black grape juice), and thought I'd give them a try. How'd it go? The Doritos were hot/spicy and pretty good! The Mountain Dew Black was terrible, and tasted like toxic waste.

What's a new television show or movie you've seen or book you've read? I gave the new show Point Pleasant a try last night, and started reading a new book Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell last week. How'd it go? Well, Point Pleasant is supposed to be a soap opera with dark elements, by telling the story of what happens when the devil's daughter washes up on the rich and pretty shores of a New Jersey city. Unfortunately, it's pretty boring... not dark enough to be engaging and not soap-opera enough to be entertaining. I fared better with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which is a novel about how England lost it's magical arts by the 1800's, and engages the assistance of the mysterious Mr. Norrell (who seems to actually have magical talents) to help fight the Napoleonic wars. It's a bit slow, but masterfully written and hard to put down.

What's a new place you've been to or web site you've visited? The last new place would probably be the new "Fabulous Footwear" shop in Wenatchee (brand name shoes at discount prices!). And a site that I've recently discovered is Map24, which is a nifty Java-based map and route planner with really cool features. How'd it go? Fabulous Footwear didn't have anything I wanted. Map24 is amazing, and it will be hard to go back to MapQuest after having played with it.

FQ NEW: Do the new! What's something new you've been wanting to try but haven't? Play Halo2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas What's stopping you? I don't have time for Halo2 and don't own a PlayStation2 to play Andreas.

Try something new with the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tivolution

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2005

Dave!Who knew that my disappointment in TiVo's new TiVoToGo service would get such attention? I keep seeing my comments popping up in other sites, and can only guess it's because I had the audacity to say that TiVoToGo is a flawed technology that's no better than VHS VCRs in many ways. Either that, or it's because I drew a cartoon.

Anyway, the latest is over at Big Damn Heroes (which is a pretty cool site now that I've been reading through it!) where they take issue with my reasons TiVoToGo sucks ass. I though it only fair that I post my reply here in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Gizmodo

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2005

Dave!Ooh! Gizmodo, a site I've worshipped for quite a while now, has picked up my TiVoToGo-bashing cartoon from yesterday (thanks to Thomas Hawk adding it to his TiVoToGo review). That's kind of funny, but a little sad too. I actually really like TiVo (as I have said many times here), and being associated only negatively with the company is kind of strange. I don't envy TiVo's dilemma in trying to please television networks with their plans for transferring content off the TiVo box, but I maintain that if Sony, JVC, and other VCR-making companies had buckled under the same pressure thirty years ago, we'd never have had the VCR... so it's kind of their own fault that TiVoToGo is a disappointment because they caved (which is a pity, because their customers are the people purchasing their DVRs... not the networks!).

I still don't understand why, if they felt they just had to initiate DRM, they couldn't have done so in a manner that didn't make it impossible for many people to use the resulting video file! Why not just print the customer's account number across the top of the screen every once in a while (or encode it into the interlacing frames). This would allow them to track down people illegally distributing video, but also allow me to play the file wherever I want. But oh no, instead let's go for some goofy transfer shenanigans? Making your customers jump through hoops like that is just not a smart thing to do, because they will abandon you for a solution that's easier and better suits their needs. I know I will.

Gizmodo TiVo

Hmmm... now that I've thought about it, it's also disturbing that people might think I am a bat-wielding maniac out to kill the little TiVo-man. Regular readers of Blogography realize that my baseball bat is a running joke here, but I'm not sure that's understood by total strangers.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hatch!

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2005

Dave!It's disheartening to know that last week's comparison I made between the new Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Enterprise was not a fluke. Galactica is so much better, that I find myself secretly hoping they'll finally just put Enterprise out if its misery and cancel the thing.

Enterprise... was action-free this week. It is not inaccurate to say that absolutely nothing happened in the episode. Just a lot of lame shots of Hoshi (fully clothed) and Trip in a decontamination chamber slowly dying while non-physical aliens blab on and on and on inside the possessed bodies of two regular characters so boring that I can't even remember their names. If there was a secondary plot anywhere, I sure as heck couldn't find it.

Galactica... on the other hand, had a fleet-wide water crisis, Tigh's continuing descent into alcoholism, political manouevering, escalating tension between Adama and his son, a prison riot, a daring rescue attempt, a Mike-Tyson ear-biting moment, a death, devious and deranged Baltar getting his hands on a nuclear weapon, a swift end to the blooming Boomer/Tyrol romance, the president revealing her cancer to her military advisor, a guest shot by original series star Richard Hatch, and probably a dozen other events I'm too dazed to remember just now. The show is packed so full of stuff going on that you almost need to watch each episode twice.

The fact that Galactica would spend seven minutes on a throw-away plot that Enterprise deems worthy of an entire boring hour speaks volumes as to the philosophy between the two shows. I can't help but wonder what BSG mastermind Ron Moore would do given the chance to overhaul ST:E.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Inaugural

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2005

Dave!Wait a second... somebody just told me that TiVo DVRs run on Linux? Yet TiVo isn't releasing a version of their TiVo Desktop software for Linux users? (at least that's what I get from reading their FAQ).

Yikes. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. That's a nice "f#@% you" to the people who made your product possible!

Anyway, speak of the devil, I finally watched President Bush's inauguration speech off my TiVo and, I must say, I'm a bit disappointed. I want specific details, not vague rhetoric! Here's just some of the things I was expecting him to announce (and, if you don't understand what "sarcasm" is, you may want to skip it)...

Inaugural

Beer Endowment Fund:
I maintain that it is the right of every American citizen to drink free beer. You would think that the presidential administration would agree, and support widespread drunken behavior. Mostly because drunk people wouldn't mind so much that the economy is in the toilet, Osama bin Laden is still at large, the weapons of mass destruction apparently don't exist, the rest of the world really doesn't like us much and, even after "mission accomplished," our soldiers and countless others are still dying in a very expensive war that's way out of control.

Reality Television Limitation Act:
The horrifying stupidity of 99% of the reality shows plaguing the television landscape is appalling ("Who's Your Daddy?" "The Littlest Groom?" "TRADING SPOUSES?!?"). Normally I don't believe in government intervention in the public sector like this, but something has to be done before what little intelligence left in the average American TV viewer is sucked away. Limiting each network to a single reality show per season would be a good start.

Preemptive Strike Against Canada:
The obvious next logical step in the president's bid for global domination war against terror is to "liberate" Canada. This would have a number of immediate benefits... 1) We're really concerned about protecting our northern borders but, if Canada were annexed into the U.S., our northern border would be somewhere in the Arctic Circle and who wants to go to that kind of trouble? 2) Those whiners who threatened to move to Canada if Dubbuya won the election would have to explore other options. 3) French-Canadians who suddenly find themselves American citizens could practice an entirely new level of self-loathing, because apparently all the French hate us. 4) "The Great State of Manitoba" has a nice ring to it. 5) There'd be no more border crossing delays when heading up to visit strip clubs in Vancouver.

Spammer Death Penalty:
Oh come on. You know you want it.

Quizno Sandwich Subsidy: I love me the Quizno subs! But when it costs $8.31 for a small drink, a regular Veggie Sandwich, and a bag of chips... well, it's not like I can afford to eat there very often. For that kind of money, I could buy EIGHT servings of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes at Taco Bell! Government subsidizing of Quiznos purchases is not entirely out of line considering they've been propping up the beef industry for decades (which is how a Big Mac costs $3 instead of $30).

National Dave Appreciation Day: My brilliance should be celebrated world-wide but I'd settle for a national holiday as a start. Laugh all you want, but you'd get a day off work, so it's a win-win situation.

Now that's odd. Suddenly I have this overwhelming desire to kick a spammer's ass, then celebrate by watching a stripper on reality-free TV in Canada while eating a Quizno's sub, drinking a beer, and appreciating myself.

   

RSS

Posted on Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Dave!In updating my RSS template (thank you Neil!), I noticed that the name of the template is "INDEX.XML" and then it suddenly occurred to me why I occasionally get emails asking me "do you have an RSS feed?" Well, it's probably because nothing here actually says "RSS," including the syndication badge I've got in my sidebar. It's the classic case of calling something by one name, then referring to it by a completely different name, but I was just following what everybody else had done.

And that begs the question... why do all of the RSS logos and badges say XML when everybody calls it RSS? Shouldn't the logo say "RSS" if you're going to call it RSS?

XML -> RSS

And yes, I realize that RSS is an XML-based format, but nobody ever calls it "XML" so it's just confusing. The problem is, if I switch it, then it will be different from all the others, and those who know to look for XML won't find it. I suppose I could put two badges up but that would probably confuse things even worse. Who thinks up this stuff?

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Validation

Posted on Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

Dave!Blogging is a contact sport, because anything you write is in full contact with the entire world. Sometimes this is a good thing, but other times it just opens you up for inexplicable hostile behavior. Sure I realize that not everybody is going to agree with what I say and some people are going to become angry because of it... that's human nature, and I accept it.

This morning I woke up to a really nasty email sitting in my in-box. It's happened before, doesn't really bother me, and is easily solved by pressing the "delete" key. Except this one was different. As I was about to obliterate it from my sight and mind, I noticed that it was attacking me not because of what I said, but because of how it was formatted.

The really foul language and poor spelling forbid me from reproducing the email here, but the gist of it was "you suck ass because you claim your blog validates but it doesn't."

To which I can only say "WTF?" I rant often about adhering to web standards and Internet Explorer's complete disregard for such things so, if this were true, I would be a big fat hypocrite. But it's not true. I have a badge that proudly links to the W3C validator and, when you click on it, this is what you'll see:

Validation

So now I am really puzzled. I start frantically validating all the pages I can find... my FAQ... my "Best of"... my Master Archive... and everything comes through with no problems. Then I start validating individual entry archive pages with no problems... until I reach a page with comments. And then tragedy strikes. The Gravatar plug-in I use to display little pictures next to commentors is putting unencoded ampersands in its URL, which is invalid. No big deal, I just edit the plug-in source, rebuild my pages, and everything is okay again (well, kind of okay, because if somebody leaves a comment with invalid HTML embedded in it then the page won't validate, but it does when I first put it up so I guess I can live with that).

Anyway, I was actually going to write back to the foul-mouthed ass-clown that emailed me with the problem, but the return address was forged. So, if you're reading this guy, thanks for bringing it to my attention and I appreciate it. But was it really necessary to call me a "!#@&!%@ $*@@%#" ?

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Johnny

Posted on Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

Dave!I don't think I could count the number of laughs afforded me by Johnny Carson, there's just too many of them. Staying up late to watch The Tonight Show was a rare luxury in my childhood, and it was the very first program I taped when I got my first VCR with "timer recording." I missed him when he retired in 1992, and I miss him again now that he's gone. Thanks for all the funny Johnny.

Here's Johnny

Johnny Carson: 1925-2005

UPDATE: Mark Evanier (of "News From ME," one of my favorite sites) has a really nice tribute up.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Terror

Posted on Monday, January 24th, 2005

Dave!For weeks now I have been wanting to cook up a batch of my delicious cheese-n-rice enchiladas (based on my grandmother's original recipe), but it's a 2-hour ordeal and makes one heck of a mess in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of time. Tonight was no different, but I just didn't care. If I didn't do it tonight, it wouldn't happen anytime soon... certainly not before I leave for Europe. So screw it, everything else in my stressful life can just wait.

But then the terror starts to settle in.

According to my "100 Things," I am most afraid of deep water, heights, and freaky bugs. But there is one things that tops all of those: my Cuisinart food processor. Or, as I prefer to call it, THE WHIRLING BLADES OF CERTAIN DEATH!!. I am mortified at the very thought of having to use that thing.

But when a recipe calls for a two full pounds of grated cheese, you really don't have much choice. To grate it by hand would take weeks. So, with adequate precautions in place, I face my deepest fear...

Dave Cuisinart

And twenty seconds later, Cuisinart has decimated my brick of cheese into tidy shreds. After unplugging this foul mechanical demon, I'm off to make enchiladas. Two hours after that, a delicious fiesta of exotic delights ensues.

But that's not going to keep me from having nightmares tonight. -sob!-

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We're going to be bunking together the next sixteen weeks, and I just want to know... am I living with a pecker-head, or am I living with someone who can be quasi-normal?"
Categories: DaveToons 2005, Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shuffle

Posted on Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

Dave! My new iPod Shuffle arrived, but I didn't had time to open it up and play with it until today. In a word: it's brilliant!

Don't get me wrong, I love my original iPod (and really love the 40 gigabytes of storage) but, as small as it is, the thing can still be a little cumbersome to travel with. Usually what I end up doing is selecting a playlist, putting it on shuffle, and then dropping it in my pocket. But then you have a heavy pocket and must be careful that you don't let it fall out when you bend over, as that could be an expensive mistake.

iPod Shuffle, on the other hand, is so light-weight as to be almost unnoticeable. It comes with a lanyard that makes walking around with it safe, comfortable, and effortless.

Dave Shuffle

Some people will undoubtedly bitch about the lack of a display but, since I only use the display to select a playlist on my iPod original, I don't really care (besides, that would just add size and weight). The gigabyte of memory only has room for a single playlist anyway, so I already know what I'm getting when I turn it on. Selecting a new playlist is as easy as plugging your iPod Shuffle back into your computer and dragging a different one over. There's also a cool "auto-fill" feature which will randomly grab selections from your library until the memory is full. This is a great way to re-discover songs you may have forgotten or don't play very often.

Dave Shuffle

There is one downside, however: Apple decided to use a USB 2.0 connector instead of FireWire (which is what they used on all previous iPods). This wouldn't bother me except that Apple only recently began supporting USB 2.0, so not a single machine I own has it. This sucks ass, because transferring a gigabyte over USB 1.0 is slow. Really slow. Oh well, it does give the unit enough time to recharge.

Anyway, I am totally loving the iPod Shuffle. Especially since the iTunes Music Store just released Erasure's excellent new album Nightbird and Billy Idol's new pre-release single called Scream. Apple rules.

UPDATE: Now that's cool... I just noticed the shuffle/cycle settings are dynamic! All my playlists are in order by artist, so if I am listening on the "shuffle" setting, come across a song from The Cure, then decide I want to hear more from The Cure, all I have to do is switch to the "cycle" setting and play their remaining songs in order. Then I can go back to "shuffle" again with a flick of a switch! It's the attention to little details like this that makes me such an Apple whore.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "This information cannot leave this room, okay? It would devastate my reputation as a dude."
Yesterday's Answer: Feds (1988) with Rebecca De Mornay and Mary Gross.

   

Dave Approved: iPod Shuffle

Posted on Wednesday, January 26th, 2005

Dave!What can I say? For two days I have worn my iPod Shuffle constantly, removing it only to shower and sleep (though last night I fell asleep while listening to it, so I guess I'm wearing it even then). It's so small and light that I don't even know it's there. It's so easy to operate that I find myself wearing it underneath my sweatshirt or over-shirt and just operating it through the fabric. It's almost become another appendage, and the ability to listen to music at a second's notice wherever and whenever I feel like it is nothing less than magic.

In many ways I feel that iPod Shuffle fulfills on the promise of the original iPod: it has firmly integrated music into my everyday life. I work with it. I paint with it. I cook with it. I eat with it. I brush my teeth with it. I walk to the post office with it... I live with it.

iPod Shuffle

In fact, I find myself enamored with it so much that my original 40 gigabyte iPod has just been demoted to a spare hard drive. The iPod Shuffle is a much better fit for how I want to experience to my music. As I type this I am listening to Along Comes a Woman by Chicago, a song I haven't listened to in ages... all thanks to the "random auto-fill" feature that appears in iTunes when I plug iPod Shuffle into my laptop. Gotta love that little thrill you get from rediscovering an old song you've forgotten about.

Ooh! There it goes again... Drive by The Cars just came on!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I eat Green Berets for breakfast, and right now I'm very hungry."
Yesterday's Answer: Sixteen Candles (1984) with Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall.
Categories: Dave Approved, Music 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Thick

Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Dave!This afternoon I had to take a run into the "big city" of Wenatchee (population 28,000) to pick up my dry cleaning. For some reason I wanted to be all clean and relatively wrinkle-free for my trip to Europe, which is ironic considering I won't arrive either clean OR wrinkle-free after spending 14 hours in a plane. But anyway, twenty minutes later and there I was at Hays Cleaners with my expensive garments in-hand. Since it was around lunch-time, I decided to squander a small fortune and grab a sandwich at Quiznos (delicious!).

After consuming my toasty sub, there was nothing else to do but head home. On the way out of town, I noticed that the car ahead of me had a bumper sticker that said "Alaska Girls Kick Ass" which raised all kinds of questions. Kick ass at what? Kick who's ass? Do all Alaska girls kick ass, or was it only the Alaska girls in the car? All I can say is that it must be really tough to be a guy in Alaska with the girls kicking all that ass. Ah well, so long as it's not my ass that's getting kicked, I guess it's all good.

Alaska Girls

But anyway, all that pondering made me hungry for dessert. I needed ice cream. I was going to pull into McDonalds for a McFlurry with McOreo McCookies, but then I remembered that Jeff from Geekable wanted to know if any of the Wendy's restaurants had salad bars anymore, so I decided to do a drive-by and take a look (since I had never been there before and didn't know). The menu was crammed full of "Biggie this" and "Biggie that" but I couldn't find ice cream anywhere...

"Welcome to Wendy's may I take your order?" the girl in the speaker box chirped. "Err yes, I'd like an ice cream please" I replied. Then, in a tone that I can only describe as utter contempt and loathing I hear: "Sir, this is Wendy's, we do not have 'ice cream' at Wendy's." Much embarrassed, I forged ahead... "Ah, I'll have a chocolate shake then." And that's when things got complicated.

In a condescending tone that is usually reserved for uptight English butlers on television shows like The Nanny and movies like Arthur, she responds: Wendy's does not serve 'shakes.' Might I suggest you order something off our menu like a Frosty?" Confused that a fast-food menu could possibly be this complicated, I reply: "I don't know what a 'Frosty' is, what's the 'Frozen Dairy Dessert' on the menu?" And that's when she really lost it.

"THAT IS A FROSTY!!" She says, drier than the Sahara. Progress! I ignore her tone and respond: "I see. Does that come in chocolate?" She has now lost all patience... "Sir, the only flavor IS chocolate!!" - heavy sigh - "It's like a chocolate milkshake, only thicker!!" I think if I would have been standing in front of her, I would have gotten slapped and called a moron, but there you have it: "Okay, I'll take a medium please."

Apparently Wendy's is no mere fast food restaurant, but is instead a fine dining establishment too good for such lower class foods like "milkshakes." All those times driving by and I had no idea. I sure wish I could have been present to witness the Frosty Miracle when the fast-food gods handed down the recipe to Wendy's founder Dave Thomas from on high...

Frosty

Thinking that my adventure at Wendy's is over, I pull up to pay and collect my frozen treat. After handing it over to me, I notice something is missing... "Uhhh, can I get a straw?". A burst of laughter and then: "You can't suck a Frosty through a straw! That's what the spoon is for!" I was about to make a comment about what really sucks around here, but decided I'd hold my tongue in an attempt to escape with my life (and what's left of my dignity).

And, before I forget, no there isn't a salad bar at my local Wendy's. But the Frosty's are worth a stop... if you dare.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Hey, hey! Bubbles, man! Say man, when I was growing up, we want a Jacuzzi we had to fart in the tub!"
Yesterday's Answer: Commando (1985) with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rae Dawn Chong.
Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Tip

Posted on Friday, January 28th, 2005

Dave!Share a health or beauty tip! For obvious reasons, I'm fresh out of beauty tips. But I do have a discovery if you've got problem skin. When I was younger I had to take an acne drug called Acutane that has some pretty harsh side-effects, one of which is extremely dry skin. For years I tried anything and everything, but nothing worked. Until I found "Hope in a Jar" by Philosophy. Expensive, but a real life-saver if you need it.

Share a computer or electronic gadget tip! If you haven't discovered RSS aggregators yet, it's worth a look. Reading blogs and news sites via syndication saves a lot of time, and allows you to follow hundreds of sources with ease because you don't have to go out and visit each and every site, instead they come to you! If you don't want to install software, you can use a free online service (like Bloglines) to read RSS news feeds as well. Oh, and Mac users who are upgrading to iLife 05 will want to be sure and make a backup of their iPhoto libraries, as there have been some pretty major problems reported.

Share a travel or transportation tip! This is not news to people living in Europe, but I'm surprised how many Americans are unawares: Buying tickets direct from small airline carriers can save you some major bank over the mainline carriers... even those sold on discount sites like Priceline, Expedia, and Orbitz. For instance, the cheapest flight to Rome is not necessarily direct. You might be better off finding a cheap sale flight to London, then taking another carrier to Rome. I've saved literally hundreds doing this. Sure it's a pain to organize and more difficult to fix when delays happen, but the money to be saved is mind-boggling. An excellent European resource can be found at WikiTravel (they've also got a page for Asia). I love airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, GermanWings, Iceland Air, and the like because, with careful planning and some flexibility, I can take trips I ordinarily couldn't afford.

FQ TIPSTER: Got a tip for a classic or vintage CD, movie, TV show, or book we might have overlooked? One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Red Dwarf, a British comedy series that's available many places on DVD or in reruns. The show tells the story of Dave Lister, who wakes from accidental cryogenic freezing that lasted three million years. Aboard the massive mining ship Red Dwarf, Lister has many space-faring adventures while coming to terms with being the last surviving human, and trying to find his way back to earth. While it is a Sci-Fi show, anybody who loves comedy should give it a look (Series V is my favorite).

Mr. Flibble

Whatever you do, don't get Rimmer upset or else Mr. Flibble will become very cross indeed!

Helpful tips abound at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Plan

Posted on Friday, January 28th, 2005

Dave!I was supposed to be in Seattle by now, but things are not going as planned. In fact, things are so far off-plan that it's time for a new plan... something that involves preparing for a week-long, trans-Atlantic trip in two hours (including washing all the clothes I'm taking and then packing my suitcase).

Yes, I need a plan that somehow does not adhere to universal laws of time and space. But, if there's an up-side, I suppose it's that I have time to clean the grout in my bathroom while waiting for my pants to get out of the dryer.

Hah, just kidding. I'm going to make a peanut butter sandwich and watch cartoons.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Names is for tombstones baby! Y'all take this honkey out and waste him... now!"
Yesterday's Answer: Trading Places (1983) with Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Approved: Wonderfalls

Posted on Saturday, January 29th, 2005

Dave!And just before taking off for Seattle, I receive notice from Amazon that my order has shipped. "Order of what" I find myself wondering... I didn't remember having shopped for anything recently. But then happiness ensues. It's Wonderfalls: The Complete Viewer Collection I had pre-ordered months ago. So now I really have something to live for, and an added incentive for surviving this trip: NINE hours of guaranteed cool television I've never seen before (because the show was foolishly cancelled after airing only four of the thirteen episodes produced).

Wonderfalls DVD

I highly, highly recommend this brilliant series. Even if you don't want to go out and buy it so that you can watch every amazing episode again and again, it is well worth a rental. It is similar in tone to Dead Like Me, so it should be particularly appealing to any fan of that show.

And I'm off...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You are going to be the Eleventh Commandment... Thou shalt not get away with it."
Yesterday's Answer: Live And Let Die (1973) starring Roger Moore as James Bond.

   

Day One: Seattle

Posted on Sunday, January 30th, 2005

Dave!Passing through security was, for once, a pain-free experience (no strip-search!). That is not to say that all went perfectly. When I removed my laptop from its travel case, a data CD fell out with it, so I just set it on top. Apparently, this was not a smart thing to do. "LAPTOPS HAVE TO GO THROUGH X-RAY BY THEMSELVES" the disgruntled TSA minion declared. He then grabbed the CD and asked "IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY?" Which baffled me until I saw that the CD was labeled "Death Star Schematics." The actual embarrassment directly followed, because I had to explain that the CD really does contain Death Star schematics.

And, before you get all excited, it's not because I am a Bothan spy working for the Rebel Alliance who is attempting to smuggle the plans to Alderran. A couple of months ago I helped a friend (and fellow Star Wars geek) create a digital birthday card for his brother's 40th birthday celebration. The schematics, unfortunately, were just research (the implication being that if I possessed actual Death Star plans, and had the means to construct it, earth would be doomed).

But my geekified embarrassment quickly turned to tragedy once I made my way to the gate... I couldn't get wireless internet access in the South Concourse of Sea-Tac. There are two choices for me here: Cingular, which I can connect to but is so slow that it took five minutes to load up the login screen (you expect people to PAY for this crap service?) and Wayport, which must be down just now, since I can connect but can't get an IP address to have internet access. Lovely.

Given that I am now internet-free, I've had to go find some other amusements to keep me occupied...

  • Trojan Odyssey (a Dirk Pitt novel) by Clive Cussler. The New York Daily News says it is a book that's "IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST" and so how could I deny myself?
  • Popular Photography. Which is pretty much an all-digital affair now.
  • Vanity Fair. The Star Wars issue with exclusive pics! (but, alas, no outlet is given for purchasing Death Star parts wholesale).
  • FHM. Okay, the fact that it has the delicious Teri Hatcher wearing next-to-nothing on the cover is reason enough to buy it, but the pull-out guide entitled "What Women Want: An insider's guide to getting laid" is icing on the cake.

Hmmm... this post is getting pretty long, and I'm not even half-way through! Time for an extended entry methinks.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day One: Memphis

Posted on Sunday, January 30th, 2005

Dave!For some reason I am an absolute magnet for annoying passengers on the flights I take. An example: the woman with a mustache next to me is smacking her gum and blowing bubbles. The man behind me is seriously hygienically-challenged. Even worse is the woman across the aisle, one row back, who is clueless as to the extent of her suicidal effect on those around her. She drones on and on, barely taking the time to catch her breath, all while the poor bastard stuck next to her is secretly praying for a heart attack (oooh... I'm having a flashback!). See if you can guess which of the following completely unrelated topics of discussion she is just dying to talk about...

  • She is originally from a suburb of Memphis, and is flying back to visit family.
  • She is upset that they no longer show movies on airplanes.
  • She is considering botox injections, but is terrified of needles.
  • She is a big fan of Elvis, and has been to Graceland more times than she can count.
  • She is praying to Jesus for guidance in redecorating her kitchen.

The answer, of course, is all five. Fortunately, we have finally "reached an altitude where electronic devices may be used" so iPod Shuffle allowed me to tune her out before she disclosed God's real reason for smiting Asia with tsunamis (I only wish I was joking).

Please let me be seated next to a quasi-normal person for my connecting flight to Amsterdam.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Oh my gawd, it's Mega Maid! She's gone from suck to blow!"
Yesterday's Answer: Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) starring Fred Ward and Joel Grey.
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Day Two: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Monday, January 31st, 2005

Dave!Here I am, back in Cologne. It seems like just yesterday that Perry and I started our Hard Rock Run through Europe here, but it looks like it was actually five months ago. Time flies.

Anyway, I've blogged before about how I love unique hotels with something interesting about them... or grand old classic hotels that have a real history to them. Well now I have another favorite to add to my list: The Hotel im Wasserturm. This is an incredibly cool hotel in central Cologne that was built out of an old water tower (once the largest in all of Europe!)...

Wasserturm

My "junior suite" has sweeping views of the downtown area, thanks to being on the 10th floor and having windowed walls that curve 'round the tower... a very sweet suite!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I've been shot at three times before, twice on purpose and once by accident, and I'm still here. And I'm gonna be here for as long as I want to be."
Yesterday's Answer: Spaceballs (1987) starring Mel Brooks, John Candy, and Bill Pullman.
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Day Three: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Monday, January 31st, 2005

Dave!Sleep: One of the benefits (if you can call it that) of only being to sleep 4-5 hours every night is that jet-lag is a physical impossibility. I got around 3 hours of sleep on the flight to Amsterdam. Last night I went to bed at 10:30pm, and was wide awake at 3:00am. That's four-and-a-half hours, so nothing has changed. I can't even tell that I am nine hours displaced. I must be missing my internal clock.

Telly: Fortunately, with so much dead-time available to me, I brought plenty of downloaded television shows to watch. Primary amongst them are the last eight episodes of Battlestar Galactica which have already aired in the U.K. (they just finished episode #13 while we're only at #5). I can only guess it's because Sci-Fi Channel wanted to air them later so they had something new going during "sweeps?"

Powerbook: My aging PowerBook G4 has been drug around the world numerous times, and is in constant use back home as well. Because of that, it's getting pretty beat up and I should start thinking about getting a new one. Apple just speed-bumped their entire PowerBook line, added some nifty new upgrades, and lowered the prices... so now might be time. The 15-inch PowerBook I wanted last week was $2900, whereas now it's $2300 (and is faster with more features). Of course, it might as well be $23,000,000 because I ain't got that kind of cash.

Connect: My internet connection here at Hotel im Wasserturm is $13 for two hours. It baffles me that even the cheapest of hotels in the US offers free internet, whereas hotels in Europe gouge you for a connection. Hopefully some big hotel chain will start the ball rolling with free internet so everybody else will have to follow suit to compete, because this sucks ass.

Daylight: I've ranted about the stupidity of Daylight Saving Time a few times in this blog, but must admit I find it strange that it's 6:30am outside and still dark! Ah well, time to get dressed so I can go to work.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Darling, nothing is final until you're dead. And even then I'm sure God negotiates."
Yesterday's Answer: Get Shorty (1995) starring John Travolta, Danny DeVito, and Gene Hackman.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Three: Cologne, Germany 2

Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

Dave!Native English-speaking people are either really lucky or really lazy, and I can never make up my mind which it is. Because every time I attend some kind of international gathering... a meeting, a trade show, an exhibit, or an event of some kind... it never ceases to amaze me how many non-English speaking people are fluent in several languages. And, of course, everybody knows English, which makes it the "lowest common denominator" for the internationally-minded traveler. I guess that puts "American-English" just one level above grunting and making obscene gestures, but at least you can watch the latest Julia Roberts movie once you've mastered it.

Since I am already fluent in English (which is debatable, I grant you) the incentive to learn a foreign language for practical purposes is quite low. Sure I can make basic conversation in Japanese, and know a smattering of helpful phrases in Spanish, French, Italian, and German, but that's a long way from fluency. In fact, unless the conversation is about finding a toilet, saying "thank you", or ordering a cheese sandwich, then I am pretty much useless.

And I hate that about myself.

Seriously... the kid clearing my lunch table here today knows German, French, Italian, English, and some Dutch. And I don't mean that he has memorized a few phrases so that he can ask "may I take your plate" - this guy can actually discuss the finer points of nuclear fission and the perils of using low grade uranium and light metals for the process, all in your choice of tongues.

And there you have one of the cultural differences that set us apart. In the USA, any native who is fluent in a foreign language is considered a genius and should be working as a translator at the United Nations to bring about world peace. In other countries, if you know five foreign languages, you are considered average and are qualified to handle dirty dishes in a restaurant.

I guess that makes native English-speaking people both lucky that we don't have to learn another language and lazy in that we so rarely bother. I feel really stupid today.

Oh, and before I forget, I received five emails about Hotel im Wasserturm, so I'll try and address the questions y'all have about it here in an extended entry (though, you should really try leaving comments so everybody can get involved... it's painless, and you don't have to even provide any personal information if you don't want to!).

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Day Four: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

Dave!Confidentiality agreements preclude me from ever discussing my work here on this blog, but I can say that I took a nice detour to the largest candy and biscuit show in the world today ("biscuit" meaning "cookie" for the benefit of any Americans out there). This fascinating trade show which showcases sweets from around the world is the ultimate exercise in restraint, because every booth is passing out free samples of the delectable treats they make. And, since this was the last day of the show, most companies are desperately trying to get rid of everything so that they don't have to take it home with them. As I understand it, at 18:00 hours, the doors are open to the public, and scores of German sweet-tooths descend like locusts on to the showroom, devouring anything in their path. I would have really liked to have seen that.

Anyway, walking the show takes an entire day, because that's just how big it is. Even then, I was practically running from booth to booth so I would get to sample see everything. Here are my top-three favorites...

Candy Peeps

Yes, BLUE PEEPS were representin' in the house! There's something to be said for going on a pure-sugar high, and Blue Peeps are the best way to do so if you don't want to mess with any wacky flavors or other distracting ingredients that are not sugar. I also scored some Necco Wafers, Tootsie Rolls, Lemonheads, Hot Tamales, and a handful of other sugar-fied favorites that are guaranteed to keep me entertained for hours. I'm hoping my coma doesn't hit until I finish this entry.

Candy Monkey

I'm a sucker for any product that dares to put a screaming monkey on their package, and this banana candy that comes out of Brazil is a class act. All that's missing is a word balloon which says "BUY THIS CANDY OR DIE!" coming from the naughty monkey, and our slow descent into Planet of the Apes style madness can begin (so I've gone ahead and taken care of that for them). Sadly, they didn't have any bags I could take with me, but I did get a taste and it definitely kicks ass monkey-style. I'm hoping that some American importer picked it up so I can buy it at my local grocery store. This has "cult-favorite" written all over it, and I need me my monkey candy fix bad.

Candy J.D. Fudge

There were a number of products that had me saying "WTF mate?" (Swiss Army Chocolate?)... and Jack Daniel's Fudge was definitely on that list. But it's not the fact that it's an alcohol-based candy which has me confused (it's about time!)... it's because the stuff is made in Australia. Yes, for a weekend of fun, nothing beats tossing a shrimp on the barbie and then getting wasted on whiskey fudge while shooting kangaroos, koala bears, and other adorable creatures in the land down-under. I am so proud that in addition to Starbucks coffee and McDonald's hamburgers, America is now starting to export our entire redneck lifestyle to other countries. Go America!

Well, I'm off to pack my bags for a few days of vacation. Hopefully I will have internet access where I'm going so I can post the FridayQ this week.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "My mommy always said there were no monsters... no real ones... but there are."
Yesterday's Answer: Ever After (1998) starring Angelica Houston and Drew Barrymore.
Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Five: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Thursday, February 3rd, 2005

Dave!

There's nothing quite like having to plan your next trip while in the middle of your current one. Especially in a foreign country at 4:00 in the morning. It's even worse when you consider the wild acrobatics you have to endure to find the best price. And that brings me to a rant that has been building for a long time...

Frequent travelers face a mystery that seems to defy logic every time they plan a trip: exactly how do airlines calculate their fare schedules? For example, my next trip is to Memphis, Tennessee. Coincidentally, Northwest Airlines has a hub there, so there is a direct flight out of Seattle (I should know, I was just there four days ago to transfer to my Amsterdam connection). Lucky break right? A direct flight with no connections is bound to be cheaper than a flight with a layover somewhere isn't it?

The answer, if you hadn't guessed, is "no."

Once my outbound flight from Wenatchee is removed, a direct flight from Seattle to Memphis is nearly a $600 round-trip. A staggering sum considering I flew all the way to Germany for $30 less (with two connections, one of them in Memphis!). But guess what? A flight from Seattle to Nashville (which requires a connection in Detroit) is just $320. WTF?!? That's that's almost half the cost! I wonder if there's something strange that happens when you calculate actual miles flown:

  • Seattle to Memphis @ $600: 1866 miles (32 cents per mile).
  • Seattle to Detroit to Nashville @ $320: 2379 miles (13.5 cents per mile).

Nope, that's even worse! They charge 58% less per mile to fly 22% further, and that doesn't even begin to address all the extra costs that's involved in adding a second flight. What kind of bullshit economics is that? No wonder airlines are losing money! They charge less to use more fuel, more facilities, and more labor. The stupidity of such pricing is baffling to even the most mathematically challenged.

So guess what? I get to rent a car in Nashville then drive three hours to Memphis. Fine with me, they've got a swell Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville, so I'll be stopping there for lunch before I go. And then I guess I'll be having dinner at the Hard Rock in Memphis later that evening. I was going to have to rent a car anyway and, with unlimited mileage, I will still save hundreds (even after the gas to get there is factored in). That's lame.

It would be easy to put all of this on Northwest Airlines, but it seems all major airlines are guilty of the same crazy shit. So the next time the airlines start crying about what bad shape they're in and go begging the government for a bail-out, I hope Uncle Sam tells them to go f#@% themselves and instead demand that they hire a financial manager to explain basic economic principles to the people who set the pricing, thus encouraging passengers to fly a route that costs airlines less, not more...

  • More miles, more hub stops, more planes, more fuel, more depreciation, more resources, more frequent flier miles awarded, more labor = higher fare.
  • Less miles, less hub stops, less planes, less fuel, less depreciation, less resources, less frequent flier miles awarded, less labor = lower fare.

Sheesh! Hmmm... I'd better get packed. A few days vacation in a warmer climate awaits!

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Five: Barcelona, Spain

Posted on Thursday, February 3rd, 2005

Dave!I took a quick two-hour flight on the ever-excellent GermanWings airline out of Cologne, and ended up in Barcelona. Since I had never been here before, it was going to be a new adventure for me. After taking the train into the city, I checked in to my hotel, grabbed my camera, and then headed out.

My first stop was The Cathedral, a compact yet no-less impressive church at the heart of Barcelona. Unfortunately, as with most places I've been visiting lately, the structure is completely covered in scaffolding and undergoing repairs. I was a little disappointed, but that vanished just moments after entering the grounds. It's hard to be upset when you are greeted by geese...

Barcelona Cathedral

Barcelona Cathedral

Leaving my new friends behind, I enter the building...

Barcacathedral2

Barcelona Cathedral

Barcacathedral0

...and proceed to lose my mind. The architecture is just amazing here. Eventually I manage to tear myself away so I can go eat lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe...

Barcelona HRC

Don't let the plain exterior fool you. Inside, it's all Hard Rock and very well done...

Barcelona HRC

It's still fairly early, I think I'll go wander through Old Town and see what I can find.

   

Day Five: Barcelona, Spain 2

Posted on Thursday, February 3rd, 2005

Dave!The most famous street in all of Spain is "Las Ramblas" in Barcelona. Here you can find shops of every kind, from famous designer brands to street vendors selling pets, flowers, food, toys, and everything else you can imagine. As the sun began to set, I spied a glow off to the side and realized it was an open-air produce market. The "St. Josep Mercat" to be exact. From the outside, it looks like it might be a single street which has been covered to protect the vendors from the elements (artfully framed with stained glass tiles)...

Barcelona Market

Inside, it is entirely another matter, as it ends up being a huge, sprawling market with row after row of the most beautiful produce you've ever seen. Massive strawberries so red they seem to glow. Beautiful peppers so fresh their smell fills the air. Everywhere you look there's mountains of perfect food, all painted with a bright rosy light for maximum appetite appeal. A photo can't really capture how overwhelming an experience this is for the senses, but I decided to try anyway...

Barcelona Market

Barcelona Market

Barcelona Market

Barcelona Market

A few vendors were selling bowls of freshly cut fruits, so dessert was at hand! As I headed back to the hotel with my prize, I decided to take some side streets so I could get lost in the hundreds of back alleys and tiny walkways that create a vast maze in Old Town Barcelona...

Barcelona Alley

As I sit here eating strawberries and typing away on my PowerBook, I am saddened that I've only got a day-and-a-half left in this amazing city. I can't wait until sunrise so I can begin exploring once again.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Look, I'm through arguing with you! I don't take checks... now slip me some cash and I'll slip you the wiener."
Yesterday's Answer: Aliens (1986) starring Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn.

   

FridayQ: Sleepy

Posted on Thursday, February 3rd, 2005

Dave!I write questions for the FridayQ weeks in advance, and already had a set ready for today. But, after reading an entry over at "My So Called Strife," I decided to use the questions for three weeks from now instead (and then modified them a bit), since they fit well into a question Kirkitsch was asking over at his blog...

On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each night? Four to Five. Do you think that's a good number? No, but it's all my body seems to need, so that's all I seem to get.

Have you any sleep essentials? A nightlight or teddy bear perhaps? Must the door and closet be either closed or open? I don't. With all the traveling I do, I kind of have to be able to fall asleep anywhere and under any conditions. I prefer total darkness and absolute quiet, as I find it easier to sleep that way, but I can do without them if need be.

What do you wear to bed? Boxer shorts and sometimes a T-shirt. What color are your sheets? Solid blue. How many pillows under your head? Two.

FQ BIG SLEEP: Share some helpful advice you use when having trouble falling asleep. I usually watch some television stacked on the TiVo or read a book or surf the internet. Not eating two hours before bedtime is also helpful.

Get tired of the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Six: Barcelona, Spain

Posted on Friday, February 4th, 2005

Dave!Given that this is my only full day in the city, I had made detailed plans as to how I wanted to spend it. I wrote down everything I wanted to see, then mapped from point to point, ensuring that I had the most efficient route planned. This is not the way I enjoy sightseeing, I loathe time-structured travel but, given my time constraints, it was the only thing I could do.

Museu Picasso: Most people only associate Pablo Picasso with his later, more surreal and abstract art. What seems to be overlooked is his earlier and equally brilliant works, forming a foundation from which his methods and stylistic choices were built. While a very nice museum, I actually think that Picasso is better represented in other venues I've seen. I was, however, blown away by a temporary exhibit of Alberto Magnelli works. This artist has a huge influence over my own painting efforts, and I was beside myself with excitement when I realized he was showing here. I've never seen so many of his works in one place, and cannot believe my good fortune in having seen this exhibit (it ends on Sunday!!). Sometimes I am the luckiest person on the planet.

Davecaso

The Arc del Triomf: A beautiful structure, and part of my effort to see city arches whenever I find them.

Arc

The Sagrada Familia: This was the most important thing on my list to see. To me, Gaudi is Barcelona, and this Modernista architectural marvel is his undisputed masterpiece even though it remains unfinished to this day, and he died before much was done on it. Wherever you look you see beauty in every form and, once it has been completed, I will be returning to Barcelona to see it (hopefully it will be finished in my lifetime!). Despite my extreme fear of heights, I took the lift to the top, and did my best to subdue my terror so I could look out over the city and better inspect the cathedral.

Sagrada Familia

Casa Mila: Another Modernista wonder by Gaudi, Casa Mila is a bizarre structure, yet undeniably beautiful. There's something almost sinister about a building with no straight lines, but it somehow comes together as a compelling work of art.

Casa Mila

Fundacio Joan Miro: I will admit I am not a Miro fan. On the contrary, I pretty much dislike every piece of "art" I've ever seen of his. Unlike Picasso, I never get the feeling that there's any talent behind his artistic endeavors, and they don't evoke any sort of emotional response either. All I see is a bunch of paint slopped on a canvas for no discernible reason. I did enjoy his "Barcelona Series" of lithographs, which are amusing doodles... almost cartoon-like in nature, but that was about it.

Museu Frederic Mares: This has to be one of the strangest museums I've ever seen. Mares collected very specific subjects, and being able to contrast and compare dozens of different versions inspired by the same source is enlightening. For example, where most museums would be content with one or two carvings of Jesus on the cross, Mares decided to show hundreds of them. All somewhat the same, but very different at the same time.

Salvador Dali: There wasn't time to visit Teatro-Museo Dali in Girona, but I was sure to stop by the exhibition here in Barcelona. Dali did so much more than the "melting clocks" that made him famous, and a nice chunk of that was on display, along with Dali photographs and sculpture.

Dali

All in all, a very full day that had me bouncing from one corner of the city to the other. Fortunately, Barcelona has an excellent public transportation, anchored by a terrific subway system. This allowed me to see everything on my list, and a few extra sights along the way. Only problem is that my legs are hurting from all the walking, and I am completely exhausted. I'd go to bed early and try to recover, but I'm meeting a friend for dinner and don't want to miss that!

   

Day Six: Barcelona, Spain 2

Posted on Friday, February 4th, 2005

Dave!It's kind of odd when an American and an Italian meet in an entirely different country, but that's what happens when you are both living the jet-set lifestyle! Anyway, my fellow Hard Rock fanatic was in the neighborhood (well, relatively speaking... she was only an hour's train ride away) and agreed to meet up with me at the Barcelona Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. Upon arrival, we both decided we'd much rather eat at an authentic Spanish tapas bar, then return to the HRC for dessert.

Unfortunately, after nearly exploding from eating too many different tapas (my favorite being "Patatas Bravas" - or spicy fried potatoes), we had no room for dessert! Still, it was great fun, and I was happy things worked out so that we could get together.

On the way to meet my friend, I ran across these two dogs who were very much bored at being tethered to a post, and were trying to entertain themselves by making friends with passing pedestrians. Some people were annoyed, but I thought the dogs were very polite about it...

BarcaPups

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I married a liar. Why? Because I married a man."
Yesterday's Answer: Adventures in Babysitting (1987) starring Elisabeth Shue, Vinvent D'Onofrio, and Penelope Ann Miller.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Seven: Barcelona, Spain

Posted on Saturday, February 5th, 2005

Dave!I had exactly one goal on my final day in Barcelona before returning to Cologne this afternoon... touch the waters of the Mediterranean. I needed it to add to my "collection" of major bodies of waters that I've put my hands on.

Hand in the Med

It was a lot colder than I thought it would be, even for a dreary day in February.

After getting sand in my boots and frozen fingers, I took a walk up to the lobby of the world-famous Hotel Arts. I would have really liked to have stayed there, but it costs something like a billion dollars a night, so perhaps next time.

And now I bid Spain adieu...

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Fitty

Posted on Saturday, February 5th, 2005

Dave!Just when you think you've done every meme in existence... here's another. Only for you Chris! (Though, there is a clue to the Movie Quotable of the Day if you feel like reading on). I don't know if I've done this one before or not so, even if I have, the answers are probably different since I can't recall any of it!

   

Movie Quotable of the Day: "This is my corn. You people are guests in my corn."
Yesterday's Answer: Only You (1994) starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Eight: Cologne, Germany

Posted on Sunday, February 6th, 2005

Dave!Oh you just know the day is going to be crap when you get off to a really bad start. But first, a short tale as to how I came to be where I am now...

Because I knew I was going to be in Cologne for only six hours, I decided to book a hotel near the airport that had shuttle service. I didn't really mind how much of a dump it was, the only thing I cared about was that it had a shuttle bus. So, when I saw this "Quality Inn: Cologne Airport Hotel" among my choices at Expedia.com...

Amenities

... that's all I needed to know, and I booked a room.

Except that the hotel is nowhere near the airport and does not provide complimentary shuttle service ("we don't have bus... call taxi"). The fact that I had to pay 20 Euro for a taxi to get there nearly caused me to explode with rage. Infuriated that Expedia could provide such blatantly false information, I fired off an email to customer service and got this as a reply:

"Expedia.com acts as an intermediary for hotel reservations. All information found on our site is maintained by the individual property. We solely rely on the information they provide us."

Well how lovely is that? So If I list my apartment as a five-star resort complete with swimming pool, spa, beach club, and gourmet restaurant, does that mean I can rent out the hide-a-bed in my sofa as a hotel room on Expedia (even though the closest thing I have to a swimming pool is my bathtub?). I find it reprehensible that Expedia disavows all responsibility in their listings, and will start dealing with hotels directly from now on.

The really shitty part of the deal is this: for that kind of taxi fare I could have been staying in the actual city instead of in the middle of nowhere. It's really too bad, because I would have much rather eaten dinner at the Hard Rock instead of the mini mart at the Shell gas station across the street.

Anyway, In order to get to the airport on time, I have to wake up at 4:00am so I can get a taxi and be there by 5:00am (another 20 Euro down the toilet). I woke up shortly before then, chugged a Red Bull to get me moving, then started packing my things. It was then that I looked at my wristwatch and saw that it was not 4:00am... it was 2:00am. The clock in the television was wrong.

Good thing I drank that Red Bull.

After watching German television for two hours on a Red Bull buzz (or rather, American television dubbed with German translation), I'm off to the airport.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "The world isn't run by weapons anymore... or energy... or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes, little bits of data."
Yesterday's Answer: Field of Dreams (1989) starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Approved: Bryson

Posted on Monday, February 7th, 2005

Dave!And now I am back home. Unfortunately, it was not without incident. The latch on my PowerBook somehow broke when it was run through the security checkpoint in Minneapolis. I have no idea how much it's going to cost to fix but, since I've been wanting a new laptop, perhaps this is yet another sign.

And it only goes downhill from there. When I left a week ago, the mountain passes were bare. Last night a winter storm had hit as I was driving back, making a huge snowy mess that caused the usual 2 to 2-1/2 hour drive to take just under 4 hours. Since it had rained earlier in the day, the snow was falling on ice, meaning that the roads were extraordinarily slick... cars were flung off the road left and right, and cops were everywhere trying to help out. At least twice some dumbass would blow past me at reckless speeds, only to end up in an accident down the road. Idiots. I didn't even bother to stop, because 1) nothing looked serious... just morons stuck in a ditch, 2) it's their own stupid fault that they think 4-wheel drive makes them immune to icy roads, 3) I don't have a winch, so all I could do is laugh at them for being so stupidly careless, and 4) there were so many snowplows and cops out that they can deal with it, because that's what they are paid for.

I just don't get it. The roads are truly perilous. The snow is falling so hard that you can barely see two car-lengths ahead. You can't use high-beam lights to see where you're going because the falling snow just reflects them back in your face. And cars are being tossed all over the road, meaning you may have to stop at a moment's notice. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DRIVE AT RECKLESS SPEEDS?!? Seriously, I never drove over 35 miles per hour and barely made it home in one piece, especially considering my nerves were shot having to stare at this for four hours...

Snow Drive

That's a car coming the opposite direction that's run off the road and appears to be hung up on a guard rail there on the left.

The night was finally made complete when I got home and noticed that the TSA had also busted the zipper pull on my suitcase. That's sucks ass because it's less than a year old! Sure I had a lock on it, but it was a TSA-approved lock!! Oh well, I guess if I can't repair it, I'll be buying a new suitcase in addition to a new PowerBook.

The one bright spot in the entire 19-hour ordeal of taxis, flights, layovers, and driving was a book I found at Amsterdam Schipol International Airport, called A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson...

Bryson

I've never heard of the author before, but apparently he is well-known in the U.K. (where he lives now, though he was born in the US). He has a witty and engaging way of writing about him that I haven't seen in a long time... almost Douglas Adams-esque in a way.

Anyway, this wholly remarkable book tells the history of the universe and the scientific discoveries that have led us to understanding everything from the Big Bang and the formation of the earth, all the way up to atoms, molecules, cells, and the evolution of life itself. All presented in a relatively approachable manner that makes it tangible and understandable. I think even Creationists can appreciate the book from a historical perspective, as the stories of how things were discovered (whether you believe in them or not) are almost as compelling as the discoveries themselves. Very sweet. Now I'm going to order up some of his other books at the library.

   

Shot

Posted on Tuesday, February 8th, 2005

Dave!When I was younger, I was afflicted with migraine headaches of crippling magnitudes. The worst part was never the actual mind-splitting headache, but instead the butt-numbing demerol shots I would have to take when the pain got to be too much. The shots had nauseating side-effects that could last for a week or more. So it was always a toss-up as to whether I choose the nausea from pain or worse nausea from medication. Usually I would just ride it out.

But then I became a vegetarian, started meditating, and migraines became a thing of the past. Or maybe I just outgrew them... I don't really know. Now it is a rare event indeed when I am stricken, and I consider myself very fortunate that I get a 2-3 year reprieve between episodes. They are usually triggered by a physical event, like throwing my back out or getting food poisoning.

Well, on the flight back from Europe, I must have slept wrong on my neck and it ended up all jacked-up. The migraine followed while driving home in crap weather and concentrating on finding the road for four hours. It's now two days later, and it's still with me. So now the debate rages on... go get the shot in the ass and be throwing up the rest of the week... or hope it goes away in the next day or two. In any event, the longer I wait, the longer I have to feel like this every minute of the day and night:

Migraine

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "He's a guy who followed his pecker to greener pastures. I'm a middle-aged high school drop-out with stretch marks and a fat ass."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Sneakers (1992) starring Robert Redford and Sidney Poitier.
Categories: DaveToons 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Horse

Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2005

Dave!If you've read my "100 Things About Me" page, you will know that I am not a big believer in astrology or any of that crap (see item #4). But I will admit that I find the Chinese Zodiac to be eerily accurate in describing my personality and whatnot. Since Girl On A Glide has asked "what's your sign?" - I though I might as well put it out there and let people draw their own conclusions.

Fire Horse

As it turns out, I am a Fire Horse. From what I've read, this is a pretty good sign if you are a guy, but a very bad sign if you happen to be a woman. In Asia, girls born as Fire Horses are considered unlucky to the family who bore her, and catastrophic to any man who is unfortunate enough to fall in love with her (as her sign is thought to be an overly-assertive troublemaker). This is odd, because those are exactly the traits I seem to attract in a woman. You can read all about that in this extended entry if you should so choose...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Suckage

Posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2005

Dave!Perhaps it's the splitting migraines that have been plaguing me all week, but I am in a terrible mood. Nothing seems to be making me happy. In the hopes that I can alleviate my frustrations, I'm venting things that suck today. Lucky you.

Alias: What in the heck was last night's Alias supposed to be? I don't know. But I will tell you what it actually was: STUPID! I was so happy that the show seemed to be back on track, but now we've got hallucinations, vampires, and rampant idiocy going on at mind-numbing levels. If this is what we have to look forward to for the rest of the season, I wish somebody would let me know so that I can stop watching right now. This has got to be the worst episode of Alias yet, scraping the bottom of the barrel with the rest of the crap that's on television.

Podcasting: Whatever. I suppose when something comes out in a podcast that I actually want to listen to... then I'll start getting excited about it. But, after trying dozens of different "shows," I am less than impressed. When Stern starts a podcast, somebody let me know. I wish Robin Williams would do a weekly podcast, that would rule: comedy podcasts for when you need a dose of funny.

American Dad: We waited all this time so that Seth MacFarlane could create American Dad, a grossly inferior copy of his brilliant Family Guy show? What a complete and total waste of time. Stewie has been replaced by a fish and Brian has been replaced by an alien, but it's basically the same show... only not funny. Thank heavens that the original Family Guy is coming back in May.

Service Pack: I don't use my Windows PC unless forced, which means that it's never much kept up to date with the latest round of bug patches and useless security fixes. This morning I fired it up to find out I had Windows XP Service Pack 2 awaiting (and probably many others, but it's hard to tell). I noticed that Internet Explorer is finally getting a pop-up blocker, so I figure that alone is worth the hassle of downloading SP2. Anyway, my Windows PC is now officially dead. Since I'd rather shoot myself in the head than go through another WinXP install, I've decided to just leave it that way. Microsoft bastards. And here I was actually considering the purchase of a Tablet PC... what was I thinking? Look, it's a version of Windows that sucks just as bad as regular Windows, but you can use a pen instead of a mouse!

iPhoto: And to show I'm not 100% biased here, I offer the following: Given that I am a certified Apple whore, do you know how hard it is for me to find something to criticize about Apple software? Well iPhoto 5 makes it easy, because it's a steaming pile of crap. It's worse than crap. In fact, you usually have to search through Windows 98 shareware collections to find something with this magnitude of suckage. Slow to the point of being absolutely unusable, I have to wonder if anybody at Apple even bothered to test this ass-sucking turd of a program on anything other than a Dual-G5 machine. Apparently they didn't bother to test it at all, considering that many people lost their photos in the upgrade from version 4. Did Apple get bought out by Microsoft while I wasn't looking?

Wonderfalls: I finally finished watching all thirteen glorious episodes of Wonderfalls on DVD and have to wonder... how could this remarkable show be canceled so FOX could have room for shit like Trading Spouses in their schedule? As if that wasn't enough, the inferior "girl talks to God" show Joan of Arcadia is still running. While I used to actually like Joan, she has turned into a whiny bitch that's so boring in the latest round of shows that I've stopped watching it entirely.

Boca Burger: When I became a vegetarian, I was ever-so-grateful when "Boca Burgers" came along, because I could then enjoy the most deliciously fantastic hamburgers... all mad-cow free! But in the past year, they've re-formulated the recipe, and now they taste like ass. Wet ass. I don't know what in the heck they are thinking, but now their burger patties are slimy, soggy, and horrible in every way. Where I once was eating them by the box-fulls, now I can't even stand to look at them. I guess when the company was bought out by the cancer cartel of Philip Morris tobacco (under their "Kraft Foods" umbrella) they decided they didn't want people to actually buy the product anymore, and made it taste and "feel" like shit to get these results. Well congratulations, as if supporting big tobacco wasn't enough of a reason to stop buying them, now you've given me a reason I can't ignore.

Seattle: WHY DOESN'T SEATTLE HAVE A HARD ROCK CAFE YET?!? I mean, come on... Latvia is getting a cafe for heaven's sake! LATVIA! And, while we're at it, whatever happened to the cafes that were supposed to open up in Oslo and Frankfurt? Lastly, it also sucks that the "Hard Rock Beach Club" experiment has closed in Choctaw. UPDATE: It has just been brought to my attention that the cafe in Queenstown, New Zealand has also closed... which is horrible, because I hadn't made it to that one yet!

Station: It seems as though you can't just sit down and watch television anymore. Oh no, first there was station identification "badges" in the corner, now we've got pop-up ads, news tickers, and loads of other obnoxious crap to distract you while trying to watch your favorite show. I weep for the future. How much longer until our television screens are cluttered with so much shit that you can't even watch the actual show?

Television ID

Trackback: If things keep going as badly as they are now, I will soon be joining the multitudes that are disabling trackbacks on their blogs (like Antipixel and Wirefarm). I loathe waking up in the morning to find 70 emails notifying my of trackback spams... all of which must be deleted and blacklisted. When is it going to be legal to hunt down and slaughter these low-life, bottom-feeding, bug-f#@%ers like the ass-biting dicks they are? They've taken a wonderful feature of the blogosphere and destroyed it utterly.

Lahti: I finally gave in to peer pressure and started having TiVo record Jack & Bobby, which is the story of a young boy "Bobby" who is destined to one day be president, and his growing up with brother "Jack" under the femi-nazi domination of their bitch-from-hell mother "Grace." It's a fascinating concept with good writing and interesting twists... all destroyed by Christina Lahti's completely unlikable portrayal of "Grace." She has -zero- redeeming qualities, and I find it mind-boggling that such a heinous character was ever green-lighted for television. Just like CSI: Miami which I cannot force myself to watch because of David Caruso's arrogantly laughable William Peterson impersination, I'm afraid that Jack & Bobby ain't making my list of must-see shows so long as Lahti is so horribly featured on it.

Hate: I can't help but wonder if these so-called devout Christians who email me the most hateful emails I've ever received understand what the word "hypocrisy" means. I must be on some kind of watch-list since the clown thing, because every single time I speak my mind on such things as gay marriage and other "controversial" topics, I am bound to get at least one raving email (can't you people leave comments?). In my previous post where I recommend a book by Bill Bryson where he discusses the "science of everything" (including evolution) I received an email telling me I was a "shill for Godlessness" and then was consigned to hell... again! I usually don't dignify such things with a response, but I am feeling especially frisky today, so here it is: f#@% you. And I'll also offer a helpful hint: if reading my blog makes you so upset, STOP READING IT YOU DUMBASS! I have never, ever, been anything but supportive and accepting to people's belief structure, and don't think it's out of line to ask the same courtesy from others. Go read somebody else's blog that won't bring about such hatred because, let's face it, there's enough of that in the world just now and I don't want to hear it.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You shot me! I can't believe it... they're giving you a medal for shooting me, you little prick."
Yesterday's Answer: Office Space (1999) with Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston.

   

FridayQ: Listen

Posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2005

Dave!What's a sound that makes you happy? My motorcycle. Any motorcycle, really. Makes you sad? A wounded animal.

What's a sound that makes you angry? The alert sound on a Windows PC. When I'm at an airport trying to read a book while on a layover, and some Windows-using idiot has the volume on their laptop full blast, and then you hear that stupid "plink" "plink" sound I just want to get up and smash the damn thing. Ditto for the Windows start-up sound. Makes you calm? Thunder and rain. I love the sound of a summer storm.

What's a sound that makes you hungry? Elizabeth Hurley or popcorn popping (even though I don't eat much popcorn). I'd probably lose control of all my bodily functions if Elizabeth Hurley were to read me poetry while heating up some Jiffy Pop. Makes you lose your appetite? It's a toss-up between Judge Judy and those sounds on an episode of CSI where they've got a bullet tearing through tissue or something like that. Ugh.

FQ AUDIBLE: What sounds are you hearing right now? The television, a neighbor's car, the refrigerator, and a train rumbling in the distance.

Take a listen at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Rank

Posted on Friday, February 11th, 2005

Dave!When it comes to Blogography (which is this blog, in case you hadn't noticed), I am only peripherally aware that quite a lot of people read it. Granted "quite a lot" is all relative because, compared to the number of hits Google gets, I might as well not even exist. But considering I initially started this up for an audience of 4 people, it's nothing less than amazing that thousands - tens of thousands - people drop by every week.

Of course, not all of these "unique visitor counts" can truly be counted as "readers," but the end result is still scary. Once I strip out all the robots, spammers, search hits, and people looking for nude photos of Jennifer Garner, a mind-boggling 1600 people a day visit Blogography's entry page. It may be more than that because I don't know how to count RSS readers, blog aggregators, and direct links, but that's still a lot of people. And y'all keep coming...

Blogstats

I've long ago given up trying to figure out why my life is interesting enough to merit such attention. Other than an occasional trip to interesting (and not-so interesting) locations, I lead an exceedingly boring life that consists of work, watching television, riding my motorcycle, surfing the web, and complaining a lot. But what do I know, I am addicted to blogs for far less reasons than that.

Anyway, this morning I received an odd email congratulating me for having a high Google Rank, and then went on to tell me of an "opportunity too good to pass up" (but aren't they all?). This came as quite a surprise to me because last time I checked I was at Google Rank 4, which I didn't think was anything special. Since the Google Toolbar isn't available for Macintosh, Rank is something I don't know how to monitor.

Apparently, this spammer gentleman wanted to sell me an "insider's guide" to making money with blogs, and provided a sneak peek at some of the "profit driven tips" that would make me a gazillionaire. Most of them were exceedingly stupid, but one of these money-making essentials caught my eye... the one which advised me to eliminate my RSS feed, or release only my entry headers to an RSS feed. The idea being that people would then be forced to visit the site (thus the advertising I'm supposed to put there) if they wanted to read my blog. I found this amusing because, without RSS, I would probably read only a third of the blogs I do now.

And there's the whole enchilada... I provide full content of my posts to my RSS feed so that people using Bloglines or some kind of RSS reading app have an easy way to keep reading Blogography (only rarely do I make an extended entry, and even then it has to be a topic that I feel most people won't be interested in). Sure it's not as pretty as my site, but the importance should be the content over the design anyway, shouldn't it? I dunno. It's not that I am opposed to making money, but that's not why I blog. Besides, is anybody out there making big money with Google AdSense anyway? Maybe it's something I should look into, because a lot of people do it and I can only assume they wouldn't bother unless they got paid.

Back to Google Rank: through some cursory research I've found a little bit more about it. First of all, I only have a Rank of 5 which, while respectable (bloggers like James, Tonya, and Richard are at 5 also), is not considered to be a high Rank. Second of all, Rank is exponential... meaning that it's always more and more difficult to reach that next highest level. Going from 4 to 5 is much easier than going from 5 to 6 for example. So to reach a Rank of 6 (like more relevant bloggers than I, such as Neil and Mark) would require drastically more links pointing to me by some sites with heavy Rank themselves and, let's face it, Blogography is just not that kind of blog.

Besides, my findings show me that Google Rank is in no way indicative of how good a blog actually is. Such finds as Down With Pants and My So-Called Strife have a Rank of 3 (criminal!), but easily hold their own with blogs that are at 7 (sorry but I just don't "get" blogs like Scobleizer and Pirillo, but an awfully lot of people must with a Google Rank of 7!).

Everything else aside, this is entry #771, meaning I've got 229 to go before I've fulfilled the promise I made to myself when I started this, my 3rd blog. If I keep at my average of 1.2 entries per day, that means #1000 will happen sometime in August. I always thought that I would give it up at that point and move on to something different, but blogging sure has been good to me over the years, and I don't know that I can let it go so easily. I guess I'll know in 6 short months.

And, if I haven't said it lately, thanks for stopping by.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I win. I always win. Is there no one on this planet to even challenge me?"
Yesterday's Answer: Speed (1994) with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Mars?

Posted on Saturday, February 12th, 2005

Dave!Usually when I like a television show I start counting the minutes until it's cancelled. I'm pessimistic that way. So when they cancel Cupid or Sports Night or Oh Grow Up! or Wonderfalls or any of the dozens of other shows that make for good television, I accept it the best I can and move on. There are surprises, of course (Alias and Lost come immediately to mind), but most of the time the ever convenient "low ratings" excuse makes it all too easy for short-sighted, dumbass television execs to shaft loyal viewers.

The thing that gets me is that the world of television has changed. Syndication can bring old series to life in new markets and provide a financial windfall. Releasing shows on DVD is easy money. Internet distribution is just around the corner. Who knows what new financial outlets will present themselves in the future? It's not just about the ratings anymore. And because of that, "viewer campaigns" to save shows which have customarily have -zero- effect on the minds of the networks, may actually start to be carrying some weight.

Cult favorites like Wonderfalls and Miracles that were ratings failures are getting DVD releases because of consumer demand. Shows like The Family Guy are being resurrected because of runaway DVD sales. Suddenly there's hope for the impossible.

And that's why a group of television addicts over at Television Without Pity are trying to create a preemptive strike in saving a show that hasn't even been cancelled yet. Like me, they are pessimistic about the chances of Veronica Mars getting picked up for a second season (heck, it's a miracle it hasn't been cancelled already)...

Mars Bill

And here's the deal (thanks to wyk95 for the tip)...

Inspired by Veronica's clever ploy of writing "Veronica Mars is smarter than me" on the bills in Clash of the Tritons, a few fans thought it would be fun to design a Veronica Mars themed two dollar bill to ask for a second season. Just click here to download the custom $2 bill, print it out, then write "Veronica Mars is smarter than me" on the bills and send them to UPN (you might also include your gender, general age range, and location to show UPN that the show has a very diverse fan base). You can read more about this campaign at the TWoP boards And here's the addresses for the top UPN executives and the UPN affiliates.

Since I'm a big fan of Veronica Mars, I'll be sending mine, hoping we can contribute even a little bit to save a brilliant show from premature cancellation. Or maybe not. But it certainly can't hurt.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "So raise your hand if you think that was a Russian water tentacle!"
Yesterday's Answer: Superman II (1980) with Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Joy

Posted on Sunday, February 13th, 2005

Dave!For the first time in a week, my migraines seem to be subsiding. I was going to go get a shot Friday after work so that I could have the weekend to recover from the nausea... but ultimately ended up deciding to spend the weekend in bed to see if I can get my head to stop exploding. Now it's just a kind of dull ache behind my eyeballs, and will hopefully have dissipated by tomorrow morning.

Assuming the geese don't attack.

This morning I was awoken by some geese honking all over the place. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to take out the garbage so I could see what a flock of geese looks like all up-close and personal-like. That was a mistake. These were some angry geese, and decided to attack me. Well, not really attack, but they did come honking my way... as if possessed by a rage from some long-forgotten evil. I am proud to say that I did not drop the trash and run screaming like a little girl. Instead I stood frozen and screamed like a big girl ("AAAAAAAAHHHHH!") which is my own personal brand of evil-repellent. After that, they honked off not to return. Yet. The horror. I live in constant fear of them coming back for me.

My migraine forgotten for the moment, I decided to catch up on the blogosphere and find some nice things to say here for a change...

Jerz: My first stop at Mr. Jerz was instantly rewarded by giving me all kinds of new profanity for my blogging rants and, if that were not enough, also provides a way of creating new ones of my own! Somebody needs to turn this brilliance into a Flash-based profanity-maker...

Jerz

Hmmm... let's try this out, shall we?

Napshitter: Scott Andrew (whose music you really should take a listen to) has noticed that Napster has a lame full page dedicated to taking pot-shots at Apple's iPod and iTunes. And now they're putting them on television as well. To which I can only say to Napster: bitch, please. The iPod is the overwhelming choice for the discerning digital music listener, and your shit isn't even compatible with it. Furthermore, your taint-spank (thank you Mr. Jerz!) claim of being able to fill up some sack-smoking (thanks again!) Windows MP3 player that isn't anything close to being as nifty as my iPod for just $15 is grossly misleading. Sure you can do it... but after 30 days, you're boned, because all that music disappears unless you pay another bitch-licking (Jerz!) $15 for another 30 days. Just close up you testicle-slapping (whoo!) excuse for a music service and stop wasting our time.

Oh my. And here I was going to say nice things for a change. I blame Mr. Jerz.

Hurley: There was good news to be found when I drop by e-Dennis and see there's a rumor running around which has Elizabeth Hurley being attached to the next Harry Potter movie. If anything can save that franchise for me, this would be it. You can read a few of the many unabashed Hurley-lust entries I've made over the hottest woman in the known universe here and here and here.

Still: Neil has crafted a nice message for the MPAA after they closed down LokiTorrent (a BitTorrent hub). Even better, Boing Boing has picked it up! Sweet. I am a big fan of BitTorrent because it allows me to download television to take on the road with me, and easily archive shows that I can't be sure will ever be released on DVD (I'd do all this on my TiVo, but we all know how that's turning out). I find absolutely nothing wrong with my doing this. I pay DirecTV obscene amounts of money every month to watch those shows, and always buy the DVDs for shows I want to keep. If television networks had half-a-brain, they'd allow you to buy the shows over the internet in the first place.

Final: James has noted that Star Trek: Enterprise has entered the final frontier and been cancelled after this season. How can anybody be surprised. NOTHING EVER HAPPENS ON THAT SHOW! It's just one boring episode after another. When is a kick-ass Star Trek show going to come along? Somebody should hire Ron Moore and the Battlestar Galactica team to take care of it.

Toby: And why couldn't I think of this? Of course, being a vegetarian, my credibility in such a threat would be quite low.

Pee: Just a few days ago I was thinking I might be able to drive up my blog traffic by getting some kind of high-profile endorsement. And now fate steps in. Heaven only knows nothing would make me happier than "spreading love all over the blogosphere," but some endorsements are just inviting trouble. I get enough wacky hate mail as it is, so perhaps being mired in obscurity it not such a bad thing.

Summer: The quirks of seasonal inversion between the north and south hemispheres of our planet is a nice side-effect of an international blogosphere. CoffeeWaffle is eating summer berries off the vine in New Zealand, and Kazza is spending time in the swimming pool in Australia. Naturally, I'm jealous. Summer means being able to ride my motorcycle. Of course, given the weak winter we've been having here, they should be cleaning the streets of loose gravel any day now. THERE... now that makes me happy.

   

Communicable

Posted on Monday, February 14th, 2005

Dave!Love, as it has been said, is a disease that people are happy to contract. And like a disease, love can have a very bad outcome indeed... including a broken heart, insanity, bankruptcy, death, and even an opening for contracting other diseases. Fortunately, I have a built-in immunity which has been carefully acquired over the years. By ingesting several small doses (and one very, very large dose) of failed attempts at love over a very long period of time, I've got a clean bill of health. Outside of my family and friends, I'm certified love-free (but I don't think that's going to make any difference on my life insurance rates).

That's not to say I haven't had moments where I've felt my immunity weakening, that's part of life. In fact, at some points I find that immunity can even be bolstered by allowing yourself a temporary "love fix" for short durations... let's say 20 minutes to two hours in length (any longer and, like morphine addiction, you may not want to escape it).

Mind you, I am not advocating the love-free lifestyle, I'm just saying that it has somehow come to suit me. Especially when it means I can avoid scenarios like this (hmmm... in reviewing last year's entry, I'd have to say I'm slightly less bitter this year). Besides, tomorrow a woman with superb ironing skills could come along and change my mind of the subject entirely.

Anyway, nothing could possibly eclipse my love for you, dear reader...

Dave VD Greetings

Hope your Valentine's Day is a happy one!

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Legal

Posted on Monday, February 14th, 2005

Dave!Yet another excellent cameo appearance on Boston Legal last night by the incomparable Betty White! Of course, it doesn't hurt that David E. Kelley is writing the most delicious dialogue for her character, Catherine Piper... a cantankerous old bitch who became Alan Shore's secretary when he couldn't keep from sexually harassing the babes that held the position previously.

I'm just amazed that Betty continues to be this brilliant, even at 83 years old...

Betty Legal

Catherine Piper: Alan! Wonderful news! The Kerwin deposition has been cancelled, you don't have to go. Your morning is now free. Which works out, because it seems these two police officers are here to arrest you.

Police Officer: You Alan Shore?

Catherine Piper: My aren't you clever! I bet you make detective one day! Was my calling him 'Alan' a clue?

And all delivered with perfect comedic timing that's classic Betty White! I can only hope that she continues making weekly appearances on the show. It helps compensate for the amateurish and jerky "push-in" camera moves that the directors for Boston Legal seem to think create compelling television (though nothing is quite so bad as the shaky hand-held camera work on the show Medium, which I'm guessing they think is artistic and edgy, but in reality just gives me a headache to watch).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "From now on, the only person who gets to yell is ME. Why? Because I have a gun. People with guns get to do whatever they want."
Day Before Yesterday's Answer: The Abyss (1989) with Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tagged

Posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2005

Dave!The Texpatriate has tagged me! Now I've got "Karla's Bitch" spray-painted on my forehead. Oh... wait a second... it's not a graffiti tag, it's a meme tag. Well, that's okay too. Here we go:

Total amount of music files on your computer? According to iTunes, I am currently at 4628 songs. And I'm pretty sure all of them are legal except one: Tarzan Boy, by Baltimora. It's not available digitally at the iTunes Music Store, and I can't find the CD Living in the Background to purchase the song because it's out of print. Since Steve Jobs has stated that he would gladly offer every song ever released on the iTMS, I can only guess that it's the record labels that are the hold-up. Illegal downloading was my only option.

The last CD you bought was... Well, I don't really buy CD's anymore, I purchase all my music from iTunes Music Store so I don't have a piece of plastic to throw out. The last albums I bought from iTMS would be Green Day's excellent American Idiot, and Nightbird by Erasure. Too many terrific 80's synth-pop melodies on that one! I Broke it All in Two and Breathe are absolutely beautiful songs...

Nightbird

What was the last song you listened to before reading this message? Hmmm... last night before I went to bed I was listening to my iPod Shuffle while reading. I think the song would be Closer by Nine Inch Nails.

Write down five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you. All my music means a lot to me. It is so very hard to narrow down thousands of favorites to just five... I wouldn't even know where to begin. Since Valentine's Day has just passed, let's talk about love: Don't Answer Me by the Alan Parson's Project (a concert I went to with my best friend who has since departed this mortal plane). Every Breath You Take by The Police (17 years old in a New Orlean's hotel). If You Were Here by the Thompson Twins (first love). Barrel of a Gun by Depeche Mode (love gone very wrong). And Rebel Yell by Billy Idol (the words pretty much speak for themselves).

What 3 people are you going to pass this baton to and why? Gee, there was a "Music Shuffle Meme" not so long ago that gave me an idea of what people are listening to, so I should probably try to find some people who I don't think answered it? I'll pick Ben's Blab, because he recently had an entry about a music playlist but failed to indicate any of the songs or what music he likes. Geekable, because Jeff has incredible taste in music (though I don't think that he "does" memes... a pity). And My So-Called Strife (Kirkkitsch is forever recommending movies, but I have no idea what music he listens to... though I don't think he "does" memes either).

Is that it? Okay then.

Categories: Memes 2005, Music 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Suffrage

Posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2005

Dave!I had lost some papers and, in looking for them, came across the very cool Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes giant "Collector's Edition" comic book that I had purchased at a yard sale years ago. Figuring that my important papers were actually not-so important after all, I took a few minutes to read this huge spectacle of an adventure.

To sum up the story... the evil sorcerer Mordru escaped imprisonment and opened up a can of whoop-ass on the entire Legion of Super-Heroes. Only Superboy, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, and Duo-Damsel managed to escape his wrath by time-traveling to the past. They eventually got lucky when Mordru's rage caused him to imprison himself in a landslide. When they return to the future, they found out that Princess Projectra, Dreamy, and the White Witch had fooled Mordru into thinking he had kicked their asses, when he really didn't...

Ladies 1975

You tell 'em Mon-El! Silly girls!!

Not exactly the most gracious of compliments but hey, the story was written in 1975. Women have come a long way in the last thirty years. Or have they? I was curious to imagine what the story would have been like had it been written a decade later in 1985. After all, this is when the Eurythmics had released the women's movement anthem "Sister Are Doin' It For Themselves"...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
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Danish

Posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2005

Dave!I've always wondered how my life would change if I had a billion dollars. Knowing me, I'd probably start buying out companies that compete with my interests and then threaten foreign governments just because I could. I mean, hey, after all I've got a BILLION dollars in the bank! People with that kind of money should be able to do whatever they want, right? Who cares if that makes me look like a three-year-old with an ego the size of Montana.

Oh, wait a second, it appears that Bill Gates has beat me to the punch.

It would seem that he purchased a software company in Denmark, and is now extorting the Danish government to vote for the EU software patent bullshit... or else he'll close the company and fire all 800 employees (read the entire scary story over at Groklaw). What a monkey-spanking pig-f#@%er.

I wonder if it's possible for me to never, ever use another Microsoft product for the rest of my life? The bugs, security breaches, vaporware, delays, and multitude of other sins all pale in comparison to extorting a government. Not just any government... DENMARK! A friendly government. As if the USA didn't already have enough problems? I want so badly to believe that this story is not true. But, given Gate's history, that's probably just a pipe-dream.

And I thought Apple's legal crack-down on rumor sites was bad, sheesh. Bill Gates must have a dick the size of a mosquito.

Mac Logo

UPDATE: Now Boing Boing has it.

UPDATE: And now Boing Boing is reporting that Microsoft denies it will be closing the company. They do not, however, deny that Bill Gates made the threat (so who knows?). In any event, Microsoft Windows still sucks ass.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world."
Day Before Yesterday's Answer: The Ref (1989) with Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey.
Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Frosty

Posted on Wednesday, February 16th, 2005

Dave!A while back I had blogged about my first experience eating a Frosty from Wendy's (documented in excruciating, yet amusing, detail here). I then received two comments and an email telling me that I really haven't experienced a Frosty properly until I've dipped french fries into it. And so, bizarre as it sounds, I decided to give it a try on my way out of Wenatchee this afternoon.

As it turns out, dipping french fries into a Frosty is yummy good once you get over how bizarre it feels to be eating cold-hot-salty-sweet all at the same time. Overall, I recommend it heartily. There is one problem, however. Size differential.

I ordered a medium-sized Frosty and a Biggie Fries... and ended up running out of fries long before my Frosty was gone. That left me with lots of Frosty and no fries to dip in it. Bummer. I suppose next time I could order a "Great Biggie Fries" and see if that's enough to make it through. But then there's another dilemma... what happens when the Frosty is so far down in the cup that you can't reach it with a french fry?

I'm guessing it will take some experimentation to find the proper ratio of Frosty to fries. My gut instinct is that it will end up being Biggie Fries and small-sized Frosty. Don't worry, I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Frosty

As typical with me, actually getting my Frosty and fries was not as simple as it might sound. When I got to Wendy's, there was a line of four cars to get through the drive-through. I figured it would be faster if I just run inside.

I figured wrong. Time for anonymous letter number two...

Anonymous 2

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really good looking... and I plan on finding out what that is."
Yesterday's Answer: Unbreakable (2000) with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.
Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

WhoAskQ

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2005

Dave!Adding a more "world-centric" friendliness to the FridayQ, I'm going to start uploading it to the site Thursday mornings so that those across the International Date Line can access it when it's actually Friday for them (if they so choose).

The FridayQ is interesting to me, because it's a distraction of a wholly personal nature. I made it for me because I missed the Friday Five. It's not meant to be inspiring or have any deep meaning... it's just a quick way to fill up a Friday if you can't think of anything else to write about, (all while revealing a little bit of yourself to your readers that you might not ordinarily get around to mentioning).

For instance, last week a friend was asking me about my recent trip to Europe. After talking about it for a few minutes, he mentioned that he had never been more than a 6-hour drive from the place he was born. This was quite a revelation to me. I'd known him for years, and had no idea. That got me to wondering how many other people never feel the need to venture far from their birthplace.

Thus tomorrow's entry "DISTANCE" was born.

And all the ideas for questions seem to start like that. Something comes up that gets me curious and, viola, it's a FridayQ. What happens then is up to the people who decide to post an entry to their blogs. Some bloggers use the questions as a springboard to write paragraphs of revelations or get something off their chests. Others answer with a single word (sometimes raising more questions than they answer!). Still others use it as a way to test their imaginations with unlikely tales and humorous anecdotes. There is no right way to answer, and it can mean whatever people want it to mean.

And that's all good because it lets me learn a little bit about the bloggers who participate. But mostly because it was never meant to be anything more than a mindless distraction that bloggers can use when they feel like it (or never at all). I just wonder how many questions I've got left in me!

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Illicit

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2005

Dave!I quite honestly do not know how to react to the rampant stupidity going on with businesses world today. Business execs close their eyes to problems, don't serve their customers and then, when trouble starts eating away at profits, turn around and blame their customers for their woes! It's as if I were to stop writing in my blog, then turn around and blame my readers for not visiting my web site and instead reading somebody else's blog. Well, duh!

Reuters has a revealing article about television downloading entitled: '24' Makes Britain a Hotbed for Illicit TV Downloads. It basically goes on to report that TV fans in the UK are tired of waiting months for their favorite television programs to be aired in their corner of the world, so they are instead turning to the internet to get what they want. Well, duh! And it works both ways... Battlestar Galactica aired in Britain months before it did here, and I didn't want to wait for it either. BitTorrent here I come.

Since television network executives are so blatantly clueless, allow me to spell out reality for your incompetent asses...

  • Ignoring a problem on the horizon does not make it go away. It's not as if this is something new, because you've already seen the same thing happen with the video game industry and the music industry... years ago. You saw that video game makers who failed to make simultaneous region releases ended up being pirated and traded because customers couldn't buy legally what everybody else had access to. Don't you get it? The internet has made the world a very small place. Friends are being made across the globe and television is a big part of people's lives. How can I discuss how much I loved the latest episode of Veronica Mars if my friends in the UK haven't seen it yet, and may never see it if the show isn't purchased to air there? You've known for years that increasing bandwidth and globalization was going to make it perfectly feasible for your television shows to be traded online. What did you do? NOTHING. Honestly, what did you expect was going to happen? Take a cue from the video game industry and work on getting simultaneous releases for your shows so people aren't forced to download them.
  • If you don't want to sell your product in a way convenient to your customers, don't be surprised when people who want it decide to steal it instead. Did you learn nothing from the music industry? Why is it businesses never seem to take perceived set-backs as an opportunity? One of the reasons television shows are being traded online is because you can't buy them online. If I had a choice, I would ditch my expensive satellite dish and purchase only those television shows I want online, free of constant interruptions for advertising and in a portable format that I can watch on my laptop or video player wherever and whenever I want. You've seen the explosion in portable digital music players, and yet what have you done to service this hot trend in your own niche? NOTHING. You blissfully close your eyes to the fact that the digital revolution is happening. You ignore the obvious in that people want portability in their media. You stand confident that people will forever be willing to be chained to cable and satellite dishes, even though the opposite trend seems to be true. How long will you wait to service your customers? Right now, only the tech-savvy are downloading your shows. But in 1980, only the tech-savvy had computers. Will you wait until people are dumping cable and satellite by the thousands in favor of online trading, or will you get off your stupid asses and DO something about it now, while there's still time?
  • Don't call your customers thieves when they're the ones buying your product. I pay $70 to DirectTV every month. I purchase DVDs for every television show I want to keep. I am a television whore who pays outrageous sums of money for what your selling. Don't call me a theif because I don't want to wait for your delayed broadcasts of Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi Channel, and instead get it from the internet. Don't call me a thief for downloading the latest episode of Las Vegas because my travel schedule doesn't allow me to watch it at home. Don't brand it stealing when I download the latest episode of Veronica Mars so I can archive it in case you decide not to release it on DVD. I pay you money! SO SERVICE YOUR CUSTOMERS!! Stop thinking name-calling and legal manipulations are going to make things better and instead SOLVE THE f#@%ING PROBLEM! Get Steve Jobs to open up an iTelevision Store, or make something yourselves. Offer a legal solution so you don't sound like a jackass when you claim everybody who downloads television shows are thieves. Give people the option to buy, and then go after the illegal downloaders with credibility instead of stupidity.

I am the first to admit that this is not a simple scenario, and don't claim to have all the answers for the problems you will face as you transition to the internet age. But here are some things to consider...

  • Local television network affiliates are going to be livid that I am bypassing them and selling my product direct. Well, when people register to purchase their product online, ask for their zip code and share the wealth by lowering affiliate costs so they will continue to want to show your programming. And people are still going to want to watch the local news, so there is nothing stopping them from creating local digital download newscasts and podcasts of their own to expand revenues.
  • Advertisers are going to be livid that I am bypassing them and selling programs they sponsor free of advertising. Well, as revenue starts coming in from direct sales, and viewership begins to drop, lower your advertising rates for hit shows. Who knows, when the balance shifts to online sales, and advertising on Desperate Housewives is so cheap that even smaller companies with tiny budgets can start advertising there, a bidding war may erupt to actually drive up advertising revenues!
  • Good idea! And then I'll start interrupting digital downloads with advertising and make even more money! Then don't be surprised when people start sharing ad-free versions and won't buy your downloads anymore. People are sick and tired of ads interrupting the shows they watch, especially when they've PAID for them already. You've got your money, so don't get greedy or else people will revolt. Again. Perhaps one or two "sponsored by" ads in front of the show will be tolerated, but don't push your luck.
  • People are still going to steal my programming and trade it online. Sure, but at least you are providing a legal option to buy for people who don't want to steal, and also giving you more legal leverage to go after those who would still steal from you.
  • If I start the trend of selling online, and it's successful, won't studios start bypassing networks altogether and sell their programming directly? Probably. And it's your own damn fault. For decades you've jerked your customers around with bad scheduling, preemptive programing, and cancellations of shows they love. You've bombarded them with so much advertising that they can barely watch the shows they enjoy. You've covered the screen with distracting pop-up ads and news tickers and network ID badges. You've been systematically destroying the product you sell and there's no end in sight. Why wouldn't a studio want to eliminate all of this nonsense and sell direct? Better start channeling even more of your profits into studio production, dumbasses.

The thing that really gets me ranting is that television networks actually expect people to feel sorry for them! How am I supposed to feel sorry for somebody who is too stupid to keep in touch with customers and their market trends so they can stay in business? Networks are bloated with so much hypocrisy that NOBODY is going to shed a tear when they fade into irrelevance (we've been dying for that to happen with music labels for decades!). Liberation of video media is at hand and you can either accept it, service your customers, and give people what they want... or close up shop and let somebody else do it. Yes, I know it's hard, but nothing in business is ever easy. Just like life.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tennessee

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2005

Dave!And now I'm off to Tennessee... I'll be sure to say hello to Elvis for you.

And with that, Dave has left the building.


   

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm a little black woman... in a big silver box!"
Yesterday's Answer: Zoolander (2001) with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Distance

Posted on Thursday, February 17th, 2005

Dave!FQ HELPER: It may be helpful to use a globe and a distance calculator for the questions below.

What's the furthest North you've been on this world? What were you doing there? The furthest North I've been is Reykjavik, Iceland (64-degrees North latitude), where I was on layover to see the Hard Rock Cafe there while on my way to Sweden to visit friends and visit another Hard Rock Cafe in Stockholm. It is closely followed by Anchorage, Alaska (61-degrees North latitude), where I was changing planes on the way back from a business trip to Seoul, Korea.

What's the furthest South you've been on this world? What were you doing there? The furthest South I've been is Bali, Indonesia (6-degrees South) where I went to the Hard Rock Resort and Beach Club for vacation. A very cool place if you're looking to get away from it all, by the way!

Where were you born, and what's the furthest you've been from that spot? I was born in San Diego, California (USA) and the furthest I've been from there is Kuala Lumpur at 8883.5 miles / 14296.5 kilometers away. I was in the city during a layover from Singapore to Bali which was arranged so I could see the Hard Rock Cafe there.

World Map

FQ AWAY: Name a blog you read that's the most distant from you... whether it be emotionally, culturally, religiously, or by physical loacation. Gee, many blogs I read specifically because they are so distant from me! I suppose rather than just coming up with one of them, I'll run the gamut here. Emotionally, I'd have to say Tonya's Adventure Journalist is furthest from mine... mostly because of her photography, which always strikes an emotional chord with me (different from mine here, which only gets emotional when I rant). Culturally, I'd have to say Healing Iraq is the most distant, because my culture doesn't involve being in the middle of a war zone. Religiously, I'd have to say Shannon Blogs, because the way she applies her faith to daily living is just so over-the-top bizarre to me (albeit in a wholly interesting and captivating way which I respect her for immensely). As for physical location... out of blogs I read regularly that would probably be either Kazza in Sydney, Australia or CoffeeWaffle in Nelson, New Zealand.

Go the distance at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Class

Posted on Friday, February 18th, 2005

Dave!Back when I was a casual traveler, I often thought that flying First Class would be a utopia of flowing champagne, in-flight manicures, world-class dining, and non-stop entertainment. But, as is so often the case, such a fantasy was not to be.

This is not to say it's not better at the front of the plane... the additional leg-room and extra space alone is worth flying First Class. And sure, there are other benefits, including better food, never-ending drinks, all-you-can-eat snacks, and more attentive service. But when it comes right down to it, First Class is not all it's cracked up to be. How can that be?

Because there is so little "class" in First Class.

And to explain this, I will have to dispel a common myth... the misconception that people in the First Class cabin pay for their First Class tickets. This is rarely the case. Most people sitting in those big, comfy seats did not pay the ridiculous "F" fare, but were instead upgraded to First Class. There are many, many ways to get upgraded, but the most common is because you are a good customer. You fly lots and lots of miles with an airline, and so they reward you with First Class upgrades and other perks to keep your business and keep you flying.

And because I fly quite a lot I am pretty much assured of getting upgraded on any domestic flight, and have learned some tricks as to which days and what times to fly that will almost guarantee it. For international flights, I can sometimes pick a fare that will allow me to use my "mileage" to upgrade, but usually upgradable fares are far outside of my budget. In any event, I've got a narrow ass that fits just fine in those tiny coach seats and can easily ignore the world around me, so getting upgraded is not something I obsess about. It's nice if it happens, but I'm not devastated when it doesn't.

But my "no-care attitude" is exceedingly rare among the frequent business traveller. I have seen passengers screaming at the gate agent because they can't get an upgrade. I have seen passengers actually re-book their flight if an upgrade didn't come through. In fifteen years of constant travel, I have seen it all: drunks, drugs, sex, fights, fire, yelling, screaming, singing, praying, crying, barfing, bleeding, evacuations, medical crises, emergency landings, prisoner transfers, and even a food fight. But all of that pales in comparison to a frequent flier not getting an upgrade. And the horror doesn't stop once they've gotten it.

Which brings me (finally) to my point. The most disappointing things that occur in-flight, always seem to happen to me while flying First Class, because there are just entirely too many assholes up there. Not everybody, of course, but there always seems to be one or two of them that just make me wish I could run to the back of the plane and hide out amongst the huddled masses in coach.

Today was such a day. This arrogant, obnoxious, disgusting pig of a passenger sat two rows ahead of me and was about as bad as it gets. No rules applied to him. HE got to bring extra luggage onboard (including a huge roller bag, a stuffed garment bag, and an enormous brief case). HE got to take up an ENTIRE OVERHEAD BIN with his shit. HE needed his Jack Daniels and Soda immediately. HE demanded they take his jacket ahead of everybody else. HE wanted to trade meals because the chicken was "unacceptable." HE can talk on his mobile phone during take-off and landing. HE could use his computer when electronic devices were no longer allowed... It was an entire flight of ludicrous demands and abusive demeanor that made me want to get up and stab him in the neck with my fork. If I had to sit next to the insufferable bastard, I'm sure I would have.

And all I can do is think back to those long-ago days where I would sit in my tiny coach seat, dreaming of a life of class and elegance behind that magical curtain at the front of the plane. Too bad reality had to come along and f#@% it all up.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "My friend says if you were any more handsome it would be a crime. It's a shame you're such an asshole."
Yesterday's Answer: Jumping Jack Flash (1986) with Whoopi Goldberg and Stephen Collins.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day One: Memphis

Posted on Friday, February 18th, 2005

Dave!I end up in Memphis quite a lot, but usually just to change planes. I haven't been to the city proper in almost five years. I can't think of a really good reason for that except to say that I'm don't have work in the area very often. But come Monday, I do indeed have some work to attend to, so here I am.

And since Monday is a work holiday for me ("President's Day"), I decided to trade it out for today so I could come in early and take a drive down to the Florida Panhandle. Or, more specifically, the city of Destin, where a new Hard Rock Cafe opened up a while back.

I am planning on leaving at 7:00 in the morning for the nine-hour drive down. But right now I'm not thinking about that, I'm thinking about how my crappy airport hotel doesn't have a restaurant nearby, or even a vending machine available. I always like to go to bed a little bit hungry, but not starving. Something tells me this is going to be a long night.

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Two: Hard Rock Cafe Destin

Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2005

Dave!MapQuest helpfully projected a nine-hour and three-minute drive from Memphis, Tennessee to Destin, Florida. As it ends up, I did it in just ender eight hours, and managed to pull in to the Hard Rock Cafe Destin at 3:16 for a late lunch. The cafe itself is scarily reminiscent of the cafe that used to be in Ft. Lauderdale... a crappy mall location with no history or interesting architecture. In the end, it does end up faring slightly better because Destin seems to be a relatively new resort development, but it's hardly an ideal location for a Hard Rock from a design perspective. Oh well, I hope Destin can hold out longer than its ill-fated twin in Ft. Lauderdale.

HRC Destin

The interior is rather pedestrian, but does try to cram in a lot of memorabilia into the space available. I was a bit surprised to find the restaurant completely packed at such an odd hour, which I guess is a good thing considering it's the "slow season."

HRC Destin

Like so many of these heavily-populated beach resort cities, Destin has been dramatically over-developed. The roads in and out of the area just can't handle the volume, meaning you have a non-stop traffic jam for an hour in and another hour out. I'd hate to think of how bad it gets during the height of summer vacation... perhaps that's why MapQuest adds an extra hour?

Anyway, not really a bad cafe, just nothing special.

Categories: Hard Rock 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Two: Memphis-Destin-Birmingham.

Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2005

Dave!When I woke up, the last thing I wanted to do was spend the entire day driving. Some vacation. But I was already committed to the trip, so it was off to the Hertz Rent-A-Car desk to pick up my ride. As usual, they decided to reward my "Gold Club" membership with a "car upgrade" from a nice compact Mazda to a massive Buick LeSabre. I know they think that they are being nice, but I HATE it when they do this! If I wanted a big-ass Buick, I would have ordered one! Not only am I uncomfortable in larger cars, I will be driving over a thousand miles, and would rather have a more fuel efficient model automobile. But I don't have time to argue with Hertz, so I pack up this gigantic beast of a car and take off. And check out that license plate, I'm a Texan now...

Buick LeSabre

The drive to the Florida Panhandle was largely uneventful. Central Mississippi is pretty sparse along highway 55, with the exception of Jackson, so there's just not a lot to do along the way. There used to be the Hard Rock Beach Club out in Choctaw, but it has recently closed, leaving me with nothing but mile after mile of asphalt. About the hardest part of the entire drive through the state was at the very end when I had to make the decision to turn left and head to Mobile then onward to Destin... or turn right and head to New Orleans. Since New Orleans is one of my most favorite cities in the USA, you can understand my dilemma. But I had been to The Big Easy not so long ago, so Alabama it was.

But first I needed to stop for gas. I saw a billboard that said "EASY ACCESS" and "CLEAN RESTROOMS" with the "CLEAN" part underlined, so I figured that must be the place for me. Holy crap! If these were CLEAN restrooms, I shudder to think what a dirty restroom must look like...

Clean Sink

Scary. I think I ran back to the car.

Now, unlike most times when you move from state to state without even realizing something has changed... entering Alabama is another matter entirely. The minute you cross the border, the majestic four-lane highway with a wide median in Mississippi instantly becomes a two-lane country road with no median at all. Suddenly there are Baptist churches popping up every five minutes. You start to see homemade billboards that say "JESUS IS LORD" and businesses with signs proclaiming "IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE, DON'T BOTHER STOPPING." Welcome to the deep, deep South.

Anyway, pretty soon I was in Mobile, then crossing into Florida, so I was making good time and all was well. After eating a late lunch at the Hard Rock and walking along a beach so white that it looked like snow instead of sand, I turned back toward Tennessee and made it as far as Birmingham (802 miles total)...

Alabama

And tomorrow I am back to Tennessee for a trip into Gatlinburg to visit the only Hard Rock Cafe in the world with a wedding chapel attached, then onward to Nashville... a mere 518 miles, hah!

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Day Three: Hard Rock Gatlinburg

Posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2005

Dave!Gatlinburg, as it were, is a charming little town on the entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains. The fact that it has turned into a tourist destination worthy of Disney-esque envy is beside the point. The traffic getting in and out of the area is murder. Three lanes of automobile hell guaranteed to drive you mad.

Even when DollyWood is closed for the season.

And that's a shame, because I would absolutely go! But anyway, once you finally reach Gatlinburg, you'll be treated to a cozy little Hard Rock that is one of my all-time favorites...

HRC Gatlinburg

HRC Gatlinburg

As you can see, I somehow angered the rain gods, because it was pouring the entire two hours I was in town. This is kind of a pity, because one of the reasons I wanted to return here was so I could get a better photo of the exterior (my previous trip was at night - which means that, until now, this was the only Hard Rock property I had not seen in daylight).

Oh well. My veggie burger and chocolate shake were excellent, so it was worth the seven hours out of my way to visit. At least, that's what I tell myself as I sit here in my big-ass Buick LeSabre rental car watching the rain fall so heavy on the windshield that I can't see out. It's going to be a fun 3-1/3 hour drive to Nashville!

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Day Three: Hard Rock Nashville

Posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2005

Dave!Well that was lovely. What should have been a 3-1/2 hour drive over from Gatlinburg became a 4-1/2 hour trip because the flood of rain caused not one, but three accidents on the highway connecting me to the city. It's not really a surprise because the thick cloud cover made it dark, the fog made it difficult to see, and the rain obliterated whatever was left to look at on the road.

Fortunately, I drive using "the force" so I made it safe and sound (albeit much later than planned).

The Hard Rock Cafe Nashville is a gem of a restaurant that is my favorite kind of Hard Rock property: an ingenious re-work of a historic building. In this case, Nashville's first brothel. It is a long, thin building that made fitting everything inside a bit tricky, but they managed just fine. There's even a stage for live music. In addition to the cafe proper, there is an additional building which houses a merch shop on the corner of the parking lot. This is yet another historic structure: The Silver Dollar Saloon Building. Perfecting an already perfect cafe, they painted a giant Gibson Guitar on the wall of the building behind it, which complements the guitar-shaped bar on the inside.

HRC Nashville

HRC Nashville

The above photos will completely fail to impress upon you the massive length of the building, which is an entire block long. If you study the interior photo, you will see that it goes waaayyy back... and there's a teeny tiny little table and chair there that give it some scale.

And now understand that I took this photo at the half-way point of the building... THAT'S how long it is!

Anyway, after I had an Apple Cobbler for dessert, I walked around the area to see what was gong on. Despite it being a Sunday, there was quite a lot of activity on the streets and in the bars. I really, really, don't like country music... not even a little bit... so Nashville has always been a bit hard to take (hey, that's what the city is all about!). But despite it all, it's still an incredible place, and I never mind spending time here. Unfortunately, my work takes me back to Memphis in the morning, so that will have to wait until next time.

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Day Three: Birmingham-Gatlinburg-Nashville

Posted on Sunday, February 20th, 2005

Dave!The drive up from Birmingham wasn't that bad until the rain started coming down... in a torrential flood. I know Seattle has a reputation for rain, but this was about as bad as I've ever seen it in either Seattle or Orlando. It made driving a bit difficult in spots (particularly when passing a truck), but I'm kind of used to the rain from my many drives over to Western Washington.

I've already mentioned how Nashville is an amazing city (even if you don't like country music), but here's the best part... they have one of my favorite hotels in the entire world: The Wyndham Union Station. If you've read my other travel notes, you already know that I have a fondness for unique, quirky, historical properties. This one is cream. What used to be Nashville's train station was turned into a stunning hotel in 1986...

Wyndham Union Station

Wyndham Union Station

Wyndham Union Station

"Beautiful" doesn't even begin to describe this majestic building, or even elude to the meticulous care they took in restoring it (the Tiffany stained glass ceiling could not have been easy). My room is right on the upper terrace, and is cavernous. I swear, it seems as though my ceiling is 20 feet tall! Right now, there was a wedding party below, and I am serenaded with really good music until bedtime, which is kind of a cool way to end the day.

You would think that this opulence would come at a high cost, but it doesn't. Because it's a half-mile from the downtown "scene," it is actually very reasonably priced (my internet rate was a measly $89!!). So if you ever end up in Nashville, there's really only one place to stay... the Wyndham Union Station, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

HRC Silver Dollar

P.S. And, per request, here's a photo of the previously-mentioned Hard Rock Merch Shop, formerly known as the "Silver Dollar Salloon." Like the cafe behind it, the building is very narrow. If I remember correctly, the reason it got the name is because it was decorated with silver dollars pounded in the floor (or something like that).

   

Day Four: Hard Rock Memphis

Posted on Monday, February 21st, 2005

Dave!Tennessee is blessed with three fantastic Hard Rock Cafe properties, tastefully distributed from one end of the state to the other. Memphis in particular is vintage Hard Rock. It's a classic dual-level design with massive amounts of memorabilia, perfectly positioned on historic Beale Street next to the arena.

It's well worth a visit if you happen to be in town...

HRC Memphis

HRC Memphis

And that's all she wrote for this trip.

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Day Four: Nashville-Memphis

Posted on Monday, February 21st, 2005

Dave!Apparently, the rain gods were not done with me yet. In the morning I took a walk to get some photos and it was overcast but nothing serious. An hour later when I checked out of the Wyndham, it was pouring buckets once again. Fortunately, by the time I was an hour out, the skies cleared up.

Now that I've come full-circle, my odometer is telling me I put a total of 1558 miles in...

Tennessee

My work wasn't starting until 1:00, which gave me plenty of time to stop by Germantown on my way into the city. This suburb of Memphis is infamous for the Apple Store sign fiasco a while back. If you've ever visited an Apple Store, you know that the only signage is a giant glowing Apple logo. Well, that's a double strike-out, because 1)You can't use food items in Germantown signage, including an apple and 2)You cannot have any self-illuminating signs either. It was eventually all worked out, but the store opening was delayed an entire month while the debate raged on...

Apple Memphis

The reason I stopped was to see if I could get some kind of deal on a new PowerBook, but there was no deal to be had. That's kind of a shame, because I would have purchased one on the spot if they had only offered to pop in some extra RAM or something. I guess Apple being Apple doesn't feel the need to deal. Oh well, when I can managed to scrape some money together, I'll just order one online. I sure hope they've improved the durability of the latch in the newer models.

Work finished early, which means I was able to change my flight to go home tomorrow instead of Wednesday, which is kind of nice. One more extra day at home before I have to ship out again. With my reservations changed, it's off to the Hard Rock for an early dinner, then onward to the lobby of the Peabody to have a drink and visit the ducks...

Peabody Ducks

The Peabody is yet another landmark historic hotel that I enjoy quite a lot. On top of that, there's ducks, of course. Legend has it that manager of the hotel had a drunken inspiration to release his live decoy ducks into the lobby fountain. That was in 1931, and there are still ducks there today. In fact, now it's a daily ritual where red carpet is rolled out and the ducks descend in their private elevator from their penthouse retreat every morning at 11:00am, then return via the red carpet treatment at 5:00pm after playing in the fountain all afternoon. It's an amazing site, with band music, a Duck Master leader, and an entire lobby full of people cheering on a bunch of waterfowl. Good times.

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Driving

Posted on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

Dave!The thrill of getting to come home a day early was slightly overshadowed by my hotel stay last night... whoever was in the room next to mine decided to smoke some harsh drugs of some kind, which filtered into my room throughout the evening. It was a non-smoking room, but I guess when you decide to do drugs, you've pretty much already thrown caution to the wind and laughed in the face of authority. I debated whether I wanted switch rooms, but as it got later and later, I finally just decided to stick it out and not go through the extra trouble.

As it ends up, that was stupid. Because when I woke up I found that I had a sore throat from the fumes.

When I got to the airport this morning, the check-in attendant apologized up and down that there wasn't an upgrade available to me, but when I got my boarding pass it was a First Class seat. Luckily, this time there wasn't an incident with any First Class assholes, so it was a pleasant trip home. I had some episodes of the TV show House on my laptop, so the time just flew by (so to speak). While I enjoy the show, every episode seems the same. Somebody gets sick with a mystery illness that nobody understands. They try something, it doesn't work. They try something else and make things even worse. Then, just before the patient is going to die, they miraculously figure out a cure. It's formulaic and gets tiring.

Anyway, now I'm back home for a few days. In going through my photos from my short trip just now, I found one I thought was kind of funny:

Safe Driver

It's not that I wanted to call and report him for being a bad driver, his driving was fine, it's just funny that the driver is so paranoid about people reporting him that he felt the need to put duct tape over the number.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Well, like they say in your century, I don't even have your telephone number!"
Yesterday's Answer: Nurse Betty (2000) with Renee Zellweger, Morgan Freeman, and Chris Rock.
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Bushwhacked

Posted on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

Dave!Coming back from a trip is always chaotic, even when it's just four days long. Add to that the fact that I leave again this weekend, and it's just that much worse. There's so much I want to do... so much that needs to be done... and just not enough hours in the day to make any measurable headway. The only reason I have time to even write this is because I've got a backup running on my work files for the next twenty minutes.

Oh well, here's my day so far...

Bush: The oddest voicemail was awaiting me at work. Somebody from Congressman Tom Reynolds' office called on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee and left me a vague message about my attending some kind of dinner with the president. Thinking it was a mistake, I called back to see if they had meant to leave the message for somebody else. As it turns out, they didn't. They specifically had my full name. Furthermore, the dinner wasn't with the president of the NRCC, it was with the President of The United States. I could not figure out why they had my name, considering I am... 1) Not a Republican, and 2) Not a resident of New York, which is where Tom Reynolds represents. Anyway, when I explain all that to the lady at the NRCC, she replied "you don't need to be a Republican to have dinner with the President." Which made me laugh out loud, because I'd probably end up being shot dead. Something tells me that my overwhelming urge to bitch-slap President Bush so hard that his lips are smacked off his face would not be looked kindly upon by the Secret Service. I vehemently disagree with the man on so many levels that I simply can't imagine being at some kind of dinner function with him (no matter how much of an honor something like that is supposed to be).

DSL: I am a long-time supporter of EarthLink Internet Services. For years I've been a happy subscriber because EarthLink is a big supporter of Apple Computer, and is always up-to-date on the latest Macintosh OS foibles. Then last year they lowered their monthly price from $49.99 to $39.99... for everybody except me, and I was (needlessly to say) very upset. I called three times to have them fix this error so I could save $120 annually on my internet bill. Each time they promised to do so if I would renew my contract for a year, which I was happy to do. But every time they didn't process the adjustment, and I ended up continuing to pay $49.99. Finally, Verizon offered me a $29.99 price I couldn't refuse (that's $240 a year in savings!) and I called this morning to dump EarthLink. When I explained the situation, the lady tried to convince me to stay and said she would honor the $39.99 price I was promised. I told her I'd agree if she's give me a credit for the $120 I've lost from their screw-ups, but apparently they didn't want my business that bad. Oh well. Hopefully I won't be without DSL at home for more than a day or two.

State: Ever since driving through Alabama, I can't help but think they got shafted. I'm sure there's a very good reason for it, but why is it that Florida stole most of Alabama's coastline? Greedy bastards. I mean, they've already got ocean on three sides (not to mention Disney-World)... what do they want with Alabama's only real shot at beach-front property? Surely Alabama could benefit from the tax revenues that come out of Pensacola and the entire Fort Walton Beach/Destin resort area? Kind of sad really. When I complete my world domination, I'll have to fix that...

New Alabama

Toob: What in the heck is up with Veronica Mars?!? As the show played out last night it was just one shocking revelation after another... The Russian Mafia? Logan has a sister played by Alyson "Willow" Hannigan? Veronica finds her mother? Duncan and Meg? Veronica and Deputy Leo? And the most shocking possibility: VERONICA AND LOGAN?!? And now it looks like it's on hiatus for several weeks, which is a huge bummer. Such an amazing show. And speaking of amazing... Betty White is killer on Boston Legal lately. They keep giving her a little more to do, and the latest "born again" angle to her maliciously wicked Catherine Piper character is icing on the cake.

AppleTiVo: The rumor mill is running overtime that Apple is wanting to acquire TiVo, with TiVo's stock price jumping 17% as a result. That would rule the earth, because finally TiVo would have the proper financing, technology, and drive to innovate itself out of the horrible mess they've gotten themselves into. My only hope is that if something like this were to ever actually happen, Apple would 1) release TiVo files as protected QuickTime format rather than the stupid proprietary format their using now, and 2) give us an "iPod Video" to play them on. Given their success with audio in the iTunes/iPod arena, it seems unthinkable that Apple wouldn't want to get in on video too. Absorbing TiVo would be a good start, and give us something cool as an alternative to "Windows Media Center" crap. Next would be an iVideo store where we could buy movies and TV shows. I am giddy in anticipation. Yes, giddy as a schoolgirl.

iPod: Speaking of iPod... Apple updated it's lineup today. iPod Minis have been given brighter colors, more memory, longer battery life, and a cheaper price. iPod Photo was reconfigured in two much less expensive models. The original iPod looks to be on the way out, since there is only one model available now... I can only guess this means all iPods will eventually have color screens and "photo" capabilities.

iPod 2005

The exciting bit is that Apple is also releasing an iPod Photo "Camera Connection Cable" in March which will allow you to transfer photos from your digital camera directly to the iPod. That's so compelling that I may actually have to think about buying a new iPod next month... not for music (for which I am much happier using my iPod Shuffle) but for the storage and photo backup features while traveling.

Switch: Speaking of Apple... on the way home from Seattle yesterday, I stopped at the SouthCenter Mall to see the new "Apple Mini Store" that they dropped in. It's really sweet and, like every other Apple store, joyfully packed with potential Windows switchers. While I was waiting in line to ask about AppleCare repairs on my PowerBook, I saw two Mac Minis, a PowerBook, and a few iPods sold in just thirty minutes. They could have sold at least a half-dozen iPod Shuffles in that time as well if they had any in stock (the phone was ringing off the hook with people wanting them). Every time Apple opens a new store, it's like printing money. Because once people get a taste at just how amazing a Mac is compared to the Windows shit they've been using... they're going to buy. The guy who bought the PowerBook was a musician who stopped by to "check out the Mac" and ended up making a purchase after playing around with Garage Band for just fifteen minutes. He just kept saying "this is so cool" and "I can't believe it" over and over and over again. I thought he was going to pass out when he asked "how much extra does it cost for the Garage Band software?" and was told it was included free with the computer. "It's really FREE? How can they do that?!?" Well, it got you to buy one of their computers, so that's how. I just hope he didn't get into an accident rushing home to start playing with his new Mac.

Yargh. Whatever am I going to do without internet tonight? Just my luck that this is when some Trackback spammer is going to slam me... it always happens when there's nothing I can do about it.

   

Spammed

Posted on Thursday, February 24th, 2005

Dave!WTF? Do TrackBack spammers actually read my blog before spamming me? Just yesterday I was musing as to how TrackBack spammers always seem to slam me when there is nothing I can do about it... I'm on a plane... without internet... whatever. It's as if they wait for the most opportune moment and then strike. At first I thought it was a coincidence, but after what happened last night, now I'm not so sure. Within two hours of my last entry, I started getting TrackBack spams on a regular schedule. By the time I got to work early this morning so I could check my email, there were around 120 waiting for me to delete and blacklist...

Trackback Spam

The most disturbing thing about this is that all of these disgusting TrackBacks were actually listed on my blog for a period of time. The "no-follow" link tag is obviously NOT WORKING, because spammers are more determined than ever. Movable Type needs to add forced-moderation of all TrackBacks IMMEDIATELY. It won't stop spammers from attacking me, but at least I have the piece of mind of knowing that they won't show up on my blog. There is a plug-in available that's supposed to do this, but I couldn't get it to work properly... the solution needs to be integrated into the system, and Movable Type is who should be doing it. So what are they waiting for?!?

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CSI: Tarantino

Posted on Thursday, February 24th, 2005

Dave!QUENTIN TARANTINO HAS JUST BEEN CONFIRMED TO BE DIRECTING CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION'S SEASON FINALE EPISODE!! And, as if that weren't enough, he came up with the story idea as well! I have been longing for Quentin to return to Alias, but I think this is actually more exciting. Quentin rules the earth for filmmaking, and is apparently a big CSI fan, so there couldn't possibly be better news for an already excellent show. You can read all about it at the Hollywood Reporter. I wonder which character is going to be in "grave danger?"

And, while we're on the subject of CSI... has anybody seen the cover to the latest TV Guide? It has Warrick, Nick, and Catherine on the cover, with Catherine looking like a hooker! Then you open to the interior, and there she is looking even more like a hooker! I guess that's one way to improve your "horny males" demographic!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Last night you were unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me... do it again!"
Yesterday's Answer: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.
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FridayQ: Collectable

Posted on Friday, February 25th, 2005

Dave!Are you a collector? If so, what are some of the things you collect? I used to be a huge comic book collector, and still buy about a dozen books each month. Other than that, I collect DVDs, Hard Rock Cafe pins and HRC T-Shirts. I also have quite a collection of postcards, guidebooks, and other crap I've picked up from my travels.

If you could collect anything... no matter how rare or expensive, what would it be? Motorcycles... whether they be rare, not-rare, expensive, cheap, foreign, domestic... it doesn't matter. Any kind of motorcycle at all. If I had Bill Gates money, I'd also collect original works of art by Monet and Diego Rivera, plus glassworks by Dale Chihuly.

Looking around you, what is some ordinary, everyday object you possess that would make an interesting collectable 100 years from now? I'd think my Macintosh G4 Cube would be a pretty cool collectable for some future Mac fanatic.

FQ RECOMMENDED: Are there any public collections you enjoy (museums, galleries, etc.) that we should know about? The Smithsonian is a collection from "America's Attic" that's pretty cool. Though I love museums, and have too many favorites to list, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is probably the most impressive, simply because the sheer volume of art in their collection.

Collect yourself at the FridayQ.

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Oddity

Posted on Friday, February 25th, 2005

Dave!I don't know why I am such a magnet for life's little oddities, but the strange stuff seems to cling to me like velcro. Not a day goes by that I don't find myself saying "well that's a bit odd." And today has been stranger than most.

Since Verizon still hasn't got my DSL working, I've been leaving for work early each morning to check my email and see how many TrackBack spams I've got piled up. That in itself is not odd, but the fact that the killer geese were back and waiting for me as I was leaving was. I still have no idea what I have done to get these birds so pissed off... but there they were running around and honking all over the place while I was trying to get to my car. As I was scraping the frost off my windshield, one particularly sinister goose decided to run over and honk at me personally. I finally screamed at it to "shut up!" after which it just stared at me for a bit, then turned tail and wadled away to discuss the matter with his evil geese brethren (or so I would imagine). I'm certain that tomorrow the geese will have devised some kind of revenge, so if you don't hear from me again, I was eaten by angry birds.

Once at my office, I eliminated the twenty-or-so TrackBack spams and then moved on to my "real" email. By far the most intriguing of which was a letter from somebody who stumbled across my Flickr photo album and was wanting to know if I was single and looking to "hook up." At least, it was intriguing until I noticed that the email was from a bloke named "Brendan." Not being quite that desperate for companionship (at least not yet), I had to write and politely decline. The odd bit here was not that I got the email (who am I kidding, I'm about as masculine as Michael Jackson on a good day), but that I was inexplicably flattered to have received it. I suppose I'll have to analyze that when I have some spare time available.

Then, as if a sign from a higher power that I shouldn't have dismissed that email so quickly, I received an unexpected call from my ex-ex-ex-girlfriend. And here's where I struggle to find the words that can properly sum up my feelings toward this woman because "scorching bitch from hell" just doesn't seem to cover it. Perhaps I should consult Mr. Jerz or something, because even more descriptive profanity such as "sack-licking whore" utterly fails to adequately describe my loathing. Resisting the urge to just scream "f#@% YOU BITCH!!" into the phone and hang-up, I grit my teeth and ask what in the heck she could possibly want. Turns out her mother wants my address and she was wondering if I had changed it. And here's the odd bit... I HAVE NEVER EVEN MET HER MOTHER!! About a million thoughts go running through my head, all of them profoundly bad. The only conclusion I can come to is that this is some kind of clumsy attempt to get back together, so I end up screaming "f#@% YOU BITCH!" after all and slamming down the receiver. Now I'm wondering if her mom just saw my picture or something and wanted to send me cookies. Crap! I like cookies!

Wishing I had some calm-inducing drugs, I instead take out my passport so I can get a current photocopy. Every time I return from a foreign trip I update the copies in my safety deposit box so that there's a proper record if I should lose my international identity. So there I am flipping through the pages, looking for an EU stamp from when I went to Germany last month... only to find out there isn't one. The immigration guys in Amsterdam didn't stamp it! Then I notice I didn't get one for my previous trip to the EU either. "Well that's odd" I say. I didn't think the USA had such an understanding relationship with our European forbearers, but there you have it. I guess it does eliminate those embarrassing self-stamping-related accidents at passport control, but now I'll never be able to fill up all the pages in my passport as I had hoped.

And then my mail comes. Included within is a sample packet of laundry detergent, which is odd because I so rarely wash clothes at work. As if that weren't enough, I also get some kind of advertisement which is written in what I think is Portuguese, with no English translation. I'm tempted to run it through Alta Vista's Babelfish translator, but I just don't care enough. Perhaps if there was a screaming monkey on it or something.

So here I sit on my lunch hour attempting figure out how I can wedge in a trip to Stockholm in April so I can attend the "Rocky Stocky" Hard Rock Anniversary Event, all the while wondering what could possibly come up this afternoon to top my morning. I'm sure the aliens will be landing any minute now.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Miss Randall, I'm afraid you underestimate me. We shall proceed with the pawprinting."
Yesterday's Answer: The Addams Family (1991) with Anjelica Houston, Christopher Llyod, and Raul Julia.
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Sideways

Posted on Saturday, February 26th, 2005

Dave!The movie Sideways is racking up all kinds of critical acclaim, and sweeping the art-house awards circuit. Something this special I just had to make time to see.

And... I just don't get it.

It's not that it is a bad film, it's just that I am mystified at how so many people are falling head over heels in love with it. Aside from a few clever bits of writing, some nice character work from Paul Giamatti, and an excellent performance by the ever-brilliant Sandra Oh... well, there was just so much nothing in the film. Mind-numbing stretches of nothing.

Dave Sideways

It's as if the people working on the film got to certain spots where they didn't know what to do, and so they simply said "well, let's just drag things out and maybe people will think we're being artistic." But, for me, it just didn't work. And I'm not saying that every frame of a film has to be wall-to-wall action either. I mean, my favorite film of all time is Field of Dreams, which has plenty of quiet moments... but they mean something. Sideways, on the other hand, is a character piece with very little character and not much else. I've seen episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer that had more of an impact on me.

And that brings me to the Oscars tomorrow night... I saw nothing in Sideways which convinces me it is Best Picture material. Thomas Hayden Church had zero depth to his character, and was so paint-by-numbers predictable that I can't imagine him being in the same league as somebody like Morgan Freeman for Best Supporting Actor. Finally, Virginia Madsen's character had so little screen time and complete lack of emotional detail that I can't even fathom why she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the first place. I guess being a "critical darling" gets you a lot of mileage.

And through it all I think back to Kill Bill 2 which had everything going for it, yet it gets snubbed from a nomination to make room for something like this?? Travesty!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We accidentally replaced your heart with a baked potato. You have about three seconds to live."
Yesterday's Answer: That Darn Cat! (1965) with Dean Jones, Hayley Mills, and Roddy McDowall.
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pack

Posted on Sunday, February 27th, 2005

Dave!It's a perfectly lovely afternoon for breaking out my motorcycle. Which, of course, means that I must be flying out today. Granted I'm only gone until Wednesday but, given my luck, there will be snowstorms breaking the minute I'm back home (with a foot of snow on the ground). It's not that I'm pessimistic, it's just that I've been set up for disappointment far too often when it comes to the weather.

I suppose I should pack my suitcase. And make my rental car reservations. And load a new playlist onto my iPod Shuffle. And eat some lunch. Or maybe I should just forget it all and go back to bed.

Bah. I hope I have enough clean underwear for the trip.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We have pictures of you so-called mooners... and just because the pictures aren't of your faces doesn't mean we can't identify you."
Yesterday's Answer: South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut (1999) with Cartman, Kyle, Stan, and Kenny.
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Off

Posted on Monday, February 28th, 2005

Dave!Things that are pissing me off right this minute...

Delayed: Naturally, my layover in Seattle for the flight to San Francisco was delayed. On-time departures are becoming exceeding rare now-a-days, and it has me seriously reconsidering air travel. To drive to San Francisco takes 12 hours. To fly here today (including all the time for transfers, security, and all the rest) took 10 hours. And it's not as if I am any less exhausted from flying than I would have been driving... they suck equally considering out of all that time, the flight from Wenatchee to Seattle is 40 minutes, and the flight from Seattle to San Francisco is 1-1/2 hours. And it doesn't help that Alaska Airline's connection schedule out of Wenatchee is pretty terrible in the first place.

Labels: The first blog entry I read this morning is from Patrick, which refers to a CNN article about how music labels are wanting to increase the cost of digital downloads so that they can make more money. What a bunch of monkey-spanking asshats! AT 99¢, DIGITAL DOWNLOADS ARE ALREADY TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE!! For example... to buy a CD of John Mayer's Heavier Things from Amazon costs $9.99 which is fine if you want a disposable piece of plastic that will clutter up our landfills once you've ripped it. To buy Heavier Things from iTunes Music Store costs $9.90... which seems pricey given that there was NO CD PRODUCED!! Digital music should be CHEAPER than CDs, and now dumbass music companies want to charge MORE?!? I can tell you right now that the minute it costs more to purchase digitally than it does to purchase a CD, I am STEALING EVERY f#@%ING SONG I WANT... WITH NO GUILT WHAT-SO-EVER!! If music labels think that punishing people who want to buy music legally is the way to increase profits, let's see how they feel when everybody is finally tired of their bullshit corporate greed and NOBODY buys music legally. Perhaps then musical artists will figure out a way to release their music WITHOUT dumbass record labels and we'll be rid of the label-system once and for all.

Verizon: Just found out that Verizon accidentally cancelled my DSL installation and has rescheduled it AGAIN... this time for MARCH 9th!! Good thing I signed up for one-month of dial-up service, because they've got their heads so far up their asses in coordinating between what is happening between the sales/service/disconnect/connect departments that I may NEVER get a hook-up.

Access: It used to be that I got pissed off when a hotel didn't have high-speed internet access available. Now that everybody seems to be getting it, I only seem to get pissed when they want to charge for using it. I am currently staying in the beautiful Westin Millbrae at San Francisco International Airport. It's home of the magnificent "Heavenly Bed" which makes me love Westin hotels so much, and gives the chain an edge when I have to decide where I am staying. Except they charge $11.95 a day for internet access, which sucks ass. I am of the feeling that internet is like running water and electricity... it is a necessary part of a hotel stay, and should be included with the room. From now on, I don't give a shit if my "Heavenly Bed" comes complete with a happy-ending full-body massage, so long as Westin charges for internet access, I'll be staying someplace else.

Hah: Just kidding. If Westin really did offer happy-ending full-body massages for free, not only would I not care that you had to pay for internet, I'd probably move in and never leave.

The one bit of good news is that BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has finally made it all the way to the airport! So now it's just a $5 ticket to get into the city, which is a pleasant change from the $15 it costs for an airporter bus, $35 for a taxi ride, or $40 for a car rental. Too bad it's forecast to be raining all day today.

Categories: DaveLife 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Golden

Posted on Monday, February 28th, 2005

Dave!When you are a vegetarian in San Francisco, there is really only one thing you need in order to decide where to eat, and that would be Dave's SF Veggie Restaurant Page. This amazing resource gives you the low-down for many of the Bay Area's finest vegetarian establishments, and is updated frequently. Among the most highly recommended on Dave's list is a Chinese restaurant called "Golden Era Vegetarian Cuisine," which has amazing food that's so delicious you will never miss the meat...

Golden Era

About the only thing that could possibly be a better resource than Dave's SF Veggie Restaurant Page for hunting down veggie cuisine in the city is Dave himself...

Dave

After a truly amazing meal of Pot Stickers, Spicy "Chicken" (imitation), and Plum Lemonade, we headed off to see The Aviator, which is a terrific film. And while I haven't seen the Clint Eastwood boxing-snuff flick Million Dollar Baby, I find it difficult to believe that it could be superior to the Scorsese epic about Howard Hughes. It had just the right balance of biography and action to be constantly entertaining though, as usual, Scorsese needs a stronger editor to pare down this 3-hour film by at least a half-hour (particularly the decline of Hughes' mental state, which went on for far too long). I suppose the most surprising thing about the film was the cast, with Leonardo DiCaprio turning in a shockingly good performance that redeems his lame Titanic work. Even more amazing was Cate Blanchett's eerie rendition of Katherin Hepburn... she OWNED that role, and earned the Oscar she got (and then some). I still maintain that Sideways, while somewhat entertaining, is in nowhere near the league of The Aviator, which is truly an Oscar-worthy nomination.

Oh, and before I forget, I just want to mention something that happened while I was at Fisherman's Wharf, on my way to meet Dave for lunch. Here, take a look at this...

Fiver

See that five-dollar bill? Well that's all you need in lieu of an apology now-a-days.

While standing at the street by Pier 39 trying to figure out what bus I wanted to take, some ass-clown in an expensive suit comes out of nowhere, running for a taxi... AND KNOCKS ME COMPLETELY ON MY ASS IN THE PROCESS! He has his wallet out so, as he opens the taxi door, HE THROWS FIVE DOLLARS AT MY HEAD!! He doesn't say he's sorry. He doesn't ask if I am okay. He doesn't bother to help me up. He just throws a fiver at my head and gets in the damn taxi.

What the f#@%?!?

I don't know what makes me more disappointed... 1) That this inconsiderate, monkey-spanking ass-wipe thinks that throwing money at things is an acceptable way of dealing with a problem, or 2) That he thought I was only worth a measly $5. So now I've got a jacked-up leg that feels as though my hip has been ripped out of the socket... with which I have to make a 45-minute drive to the East Bay tomorrow morning. What is WRONG with people now-a-days? When did "sorry" turn into a $5 bill?

Categories: Movies 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

SF

Posted on Monday, February 28th, 2005

Dave!Between family, friends, and work... I have been to San Francisco many, many times. And because of that, I'm about all "touristed out" on all the sights and attractions here. This is actually a good thing, because it allows me to concentrate on what's really important: 1) Visiting the San Francisco Museum of Art so that I can see Diego Rivera's The Flower Carrier, which is one of my most favorite paintings of all time.... and 2) Going to Chinatown so I can get some freshly-made fortune cookies that are so good, they come very close to proving there is a higher power at work in the universe...

Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies

The "Golden Gate Fortune Cookies Factory" is tiny. Barely a closet off of Ross Alley, actually. There's room for only two automated cookie machines, which are run all day long, churning out hundreds (thousands?) of cookies. In the ten years I've been going there, I see the same two ladies every time. As if the fresh cookies are not enough, if you purchase a couple of bags worth (at $3 each), they'll toss some of the ruined (unfolded) cookies in your bag... STILL WARM! There is very little that can compare to a deliciously crispy fortune cookie when it's hot off the griddle.

The forecast said it was going to rain all day today, but the weather was absolutely brilliant. Beautiful blue skies and crisp air all around. I took advantage of the day to visit the new Apple Store, then head down to the wharf so I could see if there were any interesting new pins at the Hard Rock Cafe there...

Apple

TransAmerica

Wharf Crab

Yeah, that crab-thing at Pier 39 really freaks me out too. Anyway, it was about as perfect a day as you can get in the City By The Bay, which is very sweet indeed!

   

Early

Posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2005

Dave!In a wonderful stroke of luck, I managed to catch an earlier flight and arrive home a full three hours ahead of schedule. A pity that there's no new episode of Veronica Mars running tonight (Save Veronica!), but at least we have a return appearance of Heather Graham on Scrubs.

In more disturbing news, along with the twenty new pornographic TrackBacks I had to de-spam, I also got a scary piece of email which accused me of "stealing" the idea for a graphic which I drew up for my "review" of the movie Sideways. Since the return address was bogus, I'll go ahead and make my reply public here:

I hate to tell you this dumbass, but the only thing I did was parody the official movie poster...

Dave Sideways

Sideways

I don't even know who you are or what picture you are talking about. Sooo... perhaps instead of threatening to "expose" me, you should attack Fox/Searchlight Pictures for coming up with the idea in the first place.

Stupid people suck ass.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Man that ball got outta here in a hurry! I mean, anything travels that far oughta have a damn stewardess on it, don't you think?"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Grease (1978) with John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.
Categories: Blogging 2005, Movies 2003Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Placement

Posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005

Dave!Not two minutes after I've sat down at my desk, I am told I have a phone call from "Rosetta." I don't know anyone named Rosetta, but heaven only knows that's something that's been missing in my life, so I accept the call. It went something like this...

Rosetta: I am calling because I visited your web site and really enjoyed it, but I am seeing that you don't have very good placement on search engines like AOL, MSN, and Google... am I right about that?

Me: WHAT?!? What are you talking about? What web site?

Rosetta: Oh let me see here... I've got the name right here...

Me: So you like my web site but you don't know the name of it?!?

Rosetta: It's DaveWeb.com... yes, DaveWeb.com!

Me: Well, there's nothing going on at DaveWeb.com... I'm not putting anything there right now. What did you like so much about a site that has nothing on it?

Rosetta: Oh, if there's nothing there, then that's probably why it's not showing up on search engines then.

Me: Tell me, don't you find it embarrassing that you've told me you like my site when you've never even seen it? Don't you feel incredibly stupid about being such a bad liar?

Rosetta: You have a nice day. =click=

When it comes to telemarketing calls, this is about as moronic as it gets. First of all, even though DaveWeb is not being updated right now, it's the #1 hit on Google, MSN and AOL when you actually type in "DaveWeb" so I can only guess that in addition to not bothering to even look at my site, they didn't bother to see how it's actually ranked in search engines either. Does this type of scam ever work for anybody?

Oh, and this just in... VERIZON DSL SUCKS ASS!!

After Verizon canceled and then reinstating my DSL order twice, I finally got everything straightened out after having spent nearly two hours on the phone. Third time's a charm, right? Uhhh... no. I am now getting emails telling my that my DSL install is scheduled for March 8th... but the name, address, and phone number referenced in the email are not mine.

So, if your name is "Angela" and you live in "Stafford, Virginia" - then, congratulations, your DSL installation is underway!

Naturally, the email says that it "was sent from a notification-only e-mail address that cannot accept incoming e-mail messages" so my only choice is to call the idiots.

After yet another hour on the phone this morning trying to get everything straightened out AGAIN, I am still not sure if or when I am ever going to get a DSL line installed. Which begs the question: does Verizon ever use their own customer service line to see how absurd it is? Nobody has the capability to do anything. All they do is take your name, then pass you on to another department. This morning I've been through Tech Support, Billing, Sales, Equipment, and was then transferred back to Tech Support where I started in the first place. Nobody knows anything.

How does Verizon make any money when they keep their departments tied up on the phones all day not doing anything but passing people around? Why don't they have a SINGLE department you can call with people there who can actually DO SOMETHING when there is a problem? The ridiculous system they have now does nothing but waste everybody's time and money. If I were a Verizon stockholder, I'd be absolutely furious to know that my investment was being pissed away on paying employees for stupid shit like this.

Verizon's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer is Ivan G. Seidenberg. And Ivan, may I call you Ivan? You desperately need to reorganize your support system for DSL customers. You might want to start out by FIRING the INCOMPETENT DUMBASSES of everybody responsible for the "pass-the-buck" policy that's currently in place. Then tell whoever you hire to replace them that the very meaning of "Customer Service" is to SERVE THE CUSTOMER!! You are not SERVING THE CUSTOMER when you waste hours of their time and provide them no answers and no way to solve their problems. The only thing I was served today was my own ass.

I'm beginning to wonder if saving $20 a month was worth my time in Verizon purgatory?

Categories: Internets 2005Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Deleted

Posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005

Dave!Ever run across something you'd just love to blog about, but ultimately decided against it once you had a minute to think about it? That seems to be happening to me a lot lately. I just spent twenty minutes writing up and entry, drawing a cartoon, and then... while proof-reading it... decided to delete it instead of posting it.

I don't think that it was too personal or anything like that, it just "felt" wrong.

With that in mind, I can't help but wonder how often something like this happens with other bloggers. Maybe it's just timing? If I were to go back through every blog entry I've ever made, how many of them would I be compelled to delete? Heh... probably ALL of them.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm sorry I had a fight in the middle of your Black Panther party."
Yesterday's Answer: Bull Durham (1988) with Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Gromit

Posted on Thursday, March 3rd, 2005

Dave!I love animation. Well, let me rephrase that... I love good animation. There's something "pure" about a world that is wholly created and realized. Many animators understand this god-like power and use it to full advantage. But few animators are as brilliant at it as Nick Park and the geniuses at his Aardman Studios. Their most famous characters, Wallace & Gromit, are easily one of the best animated creations ever made. Any adventure of the cheese-loving gadget inventor Wallace and his genius dog Gromit is guaranteed big fun.

I love Gromit more than Mickey Mouse. More than Tigger. More than Marvin the Martian. More than any other animated character. Though he never speaks, he is more expressive than most human actors...

Gromit

But there is one character even better than Gromit. One character destined to forever rule over animation with an iron fist. One character I obsess over: Feathers McGraw, the evil penguin criminal mastermind who disguises himself as a chicken to foil the law...

Feathers McGraw

Not only that, but he carries a gun! How can you not love an evil penguin that packs heat?

Thepenguin

The first Aardman major motion picture was the excellent Chicken Run and now, after years of waiting, a Wallace and Gromit feature arrives this October... Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Wererabbit! You can catch the teaser trailer from The Sun by clicking here. You can also watch a "making of" featurette by clicking here.

Never seen Wallace & Gromit? Well, if you are a Netflix user, there's a DVD of their first three adventures, and you can add it to your Rental Que. Otherwise, I think it's out of print and you'll have to try eBay or something (hopefully it will be re-issued to coincide with the movie release).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Now that Billy tried to mutilate her, do you think Sidney would go out with me?"
Yesterday's Answer: Forrest Gump (1994) with Tom Hanks and Robin Wright.
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Trust

Posted on Friday, March 4th, 2005

Dave!Who is an actor or director you trust to always make a good film? What is it about their previous works that make you trust them? I've always been a huge fan of Luc Besson, and will watch anything he creates. As for why I trust him, his track record is just stunning. From La Femme Nikita to Leon to The Big Blue to The Fifth Element to The Messenger, his films are a visual feast and smartly written. Even when he doesn't direct, his stories are fantastic (The Transporter comes to mind).

Where is a place you trust to always make a good food? What is it about their previous culinary creations that make you trust them? There are so many places I enjoy eating, that it's tough to pick only one. I think the place that I eat at more often than most is the "Johnny Rockets" chain of burger restaurants. The reason I trust them is because I have never had a bad meal there, never had bad service, never had a bad experience.

What's a company you trust to always make a good product? What is it about their previous stuff that make you trust them? The most obvious choice is Apple, because I worship just about every brilliant thing they've ever released... particularly in these later years. But I am also very loyal to Sony, because the cameras, electronics, and such that I've purchased from them have all been excellent in terms of both function and quality (unlike Panasonic, where I have NEVER had a good experience with a single item I've purchased).

FQ YOU: What is something you do so well that people can absolutely trust you with it? I'm a kick-ass driver, so I'm tempted to say that, but I don't WANT people to trust me for my driving... so, how about planning a trip. I do it so often for myself that I've gotten pretty good at it. What's something that people should never trust you with? Selecting a wine. I don't drink it very often, know nothing about it, and usually make a selection based solely on whether the name sounds "cool." Sometimes I get lucky ("Conundrum" was a brilliant wine with a very cool name), but mostly I do not.

You can trust the FridayQ.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It's light. Handle is adjustable for easy carrying... good for righties and lefties. Breaks down into four parts, undetectable by x-ray. Ideal for quick, discreet interventions."
Yesterday's Answer: Scream (1996) with David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, and Neve Campbell.
Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Gay

Posted on Saturday, March 5th, 2005

Dave!It's kind of strange how the blogosphere has been so quiet lately. Many regular posters have been skipping days... even weeks... and, most surprising, I haven't seen any new memes running around. I don't know if the advent of Spring is causing people to be distracted, or if bloggers are just tired of blogging. These things run in cycles I suppose.

Imagine my surprise when I see a new meme has been started over at DOWN WITH PANTS! (just after their one-year anniversary, I might add). Inspired by Jay & Silent Bob's bit on VH1, I give you Three Guys I Might Go Gay For. Since this is not a topic I tend to think about, I've decided to make it easy on myself and stick to movie actors so I don't have to get into sports stars, singers, politicians, and other guys I don't know much about...

Gay for Hugh

Gay for Hugh

Hugh Grant. I will admit that I find nothing attractive about Hugh Grant, but his lips used to be pressed against various Elizabeth Hurley body parts, which is somehow appealing to me. He's not an overly-great actor, but he finds roles that he is well-suited for (I thought he was especially good in Notting Hill) so perhaps I could use that as a reason to go all gay over him. Well, that and his money, of course.

Gay for Dominic

Dominic Monaghan. The least gay of all the gay Hobbits in Lord of the Rings, Dominic Monaghan is HOT! Because of his humor, he is one of the few characters on Lost who can divert my attention from Evangeline Lilly (who he happens to be dating), so I can only guess that I could go all gay over him.

Gay for Scott

Scott Plank. In an attempt to be semi-serious here, if I were to go gay, there is one actor I can think of that I wouldn't mind spending time with... mainly because I have been lucky enough to spend time with him (uhhh... but not like that!): Scott Plank. Unfortunatley, he has passed on, so I'm not sure if he counts. I met Scott during a horrible three month involvement I had with a Hollywood movie project, and can say in all honesty that he was the ONLY person I met during that time who wasn't a self-involved, artificial, arrogant, jerk. When the project ultimately fell apart, I tried my best to put it behind me and forget all about it, but it would be difficult to forget such a fun, humble, kind person like Scott Plank. I was saddened to hear he had died, even more upset that his potential as an actor was never realized while he was alive, and am devastated that my search for photos of him on the internet found practically nothing (the above image was from some kind of stage play he was involved in, because pictures of his television and movie roles don't seem to exist?). Granted he wasn't especially famous, but he was on a number of shows like Air America, Strange Luck, and Melrose Place... surely he should be remembered somewhere? Anyway, a guy could do a lot worse than going all gay over Scott Plank.

And there you have it. In reviewing my picks, I'm not sure what they say about my choice in men. Humor perhaps? That seems to make sense, because once you remove things like "breasts" out of the female equation, that's an appealing factor for me.

   

Broken

Posted on Saturday, March 5th, 2005

Dave!It seems as though everything is broken now-a-days. Everywhere I go, I see broken remnants of people, places, and things. Take today for instance. Some friends invited me to the Get Shorty sequel... Be Cool. Now, going to movies in a small city like Wenatchee is not a regular movie-going experience. The theaters are pretty crappy. The picture is crappy. The sound is really crappy. In the end, I suppose that it's a social thing more than a movie thing.

Anyway, we're watching the opening ten minutes of the film when the crappy picture gets even worse, then goes black. The lamp is broken or burned out or something, and they can't fix it. That means I just drove 30 minutes for no reason at all. And what do I get for my trouble? A free movie pass...

Movie Pass

Sorry for the inconvenience?!? If you were REALLY sorry, you'd give me an extra free pass to make up for my wasted time and gas money!! Like they're doing me a big-ass favor by giving me a free ticket because they don't bother to perform routine bulb replacement on their crappy projectors?!? Puhleez.

So that my trip to Wenatchee is not a total waste, I decide to drop by Taco Bell on the way out of town for some Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes! But, when I arrive, I can't get any because their deep-fat fryer is broken. This is ridiculous to me, because isn't 95% of their menu deep-fried?!? Why even bother to stay open? So that my trip to Taco Bell isn't a total waste, I get a couple of Gorditas with rice substituted for the dead cow. For once I actually bother to look at the receipt and discover something shocking...

Taco Receipt

THEY CHARGE FITTY CENT EXTRA FOR MY RICE SUBSTITUTION!!! What a total load of crap! I'm willing to bet that rice is a heck of a lot cheaper than beef... why charge me for it? Vegetarian-hostile bastards.

But movie projectors and tacos pale in comparison to the broken shambles of this country's separation of church and state laws. Not a day goes by that some new attack isn't made against that which gives citizens the right to practice the religion of their choice (or no religion at all). I am growing ever-fearful that the day will come when only Christians will have religious freedom in this country because politicians get elected, then conveniently forget that they are to represent ALL the people they serve, including non-Christians. This was brought to horrifying clarity to me a few days ago when I received yet another email lambasting me for a comment I made where I talk about the unfair practice of religious politics governing marriage here in the USA. I've been wanting to address the issue (again) for a while now, but Jeff has already beaten me to the punch with a well-thought out entry over at Geekable. We may be "One Nation Under God," but we are many peoples, all of whom deserve equal representation regardless of how we believe, worship, or live our lives.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster and drank pina coladas. At sunset we made love like sea otters. THAT was a pretty good day, why couldn't I get that day over and over and over?"
Yesterday's Answer: The Fifth Element (1997) with Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovitch, and Gary Oldman.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Disorderly

Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2005

Dave!There was a dry spell for a while, but now blog memes are slowly starting to creep back into the blogosphere. This time, it's Kirkitsch over at My So-Called Strife who has discovered the "Personality Disorder Test." This is one of those tests that would have been more interesting to take back in high school when I was all messed up and actually cared about being messed up... instead of now, where I am still messed up, but just don't worry about it. Since I so rarely care about what other people think about me, that any paranoia I should be feeling has long since vanished.

Here we go...

DisorderRating
Paranoid:Low
Schizoid:Low
Schizotypal:High
Antisocial:Low
Borderline:Low
Histrionic:Low
Narcissistic:Moderate
Avoidant:Low
Dependent:Low
Obsessive-Compulsive:Low

Okay, the narcissism I get. While I do care about other people in general, my complete uncaring about how others perceive or react to me goes a long way toward explaining that (and why my other scores are so low). But schizotypal? What's that?

Many believe that schizotypal personality disorder represents mild schizophrenia. The disorder is characterized by odd forms of thinking and perceiving, and individuals with this disorder often seek isolation from others. They sometimes believe to have extra sensory ability or that unrelated events relate to them in some important way. They generally engage in eccentric behavior and have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Their speech is often over elaborate and difficult to follow.

Oh, okay then. I prefer to call this type of behavior "genius," but to each their own. I don't mind being at high risk for genius.

Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

DaveXP

Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2005

Dave!Turns out that Be Cool, while interesting in parts, is pretty much a retread of Get Shorty, but not as clever. Oh well, it was a nice diversion on a Sunday afternoon.

After the movie, I really wanted to take my motorcycle out, but I had some work that badly needed tending to. Unfortunately this would involve trying to fix my crap Windows XP system, because that's the crap OS that the crap software I need is crap required to run on. Since the only way to actually fix a Windows problem is to reformat the drive and reinstall everything, that's what I had to waste my time with. After finally getting everything running again (over an hour later), I got to work...

... only to find out that the program refuses to run under the new install. I played around trying to get it going for a couple of hours, but nothing I did worked out. All I managed to do was break the system AGAIN.

I can see now that there is truly only one solution for "fixing" Windows XP...

Davexp

WTF?!? I mean, seriously. You can call me a Mac whore, Steve Job's bitch, or an arrogant Apple bastard... but my Mac ACTUALLY WORKS when I need to get something done. Windows XP is nothing but a bloated piece of shite that I spend more time working ON than I actually spend time working WITH. Why? Why do people who use Windows actually put up with this crap? Do you know the last time I had to reinstall the MacOS X on my laptop? NEVER!!!! It has been upgraded several times, but there's never been a reason to install the OS since the day MacOS X was released! On top of that, I never turn my PowerBook off... I just put it to sleep. My uptime is MONTHS, not mere days. If it weren't for updates and software installs, I'd probably NEVER have to reboot it.

So I just wasted an entire afternoon trying to get caught up, but instead get further behind AND missed an opportunity to ride. Just when I think Windows couldn't possibly suck more ass than it does, Microsoft proves me wrong.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great."
Yesterday's Answer: Groundhog Day (1993) with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

   

Sin

Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2005

Dave!Gee... entirely too many good things happening today. Most importantly, my motorcycle is OUT of storage and my car is back IN to storage. Life doesn't get much better than that! I've already gone out for an hour, and realize once again just how trapped I feel driving a car now. Many other people must be feeling the same way, because there were a lot of motorcycles out over the weekend. While this does get a bit tiring because of all the "motorcyclist courtesy waves," there can never be too many motorcycles out on the road. The more people riding, the fewer rights that dumbass lawmakers can take away from us.

I keep "flip-flopping" back and forth over which upcoming movie I am most looking forward to seeing this year. After the fiasco that George Lucas had with the first two Star Wars prequels, I can safely remove the third (and final?) off my list... still, it's got Wookies and Darth Vader, so even that has some amount of excitement around it.

No, setting aside the Wallace and Gromit movie, there are really just two that are coveting for my top spot. The first, Frank Miller's Sin City appears to be very faithful to the stunning comic book that inspired it. It looks exactly like Sin City, has Quentin Tarantino as a guest-director for part of it, and features Gilmore Girls' Alexis Bledel looking disturbingly hot. Moviefone has a new trailer up that totally kicks ass, and has me even more excited to see how it's going to play out...

Sin City Trailer 2

The other film, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is based on one of my favorite novels of all time, and has been a long, long time coming to the silver screen. The casting looks note-perfect, and since Douglas Adams himself worked on the script before his untimely death, that can only bode well for the adaptation. I want so badly for the film to blow me away and set box office records so that the remaining books in the series will be put to film. The original trilogy deserves at least that much...

Hitchhiker Trailer 2

Yes, a very promising year for movies I think, even if these two films were all we got.

And, in music news, I have a song stuck in my head from a movie trailer I saw for a romantic comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon called Fever Pitch (definitely not a movie for me). It's an excellent rendition of the Supertramp classic Give a Little Bit which is not sung by Supertramp! A search on the iTunes Music Store reveals it's a cover by the Goo Goo Dolls, which I proceeded to purchase immediately. Very sweet. It's the instant gratification that makes me so happy to be alive in the digital age.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "See, I did join the army, but I joined a different army. I joined the one with the condos and the private rooms."
Yesterday's Answer: A League of Their Own (1992) with Tom Hanks and Geena Davis.
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Who?

Posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

Dave!I am not a big fan of Doctor Who and have never really understood the cult-like following that the tacky British sci-fi show has. But my best friend was a Who fanatic, and a little bit of his fondness for the time-traveling alien kind of rubbed off on me over the years. While I could never seem to muster the appreciation for the series that others had, I did come to enjoy it quite a lot as a nifty television diversion.

So when the BBC finally decided to revive the character after over 15 years, there were a lot of people wondering just what kind of show would be produced. Historically, Doctor Who has always featured brilliant writing married to cheesy, cheap-ass special effects. But now-a-days where special effects are relatively cheap to produce, but good television writing is exceedingly rare, the fear is that the things that made the show so beloved would be abandoned to try and reel in a new generation of sci-fi fans.

In the end, I can't say one way or another which route was taken based on this one episode, but it seems as though they tried their very best to hit somewhere in the middle. The writing is clever yet a bit kitschy (for nostalgia's sake), whereas the special effects are both old-school bad (plastic mannequin zombies?) and new-school enhanced (CGI touches and pyrotechnics are liberally used). It's definitely a Doctor Who show, but kind of stands on its own as well.

My verdict? I kind of liked it. The chills that ran up my spine from hearing the Doctor Who theme music kind of set me in the mood for being open-minded, and the rest was a fairly decent hour of sci-fi television...

Dr. Who 2005

The new Doctor (played by Christopher Eccleston) is sufficiently charming, yet nerdy and superior. His new companion "Rose" (played by Billie Piper) is cute, yet not so hot that she doesn't seem like an "average, everyday person." Together they make a fairly good team and, given the show we're talking about, are perfectly acceptable in their roles. In all honesty, I think I like Eccleston's version of the Doctor better than the previous versions (save Tom Baker, of course).

But most people here in the States will never see the show because it was not picked up by The Sci-Fi Channel. And why did they decide to take a pass? Well, I think it comes down to two things... 1) The show has an incredibly "low-budget" look and feel that will compare badly indeed to Sci-Fi's other offerings like Battlestar Galactica, and Stargate (heck, it even looks bad compared to an episode of Red Dwarf!), and 2) It is very much British in both style and execution, which probably won't play well here. You could also argue that the show just isn't geared to a new viewer and would only appeal to Doctor Who fans, but I don't think that's true. In the end I can't really fault Sci-Fi for their decision, though I think it's a pity something couldn't have been worked out for some kind of late-night marathon or something. Oh well, perhaps BBC America will have a go.

About the only addressable criticism I have was that The Doctor didn't seem prominent enough in the show... we seemed to get more of Rose and her boyfriend than we ever did of Doctor Who himself. Perhaps this was an introductory ploy that will be rectified in future episodes, and so I'll have to see a few more shows before I can cement my opinion. Anyway, if you have a BitTorrent client, a fast internet connection, and are a fan of kitschy British sci-fi, then you might want to give this new version of an old classic a try.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I don't understand. All my life I've been waiting for someone and, when I find her, she's... she's a fish!"
Yesterday's Answer: Private Benjamin (1980) with Goldie Hawn and Eileen Brennan.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Drugs

Posted on Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

Dave!Now that my motorcycle is out, naturally the weather has to go from warm and sunny to cold and overcast. And now it's raining. While that sucks total ass, I must say I'm not surprised. It just seems to be my luck. Interestingly enough, the weather is the least of my problems just now. Something far worse is afoot...

I have Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.

Or so an email I just got is telling me. Fortunately, a drug called STRATTERA promises to fix me right up. In other good news, they also have all the drugs I need to cure my other problems... like erectile dysfunction, genital herpes, and overactive bladder (gotta go gotta go gotta go right now!). Even better, I can get these drugs as imports at a fraction of the cost!

And that begs the question... if you did have something like genital herpes, would you really want to trust the medication for it to some unknown person selling drugs over the internet? Bizarre.

Oh well, once I'm hooked up with my drugs, I'll no longer have to worry about Adult ADD, erectile dysfunction, herpes, or an overactive bladder... I guess that means I can finally concentrate on my 4-hour erection and stop infecting the ladies with herpes and peeing my pants. Life is good!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I don't know what they taught you in France, but rude and interesting are not the same things."
Yesterday's Answer: Splash (1984) with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah.
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Brain

Posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2005

Dave!Well, it would appear that I am going to have to turn comment moderation ON again, despite the fact that the new "MTKeystrokes" plugin is doing an amazing job of discarding comment spam from spam-bots. Last night I received a comment that was obviously trying to sell something. Sure it was hand-typed, and sure it related to my entry, but I have never allowed people to whore their wares here and I don't intend to start now. The only person allowed to be a whore here is me, and I don't like the competition. Get your own blog if you want to sell something.

It kind of makes me wish that I was able to clone my brain and hook it up to my blog so that it could approve and reject comments without me having to bother...

Comment-A-Tron 3000

Of course, I think the massive genius of my clone brain would tire of such a mundane chore 24-7, and would probably go mad and become an evil brain monster. An evil brain monster to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! MOOWAAAHHH HA HA HAAAA!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Ladies and gentlemen, I can envision a day when the brains of brilliant men can be kept alive in the bodies of dumb people..."
Yesterday's Answer: French Kiss (1995) with Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan.

   

FridayQ: Cinema

Posted on Friday, March 11th, 2005

Dave!If you could own any item from any movie, what would you take and why? Well, I'd love to have my very own Gort robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still... how cool would that be? My dream of taking over the world would be a piece of cake with Gort there to kick everybody's asses. Or maybe some of the gadgets from the James Bond movies would be handy? Nah, I think the one thing I would want more than any other would be Mace Windu's purple lightsaber from the Star Wars prequels. That way I could open up a can of Samuel L. Jackson-style Jedi whoop-ass all over the stupid people who bug the crap out of me...

Cinemadave1

If you could become any character from any movie, who would it be and why? Dude! No question, it would be Indiana Jones! He got to run around the world having awesome adventures, finding treasure, and shooting Nazis and stuff! On top of that, if I were Indiana Jones I could literally whip somebody's ass with my bull-whip. That would totally rock...

Cineamadave2

If you could visit any location from any movie, where would it be and why? Probably inside The Matrix so I could fly around, shoot lots of guns, and go all kung-fu on people who cut me off in traffic...

Cinemadave3

FQ MOVIE MASH-UP: Combine some items, characters, and locations from different movies to create an entirely new film! What would you call it and what would it be about? I think I'd like to take the chain saw from Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the Alien from Alien, Jason from Friday The 13th, and put them on the ship Discovery with HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Then everybody could battle it out IN OUTER SPACE!! My master-work would then be ready to kick box-office ass and be called: Friday the 13th, 2001: An Alien Chainsaw Massaccre Odyssey. Brilliant! I'd pay serious bank to see that flick.

Davecinema4

Be the movies at the FridayQ.

   

Numbers

Posted on Friday, March 11th, 2005

Dave!For a Friday, I must say it's been a pretty good day for me...

Sixteen. Verizon finally came through with my DSL order today after sixteen days of orders, cancelled orders, re-orders, and a myriad of other problems that wasted hours of my valuable time to get sorted out. Much to my surprise, the new router/modem they sent me had wireless built-in! That's a pretty cool bonus, and shows that (if nothing else) Verizon is at least paying attention to how the customers are accessing the internet. Even better, it seems as though my connection is slightly faster to boot, and the Verizon wireless has more range than my old Apple Airport Base Station. The best part? All of that is at a $20 savings per month over my previous EarthLink DSL line. This couldn't come at a better time, because just this morning I was thinking I'd rather give up the internet than spend another week with dial-up.

Three. Last night while watching the latest episode of The O.C., they ran the new Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith trailer. Just for fun, they had "Seth Cohen" from the show (the ultimate sci-fi/comic book nerd) introduce the thing with his Star Wars action figures. The trailer itself is pretty kick-ass cool and features mind-blowing special effects, Samuel L. Jackson with his purple lightsaber I covet so much, Wookies(!) and, best of all... GREEN BOOBIES! Of course, I remember getting all excited about Episodes I and II after watching the trailer, and they both sucked so much ass that I nearly shat myself in the theater. Do I dare muster any hope that the final Star Wars installment will be worth a crap? History tells me no... BUT WOOKIES AND GREEN BOOBIES! How can I not be excited?

Ep III Trailer

Of course, the bigger Star Wars news is the increasing rumors that Kevin Smith will be in charge of some kind of Star Wars television show after Episode III wraps production. Since Kevin Smith on his worst day can fart better dialogue out of his ass than Lucas can write on his best day, this is really enticing gossip. It also seems really plausible given that the show could be done fairly cheap given today's digital special effects... I mean, all the computer models and scenes and such are already there, they just need to be reused in new and interesting ways.

Six. TrackBack spammers are pummeling me today. In the past six hours I've received dozens of email notifications for horrendously disgusting TrackBack pings that I am trying to Blacklist as quickly as they arrive so that any further attempts will be rejected. The problem is, they are using a new domain every time, so Blacklist is only killing a portion of what I'm being hit with. Six Apart has STILL failed to patch MT so that I can force moderation of TrackBack pings for manual approval, which is mind-boggling. I'm left with no choice but to turn of TrackBack for my blog, because I refuse to allow "hot doggy sex bestiality pics" to be promoted here. What in the heck is Six Apart waiting for? It's not like I am asking them to take care of my spam... just give me the ability to do it myself through moderation like I already can with comments. Seesh!

Four. Since putting Scott Plank on my "List of Three Guys I'd Go Gay For", I've received four emails wanting to know more about him. One email was from a woman who "became obsessed with him after seeing that sexy photo on your blog." Unfortunately, as I had mentioned, I don't know much about him at all. I met Scott briefly a few times because he was a potential actor for a role in a movie project I was involved in. Unlike most everybody else I met in Hollywood, Scott was a genuinely nice guy who was kind, funny, and humble. I was sent tape of his appearances in Air America and Melrose Place, but anything else I learned about him was from his entry on IMDB. I am told that he once had a web site at ScottPlank.com, but it isn't there anymore, which is kind of a shame. I have no details about Scott's death, only rumors I don't care to elaborate on. If anybody out there runs across this and knows of a place that has any information about Scott, please pass it along, and I'll be happy to share it.

Eight. And speaking of computer animation, I switched to LightWave[8] today after having used Electric Image Animation System for nearly a decade. I originally started with EIAS because that's what the people at Industrial Light and Magic used in Star Wars: Special Edition. It cost thousands of dollars, didn't come with a modeler, and was a bitch to use... but it produced pretty images very quickly. The problem is that EIAS sucked more and more with each new update. Version 5 has a modeler that crashes constantly doing the simplest of things (like beveling the corner of a cube!), and an animator that is so buggy I keep looking for roaches under my keyboard. The final straw came when I got a notice that I can upgrade to EIAS 5.5 for $300 the same day I got a notice that I could purchase a "sidegrade" to LightWave[8] for $500. Despite my having to re-learn a brand new package from scratch, I decided I was not going to pay $300 for another pile of shit from Electric Image just to get bug fixes to problems they never patched (and a load of potential new problems to worry about). As a perk of switching to LightWave, there's about a hundred books and dozens of training videos available... I think EIAS has at most three books (all out of date) and not much else. So any penalty from switching should be fairly short with such a wealth of material to learn from. Here's hoping.
UPDATE: Interestingly enough, NewTek just hired Jay Roth and Mark Granger... two long-time Electric Image employees. I am hopeful that this is a good thing, but my past problems with EIAS do have me slightly worried.

Seventy-Two. It's a lovely 72 degrees outside this afternoon. I am so taking off work early to go for a nice long ride on my motorcycle.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Doesn't it give you kind of a... a shudder... of electricity through you to be in the same room with me?"
Yesterday's Answer: The Man with Two Brains (1995) with Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner.
Categories: Blogging 2005, Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Emergency

Posted on Saturday, March 12th, 2005

Dave!Last night I was called to provide a ride to the Emergency room. This is not the first time. It seems I am a magnet for taking the sick or injured to the ER. And every time I end up amazed at how bizarre it is that people with harsh injuries are piled six deep in a waiting room... a guy with his face busted open and blood everywhere, a lady coughing so hard that I thought for sure she was going to lose a lung, another woman with her leg all swollen and busted, a little girl who can barely breathe... all just sitting there waiting for somebody to tend to them.

When you see such seriously hurt people outside waiting, it makes you wonder just how much worse off the people were who actually got in to see a doctor!

And then the waiting starts.

Once you get there, it's an hour before they take your information. Then you wait. An hour after that they take your vital signs. And then you wait. An hour after that they show you to a room. And then you wait. An hour after that you get tests and x-rays. And then you wait. And finally the doctor comes and fixes you up (or not) and suddenly five hour of you life have passed you by.

But that's not the worst part.

When you drive somebody to the Emergency Room, you then have to wait in a room with nothing but sick people coughing all over you for five hours until it's time to go back. I can only guess that somebody will be driving me to the ER next week with an assortment of contagious ailments. Bleh.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I was hired to kill you, but I'm not going to. It's either because I'm in love with your daughter or I have a newfound respect for life."
Yesterday's Answer: Superman (1978) with Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman.
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Awakenings

Posted on Sunday, March 13th, 2005

Dave!

   

Forever is insomnia a constant sorrow to the afflicted,

        Morpheus I thank thee for mine blissful slumber.

I dwell in thine Kingdom of Dreams with a rare joy,

        til' that inevitable moment my peace is torn asunder.

This time by some drunken moron's call at 2:00am,

        my profanity for his hapless intrusion no wonder.

I beg thee take me into your embrace once more,

        before my urge to kill is overwhelmed by a blunder.

Death awaits the inebriated thanks to Caller ID.

   

   

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Ouch

Posted on Monday, March 14th, 2005

Dave!Okay, something's gone wrong and my back is all jacked up. I've taken about every type of painkiller in my medicine cabinet, and nothing seems to work. Any bending at the waist causes breath-sucking pain. Just sitting down is enough to make me want to pass out.

The worst part is that I don't know how I did it.

When I woke up I was fine. But somewhere between eating my toast for breakfast and driving to work something went terribly, terribly wrong.

I'm pretty sure there are some pins in my travel sewing kit, so I think it's time to attempt acupuncture...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You're a bad Rastafarian! you sold us a bad batch of Hash Brownies!"
Day Before Yesterday's Answer: Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) with John Cusack and Minnie Driver.
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Me!

Posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2005

Dave!I like me. I like me a lot. I'm one of the most clever, charming, intelligent, engaging people I know. If the laws were to change, I'd marry me in a heartbeat. I'm that just that amazing. As you can imagine, criticizing somebody I like as much as me is not an easy thing to do. I mean, what's not to like?

Something I like almost as much as me is Apple computer. Granted, part of the reason I love Apple so much is because the Microsoft alternative sucks ass so badly, but still, I've got a lot of love for my favorite fruit-themed computer company.

But not so much that I can't criticize them from time to time. It's a tough love.

Apple has a service called ".Mac" (A.K.A. "dot Mac") which is a wholly remarkable thing. I can sync my address book, web browser bookmarks, calendar appointments, and such across multiple computers AND access them from any computer on the internet. More than a few times .Mac has saved my ass because I didn't have my PowerBook with me and don't carry a PDA.

Another handy feature of my $99 .Mac service is something they call "iDisk." It's a storage space on the internet that allows me to store documents and other goodies in a remote place so I can access them anywhere I have internet available. It's remarkably handy and easy to use. Unfortunately, it also has a tendency to suck from time to time. Many, many times when saving a file to my iDisk, the process will hang as it is "closing the files" and then take out the MacOS as well. Other apps still run fine, but the OS "Finder" is toasted until you reboot...

Dotmac

A $99 service BY Apple that causes your Apple product to crap out? WTF? They keep saying that they will be improving .Mac services in the next version of the MacOS (code-named "Tiger"), but I've heard that line before with "Panther," and serious problems still persist. So the question ultimately comes down to this: will Apple finally fix their .Mac crap, or will we be continuing to pay an annual $99 fee for something half-assed?

I certainly hope they can fix it. They are expanding .Mac syncing to 3rd-Party apps and other System pieces, which totally rocks. But if it's going to continue causing problems because of fundamental flaws in the way it's married to the OS... what's the point?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Do you know who I am? Have you got any idea how many anonymous henchmen I've killed over the years?"
Yesterday's Answer: Eurotrip (2004) with Scott Mechlowicz and Michelle Trachtenberg.
Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Rage

Posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2005

Dave!Make no mistake about it... I am always about fifteen minutes away from becoming a serial killer. If it weren't for those pesky Buddhist precepts getting in the way, I probably would have starting killing people years ago.

I suppose that I should make a joke right now and tell you I'm kidding, but I'm completely serious. Keep watching the 6:00 News, because one of these days...

The only thing that makes this revelation not quite as horrible as you might think is this: I honestly believe that everybody on this planet is fifteen minutes away from becoming a serial killer. It's just a sad reality of the world we live in today. Those people who cross into the serial killer zone just hit minute sixteen because they couldn't find anything better to do.

So, in the interest of promoting world peace and the harmony of all earth's creatures, here's a few things I do to keep from hitting minute sixteen and killing all the people that bug me...

Blog Your Rage Away. Ranting about your frustrations in a blog entry goes a long ways toward subduing the urge to kill. That's why I'm forever kicking asses and shooting guns here. Well, that's why I am always fantasizing about kicking asses and shooting guns in cartoons here. The truth is that I abhor guns and violence, but drawing funny pictures about it is somehow therapeutic.

Dave Kill

Dave Kill

Ride Your Rage Away. I don't care how many people I desire to kill throughout the day, they all disappear while riding my motorcycle. Of course, many times the people I most want to kill are bad driver's I encounter while riding, but they're forgotten in well under fifteen minutes. A motorcycle is the ultimate deterrent from wanting to kill but, unfortunately, dumbass soccer moms in their SUVs who talk on their mobile phones while beating their kids, putting on their makeup, and eating a burrito may end up killing you.

C.S.I. Your Rage Away. Watch an episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and realize that you will never get away with killing somebody. Then realize that you just don't have the chops to handle a manslaughter charge in a "pound-you-up-the-ass federal penitentiary." That aught to cure you of the urge to kill is a real hurry. I know it does me.

Play Your Rage Away. I love crackpot psychologists who claim that violent video games cause violent behavior. Whether that's true or not, I don't really care. The simple fact is that being able to blow stuff up and shoot people in video games allows me to release energy that might otherwise be used to blow stuff up and shoot people in real life. Nothing quite like blasting "Rage Against the Machine" until your eardrums are bleeding while shooting everything in sight in a game of Max Payne to take the killer out of you.

Dave Kill

Slap Your Rage Away. If you can't kill 'em, bitch-slap them so hard they'll wish you had killed them. Then run away. Run like the wind you pansy-ass bitch-slapper!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Today is a great day for Black people of all races!"
Yesterday's Answer: Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) with Mike Myers and Beyonce Knowles.
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Countdown

Posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2005

Dave!A month and a day away! April 18th is my two-year "blogiversary" and I'm in a mood to celebrate. I'm telling you now because it's going to be something you don't want to miss. Seriously. It's a "mark your calendars now" type of thing.

I wanted to have a big celebration last year, but waited until it was too late and didn't have time to pull everything together. And every day since then I've been thinking about what I was going to do the next time. Planning. Scheming. Begging. Extorting. Pleading. Stealing (well, not really, but doesn't it make you feel special that I was willing to steal for you?). An event one year in the making...

Blogiversary Two!

Will there be big fun? Absolutely!

Will there be prizes? You bet!

Will there be free stuff? Count on it!

Will Dave get naked and dance LIVE on a web-cam? You had better hope not.

Intrigued? Well you should be. I'm CRAZY-INSANE and there's just no telling what is going to happen!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I now do what other people only dream! I make art until someone dies. See? I am the world's first fully-functioning homicidal artist!"
Yesterday's Answer: Undercover Brother (2002) with Eddie Griffin and Dave Chappelle.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Green

Posted on Friday, March 18th, 2005

Dave!Something green you like to eat... I like frozen peas on my salad, green DOTS candies, and love a slice of lime in a cocktail. But nothing beats a nice Granny Smith apple off the tree, which is a kind of sweet-tart taste that's delicious and invigorating.

Something green you like to wear... My Seattle Sonics T-Shirt. It's old and beaten-up, but I bought it at a Sonics game years ago, and can't bear to part with it because it's so comfy. I also have a Green Bay Packers "Favre" jersey which I save for trips to Wisconsin so that I have adequate camouflage to blend in with the natives.

Something green you like to look at... So many things come immediately to mind. Ireland is so green it almost hurts to look at. I find praying mantis bugs fascinating to watch in a creepy kind of way. I love gemstones, and nicely-cut emeralds are mighty pretty to see. And, of course, I never mind looking at a pile of money, the ultimate green. But, in the end, I'd have to say I like looking at green tree frogs most of all. I used to love frogs as a kid, and these funky little guys are still a favorite.

FQ GALLERY: Post a photo you took (or an illustration you made) of something green.... At first I was going to just post a photo from my iPhoto library, but then I decided I wanted to draw a tree frog. Things kind of got out of hand from there...

FQ: Green

But I have some green photos too, like this shot of the Wicklow region of Ireland...

Fqgreenireland

And these avacados artichokes I saw at a market in Barcelona...

Fqgreenavacado

And this cool shot of the field in Munich Stadium, where all the seats are green to match, which I thought was a pretty nifty idea...

Fqgreenmunich

It's easy being green at the FridayQ.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It's people! They're making our food out of people!"
Yesterday's Answer: Batman (1989) with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.
Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

TwoFitty

Posted on Friday, March 18th, 2005

Dave!Well, Neil has gone and done it again... dug up another huge meme that I don't really want to spend time participating in, but feel compelled to nevertheless (and he got it from Richard, so he's equally to blame). This time it's the infamous "Internet Movie DataBase Top 250 Films" (as ranked by IMDB Voters). The idea is that you take the complete list of 250 films and then check-off the ones you've seen. Surprisingly, I've seen all but 77 of them (and only two on the list are unknown to me completely).

It's a terrific idea for a meme and, since I love movies so much, I just can't pass it up (as I have twice before). But TWO-HUNDRED FIFTY?!? Ah well. I've kept the IMDB links, so you can click to learn about the movie if you are so inclined. I've also added my personal rating to those I've seen (Bomb to 5 stars) and, like Neil, have also noted which of the films I own on DVD...

Blogography Movie Rating

For those of you who could care less about my movie habits, I've put the list in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Memes 2006, Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Entertainment

Posted on Saturday, March 19th, 2005

Dave!This has not been the best of weeks for me, but it has been a good week in entertainment news...

Oldboy. A movie I have been waiting to see for years now... a Korean film called "Oldboy" finally has a US distributor! When I was last in Korea I looked for it, but it had left theaters there (having been released in 2003). It's a mystery/revenge thriller that won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and has critics falling all over themselves with praise (in fact, it's #93 on the IMDB 250 meme I did yesterday, and is assured of going higher on the list once more people have seen it). You can read about the movie and see a trailer over at FilmForce. The only down-side is that I will probably end up having to go to Seattle or L.A. to see it, unless it starts making Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon box office.

Oldboy

Veronica. E! Online's annual "Save One Show" television poll is over, and Veronica Mars devastated the competition with 56% of the vote! All while beating out popular favorites like The West Wing (less that 1%) and Arrested Development (9%)...

  1. Veronica Mars (UPN) 56% — Highly recommended! My favorite show on TV now.
  2. Arrested Development (Fox) 9% — Funniest show on TV. A must-see!
  3. American Dreams (NBC) 7% — Looks cheesy. I don't watch it, and don't care.
  4. Charmed (WB) 6% — Sad. Should have been cancelled when Doherty left.
  5. Life as We Know It (ABC) 5.5% — Pale Freaks & Geeks and Popular imitation.
  6. Tru Calling (Fox) 5% — A good show I was sad to see cancelled.
  7. Enterprise (UPN) 3% — Boring and shitty. Wasted opportunity needed better writers.
  8. Point Pleasant (Fox) 2.5% — Pathetic O.C. imitator.
  9. Joan of Arcadia (CBS) 2% — Stuck in a rut. Stopped watching because Joan is a whiner.
  10. North Shore (Fox) 1% — Yet another pathetic O.C. imitator.
  11. Jack & Bobby (WB) 1% — Unlikable Lahti ruins this otherwise good show.
  12. The West Wing (NBC) <1% — Still good, but slowly dying after Sorkin left.
  13. Medical Investigation (NBC) <1% — Horribly, tragically, laughably bad.
  14. Kevin Hill (UPN) <1% — Started great, then ended up being a one-note show.
  15. The Wire (HBO) <1% — Excellent show HBO has already renewed.

Hartman. After being announced, then unannounced, scheduled, then unscheduled, Phil Hartman's final show News Radio is finally coming to DVD! One of my all-time favorite comedians, Hartman headed up an absolutely brilliant cast that included Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall), Stephen Root (Office Space), Andy Dick (Less Than Perfect), Maura Tierny (E.R.), Vicki Lewis (Celebrity Makeover), and Khandi Alexander (CSI: Miami). I stopped watching after Phil died, but every show until then was GOLD and will be a welcome addition to my DVD collection.

Renewal. NBC has already announced renewals for The West Wing, Crossing Jordan, Las Vegas, ER, and Joey. I stopped watching ER ages ago, never got into Crossing Jordan, and thought Joey sucked ass. That leaves me happy for Las Vegas a guilty pleasure which has four of the hottest ladies on television, and The West Wing which took a nose-dive after creator/writer Aaron Sorkin left, but has been rebounding with great new characters (the new National Security Advisor, "Kate Harper," is the best addition since "Ainsley Hays"). It will be interesting to see what happens when the show gets a new president.

Bullshit. Proving that it can't be all good news all the time, The Sci-Fi Channel has debuted what has to be one of the most embarrassingly bad concepts for a movie in recent memory... MANSQUITO! He's half-man, half-mosquito, and all killer...

Mansquito

They cancelled the brilliant Farscape so they could have money to finance this crap? WTF?!?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I don't wanna sound like a queer or nothin, but I think Depeche Mode is a sweet band!"
Yesterday's Answer: Soylent Green (1973) with Charlton Heston and Chuck Connors.

   

Fred

Posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2005

Dave!Alrighty then... just thirty days until my second blogiversary, and things are looking pretty good for the celebration. I haven't totaled everything up, but it's looking like there's going to be over a thousand dollars worth of goodies given away. Yes, you read that right, ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!! No joke. No kidding. Just five days of big fun and fabulous prizes spanning from April 18th to the 22nd. It'll be worth a look so be sure to tune in.

Hmmm... I'd feel pretty good about that, but the weather here has taken a bizarre turn. Saturday morning it was biting cold and actually snowing, but then that turned to rain all day long. Now it's a drizzle again and we're supposed to get scattered showers throughout the day. How am I supposed to ride a motorcycle in this crap?

Oh well. There's something to be said for staying home and watching Angel: The Complete Fifth Season on DVD. I mean, come on! Angel gets turned into a PUPPET in this one!

Angel Puppet

And just look at what happens to Fred!

It's Fred!

Argh, what an amazing show. Just think of what they might have come up with had they been given a well-deserved sixth season. Bastard WB Television executives!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "The kid just won't quit peeing and throwing up. He's like a Cocker Spaniel."
Yesterday's Answer: Orgazmo (1997) with Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Ron Jeremy.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lonely

Posted on Monday, March 21st, 2005

Dave!Well, the day has finally come to send in my PowerBook so that the worn-out latch can be repaired. This is very difficult for me, because she's been a constant companion for several years now. I don't know how I'm going to manage carrying on with my life without her by my side... even for this brief time. = sob! =

Is it too much to ask that everybody out there think happy thoughts for my PowerBook's full recovery, quick turnaround, and safe return?

Here's the letter I sent in with the repair...

DavePowerBook

Dear Apple Service,

I love this PowerBook. It has been around the world with me numerous times and we've been on many adventures together. Newer PowerBook models have come and gone, but my love for the classic Titanium G4 has not diminished.

I have tried my very best to care for my PowerBook by buying her nice padded cases and special cleaning cloths and screen wipes. I've always treated her gently and made sure she was never put in harm's way. Despite my efforts, the latch button has slowly worn out... it started by not latching securely from time to time, but now it won't latch at all, so I am unable to keep my beautiful PowerBook closed.

I am hopeful that you can find some way to repair her, as I would be heartbroken if I were forced to purchase a newer, bigger, clumsier, Aluminum PowerBook (I'm fairly certain that she doesn't want to be tossed in a dumpster either... she's grown quite fond of me as well, I can just tell).

They tell me at the Apple Store that my PowerBook is still under AppleCare protection. Her serial number is XXXXXXXXXXX, and the Administrative login is "XXXX" with the password being "XXXX" -- If you have any questions or require any further information, please don't hesitate to call me.

Many Thanks and Best Regards,
David Simmer II

Movie Quotable of the Day: "If he had held the ball laces OUT like he's supposed to, Ray would never have missed that kick! Dan Marino should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell!"
Yesterday's Answer: Big Daddy (1999) with Adam Sandler and Joey Lauren Adams.

   

Love

Posted on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Dave!One whole day without my PowerBook. It's been tough... really tough. No sitting on the couch working while watching television at night. No laying in bed 'til late catching up with blogs and seeing what's new in the world. No waking up and grabbing my PowerBook first thing to run through all the Trackback spam I've accumulated overnight. Nope. No PowerBook lovin' for me (on the plus-side, it did force me to download all the latest upgrades for my PowerMac G4 Cube!).

Which brings up an excellent point raised in a comment from Karla on my last entry...

Dave...methinks you might want to get a girlfriend?
Seriously, I feel the same way about my laptop. I call her the Silver Bullet. I rarely even travel with her for fear of getting her hurt.
I think they will give her good care and attention. The letter is sweet.

Girlfriend? Hmmm... it's been a while, but I think I am better off with the PowerBook. Time for a comparison chart, methinks...

Girlfriend
PowerBook
Always busy getting ready.Always ready to get busy.
Never shuts up.Has an off-switch.
Needs constant attention and entertaining.Doesn't mind being ignored and does all the entertaining.
Insists you be nice to her bitchy friends.Shows you porn.
Insists you accompany her for stupid activities like shopping.Shows you porn.
Eventually becomes defective and mentally unstable after use... requires replacement.Bug patches can be applied to fix any instabilities, thus ensuring a long and happy relationship.
A risky venture into freaky sexual diseases that can really ruin your day.Can't pass viruses to you and is easily cleaned of any it contracts.
High maintenance... constantly requires expensive gifts.Low maintenance... only requires an occasional upgrade.
Smells nice. Sometimes lets you have sex with her.errr...

PowerBook Love

Okay. I see your point. Any mentally-stable women out there who can iron and are seeking a relationship, please submit a resume and psychological evaluation to me via email as soon as possible.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I could have killed 'em all, I could kill YOU. In town, you're the law... out here, it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe. Let it go."
Yesterday's Answer: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) with Jim Carrey and Courtney Cox.

   

Gangsta!

Posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Dave!This was not starting out to be a very good day. Which is not surprising considering how my evening went yesterday. It all started as I was driving home for work... a nice drive through town, minding my own business. When all of a sudden I notice some white chick in cornrows flipping me off with an obscene gesture while two of her skanky friends watched. Ordinarily I would just think to myself "whatever" and keep driving, but this time was different. I slam on the brakes, open my window and shouted "WAS THAT JUST A RANDOM ACT OF DEFIANCE, OR DID I DO SOMETHING TO PISS YOU OFF?!?" She was genuinely startled for a second, but quickly regained her composure and shouted back "f#@% OFF A$$HOLE, I WASN'T TALKING TO YOU!!" To which I shouted back "ALRIGHTY THEN... CARRY ON YA GANGSTA-BITCH WANNABE!!" This caused her friends to crack-up laughing, which threw her into a rage of obscenities.

I ignored her and drove off, but then got to thinking about how sad it is that some small-town cracker white girl can honestly think that randomly flipping people off and shouting obscenities while done-up in cornrows makes her bad-ass cool. If she were to ever encounter a real gangsta-bitch, her pasty white ass would be served to her on a platter. I'd love to fly her down to East L.A. and drop her off on a random street corner and see how many minutes she could survive. Call me a horrible person, but THAT would be a great idea for a reality television series!

Things just went downhill from there. By the time I was ready for bed, I was so freaked out that I ended up taking a sleeping pill so I could manage a few hours sleep. Naturally, this meant I woke up in a drugged-out haze. At least I was in a drugged-out haze until I stubbed my toe on the bookshelf. Then I banged my head in the shower. Then I jammed my elbow putting on my shirt. Then I couldn't find my security key dongle for LightWave. Then I forgot what I had done with my lucky hat. Eventually I made it out the door, but I was not a happy camper.

After getting to the office and checking my email, I notice a message from a friend who is a fellow graphic designer that said "IM ME RIGHT NOW DAMMIT!!" Thinking that it was some kind of joke, I replied "Yeah, I'm me right now too dammit!!" Within seconds of pressing the "send" button, his reply hits my inbox... "IM = Instant Message you dork. Turn on iChat!!" And so I did. Turns out he ran into a tricky design problem and needed some advice on how to handle it. Fortunately, things like this are easy to solve with a little face-to-face video chat, and we managed to figure everything out in a few minutes.

After expressing his gratitude for my assistance, he went on to say "I hope you get your PowerBook back soon... you're looking a little grumpy today."

Grumpy Dave

Hmmm... I do look a little grumpy today in a serial-killer kind of way. But all that changed the minute I looked up the repair status for my PowerBook...

Unit Shipped!

AppleCare is da bomb! Can you believe it? One day turn-around repairs!! This means I just might get her back tomorrow (which is the best birthday present I could ask for!). Of course, from previous experience, I have learned never to count on Airborne/DHL for on-time delivery... but, at the very least, I should have my laptop back in time for the weekend.

Now I can't seem to wipe the smile off of my face. It's going to be a good day after all.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "C'mon, he's insane! Look, right now he's probably dancing around in his grandma's panties... yeah, rubbing himself in peanut butter."
Yesterday's Answer: Rambo: First Blood (1982) with Sylvester Stallone and Brian Dennehy.

   

Wow

Posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Dave!And by "wow" I really mean "WOW" because I am typing this on my newly repaired PowerBook. It arrived today, which means that AppleCare Service received it, fixed it, then shipped it out all in the same day.

Boy, just when you think it's impossible for Apple to kick any more ass than they already do, they go and prove you wrong. I guess I should really expect things like this from them, but it's difficult to believe that one company can be so freakin' amazing considering how terrible the service is getting to be with other companies now-a-days.

The AppleCare extended warranty contract may be pricey, but it has certainly paid for itself... the latch mechanism that wore out was part of the entire top case assembly, so the painted trim that was starting to peel on the edges has all been replaced as well. She feels like an all-new machine. She even smells fresh and new. About the only negatives are that the power adaptor plug doesn't quite fit as well as it used to, and Apple assessed my battery as "failing" which is bizarre because it's less than two months old (though it's not an "official" Apple battery, but instead a third-party "high-capacity" model, so maybe that's why their diagnostics failed it?).

I'm really happy right now. Apple rules the earth.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Wishes

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Dave!Well gee... nothing quite like waking up to an email in-box full of birthday wishes! Thanks everybody. Though it does make me realize that I don't know when anybody else's birthday is to return the kind favor. With that in mind, I changed the FridayQ at the last minute to a birthday-themed-meme. Now all I need to do is create a special DaveToon birthday card that I can email to everybody on their special day. Hmmmm...

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blog-o-Rama

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Dave!Sniff. I don't really celebrate my birthday anymore, but I'm sitting here burning a candle that smells like birthday cake, so I guess that's something. I haven't kept up with the "candle renaissance" that's going on right now, but it's freaky the dozens of flavors they've got for candles now-a-days. Birthday Cake was strange enough, but Pineapple & Pomegranate? Mojito? Lemongrass?!? The flavors I want are Pizza, Beer & Pretzels, and New Macintosh.

Crushed. Well, the Huskeys couldn't really pull it together, leaving Louisville (at the top of their game) to blow by with a 14-point win. It's kind of a sad day for Washington State, but the Dawgs had a great season, so there's really no reason to whine about it.

Order. One of my all-time favorite music groups, New Order, is releasing a new album Monday! It's called Waiting for the Siren's Call and they have a limited-time free preview where you can listen to every song in its entirety. Very sweet. Since Apple has most of New Order's stuff on the iTunes Music Store, I am hopeful it shows up on "New Music Tuesdays" on the 29th.

Pie! My favorite pie is my grandmother's apple pie, which is unearthly good. Next on the list would have to be Key Lime pie, which I am rarely able to get around here (heck, authentic Key Lime pie made with real Key Limes is hard to find even in Key West!). I've tried making it once before, but it ended up being a difficult, sloppy mess that tasted like ass. Now I have a no-cook solution that tastes pretty darn spiffy and is rediculously easy to make. I'm going to record it here in case I ever lose the recipe card...

Fast & Easy Fake Key Lime Pie.
Dump two 8-oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, a cup of sugar, and the juice from 6-7 limes (with just a bit of the pulp) into the scary Cuisinart machine along with 2 drops of green food coloring and 2 drops of yellow food coloring. Pulse until blended, then run full-out until smooth and green-like. Now add an 8-oz. tub of Cool Whip topping and pulse gently until it's all mixed in... do not over-blend. Slop everything into a pre-made graham cracker crust, then refrigerate a few hours until firm. Eat delicious green pie until you puke. Mmmmm... pie.

Release. March 24th seems to be a popular day to release a new product. MacOS X was released on this day in 2001. Four years later, Sony has chosen this date for the American release of PlayStation Portable. Unlike the Nintendo GameBoy DS which looks like a clunky toy, the PSP is serious. A big, beautiful screen that not-only plays kick-ass games, but audio and video as well. Since Steve Jobs continues to be astoundingly short-sighted about releasing a video iPod, perhaps this is the answer for me? I wonder how much trouble it is to re-encode downloaded TV shows for PSP playback? I want one.

Tru. Fox has dumped the boringly awful Point Pleasant and is replacing it with the second season of Tru Calling, starring the delicious Eliza Dushku! I really enjoyed this show, especially when they introduced the "anti-Tru" (played by Jason Priestly) late in the season. Unfortunately, the second season was short-ordered, but it's better than nothing... and at least now we're finally going to get to see it.

Mars. I've been going insane while Veronica Mars has been on TV hiatus, but the up-side is that I've been slowly working my way through all the previous episodes. I am now seriously starting to wonder if Duncan is responsible for both raping Veronica (his then ex-girlfriend and now potential half-sister!) and killing Lilly (his sister and Veronica's best friend). It's an odd theory, all things considered, but I wonder...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It was something your wife said while we were in bed together. She said we had the same build... from the waist up, I'd imagine."
Yesterday's Answer: Se7en (1995) with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt.
Categories: Food 2005, Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Birthday

Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Dave!When is your birthday? March 24th.

Anything interesting happen on your birthday in history? Bilboard published it's very first pop album chart in 1945. Queen Elizabeth I dies in 1603. The Exxon Valdez runs aground in 1989, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. territory. Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon in 1973. And, most interesting of all, Robert Koch announces the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis in 1882.

Anybody famous share your birthday? Do you have anything in common with them? Hmmm... Colt's quarterback Peyton Manning (we're both tall... though he's really tall at 6'5"!); Buffy's lesbian witch-friend Willow as played by Alyson Hannigan (She was in the movie American Pie and I like to eat pie); Anorexic, tu-tu wearing Twin Peaks actress Laura Flynn Boyle (we both suffered from dyslexia growing up); Annoying and untalented television personality Star Jones (I think she must like to eat a lot of pie); Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger (we're both stylin' dudes); Yuki from the Lady Snowblood films herself, Meiko Kaji (we both totally kick ass!); and master magician Harry Houdini (we're both magical).

FQ FUTURE: On your 100th birthday, what year will it be and what do you think you'll be wanting as a present then? It will be the year 2066 and I want my freakin' flying car!! We've been promised flying cars for decades now... surely we should have them in 2066?!? Actually... I'll probably be needing another shot of nanites (teeny-tiny repair robots) injected into me so I can live through the day, so that should really be first on my list.

You say it's your birthday at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Kitty

Posted on Friday, March 25th, 2005

Dave!DANG YOU TO HECK KITTY SPANGLES!!! I scream at my computer monitor for the hundredth time. GIMME THE RED JACK... GIVE IT TO ME YOU BITCH!! I yell in a solitaire-playing frenzy. In case you haven't guessed, I am not in the best of moods today. It's probably stemming from the fact that I got -zero- sleep last night. You see, I live in a small orchard community. There are orchards within spitting distance of my apartment. Ordinarily this is no big deal (kind of country-charm nice, in fact) but when we have a late frost descend in the valley, every orchardist runs out and turns on these giant fans to keep the moisture from settling on their fruit (thus spoiling it). So all night long I'm listening to dozens of massive propellers going WHHHRR-RRRR-RRRR WUB-WUB-WUB! WHHHRR-RRRR-RRRR WUB-WUB-WUB! It's enough to drive you insane, and it certainly has me.

At day-break they the sun comes out and they can turn the propellers off, but then the devil-geese show up and start running around the parking lot honking like birds possessed and I decide to give it up and go to work (even though it's a holiday today). The reason I am at work on a paid holiday is so I can restore some very old files that were lost when our highly-paid computer consultants decided to move the file server to another building. Unfortunately the backups are on antiquated media like ZIP disks, JAZ cartridges, and Magneto-Optical discs, so I have no way of reading them until I drag a very old Mac up from the basement and hook it up. Despite being a million years old, it works flawlessly. I can't help but get a pang of nostalgia when MacOS 9 boots up on my tiny 640 by 480 monitor. Just for kicks I see if Blogography will render at all in such an old browser. Sure enough, with a little bit of scrolling, it's perfectly functional. It's nice to know that my decision to crop all photos to 420 by 319 to accommodate small screens has paid off...

Screen Size

So here I sit transferring gigabytes of files from an ancient computer while occupying my dead-time playing Kitty Spangles Solitaire on my laptop and cursing. A lot. For a solitaire game, Kitty is pretty dope. What I like most about it is that you get five minutes of free play time for each game (without having to purchase the program) so you can play a kind of "speed-solitaire" that adds another level of pressure. What I don't like is that Kitty and her cute little cartoon pals continue to look adorable even when things don't go your way...

Kitty Spangles

Another down-side to the game is taking crap from your friends when they call...

Reagent: Hey! What's up?
Me: Not much. Just restoring an old backup and playing a game of Kitty Spangles Solitaire.
Reagent: Kitty... Spangles... Solitaire... ?
Me: Yes, KITTY SPANGLES!!!
Reagent: That is so gay.
Me: Uhhh... you are still gay, aren't you?
Reagent: Yes. But Kitty Solitaire sounds gay, even for me.
Me: I'd think you'd be against sexual-orientation slander seeing that you're a big queer and all.
Reagent: You are avoiding the fact that Kitty Spangles Solitaire is gay...

It's so nice to have friends you can absolutely count on to pitch crap at you. I don't care if Kitty Spangles Solitaire is gay... it's so addictive that I'm seriously considering paying the $20 and registering it. If it were $10, I would absolutely register it, but $20 for solitaire seems steep when you only get Klondike. DANG YOU TO HECK KITTY SPANGLES!!!

Around the blogosphere today, I notice (via Kotke) that the brilliant Jeffrey Veen has written an excellent article about the Flash-based inactive-interactivity that seems to be plaguing the internet. He sums up exactly how I've been feeling for years now, and raises some excellent points. Well worth a read.

Speaking of Flash... I also note that famous personalities I loathe are one-by-one going through public scandals. First Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart, now annoying Extra! television host Pat O'Brien is up to his neck in it. He entered rehab a few days ago, and now the entire blogosphere knows why... he's a creepy cocaine-snorting alcoholic who likes leaving sexually-harassing messages on answering machines. That makes him not only annoying, but a freaky perv as well. Is it too much to hope that this means we've seen the last of him on television? If you really must listen to his disgustingly funny drunken messages, I recommend the cool Flash-based "Pat O'Brien Sexual Harassment Scorecard" - which is absolutely NOT safe for work (or anywhere else, really). Next up on my list: Judge Judy. Please let her get busted for crack possession and sex solicitation! Gross, I know... but Judge Judy as a crack whore would make my day (and sure explain a lot).

Well, back to work so I can get caught up and have the weekend off to go play in Seattle...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I tell you that tonight we shall have a wedding... or a hanging. Either way we ought to have a lot of fun, eh?"
Yesterday's Answer: Fletch (1985) with Chevy Chase and Joe Don Baker.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Intoksikayshun

Posted on Saturday, March 26th, 2005

Dave!You just know that you are totally wasted when you can't figure out how to intentionally misspell a word. All I can say is that it is a good thing for you that I have spell-check because I've already made like a hundred mistakes already that had to be fixed. In fact, I just misspelled "fixed" - hah! TWICE!!

It was snowing pretty bad in the mountains today. The roads were slushy and stuff.

This made the drive to Seattle interesting, and I think that somebody is dead. After three accidents, I started taking pictures of all the accidents and #5 was being zipped up in a body bag. That's too bad. I just don't understand why people ignore big signs that say "TRUCKS MUST USE CHAINS" and "TRACTION TIRES ARE REQUIRED!!!" One lady was in her Camero Corvette (totally inappropriate for driving in heavy snows) with not-good tires and crying because she couldn't get unstucked. I felt bad for her, but what could I do? I can't raise her car six inches, and I can't make her tires all magical be snow tires. So I took her picture instead. Maybe I could have give her a kleenex because she was crying.

After another thirteen accidents in the mountains passes (not kidding) I could drive really fast because I knew that all the state patrols were helping accidents (oooh! I just had to type "accidents" four times before I could get it right!). That was kind of fun driving fast.

When I got to Seattle I was late for bowling so I drove to the bowling alley and it was COSMIC BOWLING!! It was all dark and glow in the dark and Britney spears music playing (which is okay if you are totally drunk like me!). I took pictures of my glowing shoes but I can't find my UBS cable. So I drank Jäger Bombers and Corona (with lime of course). We had big fun drinking and pizza and bowling kick-ass! Even drunk I can bowl 120!!

Anyway I will make pictures tomorrow of accidents and my cool glowing bowling shoes! Now it's time for beer and games. Later, Dave2

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Accidental

Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2005

Dave!NOTE TO SELF: Do not attempt blogging while intoxicated. It just isn't going to work out well for anybody involved.

I remember (kind-of) being really proud of myself for being able to compose such a coherent entry while completely bombed last night. Looking back, I can see that this was a rather large misconception. My first instinct was to delete it, but I decided not to for three reasons: 1) Everybody has probably already seen it by now anyway. 2) I worked really hard on it and think it took me about 45 minutes to get all of that typed out. 3) I think it is one of my best entries at Blogography... I should get drunk more often.

Anyway, here's a slightly better account of Saturday, if you care to read it, in an extended entry after today's movie quote.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "But if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists."
Day Before Yesterday's Answer: Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) with Mel Brooks and Cary Elwes.
→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Approved: Sky Captain

Posted on Monday, March 28th, 2005

Dave!I finally got around to watching Sky Captain And the World of Tomorrow on DVD and found it to be a stunning piece of art. Every frame looks more like a gorgeously rendered painting than a movie, and the visual effects are nothing short of jaw-dropping. This may very well be the most beautiful looking film I've ever seen. As if that weren't enough, it's got giant robots attacking New York, ray guns, and loads of other cool stuff! It's as if all the things that those 1930's sci-fi serials thought was going to happen in the future, actually did happen!!

I remember wanting to see this when it was in theaters, but never managed to make it. I am furious with myself that I didn't get to see it on the big screen (where it absolutely belongs). All I can hope is that it one day hits some kind of limited re-release or is shown at a convention of some kind...

Sky Captain

No still-frame capture will ever do justice to the lush visuals Sky Captain so liberally doles out (and choosing from hundreds of amazing shots is an impossible task), but oh what a movie...

Sky Captain

Sky Captain

The only thing that keeps this flick from being one of the greatest films of all time is A) The story is a bit weak, and B) The acting in places is dreadful awful. Jude Law is fine as the heroic Sky Captain Joe, Giovani Ribisi is great as his sidekick Dex, and Angelina Jolie is radiant in her bit part as Captain Frankie Cook... but Gwyneth Paltrow's take on not-so plucky, plucky reporter "Polly Perkins" is a mess. She wanders through scenes as if she's drugged, never fully committing to the part. I know that she is a capable actress, so I can only guess that she was unable to work in blue-screen environments or she needs a strong director, and first-timer Kerry Conran was too awestruck or timid to get it out of her. Such a shame, because a strong female lead would have improved the film quite a bit.

Still, story faults and Gwyneth aside, the dazzling images and edge-of-your-seat action sequences make this film a must-see. Just accept the fact that it is supposed to be a cheesy 1930's sci-fi serial drama, and embrace it for the masterpiece it is. I rented Sky Captain from NetFlix but, had already ordered myself a copy just 10 minutes into the movie! I must own it so I can watch it again and again and again, because there's no way you will ever absorb everything the film offers in only one or two viewings (even dozens may not be enough).

The bigger news to come out of the Sky Captain front is that writer/director Kerry Conran's next project is an adaptation of my favorite sci-fi novel of all time: Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars. This has me very conflicted. On one hand I am thrilled, because I know that the visuals will be amazing. On the other, I am terrified that he won't have the directing chops to get the acting performances that this story will desperately need. If there is no chemistry between John Carter, Gentleman of Virginia and Deja Thoris, Martian princess of Helium, then the movie will suck ass. And I am telling you right now, this movie simply cannot end up sucking...

John Carter of Mars

I have waited most of my life to see John Carter in the movies, and it will not be in vain. I want this film to rule the earth so we can get a dozen sequels. I want it so fabulous that critics (or, more importantly, Burroughs FANS) cannot find fault with it. If they end up moving the time period from Civil War America, or some other dumbass thing, I would rather there be no movie at all.

I am cautiously optimistic. In the meanwhile, go buy a copy of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on DVD. It's just too darn pretty not to see it.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I know I'm old enough to be his mother, but when the Duck laid that kiss on me last night... I swear my thighs just went up in flames! He must practice on melons or something."
Yesterday's Answer: Jurassic Park (1993) with Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum.
Categories: Dave Approved, Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hah!

Posted on Monday, March 28th, 2005

Dave!Hah I say!! I just got off work and needed me a Kitty Spangles Solitaire fix... and got my highest score ever right off the bat! Kitty Spangles is so my bitch now!

I should also mention that I got a nice note from the husband-and-wife team of David and Sheryn Wareing, the devious minds who came up with Kitty Spangles. They were kind enough to tell me that they saw my previous blog entry on their game, and wanted me to know that "Kitty Spangles loves you too!" Isn't that nice?

Unfortunately, like most things in life, Kitty Spangles' love is not free. Just like a phone-sex hotline (ahem, or so I've heard), you get 5 minutes at no charge, but then you have to whip out your credit card if you want to play with her anymore. Yes indeed, Kitty wants $19.95 for the pleasure of her company.

The little whore.

Oh well. I went ahead and ponied up the cash because once you've had Kitty Spangles, you just can't go back to regular solitaire games again. She's like crack (ahem, or so I've heard), and my Kitty Spangles addiction is ruining my life. The good news is that, now that I'm registered, I can take my time with her instead of having to rush against that 5-minute deadline. I mean, I am good... really good... but it's difficult to perform under such pressure every time we play.

Besides, just look at how happy she is now...

Kitty Thanks!

It won't last. Soon enough she'll be wanting more money for upgrades and a new pair of shoes. And I'm sure "Kitty Spangles Cribbage" is just around the corner.

Now if only I could teach her how to play a nice game of Canasta...

Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Want

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Dave!Bleh. It felt very much like a Monday today.

Schiavo. Honestly, I am not going to get into this here. I don't know Terri or anybody else involved, don't know what arrangements she made for her life, and don't have an opinion about whether something is right or wrong for somebody I've never met. What I do have an opinion about is that not everything should be a political issue. What I will say is that I do not want that kind of "life" for myself, and it should be MY f#@%ING CHOICE. So here it is, in public record: If my mind... if who I am... is gone, then don't save me. If there's little chance of recovery, let me go. Don't keep me on a respirator. Yank the feeding tube. Seriously, I've lived a full life and done more than most people ever will, so I'm perfectly okay with it. Don't worry about "making a mistake" or fret about "killing me" because it's all good. It's not that I want to die, I just don't want to live that way. I don't want to be a tool for some ass-wipe politician. I don't want to be a poster child for right-to-lifers. I don't want to be a burden on those I care about. I don't want to be remembered as a vegetable. I just don't want it. And if you care about me at all, then you shouldn't want it for me either.

Laid. Ohhhhh... so that's the problem! My check is in the mail...

Propecia

Dental. Had my dental check-up this morning. That in itself is nothing special (no cavities!), but getting there sure was. Coming into Wenatchee this morning, some old dumbass in a beat-up Cadillac decided to turn into the wrong lane coming out of Wal-Mart. Usually I find the blissfully ignorant to be funny. But not when they are heading straight for me in a car. After I ran off the road to avoid him, he went on his merry way and heaven only knows what happened. I'm guessing he mowed down a fruit stand and killed a half-dozen people, or perhaps added a drive-thru to a local pharmacy where there wasn't one before.

Star. Mr. Jerz has finally hit the big time as a television star! I look forward to his future works, and am anxiously awaiting his entry on the Internet Movie Database. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Ryan Jerz, ACTOR...

Jerz Movie

(UPDATE: MrJerz.org is down, and I can't leave a comment... I can only guess that Hollywood casting agents are furiously attempting to book Jerz for a gig! I gotta give the guy props here, he absolutely managed to pull it off. I've seen first-hand what happens when people are tossed in front of a television camera and told to "act" - even in fun - and it rarely goes as well as this. So congratulations Mr. Jerz! Well played! Though I just gotta ask... did you really beat the crap out of the guy who played the thief at the end? Now that's what I call "method acting!").

Parts. Okay. If fingers are ending up in the Wendy's chili. What parts should I expect to be finding in my Wendy's Chocolate Frosty?

Dead. The reason I paid for ShowTime television: so I could watch Dead Like Me. The reason I stopped paying for ShowTime television: because they cancelled Dead Like Me. There's just nothing else on that lame HBO wannabe network worth watching. The second season of this amazing show was even better than the first, and it's coming to DVD on July 19th. It will be bittersweet to watch all those priceless episodes again knowing that there's no more to come after that last one. Crap.

Dead Like Me

Veronica. Hmmm... since I am about to gush like a 12-year-old schoolgirl, I'd better head on over to MSN Spaces to see how actual 12-year-old shoolgirls gush in their blogs... okay, here we go... omfg! new veronica marz 2nite! hehe. i am like sooooooo psyched! veronica is sooooooo cute and the show is sooooooo awesome!!!! u would luv it. hehe. VERONICA MARS RULEZ DAWGZ!!!!!! woo hoo!!!! hehe. c ya!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "White boys always get the Oscar... it's a known fact! Did I ever get a nomination? No! You know why? 'Cause I haven't played any of them slave roles and get my ass whipped. THAT'S how you get the nomination! A black dude who plays a slave that gets his ass whipped gets the NOMINATION, a white guy who plays an idiot gets the OSCAR. That's what I need... I need to play a retarded slave, THEN I'll get the Oscar!"
Yesterday's Answer: Pretty In Pink (1986) with Molly Ringwald, Annie Potts, and James Spader.

   

Legal

Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Dave!As I cruise around the blogosphere I have to ponder over all the bloggers hopping on the Apple-bashing bandwagon over their attempt to protect trade secrets by forcing rumor sites to name their "confidential sources." For the longest time I was just going to wait it out but, now that bloggers I actually respect are weighing in, I guess it's time to throw out my two-cents...

Do I think Apple is going too far this time? Yes, I do. It should surprise absolutely nobody that this type of heavy-handed approach is going to backfire. Apple is making enemies out of die-hard supporters, and they need all the support they can get (they always have -- heck, according to the media, Apple's been dying for twenty years now!). Despite the iPod's success, the Mac needs to build on the momentum that's been keeping fans loyal and converting a new breed of users... everybody from hackers to home users. It's a time to be kind. People are dying to know your secrets only because they love you. Apple, you should love us back.

DavePowerBook

All that being said, who can possibly blame them?

For YEARS Apple's lawyers have been writing to "rumor sites" kindly asking them to remove proprietary information (as is their legal right). I can only guess that they've grown tired of constantly firing off the same letters again and again and again to these same people, and decided to explore a different approach. I mean, come on! The sites in question KNOW when they put up confidential information that it's not a very nice thing to do and Apple is going to ask them to remove it, but they put it up anyway because the extra hits will bring them more advertising dollars. Since they never seem to learn, what was Apple supposed to do?

The only thing they can do, and what any other company would do: explore every legal avenue available to them in order to protect their trade secrets. It is, after all, the American Way. Yes, I think that this was a bit extreme on Apple's part, but I have no idea what steps they have been taking within their company to stop the leaks. Maybe they've tried everything and this is a last resort for them? But heaven forbid we should ever give Apple the benefit of the doubt. It's much more fun to crucify them and threaten to not love them anymore and scream loudly about "un-switching" to a crappy Windows PC because "Apple is evil."

Yeah, whatever. If you're going to be such a whiner, at least whine about stuff that actually matters (how about "where is the G5 PowerBook?" for a start). Turning Apple into Microsoft for vilification just doesn't do it for me. Maybe if their products sucked a lot more, I could try and sympathize. But Apple makes great stuff! And if legally protecting their secrets is what they have to do to keep on making great stuff in the cut-throat computer business... well... I suppose it's better than hiring ninjas to start killing people (though not quite as cool).

And before you decide to fire off some hate-mail to me crying about how "Apple's actions are the death-knell for free speech on the internet," save your breath. Because do you want to know how I respond to this laughable rhetoric?

"Bullshit."

If Apple was secretly building nuclear weapons or killing kittens for ingredients used to build their iPods, or even using a monopoly to force computer manufacturers to only install their OS, then sure... these are newsworthy events that should be investigated, and people should be told. But posting proprietary trade secrets gleaned from law-breaking employees bound by an NDA that could potentially damage a company?

Excuse me, but exactly who is supposed to be the victim here? Do you honestly believe that companies should spend millions of dollars researching a new product, only to have all their hard work dumped on some rumor site for their competition to pour over? If you had spent millions and untold hours, would you? Breaking a non-disclosure agreement to spill company secrets doesn't make you a whistle-blower unless there are laws being broken (or perhaps an ethical violation), it just makes you a spy and a theif. If you publish it, that makes you an accessory to theft. Don't go walking on some journalistic high ground, because you're not serving the public interest... you're only serving yourself, no matter how you candy-coat it.

Free speech is a luxury that everybody should feel to abuse whenever they feel like it. Heaven only knows I do. But if companies can't do everything they can within the law to uphold legally-binding non-disclosure documents, what good is an NDA in the first place? This doesn't change the fact that I think Apple has gone a little crazy here, but going after people who publicly release information they know to be covered by an NDA (and those who broke such an agreement in the first place) is something I can certainly understand. And forgive.

Oh, and by the way... if anybody has any details on Apple making a video iPod or a G5 PowerBook, my email address is in the top-left corner of every page.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Hey Jenny, don't worry about me. We got coffee and cocaine here... we're gonna get wired and have a big party!"
Yesterday's Answer: Bowfinger (1999) with Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy.
Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Spring

Posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Dave!While walking to the post office this sunny afternoon, I noticed that the crocuses are in bloom. Along with California poppies and bachelor buttons, the crocus is one of my favorite flowers. I like the purple ones best, but they come in dozens of varieties that are equally beautiful. These poor guys are growing outside of a tavern so, in addition to the crappy weather we've been having, they also have to worry about drunks trampling all over them.

Not an easy life, to be sure... but it is a pretty one.

Crocus Purple

Crocus Yellow

Also along the way to the Post Office, I ran across this poor dog so ugly that it was almost cute. And that got me to thinking about how dogs are so much more practical than we are when it comes to determining who they want to hang with. They don't care what other dogs look like as long as their ass smells okay. Shouldn't it be the same with people?

Ugly Dog

And one last thing before my lunch is over... has anybody noticed that Google has been "Van Gogh-ed?" That's kind of cool because his Starry Night is one of my favorite paintings...

Google Van Gogh

Bummer. I'm still hungry.

Categories: Photography 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Purgatory

Posted on Thursday, March 31st, 2005

Dave!Holy crap! Can I just say that last night was one of the best nights of television in recent memory? First we get a great episode of Lost followed by a fantastic episode of Alias (it's about time, because that show has been sucking major chunks of ass recently). But the real kicker of the evening was the final show of the night, a new program called Eyes. I tuned in expecting a boring private-eye drama... and was stunned when it turned out to be an hour packed with humor, mystery, romance, back-stabbing, betrayal, and snappy dialogue, all wrapped around a pretty entertaining story. I was riveted right up until the final minute, when they kicked my ass with an ending so surprising that I ended up rewinding the TiVo to make sure I had seen what I thought I had. If this is the kind of show that Eyes will be dishing out each week, I will absolutely be tuning in for another helping.

Okay, with that out of the way, we continue on to today's episode of Blogography...

...but before we start I feel it is essential that I remind you, dear reader, that I am a genius. Not a self-proclaimed genius, but an actual genius with a Mensa-level IQ of 142. As I've mentioned before, this gives me the grim satisfaction of knowing that when people call me a "smart ass," that it really is true. At least it seems as though my ass is smarter than most people I meet...

DaveQ

Because of being so insanely brilliant, it's always a real eye-opener when I run across something I didn't know. In fact, any time you hear me saying something like "wow, I didn't know that," you can be assured that inside my head a nuclear explosion is going off, shaking me to the very core of my being.

So when I tell you that I was completely unaware that "if you play video games, you get sent to hell," you can imagine how I felt when this bombshell was dropped on me. It was such a shock that I found myself having to stop right there in the middle of K-Mart and reevaluate the universe and my place in it.

Allow me to explain...

Lego Star Wars Box

Today is the day that "Lego Star Wars: The Video Game" is being released. I want this game bad. Really bad. Since the moment I found out about it, I've been counting the days until it can finally be mine. I mean, it's LEGO FRICKIN' STAR WARS... IN A VIDEO GAME!! How could anybody possibly not want it? Everything is there... the characters, the ships, the locations... but they're all made from Lego...

Lego Star Wars Game

Anyway, I ditch work a little early and head to Wenatchee so I can get a copy. But everywhere I look they've either never heard of it, or don't have it yet, or only have the PlayStation version. Suck ass! On my way out of town I decide to make one last stop at K-Mart to see if they might have it. I park the car, dash on back to the electronics department, and start to look. All the while, a young boy is standing there looking in wide-eyed wonder at all the cool games available. Eventually he works up the courage to speak to me:

Kid: Do you have a video game?

Me: Yep, I've got an Xbox.

Kid: And you can play games on it?

Me: Uhhh... yes. After I finish my work, I sometimes get to play games on it.

Kid: I want to play the --

At that moment a scorching bitch comes tearing around the corner breathing fire and screaming her head off... "JASON!! THERE YOU ARE!! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!? GET AWAY FROM THERE!!! YOU KNOW WE DON'T PLAY VIDEO GAMES!!! VIDEO GAMES ARE FROM THE DEVIL!!!! IF YOU PLAY VIDEO GAMES, YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!! DO YOU WANT TO GO TO HELL?!? YOU COME HERE RIGHT NOW!!!

I just stare at this horrible woman in utter disbelief when she decides to go after me! "YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK TO MY CHILD WITH YOUR VIDEO GAMES! NO RIGHT!!!" I do a kind of "who me?" look, and say "uhhh... hey, I was just standing here looking for a game... I didn't..." -- "YOU HAVE NO RIGHT AT ALL!!

Okay. Here's where the dilemma sets in. I'm already pissed because I just wasted the last hour looking for a video game that nobody has. I am in no mood at all to put up with this crap. But if I unload on her, I just know that it won't be me she takes her frustrations out on... it will be this poor kid. As much as I want to tear into this bitch, I just can't bring myself to do it for the kid's sake.

So please bear with me as I unload. Please indulge me while I say what I would have liked to have said, but couldn't...

"Listen bitch, you can just stop your screaming at me right now or I will come over there and kick the living shit out of you. While I am not a Christian, I've undoubtedly spent more time studying The Bible than your ignorant ass will ever know, so don't you dare presume to preach at me. I don't know what misguided, f#@%ed up interpretation of The Bible you are getting this crap from, but I can say without a doubt that God just loves a good game of Donkey Kong, so you can take you entire "video games are from the devil" bullshit and shove it right up your fat ass."

Thanks, that's much better. Oh how I loathe living in this redneck purgatory.

NEW AND IMPROVED! One last thing. In response to Kazza's lament that she misses out on comments now that she's switched to an RSS reader... I've modified Neil's excellent RSS-2 template to include comments with the entries. It works beautifully for me, but I'm not sure if it's formatted properly (and I don't want to bother Neil for help while he's on vacation). So, if you want to try it out in your RSS reader and let me know how it works for you, here's the URL you should use: https://www.blogography.com/comments.xml. The really cool part is that every time a new comment is left (and approved), the feed is automatically updated. So if your RSS reader can flag changed entries as "unread," you won't miss any new comments! So thank you Kazza for giving me this wonderful idea. Now that I've grown accustomed to it on my blog, I sure wish other blogs would do the same because it sure is convenient! Once Neil's had a look, I'll post the template here if he doesn't want to host it.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Dude, you have a bazooka. Stop thinking 'Prague Police' and start thinking 'PlayStation'... blow shit up!"
Yesterday's Answer: Beverly Hills Cop (1984) with Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold.

   

FridayQ: Foolish

Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2005

Dave!Something foolish you've seen... On the way to work this morning, I saw a woman walking her cat on a leash. The humiliation that this poor cat must have been feeling was priceless.

Something foolish you've heard about... In the "it could only happen in Indiana" department: A company selling cement replicas of famous works like "The Venus di Milo" and Michelangelo's "David" has been ordered to cover these classical works with clothing so as to be in compliance with Indiana state obscenity laws. The best part... the law stipulates that material is obscene and harmful to minors if "considered as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value." Yes, that's right, Venus and David have no artistic value!! Not just foolish... really, really, stupid.

Something foolish you've done recently... Spent an hour looking for a video game yesterday that won't be released until April 5th.

FQ FOOLERY: Tell us of a memorable moment where somebody fooled, punk'd, or pranked you! Given the friends I hang out with, there are so many incidents that it's difficult for me to choose. I'd say the most memorable times I've been punk'd all involve a friend who became very, very wealthy during the dot-com explosion. He was crazy before he became instantly wealthy, but became certifiable after the money started pouring in. He would think nothing about spending thousands of dollars to charter a plane to Vegas for a few friends and then buy out a suite at some swanky hotel for the weekend... that's just the kind of guy he is... (the story continues in an extended entry).

Act the fool at the FridayQ.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Painful

Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2005

Dave!I was awakened early this morning by a searing pain running down my spine. I took a pill, and somehow managed to fall asleep again. When I got up to go to work, my lower-back was still tender, but the pain was in check. But after 5-1/2 hours of sitting at my desk, the pain had returned and was almost unbearable... I had no choice but to go home and take another pill.

So here I lay in bed trying very hard not to move. I have no idea what I did to get myself in this mess, but here I am.

Fortunately, I've got the first season of The Pretender on DVD to keep me company. Boy was this great television! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it because the show became a big ol' mess in the 3rd and 4th seasons. But Miss Parker... a very bad girl indeed... kept me watching.

The Pretender

I want ice cream.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing... such a little thing"
Yesterday's Answer: xXx (2002) with Vin Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Approved: Mr. Flibble

Posted on Saturday, April 2nd, 2005

Dave!The best thing to come out of the U.K. since blood pudding, Red Dwarf is one of those shows I can always count on to make me laugh. The problem is that it's only shown on PBS here in the States, but rarely. On the plus side, BBC America has been releasing it on DVD, but slowly... at the rate of just two series (seasons) per year. The happy ending to all of this is that finally, after waiting three years, Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five has finally been released. It's easily my favorite of all eight seasons, and has the rare distinction of being the only series that gets a full five-stars for every episode.

It's perfect television...

Dwarf Approved

My favorite of the lot is "Quarantine" which brought forth one of the most brilliant characters ever conceived on television. Mr Flibble, the killer penguin puppet...

Mr. Flibble

"Mr. Flibble is very cross."

Here is just a sampling of the comedic genius we get in this episode, where Rimmer has trapped the rest of the crew in quarantine and been infected with a holovirus that's driven him quite mad...

Lister: Well we've passed the test, Rimmer. You can let us out.
Rimmer: I can't let you out.
Lister: Why not?
Rimmer: Because the King of the Potato People won't let me. I begged him. I got down on my knees and wept. He wants to keep you here. Keep you here for ten years.
The Cat: Could we see him?
Rimmer: See who?
The Cat: The King.
Rimmer: Do you have a magic carpet?
Lister: Yeah, a little three-seater.
Rimmer: So, let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you are completely sane?!?

And "Quarantine" is just one of six amazing episodes you get!

So do yourself a favor and run out to buy a copy of Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five on DVD today! Do it now, before Mr. Flibble gets very cross indeed!

Or, I suppose you could always check back the week of the 18th and see if you can win a brand-new copy... It's just one of the many fabulous prizes being offered up in Blogography's Two-Year Blogiversary Kick-Ass Online Celebration!

   

Sinner

Posted on Saturday, April 2nd, 2005

Dave!I was going to make time next week to go see Sin City, but when I found out that the tightasses over at MovieGuide.org were using words like "depraved," "despicable," "abhorrent" and "evil" to describe it... well, I just had to see it immediately. That's guaranteed box office GOLD, baby!

And I was absolutely not disappointed. The film is a shot-for-shot exact translation of Frank Miller's hyper-violent graphic novels, brilliantly realized by Robert Rodriguez. While there are a few hiccups in the process, the end result is a stunning visual treat that brilliantly captures a world gone mad.

And it doesn't hurt that the film has an astounding cast of talented professionals breathing life into the characters. Bruce Willis, Mickey Roarke, Clive Owen, and dozens of others (including a never-ending buffet of hotties like Jessica Alba and Brittany Murphy)...

Sinjessicaalba

Singirls

Sinbrittanymurphy

In fact, I dare say there isn't a poor performance in the bunch, which only accentuates how beautiful the minimalist splashes of color look over the rich black & white noir feel. So, for me, this film is simply a must-see. But I realize fully that it is not a film for everybody. The violence is pretty heavy throughout, and much of the subject matter is not very pleasant (hey, this is "Sin City" after all!).

Now I'm going to have to go back and re-read all the books again.

UPDATE: I have tried a couple of times now to contact MovieGuide.org to point out a mistake in their review, but they don't offer up an email address, and emails to "webmaster" are bounced. So I guess I might as well make the correction here, since they are not open to communication...

*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***

In the review, among the many violent atrocities they list is "dog eats at dead person." This is not correct. It should say "dog eats at live person!! The reason that Marv took along the surgical tubing was so that he could use it as a tourniquet after cutting off Kevin's arms and legs. That way Kevin would still be ALIVE when the dog ate at him! Since Kevin was a cannibal who would make the women watch him as he ate them, Marv took a cue from The Bible and offered up Kevin a big-old slice of "eye for an eye" type retribution. You would think a so-called "Christian" movie review site could appreciate this.

UPDATE: Thanks to "Carmen" for telling me where to find the contact information at MovieGuide.org. I had problems with their drop-down menus and couldn't see it, but they do work fine in Safari, so I was able to send them the correction.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Hypothetical situation. Which do you prefer, a girlfriend missing one breast or half a brain?"
Yesterday's Answer: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001) with Viggo Mortenson and Elijah Wood.
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Limit

Posted on Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

Dave!As a graphic designer, Adobe software is a critical part of my work. I use Illustrator and Photoshop continuously every day. I use GoLive and InDesign at least once a week. 90% of everything I do has Adobe somewhere in the mix. Because of this, I love Adobe and the things they do for me.

But not really.

I loathe the fact that Adobe refuses to address the numerous bugs in their apps. Illustrator crashes several times a week and has serious clipboard export flaws that have existed for a decade. GoLive is utter crap that has such shitty CSS support that it can barely be said to exist at all (and don't get me started on the FTP server that can't go 5 minutes without crashing). Photoshop is by far the most stable, but still has pen tool flaws and other very basic problems. InDesign is by far the most messed up, because just activating it will screw up the font display of the entire system.

And are any of these problems addressed? No. Adobe is too busy working on the next version to fix problems with the current versions, and that sucks total ass because I have PAID for the current version... I am USING the current version. You need to FIX the CURRENT f#@%ING VERSION!

But despite it all, I stick with Adobe because the software really is miraculous, and I can't imagine doing my job without it.

Until now.

Right now, not only can I imagine my life without Adobe software, I am fantasizing about it. All because Adobe has gone and done something worse than ship buggy software, they're punishing me for purchasing their buggy software in the first place. Adobe has gone the way of Microsoft, and is requiring mandatory activation registration for all of their future products. To be truthful, that's annoying but, given the rampant piracy out there, that's not what I have the problem with. My problem is that you can only register two computers for use with a single serial number.

But I have four computers. A work machine. A home machine. A laptop. And a backup laptop. At one time or another all of them get used, so I am totally boned here. I am not a software pirate, I am a paying customer... so long as I only use one copy of the software at a time, I should be able to activate it on as many computers as I need for my work. As far as I am concerned, Adobe is illegally interfering with my licensing of their software with this stupid crap.

I guess I can take another look at Macromedia's software to see if it can handle the job but, odds are, I'll have no choice but to bend over and invite Adobe to have their way with me. I wonder how long I can go without upgrading?

Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sunday

Posted on Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

Dave!Thanks to dumbass lawmakers who refuse to abolish the twice-yearly insanity of "Daylight Saving Time," I woke up already in a rage. I've blogged about how stupid DST is several times before, and still don't understand why they don't just split the difference and leave our clocks alone... set them forward 30 minutes instead of an hour, and just forget about it... FOREVER!! Daylight Savings is STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!! Why in the heck don't they put this crap to a national vote so we can finally be rid of it? I can't imagine that anybody feels it's necessary anymore.

Sadly, things didn't improved much, because the entirety of my day has been occupied working. It's not the best way to spend your day off, but it's raining and cold outside now so it's hard for me to get too upset that I didn't get to go riding today (as I had originally planned). I think my motorcycle must feel forgotten.

One thing I did get to do was play with the depth-of-field on my camera for a few minutes, which is kind of a fun thing to do...

Dogwood

Dogwood

I'm guessing this is a Dogwood tree or something. All I know is that it's pretty and pink.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I lost my wife, I lost my job, and I'm developing some kind of rash..."
Yesterday's Answer: Shallow Hal (2001) with Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Categories: Photography 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

UnSurprise

Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2005

Dave!I won't even pretend to be surprised that somebody decided to take me to task for my overview of the sublime artistic vision that is Sin City. About the only surprise to be had is that there haven't been more such emails. Any time you remotely touch upon religion, it's almost a guarantee.

The short version of the letter is this: apparently everybody is entitled to their opinion, unless you are just positive that you are right and God is on your side... then, of course, everybody else is wrong and shouldn't have an opinion in the first place.

The long version is a little more complicated than that. I won't go into all the boring details, but suffice to say that movies like Sin City are destroying the moral principals God has handed down, and I shouldn't be attacking the MovieGuide.org ministry for doing God's work. Since sending a reply is undoubtedly useless, I'll just reply to her comments here for my own amusement.

Rosario as Gail

I suppose the first thing I should do is provide a disclaimer that I am not a theologian. I have studied numerous religious philosophies over the years (including Buddhist, Christian, Judaic, Islamic, Mormon, Hindu, and Shinto faiths), but am not a practitioner of any of them. As a matter of full disclosure, I should also mention that I find Buddhism closest to my religious "ideal" and endeavor to apply Buddhist teachings to my daily life (but do not consider myself a "true" Buddhist). All of my religion studies were undertaken because of my love of different peoples and cultures in the world, and an effort to understand my fellow humans a little better.

Given all of that, I can say that I understand the world's major religious philosophies quite well. What I will never understand is how people practice the religions they profess to subscribe to. I do not, for example, understand how so-called Christians feel justified in bombing an abortion clinic and killing a doctor who performs abortions when killing is a mortal sin according to The Bible, and judgment is for God alone to pass. I do not, as another example, understand so-called Muslims who would blow up a building with women and children inside when the Prophet Mohammed forbids such actions. I do not, as yet another example, understand so-called Buddhists who own a gun and eat meat when Buddhist precepts discourage such things.

Ultimately, I have decided that people do not live according to any religious doctrine, but instead live according to their INTERPRETATION of said religious doctrine.

So, as a matter of respect, I fully appreciate people's religious beliefs and their opinions and interpretations of the laws that their religion demands of them. But, on the other hand, this is America. The same freedoms that allow you to practice your religion also give me the freedom to watch a movie you consider to be abhorrent (like Sin City). So if you honestly believe that I don't have the right to enjoy a movie your religious interpretation says is wrong, then go f#@% yourself.

Now, addressing the matter of me "attacking" the MovieGuide.org "ministry" (or whatever), this is complete nonsense. I only wanted to notify them of an error in their review. For Christians who find it pleasing to know about offense content and a film's adhesion to a "Christian World View" before going to a movie, then I'm happy that MovieGuide.org exists to spell it out for you. That way, I don't have to listen to you bitch and complain while I'm trying to watch the film. I have no problem with the people over at MovieGuide.org (tightasses though they may be), and wish them the best of luck in stemming the tide of Godlessness in America... unless it results in the removal of movies I want to watch, in which case they can go f#@% themselves too.

My respect only goes so far as to extend to those who would respect my beliefs in kind.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "When two hunters go after the same prey, they usually end up shooting each other in the back... and we don't want to shoot each other in the back."
Yesterday's Answer: City Slickers (1991) with Billy Crystal and Jack Palance.
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Papal

Posted on Monday, April 4th, 2005

Dave!Okay, forget everything I just said... I've decided that I want to be the new Pope. In addition to wearing those cool hats and getting to be driven around in the Popemobile, I'm thinking it would be an excellent way to meet women. I mean, hey... the Pope gets AROUND. Besides, I was raised Catholic, so I think I'm like pre-qualified or something.

I wonder if when I get to be Pope I can kick all the tourists out of the Vatican Museum and turn the Sistine Chapel into my bedroom? That would be pretty cool getting to wake up every morning and have the first thing you see be Michelangelo's masterpiece hanging above you.

And, as if it weren't enough that the Pope gets to be the adored leader of millions of people, he also gets to carry around that hefty metal staff so he can kick people's asses when they piss him off. I think I'd use it to become the first POPE NINJA!

Dave Pope

I wonder who I need to speak to in order to be put on the official Papal Ballot?

   

Muffin

Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

Dave!I'd like to say that today was a fabulous day filled with sunshine and merriment. But that would be a lie. Absolutely nothing has gone as planned, and it all started with breakfast.

I was out of milk, which makes digging into a bowl of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cereal no fun at all. So on the way to work, I decided to stop by the mini mart for a muffin and a carton of milk. That was my first mistake. What I thought was a blueberry muffin was, in fact, a chocolate chip muffin. I don't know who in the heck ever thought this was a good idea, but chocolate chips in a muffin suck ass. I did my best to pick out the offensive chips, but that left me with a muffin-flavored muffin which is not a good thing. They add things to muffins for a reason.

Things kind of went downhill from there, but there is light at the end of the tunnel...

Lego Star Wars

Tonight is a new episode of Veronica Mars, and tomorrow is when GameStop tells me they'll be getting in my copy of Star Wars Lego for Xbox Game! If it doesn't show up, I swear I'm going to buy a PlayStation so I can finally play it. Xbox is lame now because nobody wants to carry games for it anymore. Even worse, games are always late, and some cool games (like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) don't seem to show up at all. It seems that no matter how you slice it, Microsoft always seems to end up sucking, and I guess I shouldn't have expected anything different from their Xbox (which is now the chocolate chip muffin of video game systems).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake... well, this could be it sweetheart."
Yesterday's Answer: For a Few Dollars More (1965) with Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef.
Categories: Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lost

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Dave!Like millions of other people, I am addicted to the television series that is Lost. It's a fantastic show that delivers lots of surprises and has a mystery tying everything together that's just too good for television (it's nice to know that the reason Alias is sucking so bad lately is because creator J.J. Abrams is putting his efforts somewhere).

Tonight is the last episode until May sweeps, which sucks ass, but we do have the benefit of knowing that a major player is killed off. This is probably a good thing, because the only conflict currently running in the show is seen in flashbacks, not the present-day stories. Lost cannot afford to become complacent. Anyway, the only thing we know is that it's going to be a male character who bites it, which means it's one of ten people. For your reading pleasure (but mostly my own amusement) I'm going to run through all of them and try to decide who dies.

For the sake of foreign readers who may not be caught up to the latest episode (or anybody who doesn't want the show ruined with my speculations), I've dumped everything in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shark!

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Dave!Well, well, well... I just finished watching Lost and must say that it was gut-wrenchingly good. And this is despite the fact that the writers took the easy way out... the pussies (and I take absolutely no satisfaction that my guess as to who dies was correct). And now we wait for May sweeps to find out what's going to happen next.

A pity that Alias is still sucking. What the heck is going on there? I know it's been renewed for another season but, at this point, does anybody even care? The show that was constantly reinventing itself to stay fresh has become sadly stagnate. Why can't they go back to the Rambaldi prophecies and the secret organizations and stuff? Sure it's fun to watch Syndney beat the crap out of bad guys, but is that all we're going to get from now on? It's pretty sad when the best thing about tonight's episode was the commercial with Miss Piggy dressed up as Sydney advertising Muppet Wizard of Oz.

Or maybe I'm just pissed off that GameStop didn't get my Lego Star Wars Xbox Game in like they promised. The bastards.

And now for something completely different...

Your name is Robert Rodriguez. You've just completed filming Sin City, one of the more violent, adult movies ever committed to film. What do you do for your next project? Hmmm? What do you do?

Shark Boy and Lava Girl

Well, apparently, you start working on a flick called SHARK BOY AND LAVA GIRL!! I think I speak for everybody when I say WTF?

Oh well. I suppose he has to have something to occupy his time until he and Frank Miller start in on the Sin City sequel.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "This is no time to screw the pooch, because this is supposed to be the big dance number... all right?"
Yesterday's Answer: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) with Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Approved: Lego Star Wars

Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2005

Dave!Best. Game. Ever.

I had hoped that Lego Star Wars for Xbox would be good from the photos I had seen. But until I actually played it, I had no idea. It's simply amazing. It looks amazing. It plays amazing. And it's the most fun I've had with a video game in a very long time. The last game to make me feel this way was Myst back in 1993.

Like the name implies, Lego Star Wars for Xbox is a video game set in the Star Wars prequel trilogy universe that's entirely populated by Lego. All the characters are Lego mini-figures. All the architecture, vehicles, and objects are built from Lego. When you shoot something, it pops apart into individual bricks. When you "die," you fall to pieces. It's all really clever, and I can't imagine how they ever came up with such a brilliant idea.

Lego Star Wars

Lego Star Wars

The game itself is made for children. It's not really violent, because it's all just toys. It's not really difficult, because it's hard to actually "die" in the game." It's also the cutest thing you've ever seen. But that doesn't mean adults won't enjoy it. On the contrary, the game is packed with puzzles and and loads of places to explore. The fact that you don't have to worry about dying every five minutes is actually liberating. You can just have fun and enjoy yourself rather than stressing out constantly.

This may be a game I actually bother to finish. There's always something new to see, and there's 50 characters you can unlock and play. There's special Lego pieces to collect so you can build your own spaceships. There's even a "FreePlay" mode where you can go back to levels you've won and play them again as different characters. Not only is it cool to have such variety keeping things fresh, but different characters have different abilities, which means you can often solve puzzles you couldn't figure out the first time through.

All in all, it's a total blast. If I didn't already have an Xbox (or PlayStation 2), I'd go out and buy one just to play this game. I hope that they eventually make a sequel so I can play through the original trilogy as well. I want to be Han Solo flying my Lego Millenium Falcon to Cloud City!

Now, if you will excuse me, I've got to get back to Naboo...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I just wanna know how one becomes a janitor, because Andrew here is very interested in pursuing a career in the custodial arts."
Yesterday's Answer: Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) with Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas.
Categories: Dave ApprovedClick To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ; Beauty

Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2005

Dave!Where's the most beautiful place you've ever been? What made it beautiful to you? Edinburgh, Scotland. The architecture and atmosphere of Edinburgh's Old Town is stunningly beautiful. Every time I visit, it takes my breath away. Other beautiful places: York, England; Bryce Canyon, Utah; Barking Sands, Kauai; Bali, Indonesia; La Jolla, California; Gamla Stan - Stockholm, Sweden; Phang Nga, Thailand; Neuschwanstein, Germany; Wicklow, Ireland.

Beautiful

Who's the most beautiful person you can think of? What makes them beautiful to you? Well, my obvious choice would be Elizabeth Hurley, who is one of the most physically beautiful creatures on earth. But beauty can transcend the physical, which is why I find people like the Dali Lama to be beautiful as well. Other beautiful people I've grabbed from my pictures folder: Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Katie Holmes, Kelly Hu, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie.

Beautiful

What's the most beautiful object you've ever looked at? What makes it beautiful? Hands down "The Pieta," Michelangelo's statue masterpiece... it defines beauty in art to me, and is so powerful that just standing before it is a religious experience. Other beautiful things: my motorcycle, Van Gogh's Starry Night, Petronas Towers, Diego Rivera's The Flower Carrier, my PowerBook Titanium G4, and one of Michelangelo's many, many other master-works, the Sistine Chapel.

Beautiful

FQ LIST: Tell us ten more beautiful things! When you think of "beauty," what one thing comes to mind for the following words:

  • music: Eric Sera.
  • movie: Field of Dreams.
  • book: Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
  • meal: Alfredo alla Scrofa.
  • gemstone: Sapphire.
  • flower: Crocus.
  • web site: Google.
  • artwork: The Pieta.
  • appliance: iPod.
  • animal: Tiger.

Beauty is everywhere at the FridayQ.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Bitch, I'm not playing... you gonna be the nine toe having-est, limping-est bitch in Harlem if you don't put that razor away!"
Yesterday's Answer: The Breakfast Club (1985) with Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson.

   

Played

Posted on Saturday, April 9th, 2005

Dave!The Lego Star Wars for Xbox game may be built for kids, but I was wrong about it being easy. Sure it started out that way, but not anymore. I got stuck on The Phantom Menace section with the pod racing and had to move on to Attack of the Clones section. Then it took forever to figure out how to defeat Jango Fett. So now frustration is starting to set in a bit, because kids who find this game easy are a lot smarter than I am when it comes to video games. I am determined to beat it, however, which means it's a good thing I only get 4-5 hours of sleep each night!

Given my Lego Star Wars addiction and the workload I've had recently, there really isn't much else in my life right now. TiVo is overflowing with TV shows I need to watch, and NetNewswire is so packed with unread blogs that it's probably going to take over an hour to work my way through it. And then I almost forgot to put up my FridayQ entry yesterday, which would have been embarrassing.

Oh well. Another week to beat the game, and then I can get on with my life again.

But I digress. The real reason I am writing this entry is to help spread the good news that Veronica Mars has been renewed for a second season (thanks to wyk for the email letting me know... you made my day!)...

Veronica Mars Cast

Color me shocked. Television this good is usually canceled.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "The funny thing is... on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook."
Yesterday's Answer: Harlem Nights (1989) with Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dealer

Posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2005

Dave!I spent nearly the entire weekend catching up on work, which was a bit of a bummer. What little time I did have away from the office was spent helping out the local museum. When I finished up, I was walking back to my car when some random hippie guy came up to me...

Guy: Hey, how's it hanging... do you know where I can score some weed here?

Me: Errr... no.

Guy: Thanks. Take it easy.

At first I was a bit puzzled because I do not look much like the type of guy who would know where to buy drugs. But when I got home I realized that today I not only looked like a guy who would know where to buy drugs... I looked like the type of guy who would sell drugs. I really should put a little more effort into my weekend grooming habits and attire. Or maybe I should just start selling drugs on Saturdays and Sundays as a hobby. That would probably be easier.

And now that the weekend is nearly over, I've decided to get everything together for my Two Year Blogiversary Kick-Ass Online Celebration! It's only a mere eight days away, and I've still got quite a bit left to do. One minor setback happened this week when two of the prizes promised me suddenly evaporated. This leaves a nasty gap for one day's winners that I'll have to work on. But that can wait until tomorrow.

I need a bag of Double-Stuff Oreos. Sometimes after a rough day of working and not selling drugs there's nothing like Oreos and milk before bed to make everything better.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there's no point in taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value."
Yesterday's Answer: The Shawshank Redemption (1994) with Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Repeat

Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2005

Dave!This morning I was awakened by the sound of rain pouring down outside my window, and a strange sense of déjà vu.

It's going to be one of those days.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Repeat

Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2005

Dave!This morning I was awakened by the sound of rain pouring down outside my window, and a strange sense of déjà vu.

It's going to be one of those days.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Satisfaction

Posted on Monday, April 11th, 2005

Dave!I pride myself on exceeding all expectations with my clients. When you hire me, I go the extra mile... ten miles, even... to make sure you are happy with the decision you made (brilliant though it may be). I put my every effort into churning out work you'll love. I endeavor to come in on (or under) budget. Whatever you need, I'm there for you (well, as long as it's legal... if you want to snort a line of cocaine off a hooker's ass, then you're on your own). I'm the perfect guy for the job, mainly because I work so hard to be perfect.

And isn't that the way it should be?

Well, apparently not.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dollar

Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

Dave!Last night I decided to sit down and figure out exactly where I want to go on vacation this year. The first step is checking into airfare and prices of the various places I'm interested in visiting for some reason or another. Right now that would be Greece, Australia, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and Thailand. Airfare is not really a big deal, because I've accumulated enough frequent flier miles to handle that. The big issue is food, lodging, and transportation once I get there.

Houston, we have a problem.

Everywhere I check, the costs are outrageously expensive. Prohibitively expensive. As in "there's no way I can afford to leave the country" expensive. And it's not because things in other countries are costing more, it turns out that it's because the US Dollar is practically worthless. Take a look...

Worthless Dollar

The above graphs show the value of the US Dollar against the Euro, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, and British Pound. I didn't know where to start the graph, so I went ahead and picked a random date of January 20, 2001. As an odd coincidence, it's also the day that George W. Bush took office.

The graph doesn't mean much to me except A) it looks like I can't afford to vacation outside the US this year, and B) the US Dollar is going to crash any day now. Because the world revolves around me, I decided to make a new graph that shoes how Bushenomics affects Dave...

Blogography Dollar

The above graph measures Dave's Vacation Prospects, The US Dollar Value, and Toilet Paper Value. As you can see, it turns out that a roll of toilet paper is worth more than the US Dollar, and the chances of me getting to go to Australia fall somewhere in-between. It's only a matter of time before Americans figure this out, and rampant toilet paper theft starts plaguing the country. Better wipe 'em now while you still can!

Four more years of Bushenomics means that we might as well start wiping our asses with dollar bills and save the toilet paper for more important things... like making clothing and shelter.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Anyone who isn't dead or from another plane of existence would do well to cover their ears right about now!"
Yesterday's Answer: Hellboy (2004) with Ron Perlman and Selma Blair.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Logan

Posted on Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

Dave!Okay, I have GOT to stop watching Veronica Mars. With each new episode I turn more and more into a thirteen year-old schoolgirl, and it's really starting to piss me off. But I am getting ahead of myself...

Last night I was all wrapped up in a super-secret project for Blogiversary 2, and forgot that there was actually good television on. It wasn't until after work today that I was thinking "hey, I forgot to watch Scrubs and Veronica Mars last night!" So I ran two stop lights, hit an old lady (with cat), and bowled over a couple of children playing in the street (they deserved it, what were they doing in the street anyway?)... all so I could get home and watch TV.

And so there I am watching Veronica Mars and there's only 15 minutes left, when all of a sudden it happens. Veronica and Logan kiss right there on my television!!

Veronica and Logan

Here's the bullet points...

  • First I'm like "oh shit, that kid from Home Improvement has just kidnapped Veronica Mars!" But what's this? She was talking to Logan on her mobile phone, and he hears her getting kidnapped!
  • So when the kidnapper takes Veronica to the sleazy Camelot Hotel, Logan shows up and punches the kidnapper in the face! But uh oh, the kidnapper was actually an undercover Federal Agent!
  • After she's done talking to the Fed, Veronica is all "Oh Logan you saved me!" and gives him a quick BFF kiss.
  • Then Logan is all "Dude! Veronica Mars just totally kissed me on the lips!" and he's thinking "Man, I was just crying like a little bitch last episode! What is she doing kissing a pansy-ass like me?"
  • And then Veronica is like "I am such a whore! Just a little while ago I was kissing my boyfriend Deputy Leo!" and starts to walk off.
  • But Logan is all "I gotta get me another taste of THAT" then grabs her arm and starts to mash on her.
  • Veronica starts mashing Logan back and all of a sudden they both are like "WTF are we doing?" And Veronica runs away.
  • Then Veronica looks back to Logan and is all "Oh I am so confused!" and Logan is looking back at her and is all "I am totally going to score with Veronica Mars!"

omg! OMFG!!! So now I am going to spend the rest of the evening downloading screen caps and making pretty graphics for my blog that say "Veronica and Logan 4-ever." And then I need to start a new web site called "VeronicaLovesLogan.com" where I can write my own Veronica Mars fan fiction!

But now I am starting to remember that I am not a thirteen year-old girl, and have better ways of spending my time. DANG YOU TO HECK VERONICA MARS!! Only four episodes left until all our questions are answered.

Veronica's fingers gently caress the puka shells around Logan's neck. "I want you" she says, her voice throaty. "But Veronica, I've joined the CIA! I leave for Budapest in the morning!" he replies, running the back of his hand across her cheek. "Then I guess we had better make the most of the time we have. Take me! Take me now, Logan!" she screams, the tears coming easily. "Oh Ronnie, I love you so..."

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We've got a blind date with Destiny... and it looks like she's ordered the lobster!"
Yesterday's Answer: Dogma (1999) with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shit!

Posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Dave!For the longest time, I was a huge TiVo supporter. I absolutely loved the convenience and wonder of it all. It's like having a friend that you know you can always count on to record your favorite shows and manage your television habits. But with each passing day TiVo finds some new way of f#@%ing up that makes me want to smash it with a hammer and leave it for dead.

The first hit was when, after five long years of waiting, they FINALLY released their TiVoToGo format so that you can offload your shows and watch them on a computer. Since I travel a lot, this was huge for me. Unfortunately, TiVo's effort was so badly crippled with DRM that it was a case of "too little too late." But, in the end, at least it was here. All I had to do was wait for the promised Macintosh version, and I'd finally have something portable to work with, no matter how messed up it was.

From TiVo.Com: TiVo is working hard to make the TiVoToGo feature available on TiVo Desktop for Mac. We are currently working on ways to enable playback on Apple Macintosh computers. We will let our customers know in our newsletter as soon as this feature is available.

But not anymore. PVRblog is reporting that development on the Mac version of TiVoToGo isn't in TiVo's future plans because of cost issues.

Ass-biting, lying TiVo bug-f#@%ers.

TiVo Sucks Ass

I wonder what kind of "cost issues" you will have when people start abandoning your busted-ass lame shit for something that is actually worth a crap? Something that is built for the CONSUMERS WHO PAY YOU rather than television networks? Maybe I should drink the Kool-Aid and go with a Microsoft Media Center? And isn't DirecTV coming out with their own DVR sometime soon? Or maybe I should just buy a Mac Mini and convert it into a media center for my recording?

f#@% TiVo. f#@% them up their stupid asses.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Good

Posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Dave!Television sure is good right now. I guess this is because crappy reality shows are crowding the schedule so badly that only quality "regular programming" is making it on the air. In any event, I am watching more shows now than I have been in quite a while.

For anybody who is actually interested in my television viewing habits, a list of my "Top 10 Must-See Shows" follows in an extended entry after today's movie quote.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Chucky says Aunt Maggie was a bitch and got what she deserved!"
Yesterday's Answer: Mystery Men (1999) with Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, and WIlliam H. Macy.
→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ; Broken

Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2005

Dave!What are some items of yours that are broken or needing repair right now? My alarm clock, the gas tank on my motorcycle, and my old G4 PowerMac Graphite Tower.

When something breaks, do you tend to live with it broke, repair it yourself, have a professional fix it, or throw it out? I don't care what it is, I almost always try to fix it myself. This can be a real problem, because if I can't end up fixing it I usually end up having to throw it away because I've voided the warranty. Case in point: my old G4 PowerMac Graphite Tower (which I am still hoping to fix one day).

Is there a childhood toy, family heirloom, or some other special item which was broken that you'd very much like to have un-broken? My dad gave me a beautiful set of old drafting tools that are very important to me. I still have the tools, but the case they were in was broken when I moved house. There are few things that I can think of that I would rather have unbroken than that.

FQ DESTROYER: What is something you would like to break intentionally, assuming you could get away with it?After the lying liars at TiVo decided not to make TiVoToGo for the Mac like they promised... I think I should like to bust my TiVo box over their president's head.

Nothing is breakable at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Labeled

Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2005

Dave!This morning I awoke to find a hefty stack of comment confirmation emails in my "in-box." Apparently the scumbags over at Stonebridge Life Insurance are once again up to their dirty telemarketing tricks, and my blog is getting Googled by angry people looking for answers. I don't have answers, but it's nice to know that people can come here and vent their frustrations over an activity that should most certainly be illegal and punishable by death.

Along with people who were violated by the Stonebridge asshats, there were other great comments on various entries (seriously, I often think that the comments on this blog are far more entertaining than the blog itself!), and a very nice email from somebody in Germany who wrote to tell me that he had stumbled across my blog and spent the past week reading it from start to finish (even I am not that brave!). So thanks everybody!

Of course it wasn't all sunshine and roses, there was a hate-mail buried in there as well. It wouldn't be a week at Blogography if I didn't receive at least one nasty comment. This time it was in response to my previous entry lamenting the ever-dwindling value of the once mighty US Dollar. It started out with "You liberals..." and then went on to say "blah blah blah. blah blah. BLAH! BUSH! BLAAAAHHH! BLAAHH!!!" Well, not really. But I never did get over the shock of being labeled a "liberal" in the first two words, and pretty much ignored everything after that.

It would seem that ever since I started this blog, everybody is just dying to label me...

Dave Labeled

And while it is (on some really low level) flattering that people take the time to label me based on things they have read here, there is really only one label I will ever ascribe to...

Dave Me

And why is that? Because I don't need some group, organization, or other person doing my thinking for me, and certainly do NOT want to be tossed in with a group of people who do. That's fine for some, but absolutely not me. I make up my own mind, and speak my own mind. Some of my thoughts could be said to embrace popular liberal leanings, but others are very much in line with what is generally considered to be traditional conservative thinking.

It all comes down to the fact that my opinion is my opinion, and I don't really care on what side of the political fence it lands. I refuse to blindly subscribe to any political party, and choose to vote for the person I consider to be best for the job instead of randomly checking off the labels presented me. It is not the most popular way to handle your politics, but it's the only way for me. Ironically, such thinking has me regularly labeled as both "liberal" and "conservative" ... "Democrat" and "Republican" when, in fact, I am none of them.

And that brings me to the crux of this entry. Somebody assumes I was Bush-bashing, labeled me a liberal, and then decided to lay me to whale shit for being something I am not. This is so ridiculous as to be laughable. All I did was present the facts for my argument: since Bush has been in office, the value of the US Dollar has been in free-fall, and that is making it difficult for me to make vacation plans. That's it! If you are going to attack me for Bush-bashing, then at least wait until I am actually bashing the idiot our President before slapping yet another label on me. And if you can't do that much, then that's your problem, and attacking me via email is a big waste of time because I won't bother to read it. So blah blah blah BLAH!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Ten oughta do it don't you think? You think we need one more? You think we need one more. Alright, we'll get one more!"
Yesterday's Answer: Child's Play (1988) with Katherine Hicks and Brad Dourif.

   

Unfunny

Posted on Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Dave!And so the guy who branded me a liberal and got me all fired up over being labeled yesterday decided to write back. Now I'm being labeled a "hypocrite" because I myself labeled President Bush "an idiot" in that entry. He goes on to tell me that "people like you" who publicly ridicule The President do nothing but "hurt this great country."

I'd argue it makes us stronger, but whatever.

The simple truth is that there are some labels you earn, and I have fewer problems with President Bush than you would probably think I do. Sure many of his policies enrage me. And yes, I am irritated that he is supposed to be serving ALL Americans, but seems to be serving only those who label themselves Heterosexual Christian Conservatives. And of course the lying and backpedaling is annoying. And certainly I have a big problem with his very narrow world-view. But being The President is not the easiest of jobs and, even though I think he is gravely misguided in his thinking on many issues, none of it has pushed me to the point where I would attack him personally.

But there is one thing that I will never, ever forgive him for. One incident that provided me insight into George W. Bush that has made me loathe him with a righteous fury. Just one thing he has done that makes me feel completely justified in labeling him an idiot. Yes, it's just one thing, but it is so horrendously bad and un-Presidential that I seriously believe he has no business whatsoever being in office.

On March 24th of last year (my birthday, ironically enough) Bush attended the Radio & Television Correspondents' Association Dinner. Customarily, as the guest of honor, The President pokes fun at himself to show he is a "regular guy" and can be funny. George W. Bush decided to present a slide-show with humorous pictures of himself while making charming and witty commentary (quite a challenge, because he is hardly the most charming and witty of speakers). And it was all good until he showed a picture of himself looking around the Oval Office and said "those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!" He then went on to show himself looking for WMDs under the couch and other silly places while being all "funny" about it.

And meanwhile, American soldiers that he sent to Iraq are dying (along with soldiers from allied nations and untold numbers of Iraqi civilians). He started a war over weapons of mass destruction, and then decided to make jokes about it when they couldn't be found. I guess it's easier than admitting you either lied or made a mistake, but that's small consolation to those who died because of it (to say nothing about their friends and families).

And that makes George W. Bush a f#@%ing idiot, because joking about having started a war and sending people to their deaths would make anybody an idiot.

I don't care that it was probably some speech writer who told him to say it, because Bush controls what comes out of his own mouth and he was the one who decided to actually say it. I don't care that The President is "only human and makes mistakes," because some mistakes are unforgivable to me, and this is certainly one of them. I don't care that The President claims to have the highest regard for our military and never meant to imply anything but respect, because his actions show otherwise. I just don't care.

Maybe he was too stupid to realize that it wasn't funny. Or maybe he was too stupid to understand what he was actually saying. Or maybe he was just too stupid to know that people die when you start a war, and there's nothing humorous about that. In any event, George W. Bush didn't need me to call him an idiot, he managed to do that all by himself. I am simply in agreement.

UPDATE: I just Googled for a link to the above story, and found an even better take on it from somebody who was actually at that dinner. A writer for The Nation named David Corn. Here's the story from his Capitol Games column.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "No, I'm from Iowa. I only work in outer-space."
Yesterday's Answer: Ocean's Eleven (2001) with George Clooney and Brad Pitt.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hobbes!

Posted on Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Dave!Today is a good day after all. I was just sent an email from a friend telling me that there will finally be a "Complete Calvin and Hobbes" published so I can put it next to my "Complete Far Side" on the bookshelf! Calvin and Hobbes is easily my favorite comic strip of all time. As if that weren't enough, creator Bill Watterson is somebody I admire and respect enormously. Despite unrelenting pressure to whore out his comic for merchandising, Watterson held fast. Despite the newspaper publisher's stranglehold on formatting and sizing, Watterson battled to have his strip presented as he envisioned it. Despite a daily deadline that forces most cartoonists to take the easy route from time to time, Watterson never wavered in the quality of his strip (and never farmed it out to a team of collaborators either).

But even when you ignore all of that, reading Calvin and Hobbes is just good clean fun (see for yourself!)...

Calvin & Hobbes

Witty, smart, funny, and highly entertaining, this three-volume hardcover collection is available for pre-order at Amazon for 37% off (a bargain at $94.50!). It looks like the trim size of the books is 12" by 10.5" - so hopefully this means that the strips will be printed at a good size so Watterson's brilliant use of detail will be able to shine. To get a look at the set and all the details, you can visit the publisher's web site.

Categories: BooksClick To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary

Posted on Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Dave!Personal blogging is an activity that defies logic. In an age where people are losing more and more of their privacy (and fighting to regain what little privacy they have left), putting your personal life out on the internet makes no sense at all. Most of the time I try not to think about it, but there are moments when it hits me like a ton of bricks and I get one of those "what in the heck am I doing moments?" Today is one of those days, probably brought on by tomorrow's "Two-Year Blogiversary" celebration...

BLOGIVERSARY 2!

In an attempt to answer my own question, I've decided to write out the long and boring history of my adventures in blogging. That way, whenever I have doubts, I can just read this entry and everything will go back to quasi-normal. The rest of you can feel free to read today's movie quote and move on.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "If there is anything that this horrible tragedy can teach us... it's that a male model's life is a precious, precious commodity. Just because we have chiseled abs and stunning features it doesn't mean that we too can't not die in a freak gasoline fight accident."
Yesterday's Answer: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

Or you can click the link below to read along with me...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

2-Year Blogiversary: DAY ONE

Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2005

Dave!TODAY'S PRIZE: One of Twenty-Five Blogography T-Shirts!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
You may notice a new tab has just been added for the "Artificial Duck Store" at the top of this page. That's because I've had some cool new Blogography silk-screened T-Shirts made, and you can win one for FREE (in your choice of two designs)! There will be 25 winners, but everybody who enters will get a 50% off coupon good for any shirt (so even if you don't win, you win!). To get a look at the goods, just click here to visit the Artificial Duck Store. Each shirt is a $14.95 value.

THE CATCH: I may be crazy, but I'm not wealthy! So shipping charges are not included with the prize ($3.95 Priority Mail inside the USA, and $13.95 Air Mail everywhere else... an explanation is in the comments section).

THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Saturday, April 23rd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified and e-coupons have been sent. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). Shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.

TO ENTER: Just send an email to shirts@blogography.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can send you a coupon and contact you if you win.

Davelizshirt

THE STORY: One of my earliest jobs was designing T-Shirts for screen printing. Sadly, it's getting to be a lost art, because of all the internet "iron-on transfer" sites popping up. Who wants to pay a graphic designer to create a classy T-Shirt, when you can make your own design with clip art and Zazzle? It's a bit of a bummer, because an iron-on will never be as good as a real silk-screened shirt. To read about my humble design beginnings and the origin of Artificial Duck T-Shirts, I've written an entry about it here.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It's true what they say. Cops and women don't mix! It's like eating a spoonful of Drano... sure it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside."
Yesterday's Answer: Zoolander (1986) with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

WHAT-?!??

Posted on Monday, April 18th, 2005

Dave!Adobe just announced that they bought out Macromedia! I am in a state of shock here, and will probably never get to sleep now (even though it's 1:30am!). This means that Adobe has a total monopoly over creative design applications in print, web, and whatever other media they want. I can only guess that this means DreamWeaver will be absorbed into Adobe's Creative Suite (pushing out GoLive), and everything else will be dumped?!? This pretty much leaves Quark as the only big player left, but they've been trounced by Adobe's far-superior InDesign page layout software, so I guess it's game over.

Sheesh. I suppose when I think about it... I should have seen it coming, but it's still difficult to absorb.

Read the shocking details at Adobe's site.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

2-Year Blogiversary: DAY TWO

Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Dave!TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Read & Watch" $250 Big Box of Fun!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
Sure I could have dug through my closet and found a bunch of crap I didn't want anymore, then tied a bow around it and called it good... but that's not much of a prize, is it? No sir, I say it is NOT! So, instead, I went out and bought stuff that I would actually want to win... all brand new and factory-sealed! Yep, here's a box filled with some of my favorite books and movies you might have overlooked. Each is a hidden gem that's actually worth your valuable time, and adds up to nearly $250 in value!!

Big Box!

THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (sample costs are given in the comments section for the 12-lb. box). ALSO... I've bought both VHS tapes (in NSTC format) and DVDs (with Region 1 encoding) so hopefully whoever wins can watch the videos. But if you live outside the USA, PLEASE make sure you have a "region-free" DVD player or a VCR/TV that can play VHS NTSC tapes before you enter! I really would like it if whoever wins actually uses the prizes before they sell them on eBay or whatever!

THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Thursday, April 21st (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.

TO ENTER: Just send an email to bigbox@blogography.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

A complete list of the goodies in the box can be found in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Murder!

Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Dave!One of the nice things about living in my home town of Cashmere, Washington is that we are a "Tree City USA." This basically means that we have a lot of trees scattered around the city that are very well cared for. It's an expensive part of the city budget, but it sure makes for a nice place to live.

The not-so-nice thing about living in a "Tree City USA" is that maintenance on all these trees is ruthless. Any diseased or damaged trees that would normally be left to rot or survive the best they can in some other city are cut down and replaced without a second thought. This is probably a good thing, but it's kind of sad when it happens to a tree that I've grown accustomed to having around.

For example... just two weeks ago I wrote about the really cool dogwood (I think) that was in bloom. It's a beautiful tree that's been around as long as I can remember. Yesterday morning it was there when I went to work. When I left to go home last night, it had been chopped down! Murdered in broad daylight!!

Tree Murder

A tragedy. At least they waited for the flowers to fall out of bloom first. The poor tree had a glorious and beautiful send-off in its final days, and I hope that I am half as lucky when my time comes.

Sometimes it's not just a single tree... but an entire group. Mass tree murder! Back in June of last year I bogged about the "Leaning Trees of Cashmere." A few weeks ago, they were ALL chopped down in the prime of their life!

Tree Murder

And it wasn't just those three... but practically every tree on that street. The dogwood (or whatever it was) had a disease, so cutting it down was understandable. But I have no idea what was wrong with all of these trees (except they were a bit crooked). Oh well. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before new trees are planted, but I'll bet that's not a big consolation for the brave trees who lost their lives to make room for them.

In more upbeat news, the iTunes Music Store has Coldplay's beautiful new single Speed of Sound available for purchase. Sadly, it's only a taste that will have to hold over fans until the full album is released on June 7th. I am really looking forward to this one, and am anxious to know if they can manage to top their previous effort: A Rush of Blood to the Head.

The "Blogiversary 2" contests are going quite well, and the response is better than I had expected. The down-side is that my bandwidth (which has been steadily increasing for the past several months) is finally topping out. I guess that means I'm closer than I thought to adding Google advertisements to help pay for my hosting bill each month. It's not something I really want to do, but I don't know that I can afford to avoid it much longer.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I know you will not kill an innocent man... or me either, for that matter!"
Yesterday's Answer: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) with Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

2-Year Blogiversary: DAY THREE

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Dave!TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Taste of Home" $100 Big Box of Gourmet Foods!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
From my home to yours... a taste of the Pacific Northwest. It's an assortment of various treats from Washington, Oregon, and Montana that I've come to enjoy over the years (and hopefully you will too). We've got jams and jellies. We've got vinegars and glazes. We've got candies and pancakes. We've got bread and fish. WE'VE GOT MUSTARD FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! MUSTARD I SAY!!! In any event, this prize is sure to add a bit of exotic flavor to your boring culinary routine (you pizza-eating slacker you).

Food Box!

THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (and this one ain't cheap... the sucker weighs TWENTY POUNDS!!). ALSO... Some countries have severe restrictions as to food imports. If you live outside the USA, please make sure that none of these items are forbidden to receive in the mail (call your local post office and see).

THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Friday, April 22nd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.

TO ENTER: Just send an email to tasty@blogography.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

A complete list of the goodies in the box can be found in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2005, Food 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Nutritional

Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2005

Dave!With each passing day, I lose a little more respect for my fellow human beings because people, for the most part, are stupid. Astoundingly, unfathomably stupid. And the worst part is that people are stupid not because of genetics, but because they choose to be. Nobody wants to think anymore. They want all their thinking done for them. This kind of lazy-ass approach to living enrages me to the point where I believe that the extinction of the human race is not such a bad thing.

But whatever, it's the world we live in now. Every last obvious detail has to be spelled out in nauseating detail lest the stupidity of the masses will be left standing around scratching their heads. And that brings us to the new "My Pyramid" campaign unleashed by the USDA upon an unsuspecting public. It's not actually "new-new" but instead a revision of the old "Nutrional Pyramid" developed a while back. Its purpose is to help curb the obesity epidemic that's crippling this Nation by educating people to eat healthier...

Pyramid Two

And so now I find myself compelled to ask... WHO IS THE DUMBASS WHO DREAMED UP THIS STUPID SHIT?!? And... SOMEBODY WAS ACTUALLY PAID TO CREATE THIS JANKY CRAP?!?

I mean, the original pyramid was no masterpiece, but at least you kind of got the idea about what it was trying to communicate. Even the stupidest person could see that you are supposed to be eating more breads and grains than milk and dairy. But this new pyramid is so f#@%ed up that there's absolutely no way to figure out what it is trying to tell you. When I first saw it, I thought it was some new gay pride symbol or something. I never dreamed that it could possibly be communicating any information. Probably because it doesn't communicate any information. Even a brilliant person like me would find it impossible to figure out what the f#@% it was trying to tell you. And since I am a brilliant person, here are my guesses...

  • Dump the contents of your refrigerator on the floor, then climb a rainbow.
  • Trash your kitchen, then step up to a gay lifestyle.
  • Stick your arms and legs in a pencil sharpener, then climb a flight of stairs to look at a prism shining on a garbage dump.
  • Sort your food into color groups, then look at it from on top of a rainbow to choose what to have for dinner.

WHAT THE f#@%?!! I could go on for pages about how poorly the new pyramid is designed, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say that it's next to impossible to tell what the different colored slices mean, or even how big they are in relation to each other. Somebody on the design team desperately needs to read some Edward Tufte books, because there is no way anybody is going to figure out that this pyramid is telling you to "put down that donut, eat a banana, and exercise." It's just not going to happen. Holy crap... a simple pie chart would have been easier to decipher than this disaster.

It's yet another case of the stupid leading the stupider, and your tax dollars at work. Oh well, it's not like people bother to look at this stuff anyway. Kind of like those asinine warning labels on a pack of cigarettes. People are just too stupid to pay attention, and the people paid to change that are not much smarter.

But enough of that crap...

LoVe!

OMG!! Did you guys see Logan and Veronica totally making out on last night's episode of Veronica Mars?!?? I was like, SOOOOooooooooo excited!!!! Logan is like so totally hot and Veronica is so cute!! And Veronica is all "what are we doing?" and Logan is all "I don't know!" And I was like totally dying and rewinding the TiVo. And then Veronica Mars broke up with Deputy Leo and I was all "OMG! SHE LIKE TOTALLY LOVES LOGAN NOW!!!" And was like "this is totally the bestest show ever!!!!" And went to bed smiling like a fool because I know Logan and Veronica are so totally perfect together!

And then the next morning I woke up and started looking for my testicles.

I thought for sure I had left them next to the television remote, but they weren't there at all. Tonight I'll tear the couch apart, because they probably just fell behind the cushions or something.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I don't want to be a vampire... I'm a day person!"
Yesterday's Answer: Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981) with George Hamilton and George Hamilton.

   

2-Year Blogiversary: DAY FOUR

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Dave!TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Other Man's Treasure" $400 Big Bag of Geeky Stuff!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
When I was planning my Two-Year Blogiversary, I made a promise to myself that I was not going to just dig through old crap I had laying around for prizes, but instead buy all-new, all-terrific stuff. But the original (really cool) prize I had lined up for today fell through last week, and I was left with a gaping hole in the prize-schedule. Since it was too late to figure out something new, I had no choice but to see what I might have laying about. As it turns out, there are items that I paid a total of $1050 for just sitting around unused (or barely used). Stuff that I don't want, but may be of use to somebody out there since it's practically new merchandise. As they say, "one man's junk is another man's treasure." Except this stuff isn't really junk at all.

Bag Geek

THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (weight is about 15 pounds). ALSO... Some countries have severe restrictions as to what can be imported. If you live outside the USA, please make sure that none of these items are forbidden to receive in the mail (call your local post office and see).

THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Saturday, April 23nd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.

TO ENTER: Just send an email to geek@blogography.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

A complete list of the goodies in the bag can be found in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Toast

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2005

Dave!Bandwidth. Just exceeded my bandwidth limit (again). All my attempts in finding a reasonable solution to this problem with my hosting company (LunarPages.com) have failed. My regular account costs $7.95 a month and I get 40 gigs of bandwidth. To buy another 40 gigs of bandwidth costs an additional $158 a month ($3.95 per gig). Yes, you read that right: $165.95 EACH MONTH to host a blog (and no, you can't buy two and combine them). My other option is to switch from a $7.95 plan to a $22.95 plan to get the additional bandwidth I need. Double the bandwidth should be double the cost, not triple, but it's not like they're giving me much choice (at least I get a couple of additional SQL databases out of the deal). I haven't felt this screwed since I signed my mobile phone contract. The monkey spankers. Anybody know of a support group for people who have been violated by their web hosting company?

Domestic. As I was driving home this evening, a lawn chair suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. I slammed on the brakes to avoid it, then attempted to come to my senses as the adrenaline rush died down. Trying to figure out what just happened, I look over to see a man and a woman screaming and fighting and throwing things at each other. That was amusing, but not the reason I am writing this. That would be because their two horrified young kids were across the yard watching the entire ordeal. Somebody please tell me what I am supposed to make of this, because I am completely lost on this one.

Eyes. Watched yet another amazing episode of Eyes last night. The show is flawless.

Tool. Ya know, usually nobody is a bigger asshole than me. I'll readily admit to that. But every once in a while you run across somebody who is such a complete and total tool that you have to step back and realize that you are not #1 anymore. Yesterday a "business journalist" named Dana Blankenhorn wrote a stunningly bitchy article slamming Google for not better implementing RSS throughout its services. Even better, he lays the blame 100% on Evan Williams, saying that Ev needs to "move on, and Google needs to bring in someone with a Clue." Talk about "needing a Clue" - Evan Williams already left Google last October (as anybody who reads his blog already knows). Blankenhorn has been a "journalist" for 25 years... yet he can't seem to do even the most basic research before tearing into somebody? Perhaps it's time for HIM to "move on."

Toast. Right now I could go for a nice piece of toast with butter and jam. And also a fifth of Jack Daniels to help me forget the ravaging I just took in excess bandwidth charges.

   

2-Year Blogiversary: DAY FIVE

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Dave!TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Hard Rocker" $225 Rock Box OR "Hard Lurker" $50 Bag!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
When mapping out Blogiversary 2, I really struggled with just how I was going to give away all this stuff. At first, only people who had left five or more comments were going to be allowed to enter. Just my way of saying "thank you" to the many people who make this blog as fun as it is for me. But then I thought this would be really unfair to somebody who only just discovered my blog yesterday and might go on to leave thousands of comments. So the initial four days were open to everybody. This time is a little different, because I still want to have a day just for my "commentin' posse"... my favorite things for my favorite people!

There are two prizes today. EVERYBODY is welcome to enter, but ONLY those who have left five or more comments between April 18 2004 and April 18 2005 are eligible to win the "Rock Box" prize! After the Rock Box winner is drawn from qualified entries, all remaining names will be put in a drawing for the "Hard Lurker" prize (whether you are a lurker or not!).

Sorry about that, but hopefully it will encourage people to have fun and participate with their comments for Blogiversary 3 next year... because look at what you could have won this year:

Rock Box

THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (weight is about 6 pounds). ALSO... Some countries have severe restrictions as to what can be imported. If you live outside the USA, please make sure that none of these items are forbidden to receive in the mail (call your local post office and see).

THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Saturday, April 23nd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.

TO ENTER: Just send an email to rocker@blogography.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

A complete list of the goodies in the box and bag can be found in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Pet

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Dave!Any pets as a kid? I had a beautiful black cat named "Midnight." As far as pets go, he was pretty cool.

Any pets now? Unfortunately, no. My travel schedule is such that I wouldn't be able to properly care for a pet if I were to have one (which would be a German Shepherd dog). Of course, there's always Oscar... he's kind of a pet.

Name your favorite famous pet from television or movies. "Brian" from "The Family Guy." Not only is he a dog that can speak and walk on two legs, but he is also a smartass that drinks martinis. What more could you want in a pet?

FQ BEST FRIEND: If money and legality were not a barrier, what exotic animal would you like as a pet? A voracious Tiger that eats people on command.

No leash is required at the FridayQ.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Let me see if I have this correct... it's an 8-foot creature of some kind with acid for blood, and it arrived on your spaceship. It kills on sight, and is generally unpleasant."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Once Bitten (1985) with Jim Carrey and Lauren Hutton.
Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

2-Year Blogiversary: DAY SIX

Posted on Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

Dave!Alrighty then... the week-long Blogiversary 2 Kick-Ass Online Celebration has nearly come to a close. All that's left this week is wait for a few entry deadlines to expire at midnight tonight, then arrange to have all the winners selected tomorrow by a impartial 3rd party.

Of course, then the REAL work begins. Notify the winners, collect T-Shirt sizes and shipping charges (where required), place a final T-Shirt order, assemble the prizes, take a drive to Seattle to pick up shirts, then box and mail over 30 packages...

Oh crap! What have I got myself into?!!??

Davewaaahhh!

It's a good thing that my Blogiversary only comes along once a year! And since I didn't celebrate last year, I wanted to be sure this time was something special. I guess another week of work for my adoring readers won't be so bad. And speaking of my adoring readers... I'd like to take a minute to thank everybody for tuning in to help me celebrate. Entries for the Blogiversary prizes exceeded my expectations, and that's very cool indeed. All the nice comments and emails were also much appreciated.

With that being said, there are a handful of readers who I would like to single out for a bit of extra thanks... Jeff, Karen, Kazza, Kimono, and Perry. These guys (and gals) made the extra effort to actually meet up with me in person, and I'd like to send a T-shirt and a little something extra their way to let them know how much I appreciated that. I'll email you for your shipping information when the prizewinner notifications go out tomorrow.

Anyway, thanks again for tuning in, and I'll start making plans for next year...

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Only a man whose heart is pure can wield the knife, and only a man whose ass is narrow can get down these steps... and if mine's is such an ass, then I shall have it!"
Yesterday's Answer: Alien3 (1992) with Sigourney Weaver and Charles S. Dutton.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Scanners

Posted on Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

Dave!I often-times wish that I had the power to make people's heads explode. But it's probably a good thing I don't, because there would be a drastic drop in the world population. I just don't think I could contain myself when it comes to simple, everyday situations where people piss me off. I can't quite decide if that makes me weak or just plain evil.

I'm betting on evil, but that could just be wishful thinking.

Anyway, if I DID have such awesome psychic powers, here's a list of people whose heads would be blown up just today (and the night is not yet over!)...

  • The neighbor who slams his door so hard that my teeth feel as though they're going to be knocked out of my head.
  • The morons at MindFieldOnline who sent me an offer of $10 to take an Acuvue Contact Lens survey, but then stopped me part-way through because my "statistic group" was full (never-mind that I responded to the email just 2-seconds after receiving it and they made no mention of limits in the email... f#@%ers).
  • The idiot ahead of me driving 20 in a 35 mph zone.
  • The ass-clown who parked his pickup across two parking spots at the grocery store, requiring me to park all the way across the lot.
  • The stupid bitch with 80's hair and mega-bangs who sat directly in front of us at the theater, despite there being plenty of other seats available.
  • The skanky whore behind us who WOULD NOT SHUT UP during the movie.
  • The weenie who slapped the lame "happy ending" onto an otherwise decent movie called "The Interpreter."
  • The pathetic dickhead who tried to "race" me from a stoplight when I was heading home from the movie... in a Honda CRX with a hilarious-looking spoiler (over a foot tall!) on the back.
  • The dumbass monkey-spanker who just flooded me with trackback spam advertising "hot and horny teens."

I think that it would probably go something like this...

Scanner Dave

Scanner Dave

Scanner Dave

And yet, if I went around blowing up the heads of people who rightly deserve to be headless... it would be I who was considered a criminal! It's a world gone mad. MAD I SAY!!! All I know is that it would not be wise to piss me off. I may not have head-exploding psychic powers now, but if I continue to keep growing more and more brilliant every day, it's only a matter of time.

   

2-Year Blogiversary: WINNERS!

Posted on Sunday, April 24th, 2005

Dave!Well, it's been a great week... but all good things must come to an end, and it's time to announce the winners!

And figuring out exactly how these winners would be selected was a new challenge entirely. I was going to figure out some kind of spiffy electronic randomizing raffle picker thing (or see if I could find one to download)... but that just didn't seem right. Once the computer takes over, how do I know that it's a fair drawing? I don't. So I decided to print out everybody on perfed folder tabs, and have the names drawn out of a hat (or, more accurately, a CD spindle cover). Since my email program was set to color-code the incoming emails, I decided to color-code the names to draw...

Blogiversary Entries

After printing out all the names on tabs, I double-checked to be sure everybody was there, then headed out to a girl I work with so that she could draw the names. It was at this time I began to panic with thoughts like... "oh crap! what if the same person wins all the prizes!" and "I forgot to ask people where they live so I can know whether or not to ask for shipping charges!" and a dozen other things that put me on the verge of a meltdown.

But it was all worry for nothing. Within three minutes, I had the winning names and nothing scary happened. Well, ALMOST all the winning names... I forgot to draw a second name for the "Lurker" prize, and then realized that I forgot to be sure that the "Rock Box" winner had 5 comments (which, thankfully, he did). So I drew the last name myself when I got back to the office, then set about matching the color-coded names to the prizes they had just won.

If you don't want to know (or would rather be surprised when I send out notifications later this afternoon) then stop reading right now...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Gratitude

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2005

Dave!If I weren't so totally evil, I might cry.

I cannot help but be touched at everybody's kind emails and comments over the past week. But since I am saving all my tears for the inevitable marriage of Logan to Veronica Mars, I've come up with another way to show my gratitude. Instead of sending "half-off" coupons to only those who didn't win a shirt, I've just marked everything half-off in the Artificial Duck Store so everybody can get an cheap inexpensive shirt if they want.

This means that currently the "Blogography Logo" shirt is a ridiculous $5.50 (+shipping) which is below my cost, and the "Bad Monkey" shirt is a mere $7.50 (+shipping) to balance things out. I will probably just leave it that way for a month or two until I decide to put a few new designs up... just try to find a high-quality shirt with 4-color silk screened art at these prices anywhere else!

If you live outside the USA you have to add an additional $10 to your order for every 5 shirts to cover shipping costs but, given the weak-ass value of the US Dollar, I think this still works out to almost-free. So go ahead and buy dozens of them to be used as dust rags, shoe polishing cloths, or even really comfortable toilet paper... I'm just doing my part to repair international US relations!

Two last things... PayPal is a free and safe way to pay for things over the internet (they guarantee it), but if you would rather not use PayPal, that's perfectly okay... just write to me, and I'll send you an address where you can send a money order (in US funds). And lastly, for everybody who has already ordered a shirt and paid full-price, have no fear. I'll double your order. I've already sent out emails asking which design you want for your freebie.

Blogography Bad Monkey T-Shirt

See? It's never been easier to protect yourself and your loved ones from my evil plans for world domination! Because, naturally, I won't be exploding the heads of anybody wearing a Blogography T-shirt. In fact, I'll probably promote you to a Five-Star General in the Dave World Liberation Army, based solely on your keen fashion sense!

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sexy

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2005

Dave!Oog. I just spent the last 2-1/2 hours processing a bunch of T-Shirt orders from the Artificial Duck Co. Store. I was going to call in my order with the screen printer tomorrow, but now I think I should wait a day or two until things die down a bit. Nothing drives sales faster than quality merchandise at insane prices!

Anyway, when I fired up ecto (the amazing blogging tool I use to write this stuff) it notified me that a new version 2.3 has just been released. Wow. In addition to piling on new features and being a free upgrade, it's dead sexy. I'd say it was perfect now, but I said that about the last version and was proven wrong. And that brings up a very good question...

How is it that just one guy (that would be Adriaan Tijsseling) can constantly find new ways to improve his software... release bug fixes within hours of having them be reported... and provide world-class service for his customers... when mammoth companies like Adobe and Microsoft with thousands of employees suck so badly at it? There are bugs in Adobe Illustrator that I have been BEGGING them to fix for nearly a decade, and they have never been addressed. I send Adriaan a feature request and it arrives fifteen minutes later. WTF?!?

And it's not just ecto, there are plenty of other shareware developers that are equally astounding in their dedication to their customers. I wish that people would remember this when they find themselves using an unregistered piece of software over and over and over again. Hard work like that deserves to be rewarded.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Do you think I relish the fact that I have to act like Mary Sunshine 24/7 so I can be considered a lady? I'm the Marcia f#@%king Brady of the Upper East Side, and sometimes I want to kill myself!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: The Golden Child (1986) with Eddie Murphy and Charlotte Lewis.
Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Slap

Posted on Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

Dave!Last night I received a phone call from my good friend Meagan who I have not spoken to in a very long time (she's responsible for the little photos of me you see before each entry). It's always great to catch up, but I find my jealousy soaring because she's been mucking about Asia for the past month and I've been stuck at home. She then tells me that her next vacation will absolutely include the UK, which (oddly enough) is someplace she has never been, despite a lifetime of extensive international travel.

Dave: Well, just be careful when you go... I don't want your picture turning up on the internet from a "Happy Slapping" incident!
Meagan: What the heck is "Happy Slapping?"
Dave: Haven't you heard? It's all the rage in the UK... angry youths run about slapping people in the face and recording it with their picture-phone. Then they pass the best photos along from phone to phone.
Meagan: Whaaaaaat? Are you kidding?
Dave: Oh no. It's a serious deal. They're apparently banning phones in schools to stop "Happy Slapping" bullies.
Meagan: That's so... strange. Can you imagine just walking along and somebody runs up and slaps you in the face?

Well, of course I can. And being in the UK, it's probably all very civilized after somebody has slapped you...

Daveslap1

But it's when you start thinking about what would happen if something like this were to become popular here in the good old U.S. of A. that it starts to get interesting, because the reaction could end up being very, very different...

Daveslap2

And please don't think that I'm making fun of the British here... on the contrary, I think it must be liberating to live in a place where you can go around slapping people and not have to worry about somebody pulling a gun on you. Heaven only knows I'd be bitch-slapping a heck of a lot more people if I weren't so worried about having a cap popped in my ass from some trigger-happy redneck.

Oh well. It looks like I'll have to travel abroad to do all my slapping. I wonder if there are organized tours for things like that? Or at least a guide book... "How to Slap in Europe on Just $50 a Day" and "A Bitch-Slapper's Guide to London" for example. I'll have to give Frommer's a call.

And, in other news... dang I look good in a bowler hat!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "All I needed now was a computer... and a ten year old kid to teach me how to use it."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Cruel Intentions (1999) with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair.
Categories: News - Politics 2005Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Web

Posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

Dave!Rather than bitch about ABC's lame attempt at cobbling together a "new" episode of Lost out of old footage tonight... or be all upset that Veronica Mars found out Logan may have provided the drug used to dope and rape her the previous year (NOOOOOooo!)... or lament the fact that I haven't found the time to play Star Wars Lego for Xbox... I think I'll just take a look at what's new around the internet.

Smith on Sith. Uber genius writer/director Kevin Smith has blogged about his screening of the final Star Wars flick... Revenge of the Sith, And really dug it. Some might discount his opinion because he's working on a new Star Wars television show for Lucas, but I've never known Kevin Smith to sugar-coat anything. If the movie was a turd, he'd call it a turd. The fact that he liked it bodes very well for the film and my potential enjoyment of it.

MacroAdobemedia. Over at Daring Fireball, there's a nice take on the Adobe/Macromedia merger that brings the current situation into vivid relief. I am still trying to figure out at what point their bug-ridden, bloated software will implode to the point of unuseability. It seems to be half-way there right now. With Macromedia out of the picture, who will be that next brave soul who picks up the baton and enters the race?

Batmania. It would be hard to do any worse that the absolute Bat-induced crap-fest that Joel Schumacher unleashed upon the world with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. And from that perspective, the new Batman Begins film looks utterly brilliant. The fact that Katie Holmes is in it is just the icing on the cake. You can watch the new trailer right here.

Batman Begins

Katie Cruise? Speaking of Katie Holmes... have you heard that she is dating Tom Cruise?? Oh the humanity!

Nike ID. I keep seeing advertisements for the new "Nike ID" site where you can customize a pair of shoes just for you. Most of the color combinations are kind of lame but, after a while, I came up with a cool black and gray shoe that has a nifty lime-green swoosh that I might actually considering buying. My second choice was a red and blue "Spider-Man" type thing, but I'd never wear them.

Nikeid

Shirt Me! Well, orders have finally calmed down a bit at the Artificial Duck Store, and I'll be placing my order tomorrow morning. Hopefully this means I'll get the shirts and start shipments early next week!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "So... can we sign you up for one of our Nightstalkers secret decoder rings?"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Fletch Lives (1989) with Chevy Chase and Cleavon Little.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Chocolate

Posted on Thursday, April 28th, 2005

Dave!After a very long and annoying day, I wanted nothing more than to make a batch of chocolate-almond ice cream and veg-out in front of the television. But then the Cuisinart started leaking all over the place, so what I got instead was a chocolate-coated kitchen. Seriously, it was like Chocolate Armageddon over here. There was chocolate all over the countertops. There was chocolate running down the drawers. There was chocolate splattered on the floors. Everywhere you looked was chocolate...

Chocolate

Apparently, there are limits as to how much liquid you can put in a WHIRLING BLADES OF CERTAIN DEATH Cuisinart machine. I really do need to read that manual one day. Undeterred, I forged ahead whilst ankle-deep in chocolate, and made a new batch.

So now I sit here waiting for my ice-cream maker timer to beep, letting me know that frozen chocolatey goodness is waiting for me.

Checking my email, I see that Apple has shipped my copy of MacOS X 10.4 via FedEx today. The courier gods willing, I'll have it tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about that, but not all is coming up roses for Apple... the loser ass-clowns at "Tiger Direct" are suing Apple because MacOS X 10.4 is code-named "Tiger" and they claim that it will "cause confusion, mistake and deception among the general purchasing public." This is laughable on so many levels, I don't even know what to say. First of all, the Apple "Tiger" code-name has been in existence for YEARS... but they wait until the day before Apple ships the product before firing off a lawsuit and injunction? Dumbasses. Like anybody is really going to confuse the Mac OS with a lame reseller. Like anybody even cares.

I was able to make an appointment at the screen printers today... it's set for next Tuesday. That means I can start sending out all the fabulous prizes from the Blogiversary 2 contest next Wednesday. Watch your mailbox!

Ooooh! Time to add the almonds - ice cream is almost ready. ICE CREAM! IIIIICE CREEEEEEEAAMMMM!!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You were born with an asshole, Doris... you don't need Chuck."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Blade: Trinity (2004) with Wesley Snipes and Ryan Reynolds.

   

FridayQ: Tasty

Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2005

Dave!Your favorite sweet food? When did you last have it? My grandmother's apple pie, and I had it about three weeks ago.

Your favorite salty food? When did you last have it? French fries, which I had two days ago.

Your favorite sour food? When did you last have it? Green apples, which I had last summer.

FQ EDIBLE: What's the best thing you've ever tasted? The most horrible thing you've ever tasted? The best thing would have to be Pasta Salvi from Salvi's Bistro in Columbus Ohio... I still fantasize about it, and would probably weigh 700 pounds if I lived anywhere in the vicinity of Columbus. The worst would have to be natto (which is also the strangest), a Japanese delicacy that is nothing less than torture to the uninitiated.

Everything is tasty at the FridayQ.

Categories: Food 2005, Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tiger

Posted on Friday, April 29th, 2005

Dave!Well, it's finally here... MacOS X 10.4, also known by the code-name "Tiger." Though I've only been using it for a day, I have to say that I am very, very impressed. Installation was a snap, and I've run into no major problems so far. It's as if MacOS X has finally left beta and is now starting to mature as an actual OS rather than just a pretty experiment.

Understandably, my ramblings about Tiger are probably of little interest to many of you, so I've tucked it away in an extended entry after today's movie quote.

Tiger Preview

Movie Quotable of the Day: "My ass may be dumb, but I ain't no dumbass."
Yesterday's Answer: Night of the Comet (1984) with Sharon Farrell and Robert Beltran.
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Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Celebrity

Posted on Saturday, April 30th, 2005

Dave!I am seriously behind in my blog reading. NetNewswire reported that I had 427 entries waiting, which is pretty bad, so I decided to just dedicate my morning to getting caught up.

About 100 deep, I run across an excellent idea for a meme over at Rob's Cucucachoo blog (which he got from an episode of Friends)... where you list the top five celebrities would you have "relations" with, even if you were already in a relationship. I don't think it would surprise anybody if my list looked like this:

  1. Elizabeth Hurley.
  2. Elizabeth Hurley.
  3. Elizabeth Hurley.
  4. Elizabeth Hurley.
  5. Elizabeth Hurley.

I mean, COME ON!! Have you ever seen anything so delicious in your life?

But, in the interest of being diplomatic to all the women out there who are not Elizabeth Hurley, I suppose it's only fair that I give some other celebs a shot at my sweet, sweet lovin'... here's a slight revision for the moment:

  1. Elizabeth Hurley.
  2. Katie Holmes.
  3. Halle Berry.
  4. Jessica Alba.
  5. Angelina Jolie.

A pity that you can't go over five... there should be a way to fit Kelly Hu in there somewhere. Oh well, it's not like if Kelly Hu ever made a move on me that I would go "oh, so sorry, but you're not on my list!"

Movie Quotable of the Day: "There are three basic types, Mr. Pizer... the Wills, the Won'ts, and the Can'ts. The Wills accomplish everything, the Won'ts oppose everything, and the Can'ts won't try anything."
Yesterday's Answer: Jackie Brown (1997) with Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson.

   

Erasure

Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2005

Dave!After going through a mile of bubble-wrap to get all of the fabulous Blogiversary 2 prizes packed up (just waiting for the T-shirts!) I thought I would update my Mac G4 Cube to Tiger and watch a little TiVo and a couple of NetFlix DVDs.

First up was Shaolin Soccer, which kicks so much ass that you almost need a new genre of film to describe its ass-kicking proficiency. If you've ever wanted to know what would happen if a soccer game took place in The Matrix, then this film is your answer. Really cheesy dialogue also makes this one of the funniest films I've seen in a while. The DVD had both the shitty, butchered "American" version and the vastly superior "Chinese" original (with English subtitles).

Shaolin Soccer

Next was Erasure: Hits!, filled with incredibly bad videos that are so gay that even gay people must think "wow, those are some pretty gay videos!" I am really schizophrenic when it comes to the music I listen to. At home, in my car, and on my iPod are groups like Radiohead, System of a Down, Depeche Mode, Oasis, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, and Pearl Jam. While at work, I am strictly synth-pop with groups like Erasure, New Order, Thompson Twins, Pet Shop Boys, and Moby (which is why my AudioScrobbler profile looks the way it does). Of all of them, Erasure is easily the undisputed queen of bubblegum synth.

Erasure

Sadly, not a single video in the entire Erasure canon is worth a crap (the low point is when both Andy and Vince are dressed in full drag as very ugly women singing Abba's "Take a Chance on Me"). It's really too bad given they are capable of such beautiful music... "You Surround Me," "Joan," "A Little Respect," "I Broke it All in Two" and so many more. Why can't their videos be as lyrical and beautiful as the songs they depict? Sad.

Lasty, I watched the two-part Enterprise episode: In A Mirror Darkly. It's where we get to have the boring Enterprise characters all evil and interesting (finally) because they're in the Star Trek "Mirror Universe." It's fun to see Archer gone all insane... but even more fun to see Hoshi as a power-crazed whore in a belly-shirt who will sleep with anybody to advance her career. Delicious. I also found it a bit touching to see T'Pol and the other aliens attempt a coup against the evil humans, knowing they would fail completely in order to maintain continuity with future Star Trek series. If the show were this good for the past four years, I might have actually bothered to watch it (and so would everybody else, which means UPN wouldn't have had to cancel it).

Which begs the question... why is it that Trek producers just don't understand what Star Trek fans want to see? We want action! LOTS AND LOTS of ACTION! Don't have characters sit around in decontamination chambers and talk for an hour straight... blow some shit up! The reason Captain Kirk was so cool was because in any given situation he would either fight with somebody, shoot somebody, or have sex with somebody. THAT'S IT!! That's all he did, and we loved it! But now all we get for action is people sitting around the bridge saying stupid shit like "let's re-route the EPS conduits" and then pressing a bunch of buttons so they could go back to boring talk again. Stupid. I have every last episode of the original Star Trek on DVD and watch them all the time. I don't own any of the other series, and usually won't be bothered to watch them for free on television either. Why? Because when I tune in to Star Trek I want to actually be entertained (and there wasn't much of that to be found in anything that followed the originals, except the movies #2, #4, #6, and #8). Please, if there is a god of science fiction television, let Paramount fire the dumbasses who have been running Star Trek into the ground for the past 20 years and get somebody who will actually entertain us with the next series.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "...and I hope the people of the United States of America will be able to sleep better knowing that women like us have guns."
Yesterday's Answer: The Black Hole (1979) with Robert Forster and Anthony Perkins.

And now for a few more MacOS X Tiger observations in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

SerenityHD

Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2005

Dave!One of the (many) things to love in the new MacOS X Tiger release is the new High Definition video codec that's built into QuickTime 7. The technical name for it is "H.264," whereas the "H" stands for "Holy crap this is amazing-looking video!" At first I had a little trouble with playing samples from Apple's HD Gallery, and assumed it was because my computer wasn't fast enough. But I think that might have just been because Spotlight was indexing in the background at the time... now it works great on my Dual 1.42GHz G4 Mac.

All the clips are amazing (and big!), but the movie trailer for "Serenity" is just jaw-dropping. I must have watched it a dozen times now. Each and every frame looks like a hi-res photograph instead of the blurry mess you get from regular video compression. Just look at the detail...

Serenity

Serenity

Every pore in her face... ever hair... is clearly visible. It's almost surreal. Now compare that to the previously released "large-sized" trailer...

Serenity

Incredible. It doesn't hurt that the movie looks like it's going to kick huge amounts of ass when it arrives on September 30th. I was not a real fan of the cancelled "Firefly" television show, but I will absolutely be going to the feature film sequel.

Right now, QuickTime 7 is only available for the Mac, but a Windows version is promised soon.

I so want a $10,000 HD video camera right now.

   

May

Posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2005

Dave!Somehow it became May and I didn't notice. Probably because I am too busy fighting with vending machines and watching television.

Of the two activities, watching television seems to be what I am more successful at. I say this because I am typing this entry one-handed after having damaged my other hand beating up a vending machine that stole my money. Fortunately, I did manage to shake two candy bars and a bag of chips out of the deal (even if none of them were what I was trying to purchase).

Tiger Heat. Ever since upgrading my PowerBook to MacOS X Tiger, it runs much hotter. I have no idea what is going on, but both fans are running constantly and my fingertips are burning up from typing on it. Perhaps it's the processor working harder or something? I've tried setting my "Processor Performance" to "reduced" but I'm not sure it's having any effect. This is a bit troubling, and I hope somebody at Apple is looking into it... assuming it's not just my imagination. I guess if she bursts into flames we'll know for sure.

JAG. One of my favorite TV shows, JAG ended its 10-year run last week. I just don't know what I am going to do with myself not being able to look at the sweet hotness of Catherine Bell each week. Oh well. At least they wrapped up the show nicely nicely. Here's hoping that some brilliant television exec finds her a new television show right away.

Catherine Bell

Mars DVD. According to the genius behind Veronica Mars, the first season is being rushed to DVD with a September street-date so that people who missed it can get caught up before the second season starts up again. The bad news is that there won't be time for any "extras" like commentaries and production featurettes to be included. As much as I would like to have these things, I'm just happy to be getting a release. The only thing that could possibly be better news would be if Rob Thomas's other excellent show (Jeremy Piven's Cupid, the best television series ever) was also being released.

Surgery TV. Is anybody watching Grey's Anatomy on Sunday nights? The show is excellent. The fact that Sandra Oh is in it is just icing on the cake.

Bandwidth Bust. My bandwidth usage continues to climb. I have no choice but to make a few alterations in how Blogography is arranged, or else I will top my new 80gig limit in 18 days (at the current rate). From now on only 7 days will be displayed on the front page (down from 10, which was my weekly average)... and all feeds will also display 7 days (down from 15). I apologize to those readers who only stop by once a week (since you'll end up having to go through the archives now), but there's just nothing I can do about it. This weekend I plan on chopping up the category pages into years so that the pages will serve up dozens of entries instead of hundreds. I'll also be killing trackback. Hopefully all these changes will keep me under the 80gig limit until next January when I can look for a web host with a bigger allowance (it's either that, or stop posting photos, like the one above, which I really don't want to do).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You know what I've learned in my seven years here at Coolidge, Timmy? I've learned that you can't treat every situation as a life-and-death matter because you'll die a lot of times."
Yesterday's Answer: Feds (1988) with Rebecca De Mornay and Mary Gross.

   

Ultimate

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005

Dave!Today I was supposed to drive to Seattle and pick up the Blogography T-shirts. Unfortunately, because I insisted on only the highest quality Haynes Beefy-T shirts, they had to be ordered from Colorado. Shipping is taking slightly longer than anticipated, but they will be here before the end of the week so I can send out everybody's prizes. Secretly, I'm relieved, because the battle injury I received from the piece-of-shit vending machine that took my money yesterday is killing me. It feels as though my entire arm is in a vice yet, oddly enough, there's no bruise.

Oh well, it's not like I'm not going to apologize for wanting quality. I can't stand it when I order a cool-looking T-shirt only to have it arrive with a cheap fabric so rough that it feels like sandpaper to wear it. I want people to actually want to wear my shirts because they are super-comfy and they enjoy wearing them (as opposed to using them as a dust rag, which is what seems to happen to a lot of the ones I've bought over the years). Haynes Beefy-T's are the nicest, softest, most well-made shirt you can buy and that's what I want. They also have the benefit of "fluffing up" after you wash them, so a nice "fuzz" forms across the design... this way, they have that "classic vintage look" instead of the "tacky plastic inks look" (another thing I loathe about cheap T's).

Hopefully everybody won't mind a couple of days delay when they realize how much effort I am putting into making sure that the shirts are the absolute best they can be.

Over at Michael Sean Blogs, he's starting up a "Blog Survivor Challenge," which is based on an "Ultimate Blogger" contest he found. I had never heard of it before, but it looks like a lot of fun. Though I must say it's a bit humbling to read through some of the blogs that are battling it out in the current Ultimate Blogger competition, because they are amazing. The good news is that now I've found seven new blogs I will be reading regularly. The bad news is that I realize just how crappy my blog is in comparison.

Ultimate Blogger

Take for instance "Twenty Something" written by "Crash" (a self-professed "24-year-old gay guy living in Vermont"). He is absolutely fearless, and a terrific writer. The subject matter is sometimes X-rated explicit and kind of daunting to somebody raised in small-town America (that would be me), but some of his entries are such a compelling and beautiful read, that I just don't care. His "90's-Something Chronicles" are kind of a gay version of "The Wonder Years" in quality, and about as real as it gets. I want to expose myself to as many different cultures, ideas, and beliefs as I possibly can in my lifetime... even if they conflict with my own (heck, especially if they conflict with my own)... and blogs like this are a treasure.

And then there's Mimi in NY, which is so flawless in execution, that it makes Blogography look like something I crap out of my ass each day (which is probably not far from the truth). I would give just about anything to write even half as well as she does (the only thing that keeps me from shutting down my blog right this minute is that she's a professional writer, so I suppose she has to be good). Again, the subject matter can take very strange turns into the explicit, but I just can't help myself. Fortunately, she's only been blogging since March, so it won't be too much of an effort to catch up with everything.

I could go on for pages, but it would be easier if you just go check them out (warning... many are sexually explicit in nature).

Finally ran into something I loathe about MacOS X Tiger: the printing panel. Apple has decided to check your printer for "supply levels" every time you go to print so they can sell you toners, ink jet cartridges, and paper at the Apple Store (how very Microsoft of you Mr. Jobs!). The problem is that it can't "read" my printer, so there is a noticeable (and very, very annoying) delay every time I need to print. This is going to add up to hours of wasted minutes every year. I am really pissed off at this bullshit, and am furious at Apple that they would intentionally disrupt your work-flow because of a marketing opportunity. Every time I print I get so mad that I want to beat the crap out of somebody.

But not a vending machine, because they seem fully capable of kicking my ass.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You know what love is? Love is an illusion created by lawyer types like yourself, to perpetuate another illusion called marriage, to create the reality of divorce, and then the illusionary need for divorce lawyers."
Yesterday's Answer: Van Wilder (2002) with Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bitchy

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

Dave!I am in an incredibly bad mood today, mostly initiated by the installation of Adobe's "Creative Suite 2" on my computer yesterday. Sure it's got some glamorous features which might be fun to play with one day but, in the meanwhile, I've got work to do. And I can't work because CS2 has f#@%ed up everything beyond all comprehension. Temp files are being created and tossed everywhere (then not deleted when you quit)... fonts are so badly screwed up in Adobe Illustrator that I've had to go back to the CS1 version... the text rendering engine has been updated AGAIN, causing horribly nasty problems with every file I open. Does anybody test this shit before shipping it out the door? At first I was thrilled that they finally managed to fix the clipboard export bug that's been in Illustrator FOR A f#@%ING DECADE, but now I'd be happy if I could just work.

And now that Adobe has purchased Freehand, it's not like there's an alternative out there. For better or worse, Creative Suite 2 is all we've got. I wonder if the Windows version is this bad?

Things only got worse from there, and I thought for sure that an episode of Veronica Mars would save me. But Veronica sucked ass last night. You finally found out who "raped" her, and it was EXACTLY as I expected. So that was disappointing, but not nearly so much as the stupid yo-yo relationship with Veronica and Logan. It was fun at first, but COME ON! Stop the never-ending make-up/break-up cycle, because it's really lame and tired. And of course Lilly's accidental killer is all too easy to figure out now... the only question left is who else knew she did it? Alas, I am still very much looking forward to the season finale next week. I hold a faint hope that I am wrong about everything so there will be some surprises left.

PowerBook Heat

I finally figured out why my laptop was in meltdown once I reinstalled everything this morning... turns out it was the "Virex" virus-scanning software. Ironically enough, Apple distributes the program for free to all .Mac members. Once Virex is removed, the heat levels are back to normal and the fans don't run all the time. There's 2 hours of my life I'm not getting back, all because Apple didn't test a piece of software they pass out to everybody?

But the icing on the cake of my day was when I got a call from an old girlfriend as I was re-installing my PowerBook. Guess who finally found my blog?

What followed was not a pleasant conversation, and I still have no idea what the f#@% she was going on about. I don't write about other people in my life (or out of my life, as the case may be), so what does she care if I have a blog?

*** SECTION DELETED ***

Well that was quick... just one hour to get an apology. And you are welcome!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Bring the dog! I love animals... I'm a great cook."
Yesterday's Answer: St. Elmo's Fire (1985) with Demi Moore and Ally Sheedy.

   

Mayo

Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2005

Dave!Just to prove my love for you, dear reader, I woke up early so I could drag my sorry ass over the dreary mountain passes to the Microsoft-owned city of Redmond, Washington. And why is that? Why would I drive 2-1/2 hours on a Thursday morning? Because it's T-shirt day! Yes, today is the day that all those Blogography T's are being printed.

And they turned out friggin' sweet...

Blogography T's

Blogography T's

And now that the shirts are out of the way, I realize that it's Cinco de Mayo, so I'm off to drink Margaritas with my friends until I pass out. Tequila es mi amigo!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Once again your ratted hair is preventing another student's geometry education!"
Yesterday's Answer: Fatal Attraction (1987) with Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Weather

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2005

Dave!What's an ideal day for you when it's sunny and blue skies? Riding my motorcycle from dawn until dusk. Perhaps over Highway 2 to North Bend, then back again. Having a late lunch, then heading out to the Columbia Basin flats for the afternoon.

What's an ideal day for you when it's overcast and rainy? Riding my motorcycle from dawn until dusk. I don't mind the rain at all when I ride, though I would probably head South in that kind of weather.

What's an ideal day for you when it's cold and snowy? Riding my motorcy... uhhhh... gee. There are no really snow sports I enjoy, so I guess reading a nice book by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate would be nice..

FQ FORECAST: What's the weather forecast for your area this coming weekend? What will you be doing out there in it? It's supposed to be only slightly cloudy with temperatures around 70° F. Perfect riding weather... absolutely perfect riding weather. So I'd imagine that I will be going for a few rides on my motorcycle in-between packing up all these prizes and T-shirts that have to be sent out.

I can tell you what I won't be doing... going to the annual "Apple Blossom Festival" in nearby Wenatchee. The insanity of it all was great when I was a drunken college student, but now it's just a horrendous ordeal that I usually avoid by leaving the country.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "So your life is in the crapper! So you wife is banging a used car salesman! It's humiliating, I know... but goddamnit, Harry, take it like a man! "
Yesterday's Answer: Hairspray (1988) with Ricki Lake and Divine.
Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pantless

Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2005

Dave!The comic book industry has seen better days. Kids are much more interested in video games than actually having to read something. Given that, you would think that comic book creators and publishers would be bending over backwards to keep their ever-dwindling audience happy.

Well, you think wrong.

Over a decade ago, there was a comic book called Hellshock which was a thought-provoking work by Jae Lee that was simply beautiful to look at. I collected the first four-issue series in 1994, and also the second four-issue series in 1997. The problem is that the second series never got past issue 3, leaving everybody to wonder how the book concluded. But since the last chapter was never published, all anybody could do was guess.

Hellshock Sucks

Fast-forward to today, and we have the announcement that Jae Lee has finally been "convinced" by the people at Dynamic Forces to finish his masterwork. That's good news, right? Uhhh... no. Because they are not just printing issue #4... oh no... they are printing a friggin' BOOK of the complete series #1-4 that costs $19.95 in paperback (or a whopping $49.99 in hardback, with a $149.00 super edition that also includes a hand-draw sketch). WTF?!?

I'm sure that's fine for people who have never heard of Hellshock before, but what about the people (like me) who have already paid $9 for issues 1-3? Well, I guess we're just f#@%ed. Because if all somebody wants to do is read the final issue (eight years late), they have no other option but to fork over $19.95 for a bunch of shit we've already read in order to get it. Greedy asshats.

So, as much as I'd like to see how the story ends, Jae Lee is not getting another f#@%ing dime of my money. I paid $2.95 each for chapters 1-3... I am not paying $20 for chapter 4. This type of gouging is a disgusting way to treat fans, and a slap in the face for true comic book geeks who supported Jae in his earlier works. It pisses me off that the only way he could be bothered to finish what he started is by waving a big paycheck in front of his nose.

Oh yeah... and, before I forget: while Brandon is on his honeymoon, I will be one of the guest bloggers over at his DOWN WITH PANTS! blog. We don't have a schedule or anything, but my plan is to drop an entry every few days. My first bit will be put up tomorrow (Saturday). I must admit, the idea of writing for somebody else has me pretty nervous... I make a big enough mess on my own blog.

Dave Pants

So, if you're interested (and you should be since I've got stories about Maui, cheese, baseball, and MONKEYS to be told! Yes, MONKEYS!!)... be sure to check out DOWN WITH PANTS! over the next two weeks. You'll know there's something new there from me when a "placeholder" entry pops up (as I plan to eventually copy these entries to my blog after a month or two). Have a good weekend everybody.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fulfillment

Posted on Saturday, May 7th, 2005

Dave!Okay then... will everybody who won a prize or ordered a T-shirt please just drop by my apartment and pick up your order? Yeah, that would be great, thanks.

No, seriously, anytime from 4:30 to 9:30, Monday-Friday (weekends by appointment only).

Packaging all these T-shirts is a massive chore. You have no idea. At first I was just digging through the boxes to find the size I needed for each order, but then I decided it would be faster to spread them all over the dining room so I could find them easier. Of course, that meant I had to scrub the tables and chairs to be sure everything stays clean. Then I had to sort through the shirts, but didn't have room for them all, and ended up stacking them up in the living room as well. So now shirts have taken over my apartment.

Fulfillment

And then there's the matter of having to fold all the booklets.

Fulfillment

And of course each shirt has to be wrapped in plastic to protect it during shipment.

Fulfillment

And I haven't even gotten to the labeling and postage yet! Next year it's going to be sticks of gum or something that can fit in an envelope.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Forget it mister high-and-mighty Master Control... you're not going to make me talk!"
Yesterday's Answer: True Lies (1994) with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Monkeys

Posted on Sunday, May 8th, 2005

Dave!Chicks dig my monkey.

And before you get the idea that I am speaking metaphorically here, and think that I'm attaching bizarre "pet names" to various parts of my anatomy, I am speaking of my "Bad Monkey" T-shirt. Today I decided to "test drive" a shirt to see how I like wearing it, only to find that it gets big attention from just about everybody. The chicks really dig it. "Cool shirt!" they say. "Where did you get that?" they ask. "Please make mad, passionate monkey-love to me right now!" they beg (or so I wish... particularly to the hot, hot, brutally hot babe filling up her car at the mini-mart, who I very nearly gave the shirt off my back).

For the past couple of days I've been washing and re-washing a few of my shirts to see how they hold up (answer: very well) and how long it takes before they start getting that "oh so soft" lived-in feel (answer: four washings). But today was the first time I actually wore one in public, and the response is pretty sweet. To everybody who ordered a shirt... your photos and testimonials are welcome! I need to work up a gallery or something.

Dave Monkey T

Now the bad news. I am losing major bank on these things, because the costs just keep piling up (even once the shirt has been paid for). I had expected to lose a little bit for each logo shirt, thinking it would be a small price to pay for cheap advertising. Problem is, I figure that I am now losing $1.60 per shirt. When you multiply that by 100 shirts... well, it's no longer a small price is it? So, starting today, the "sale price" has been bumped up to $8.95 (still saving you $6) which will remain until the next round of designs are added. Sorry about that.

The next step is to come up with individual foreign order pages so that I can guarantee that anybody outside the USA won't have to over-pay for shipping charges. Hopefully I'll get that finished up in the next day or two.

For everybody who has won or ordered a shirt, you have the rain to thank for me finishing packaging everything up today. All current orders will ship Monday morning (whoooooo!).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Sometimes you have to show a little skin... this reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex."
Yesterday's Answer: Tron (1982) with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Courtesy

Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2005

Dave!Subtlety is not one of my strong points.

And, since I don't feel bad about that, I'd guess that "guilt" isn't one of them either. Of course, if you've read this blog long enough, then you already knew that (and I'd apologize but, well, you know...). Sadly, 99.9% of the people on this earth don't read Blogography, and have absolutely no idea what they're getting into when they decide to screw with me (I'd attempt to be more understanding about that but, ahem, you see...).

Anyway, when I was at the grocery store last night to buy some packaging tape, I ran into a friend of mine. As I was leaving, I ran into another old friend, and struck up a conversation with her that was rudely interrupted half-way through:

...

Her: Jeez, how much longer do you think this war is going to go on?

Me: Well, they estimate that the oil reserves in Iraq will last about 40 to 50 years, so I'm guessing it will go on for about 40 to 50 years.

Her: Don't even joke about that.

Me: Huh... I wish I were, and I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous Bitch: That's just liberal propaganda!

Me: Err... who are you and when did you join this conversation?

Anonymous Bitch: You shouldn't believe everything you hear.

Me: Me? What abou- Oh go watch an episode of FOX News and shut the f#@% up.

...

In my fantasy dream-sequence, the dumbass bitch then breaks out in tears, starts sobbing uncontrollably, and then begs my forgiveness for having the audacity to interrupt me. Sadly, this does not happen, and I have to settle for an impudent "hmph" as she trots her hefty NeoCon ass out of my sight.

Which begs the question... exactly when did common courtesy become passé? When did it become acceptable to interrupt the conversation of a complete stranger? And at what point am I going to be allowed to bitch-slap these idiots without risk of being sued?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Eat recycled food! Recycled food is good for the environment... and okay for you!"
Yesterday's Answer: Clueless (1995) with Alicia Silverstone and Brittany Murphy.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Testify!

Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2005

Dave!And here you thought I was kidding.

Read this unsolicited testimonial from yet another satisfied Artificial Duck T-Shirt customer...

"I'm so grateful that I picked the regular "Dave Blog Logo" T-Shirt over the "Bad Monkey" version because my 64 yr. old heart couldn't have taken anymore excitment during the Apple Blossom Festival weekend being held in Wenatchee, Washington."

"I wore the "Blog" T-Shirt Saturday nite while cruising the Ave. in my hot 2003 (Silver Bullet) Honda Civic and the action was unreal!"

"I'm not sure if the fact that I left my wife at home this year, or that the new T-Shirt was a total chick-magnet, but I'll have a lot of stories to tell my buddies at the Nursing Home in a few years. Hope alzheimer's doesn't erase the fond memories of my best weekend ever. Thanks! --Harold"

And you are welcome!

I really do need to do some research here. I think that there is scientific evidence to support my claim that Blogography T-shirts make life better. Keep sending in those photos and testimonials... I'll be working up a page for them this weekend.

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Growth

Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Dave!It was forecast to be sunny and warm, but it rained all weekend, and continues to rain today. This pretty much sucks, because it looks like I won't be taking my motorcycle out before I have to leave next week. When are meteorologists just going to admit that they haven't a clue as to what the weather is going to be like, and they're just pulling a big ol' guess out of their asses? I wish I would have had the sense to become a TV weather man. It's one of the few jobs out there where you can be wrong all the time and not get fired.

But there is some good news to all this rain... Oscar is loving the weather. Last year I kept him inside all winter, and he didn't grow at all. A friend told me that trees need the cold weather so they can go dormant, and so I left Oscar out all winter this year. Just look at the little bugger now...

Oscar!

My little boy is growing up! To see what he looked like a year ago, click here.

Actually, he's growing too fast. There's so much new growth now that he's fairly top-heavy. I'm hoping he thickens out at the bottom so he can support himself... otherwise he's going to fall over and become a shrub or something. Oh well... I suppose I'll still love him anyway.

It's not all good news though. I got another piece of hate-mail this morning. This time because of remarks I made about the heinous Ann Coulter. I was told to "grow up" so then I can appreciate that "Ann is a beautiful, brilliant, true American patriot and the voice of the Conservative Majority." This just mystifies me on so many levels. I think of her more as a "skanky*, hateful anti-American bitch, who is at the forefront of dividing us as a Nation and destroying this country."

   

* And though she is a skank, I'd still do her.**

   

** If I could keep myself from strangling the bitch.***

   

*** Or got over my aversion to necrophilia.

   

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Anti-wrinkle cream there may be... but anti-fat-bastard cream there is not!"
Yesterday's Answer: Judge Dredd (1995) with Sylvester Stallone and Armand Assante.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Finale

Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Dave!So now Veronica Mars is over for the season and all I can say is... wow. I did not see that coming. All in all a very satisfying end to one of the best things to watch on television. And now we have a four-month wait to find out who was at the door. For anybody who missed this most excellent show, a DVD set is being planned for release in early September, hopefully before the debut of Veronica Mars season two.

In the meanwhile, we've still got the finale of Grey's Anatomy to look forward to. Along with 24, CSI, Lost, and Scrubs. I still have no idea what has happened to Eyes (yet another great show destroyed by the asshats at ABC who keep preempting it... and have probably canceled it). Not a bad year for television.

Now I want pie.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Insomnia

Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Dave!For the past year, I exist on about 4-5 hours of rest each night. Apparently, that's all I need. I go to sleep around 1am and usually wake between 4:30 and 5:30am. I have no idea what has changed in my life to shift me away from the 7-8 hours I used to get, but that's the way it is. Usually I don't mind, because it gives me a lot of time to catch up with work, watch TV, and surf the internet, but right now I just want to sleep.

But I can't. And there's this sinking feeling that this might be one of those nights I can't sleep at all.

So I randomly blog-surf and find out that Michael Sean has this massive Xanga journal that pre-dates his current blog. After a while spent poking around his site, I come across another one of those "Things to do Before You Die" lists that I like so much. I really need to update my own list one of these days. My answers to Michael Sean's list are in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Banana

Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Dave!As I feared, I got no sleep last night. Nada. Zip. Zero. So as I sit here taking a quick break so I can mainline my fourth "Coke with Lime" so I can stay awake, I'm trying to remember when I switched back from Pepsi to Coke. I'm pretty sure that it's when they unleashed the delicious "Coke with Lime" thing, though now Pepsi has a lime-flavored product as well, so I'm not sure.

I started out as a Coke drinker from way back, but when Apartheid came to the forefront of public consciousness, I switched to Pepsi because Coke was still sponsoring events in Sun City. I'm still a little bitter about that, but "Coke with Lime" is pretty tasty.

Oh yeah... the rest of this entry originally appears as a guest blogger entry over at DOWN WITH PANTS!. It's got Thai hookers and monkeys in it, so there's guaranteed something for everyone!

I am slightly obsessed with monkeys. I find them to be fascinating creatures... one moment they are doing something so brilliant that you believe that they really are our evolutionary cousins... then the next minute they are throwing poop at you. It's kind of a lifestyle to be envious of, if you want to know the truth. I've lost count of the number of times I've wanted to throw my poop at somebody and be able to get away with it.

This is not, however, a toss-the-poop kind of story, so feel free to continue reading.

A while back my brother and I decided to go to Thailand for thrilling adventures involving cheap hookers and great Thai food. But before we left, our father decided to scare the crap out of us with the HIV infection statistics of Thai working girls. This meant that we were suddenly left with a gaping hole in our schedule, and a lot of extra time on our hands that we weren't planning on.

Eventually we decided to take a flight to Southern Thailand so we could see Phuket and the surrounding area. This included the very, very cool Phang Nga (aka "James Bond Island") which was used in "The Man With the Golden Gun." It also included a trip to a hidden Buddhist Temple which was "guarded" by thousands of monkeys. For less than a quarter, you could by bunches of bananas to feed the little guys, which was also very cool, since they would come right up and take the food from you.

And here is where it got interesting, because I noticed that monkeys eat bananas backwards from how I do it... and backwards from how everybody else I've ever seen do it as well. They peel from the tip instead of the stem so that they have a "handle" to hold on to the thing as they eat that last bite...

Banana!

Simply brilliant! Why in the heck didn't I think of that?

And there you have it... how I learned to eat a banana from a monkey. Priceless knowledge you can use! Hmmm... now a banana is sounding good for some reason. I'll bet it goes great with "Coke with Lime."

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I am now aiming precisely at your groin... so speak or forever hold your piece."
Yesterday's Answer: The Full Monty (1997) with Robert Carlyle and Tom Wilkinson.

   

Email

Posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Dave!I am not a huge fan of Arianna Huffington, but must admit to being intrigued with her star-filled blog creation: The Huffington Post. I was going to drop it, but now she's got Ze Frank writing for her so I guess I'll be sticking around. How can you say "no" to a guy with one of the funniest sites on the internet?

Now back to my favorite subject... me.

I get a lot of email every day. It doesn't really bother me, because it's so much more convenient than the phone, and I am a really fast typist. But as the visitor counts for Blogography continue to blow through the roof, I've been getting slammed with an alarming number of utterly bizarre emails that I'm not quite sure what to do with. Everything from marriage proposals and inquiries into my personal life... to nasty, hateful letters and emails condemning me to an eternity burning in hell.

"Normal" emails are great (comments are even better!), and I love hearing from my readers, even if I can't always respond right away. But how does one deal with something like this:

"how much money do u make from yur blog? i need to buck some cash and shit and thout i could make a blog if i can get paid. you rock man!!"

All I could do was write back and say: "I don't make any money from my blog. In fact, I just had to pay out another $200 for more bandwidth. If you want to make money off a blog, you'd have to do a far better job of it than I have." Naturally, I start to wonder how anybody jumps to the conclusion that I'm raking in the big bucks on a blog that doesn't have advertising nor solicits for tips. Maybe I just look expensive.

But that was a relatively minor issue compared to this (paraphrased) email I got this morning:

"What has happened to your blog? I read it for your clever writing and cute little cartoons but lately it's been all about sex, hookers, masturbation, homosexuality, drinking, drugs, porn, blowing up heads, shooting people, and being angry at just about everything. What happened to the charming funny Dave that I looked forward to reading about every day?"

Which is along the same lines as this one I got last week:

"Lose the swearing. You're a good enough writer that you don't need it."

And this:

"Enough with the half-naked women photos already!!! You are turning your blog into a pinup calendar!"

And this:

"You claim to have read the Bible but you didn't pay attention if you think its OK to have sex out of marriage and fantasize about killing people."

On average, I get two or three emails like this every week. Telling me what to write about or what I'm doing wrong, or slapping me on the wrist for something I've done or said. Usually, these are immediately deleted without a second thought, because my only response would be this:

"Blow me."

I mean, give me a break, if you don't like what I write, DON'T READ IT. No hard feelings... just go. It's my blog and I'm not soliciting opinions over what I should and should not be doing here. Sorry, but that's the way it is. So when that entry comes along where I talk about my wild weekend of having drunken sex with coked-up hookers as a pizza delivery boy spreads peanut butter on my ass while I shoot people in the head and watch porn... well, accept that it's not your day and come back tomorrow to see if I've rescued a kitten and drawn a rainbow or something. Better yet, don't risk that something even more bizarre is going to happen, and just don't come back. Delete that bookmark. Unsubscribe from that RSS feed. Really, I don't want to upset people... so do us both a favor, forget about me, and go be happy.

And, for those of you sticking around, it's probably best to understand that I will never be so lucky as to actually have a weekend like that. Mainly because the small city I live in doesn't have pizza delivery.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "This sucks! I didn't hook up with one European chick while I was here. Europe is officially the worst country in the world!"
Yesterday's Answer: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) with Roger Moore and Christopher Lee.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Romantic

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2005

Dave!What music puts you in the mood for romance? Hmmm... right now I think that might be some of the slower, grungier Depeche Mode tracks off of their Ultra and Songs of Faith and Devotion albums. And you can never go wrong with Barry White.

Where is the perfect place for romancing someone? Paris would be the obvious choice... especially for an American who hasn't been there before. Maui is another obvious choice. New Orleans and San Francisco are very romantic cities as well.

What kind of foods get you feeling romantic? Jägermeister and Maraschino cherries.

FQ LOVER: How would somebody go about winning your heart? Don't try to change me. Don't lie to me. Don't make me be the one to always decide what to do. Don't smoke. Don't expect me to read your mind. Don't smother me. Don't buy me stuffed animals. Don't obsess over my every move. Don't demand to know what I've been doing every moment of every day. Don't ask me to like your friends that don't like me. Don't ask me to forgive you for making out with your ex-boyfriend because "nothing happened." Don't get upset when I don't feel like going shopping. Don't be cruel. Don't play mind-games. Don't think you can't talk to me about it. Don't get mad at me for something without letting me know why. Don't go to bed angry. Don't think I don't care. Or, if all else fails, iron my shirt and buy me a beer.

Fall in love with the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Arrrrrr!

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2005

Dave!Avast ye bloggers! I'm a pirate! And it's not even "Talk Like a Pirate Day" yet.

After monkeys and ninjas, I'd say my third most abnormal infatuation would have to be pirates. And I can tell you exactly when the obsession started: when I went to Disneyland and went on the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride as a wee lad. I could never get pirates out of my blood after that, mainly because pirate life looked a heck of a lot more fun than mine did at the time.

Dave Pirates

But now-a-days the word "pirate" is getting an entirely different meaning... people who appropriated work from others without paying for it. Usually this means people who illegally download music, but it's getting popular for movies and television downloads as well. One thing that hasn't changed: piracy is still viewed as a very bad thing.

Which I think is a load of crap.

Pirates of old attacked ships at sea, killed everybody, and plundered the treasure for their pirate's booty. So when the asshats at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) calls me a "pirate," I'm offended because I'm not nearly that cool.

All I did was grab some music that I can't buy here because it's either owned by a foreign label, or out of print. I was forced into piracy because evil record labels can't get their shit together and release ALL of their music for sale digitally. This is so stupid because the cost is minimal, and CDs are a complete dead-end. What choice do I have? Pay $50 to somebody on eBay who is probably selling it after having burned it to their iPod anyway? The artist isn't seeing a dime of that money... so what's the point in paying such an obscene sum?

Look, I'd gladly buy the shit if I could, but record labels and some narrow-minded artists won't let me purchase it. How is this my fault? The RIAA can kiss my ass. Until you give me a way to buy something legally, stop being a bunch of whiny dumbasses, and work on solving the problem... not adding to it by attacking people who would be your customers if your would let them be.

And now I wait for Sid Meier's Pirates game to be released for Xbox this summer. REAL pirates kick ass!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight... by the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?"
Yesterday's Answer: EuroTrip (2004) with Michelle Trachtenberg and Scott Mechlowicz.
Categories: DaveToons 2005, Music 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Crash

Posted on Saturday, May 14th, 2005

Dave!Just got back from seeing Crash, a film about nothing... and everything. I guess I'd describe it as a character study that's a commentary on racism and race relations in a way that's both enlightening and frightening at the same time. Every character has their flaws, and nobody is what they seem or what you'd expect. What's interesting is the way the lives of the people inhabiting this film keep intersecting in so many ways... sometimes lame, but most-times fascinating.

I loved it.

And it doesn't hurt that every single performance was flawless... Sandra Bullock's brief part is the best I've seen from her in years. Don Cheadle's here in yet another jaw-dropping performace. Thandie Newton looking beautiful as always. Matt Dillon proving again that he's moved far past his teen-idol status. Michael Pena in an Oscar-worthy role. And even rapper Ludacris shatters expectations. And that's just a fraction of this amazing ensemble that's almost too good to be true.

Crash Poster

It's refreshing to find that Hollywood is still occasionally giving us thought-provoking films to challenge us, rather than the spoon-fed cliches that are so predominant now. Life doesn't always turn out all wrapped up in a pretty bow... and movies shouldn't either.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Why are hurricanes named after women? Because when they arrive, they're wet and wild... and when they leave, they take your house and your car."
Yesterday's Answer: Airplane! (1980) with Robert Hays and Leslie Nielsen.
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 1: Flight

Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Dave!The Dave struts confidently down the newly remodeled concourse of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He is the picture of sweet styling and high fashion because he is wearing a classy Blogography Logo T-shirt. As a seasoned world-traveler, The Dave has seen it all. He's done it all. He knows it all. There will be no surprises on this trip. How could there be? It's a ridiculously short 2-hour flight to Salt Lake City! The world is but a playground for The Dave's jet-set lifestyle. Knowing this, The Dave turns boldly into the restroom...

And is immediately greeted by a guy shaving his chest over the sink with an electric razor.

Knowing The Dave as you do, what happens next?

  • A) The Dave runs screaming from the bathroom, horrified that THIS is how he is starting his morning.
  • B) The Dave whips out his "Lady Soft-Touch" razor and starts to shave his own chest next to this prissy bitch.
  • C) The Dave checks the bathroom stalls to see if the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy "Fab Five" are somehow behind this.
  • D) The Dave offers some helpful advice and says "you missed a spot on your back."
  • E) The Dave strikes up a conversation regarding the pros and cons of waxing vs. shaving.
  • F) The Dave enters his own reality, removes the guy from his world, and proceeds as if nothing is amiss."

But, before the answer, a brief interlude: As I sit here typing this, a man is behind me screaming at the top of his lungs... "HURRY UP!" and "MOVE IT!" and" WOULD YOU RUN DAMMIT!" A minute later, a harried housewife and a teenaged girl, both in dress shoes, go running past... their high-heels making a pleasing "click click click click" on the floor tiles as they pass. Smartass that I am, I say (loudly) "somebody needs to be slapped!" Which gets a few laughs in the waiting area and "the stare of death" from this freaky moron. It's not the first time.

It's going to be one of those days. When I first arrived at the gate, the previous flight to Atlanta was just pulling out as a man came running up. Apparently, he expected that they would call the plane back to the gate, and was quite put-out when they did not... throwing his duffle bag at the electronic ticket-taker. It never fails. Everybody seems to think that they are so important that an entire flight of people should have to wait on their tardy asses. His excuse? THE SECURITY LINES WERE LONG AND IT TOOK FOREVER TO GET THROUGH!!! Yes sir, that's why they recommend you arrive 90-minutes before your flight. Dumbass.

Anyway, the correct answer is "F" - yes, "F" is the answer. A guy shaving his chest in a public restroom is entirely too scary for me to acknowledge... especially this early in the day. Besides, I couldn't get my "Lady Soft-Touch" razor through security.

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 1: The Guide

Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2005

Dave!Watched "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" today and have mixed feelings about it. I am a huge, huge Douglas Adams fan. I've read every one of his books and have met the man three times at readings he's done. On top of that, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books of all time. Given that kind of devotion to the material, I admit that I was biased against it going in. How could it possibly live up to what's been in my head for twenty years?

On one hand, it was an entertaining flick with absolutely perfect casting and beautiful effects (Shynola could have really dropped the ball in animating The Guide but shined instead). Compared to many movies out there, it's brilliant. On the other hand... well, compared to the actual book, it sucks. They made too many senseless changes that meandered off into distraction. If the changes improved the story for film, I wouldn't have objected... but the majority of the changes just didn't make sense. They didn't make the film funnier. They didn't make the story easier to follow. They didn't explain things for those unfamiliar with the books. They were changes for no reason I could see, and they would have been better off sticking to the source material. Why mess with perfection?

Guide Poster

For true fans, there were a few nice touches... like the original theme from the radio show that played when The Guide was opening up. The original "Marvin" from the television version standing in line at the Vogosphere. And Douglas Adam's head being the last object transformed into by The Heart of Gold (to name a few). It's not enough to make up for some gross errors, but it helps.

Complaints aside, I am glad I saw the film. As I mentioned, the casting is so good that I can never again read one of The Guide books without picturing characters and settings imagined here (except Zaphod's second head, which was stupidly handled in the film). All I can say is that if you see the film and haven't yet read the book... you really must. You can't not read it.

And while we are on the subject of Douglas Adams, his book Last Chance To See (about his quest to see endangered species around the globe before they disappear forever), is also worth a look. Funny and heartbreaking at the same time... all while being an incredibly important work as well.

One last thing. For the love of Zarquon... SUBWAY, WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP PUTTING THAT f#@%ING TOOL JARED IN ALL YOUR LAME-ASS COMMERCIALS! Seriously, I don't give a crap if you are toasting your subs now... I will drive 20 minutes into Wenatchee so I can get a real toasted sub at Quiznos so long as you keep having that moron advertise your shit. Jared had a fat ass, ate some sandwiches, and lost weight... BIG f#@%ING DEAL, it doesn't make him any less annoying. All you're doing is pissing people off by keeping his dumb ass on television. And yes, I still want him dead... now more than ever.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her."
Yesterday's Answer: Traffic (2000) with Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle.
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 2: Goblins and a Baton

Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2005

Dave!As an eternal optimist (brought forth from my Buddhist studies which dictate that all things turn out as they should in the end), I am always looking for the good in any situation. But it's kind of freaking me out how difficult it is to actually be an optimist now-a-days. Most times I have to be content that I can make up something funny around the situation, rather than actually having something good come out of it. Even then, you have to look really hard.

Three recent examples have me trying to find "the funny" in war, in elderly poverty, and in illiteracy...

The Sad: Soldiers in their desert camouflage saying goodbye to their families at the airport so they can head back to Iraq. The Funny?: One soldier, somehow holding it together for his sobbing wife, turns to her and says: "... and no sleeping with my brother while I'm gone!" More tears... and laughter... as she kisses him goodbye.

The Sad: An older gentleman at Dennys ordering not according to what he wants, but according to what he can afford. Even worse, he probably skipped out buying some medication he needed so he could afford to eat in the first place. The Funny?: The guy sure got bang for his buck. When I returned an hour later to pick up a chocolate shake for take-away, he was still there eating his breakfast value meal and reading a book with his free-refill coffees.

The Sad: The woman discussing her new reading club and saying "it's written in ancient English or something, so it takes a lot longer to read than real books." The Funny?: The book in question was The Invisible Man, written in 1897 (you know... back in ancient British times when Stonehenge was being built and the wheel was invented! I think H.G. Wells carved the story on stone tablets did he not?). Oh well, at least she's reading the original novel rather than renting the Chevy Chase movie spoof. That's got to count for something (though I rather enjoyed Memoirs of an Invisible Man myself).

And in my own life...

The Sad: My job is going to run late into the night tonight, turning this into yet another long day (22 hours+) of nothing but work. The Funny?: By getting work out of the way now, I will have time to stop by "Goblin Valley" tomorrow on my way to a few days of much-needed vacation time in Southern Utah. Goblins are funny.

And, lastly, a musical-baton meme I saw at Neil's World that he got from Hicksdesign:

Total volume of music files on my computer: 22.54GB.

The last CD I bought was: Well, I don't buy CDs anymore, but the last album I bought off of the iTunes Music Store was With Teeth by Nine Inch Nails. It's not Pretty Hate Machine and doesn't reach The Downward Spiral brilliance, but is still pretty kick-ass.

Song playing right now: That would be Halo by Depeche Mode off my iPod Shuffle.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me: Like Neil says, these are songs that I've been listening to a lot lately - not necessarily my favorites - as seen in the "Last Played" column of iTunes...

  1. Edge of the Ocean by Ivy. I heard it (again) on the most excellent television show Grey's Anatomy and can't get it out of my head. Beautiful, beautiful song.
  2. Somewhere Only We Know by Keane. Oh how I love this album. Yet another song from Grey's Anatomy.
  3. Everybody's Changing by Keane. So beautiful that I get chills every time it hits on my play list.
  4. I Wish I Cared by a-ha. My personal anthem. Off of their Minor Earth, Major Sky album which I cannot seem to stop listening to (for over a year now).
  5. Steal My Sunshine by Len. I recently rediscovered this song, and play it a lot. You can't help but feel good when you hear this one.

A good meme... but I wish there was a question about upcoming stuff, like "what new release are you most looking forward to" (which, for me, would be Coldplay's upcoming album) because I am always on the look out for new stuff, and am curious to know what everybody else has on the horizon.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I want my molecules back!!"
Yesterday's Answer: Notting Hill (1999) with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
Categories: DaveLife 2005, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Remember

Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2005

Dave!I just downloaded the first bug patch for MacOS X 10.4, and am not impressed. The biggest pain in the ass problem with Tiger has not been fixed at all.

Web logins are not remembered. Not in Safari, not in Firefox, not in ANYTHING. Login to eBay, and you are forgotten instantly and have to keep logging in over and over again. Amazon... the same. EVEN APPLE'S SITE forgets your login. WTF?!?

But the most dumbass example is with Movable Type. In order to approve a comment I have to login. Then I have to login to get to the comments. Then I have to login again after clicking the "approve button." Then I have to login to process the approval. Then I have to login again to get back to the comments section. And repeat again and again and again.

This is some stupid shit right here.

Even worse? Myself and several-other-people have reported the problem in Apple's discussion forum and NO REPLY IS OFFERED. Does Apple even bother to cruise their own forums? Who the f#@% knows! All I do know is that if I wanted my problems completely ignored and left unfixed, I would go back to using a Microsoft Windows piece of shit. I guess since it doesn't seem to affect everybody, Apple thinks we can just wait.

There are, of course, other minor problems that drive me nuts, but not to the point of wanting to kill somebody like this login bug does. If Steve Jobs was standing here, he'd definitely get a bitch-slapping.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 2: Windblown Chaos

Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2005

Dave!High winds and torrential rains are causing chaos in the streets of Salt Lake City tonight. A good chunk of the city is without power. Entire stretches of traffic lights are out downtown, seemingly at random. My hotel is very lucky to have power, but the television is out. Sirens can be heard screaming through the night at regular intervals. The end is near.

I just came back from a 15-minute trip to the business center so I could use the printer, and there was a continuous stream of people calling and stopping by to see if rooms were available. Since the hotel next-door is without power and this hotel got the overflow, no rooms are to be had. I feel just a little bit guilty.

And here's a helpful hint to people who may not know what to do in this situation: When a traffic signal has gone out, the intersection becomes an all-way stop. Each car comes up to the intersection, stops, and then everybody takes turns proceeding through the intersection on a first-come, first-serve basis. YOU DO NOT JUST RIP THROUGH AN UNCONTROLLED INTERSECTION AT FULL SPEED, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE STUPID. S-T-U-P-I-D!! The car ahead of me was nearly totaled by some ass-clown in a charcoal-gray S.U.V. who was apparently oblivious to this handy tidbit of knowledge. RTFM, idiot, because it's the LAW.

Where is Judge Dredd when you really need him?

Ah well. I am out of here tomorrow morning anyway... electricity or not.

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 3: Goblin Valley

Posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

Dave!Woo hoo! Vacation-time baby! There are indeed benefits to working through the night... especially when it means that it gives me an extra day to goof off in Utah. And let me tell you, there is a lot of places to be goofing around in this state. I drug my lazy ass out of bed at 7:00am (after a blissful five hours of sleep) so I could hit the road early. All because I wanted to see "Goblin Valley" which is supposed to be a really cool place.

And it is.

The entire valley is filled with interesting lumps of rock just begging to be explored. It's kind of like a giant field of mushrooms, except the mushrooms in question are fifty feet tall, made of stone, and probably don't taste that great in a spaghetti sauce...

Goblinvalley1

When I hiked down inside the valley, some bitchy woman was bitching to her equally bitchy husband saying "THIS IS STUPID! I DON'T SEE ANY GOBLINS!! WHY DO THEY CALL IT GOBLIN VALLEY??" I'd imagine that is because the skanky ho only sees this...

Goblinvalley2

Whereas I was seeing something entirely different when I looked at the same scenery. Goblins everywhere I looked. Hundreds of them...

Goblinvalley3

When people tell me that I act like a child, I am never offended. It just means I get to look at the world in a much cooler way than everybody else my age. Sometimes it really is good to be me.

   

Utah Day 4: Lake Powell

Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2005

Dave!GAAAH! I am completely without the world today. NO internet. NO mobile phone reception. NO newspaper. And only a tiny 13-inch television with four channels to let me know that there is life outside of my small corner of Utah. I guess I should have posted yesterday's blog entry when I had the chance?

I am currently in lovely Bullfrog Bay on the shores of Lake Powell. Except it really isn't a lake... it's just a big canyon full of water that flooded in when they built a huge dam down-river. Some friends asked me to meet them here so we could go boating around the inlets and see some cool stuff. Apparently, the water level is the lowest it has been in a very, very long time, so you can see things that are normally buried under water.

Like this tree, for instance...

Lake Powell

If you look at the cliffs, you can see where the water-line usually is, because the rocks have been bleached. Only the red rocks are supposed to be showing above the water, or so I am told. That would mean that this tree is usually under about 80 feet of water, and hasn't seen daylight in 40 years. I wonder how come it hasn't completely rotted through? You can't help but feel sorry for the poor guy. He was just minding his own business, when some asshole comes along and builds a dam, then suddenly he's underwater thinking WTF?

And here is a boat that sunk years ago...

Lake Powell

Yeah, I know that it seems to have ran aground and crashed into the shore, but it didn't. That's because the shore usually isn't anywhere near here. It just so happens that the water level is so low that it looks that way. If you examine the rocks carefully, you will see that the water-line is usually way, way back there. No sign of Gilligan or The Skipper.

But the best part is cruising into these little grottos that usually don't even exist because they're buried underwater. Some really funky shadow-and-light stuff can be found that takes your breath away...

Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Except now I'm sunburned and tired and have a five-hour drive ahead of me later today. Bleh.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm a killer. A murdering bastard... you know that. And there are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering bastard."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1999) with Chevy Chase and Daryl Hannah.

   

Un-Real

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Dave!I was planning on writing up a big rant over the bullshit "Real ID" crap that our beloved US government has decided to foist upon us. I was going to go nuts over how things like this are so astoundingly stupid, because techno-ignorant old men and big companies who stand to make millions are the ones actually making the decision. But Tonya asked for opinions over on her blog, so I've decided to just release my notes and save the rant for another day.

I am on vacation, after all...

In order to prevent terrorist acts and live in relative safety, I am willing to lose a small amount of my privacy and freedom... IF THE REAL ID CARD HAD ANY HOPE OF ACTUALLY WORKING! But given the technical proficiency of people today, it's guaranteed to fail. And if anybody thinks that these things won't be cracked and counterfeited, they are living in Fantasyland. History has shown that things like this will only ever benefit "the bad guys" - it happens every time.

So, do I want millions of dollars of my tax dollars to be invested in a project that will almost certainly fail, all while people are starving, homeless, jobless, and without health care? No.

Am I willing to have my personal information available to anybody requiring Real ID to buy a pack of Twinkies, knowing that they could possibly have a device to STEAL my identity off the card and use it unhindered, because people will be disillusioned into thinking "Real ID is infallible?" No.

Do I actually trust that the government will protect the information they collect, and not abuse such information when it suits whatever whim they might sneak into some other bill? No.

Do I think that Real ID is simply a ploy to make people feel safer, doomed to ultimate failure, and yet another step toward big government controlling all aspects of our lives. Call me paranoid, but absolutely yes.

I am more than just a little surprised that more people aren't freaking out over this. Where's the shock? Where's the outrage? Where's the concern? The fact that we are so quiet about what is being done to us is more cause for alarm than the cards themselves.

What happens to a country when its citizens lose interest in questioning the decisions their government makes for them? I don't know, but living in The United States of America gets scarier with each new day.

UPDATE: I received an email asking "what information will they require for the card? The answer is... nobody knows yet. Could be as little as your full name and birth date. Could be more involved, such as your address. Could be even harsher, such as your occupation, political affiliation, sexual orientation, race, religion, medical records, family history, criminal record, and what you had for breakfast. The scary, really scary thing is that they could require just about anything. And while it may start innocent enough, there's no telling where it could lead in the future.

That way, it will be much easier for the government to segregate "undesirables" from "True Americans" in "times of crisis." Think I am overreacting? Read your history books. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME! And if you are so deluded as to think "something like that couldn't happen in America" then you are truly in need of a wake-up call... not only has it happened numerous times throughout history (World War II internment? McCarthy hearings?), it's happening right now.

"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." -- Maya Angelou.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -- George Santayana.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 5: Dumbasses of Zion

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Dave!Apparently, ever-escalating gas prices are not deterring people from traveling to our National Parks. It's not even Memorial Day yet, and Zion is filled with people. I cannot fathom what it will be like in another week. I suppose I should just count my blessings and be happy I am here in the first place. After all, many people will never get to see stuff like this.

But where there are people, there are dumbasses. And where there are a LOT of people, you are guaranteed a LOT of dumbasses.

And I'm not just talking about the obvious morons... the ones who stop right in the middle of the trail rather than stepping to the side so as not to block traffic... the ones who continuously state the obvious (like "wow, that's a big rock!" and "look, it's a tree!")... and all the rest... no, I am talking about the "truly gifted dumbasses" who make you long for the day it becomes legal to shoot people for being stupid.

For example, I am walking along, actually bothering to look around me (unlike most people who practically run to the intended destination), when I spot a deer just a few feet away from me. I take a minute to compose my shot and look for the best angle...

Zion

And then took a couple of quick shots just for fun...

Zion

Then I notice an elderly couple with their cameras ready, so I quietly step out and whisper "let me get out of your way" as the old guy says "that's okay, I don't think he's going anywhere" with a chuckle. And then, rounding the corner comes the queen of dumbasses...

Loud-mouthed bitch: WHAT'S THIS? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? OH IT'S A DEE-AH!

She sounds like a cross between Gladys Cravits on Bewitched and Estelle Costanza on Seinfeld and every bit as annoying...

Loud-mouthed bitch: EVERYBODY HURRY UP OR YOU'RE GOING TO MISS THE DEE-AH!! HURRY EVERYBODY... IT'S A DEE-AH RIGHT HERE!!! GET YOUR CAMERA!

Well, needless to say, the deer immediately bolted and the guy who was patiently waiting never got his shot. When the stupid bitch's friends caught up, she had to tell them that the deer ran away, to which I added "yeah, because you started screaming and scared it away." She then had to tell me I was a "rude boy" which was so funny in its irony that I just laughed in her face.

Not ten minutes later, I saw a squirrel and was going to attempt to sneak a shot of the little speed demon. But then a pair of dumbasses came along with their walking sticks that apparently double as noise-makers echoing through the canyon... TAP TAP TAP! TAPPITY TAP TAP TAP! TAPITTY TAPITTY TAP!! What a couple of f#@%ers! "THANKS A LOT" I say. "Duuuuhhh... whut!" they respond. Of course, they don't even realize they are total dumbasses. They never do. This is the best I could get as the squirrel ran away...

Zion

And, speaking of squirrels, these signs are posted all over the park, and I couldn't help but wonder about it from the squirrel's perspective...

Zion

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I signed that release waiver... so you can just feel free to stick things in my slot!"
Yesterday's Answer: Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004) with Uma Thurman and David Carradine.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 5: Afraid in Zion

Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2005

Dave!Zion National Park is pretty nifty... if you are not afraid of heights. But, for those of us who DO have problems with heights, it's not the best place to be (Bryce is even more spectacular, has easier access to the sights, and doesn't involve clinging to the side of a mountain to see them). With that in mind, I had a nice day at the park, but really didn't get to see it the way it was meant to be seen.

The conversations pretty much go like this...

Guy: Oh dude! Zion rocks! You've GOT to do the "Angel's Landing" hike... it will blow your mind!

Me: Cool! Thanks, I'll definitely look into that.

Guy: Just be sure you've got a good pair of boots. Oh... you're not afraid of heights are you?

Me: Yes. Terrified of heights.

Guy: Ah. Well there's a walk along the river that's kind of nice...

And so it goes. Everything that looks really cool on the Zion trail map has a little icon next to it of a man slipping on the edge of a cliff and the words "WARNING: STEEP CLIFFS" emblazoned on it. Uhhh... no thank you. If I were to even attempt something like that, I would start sobbing like a baby and need to be sedated and physically removed from the mountain.

Oh well. There are still some pretty sights to be seen. Ansel Adams I am not, but I gave it my best shot...

Zion

Wait a second... actually, that's not too bad! Ansel Adams must just fool people into thinking he's an artistic genius because he used black & white photography. Well I can do that...

Zion2

Yeah, right. Okay, Ansel Adams actually was a genius. Probably best not to attempt a comparison like that again.

Still no sign of Neo and Morpheus.

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Foreign

Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2005

Dave!What's your native language? Do you speak any foreign languages? If so, how did you come to learn them? My native tongue is Americanized English. I studied Japanese for three years on my own, and got to the point where I could carry on simple conversations with no problem. Unfortunately, I've fallen out of practice, and have forgotten most of it. Other than that, I know basic phrases in German, Spanish, French and a few other assorted world languages... acquired in preparation for my travels.

What's your native country? Have you visited any foreign countries? If so, which ones? I am a native of The United States of America. I've visited an assortment of other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, The Netherlands, Iceland, Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Italy, Vatican City, Denmark, Sweden, Jamaica, and the Virgin Islands.

Are there any foreign foods, books, movies, or other items that you are particularly fond of? Name some of your favorites. I love good Indian and Italian food (particularly pasta). I am really into French and Italian films right now, and have always been a huge fan of Japanese animation and manga (comics). I like English snacks and sweets.

FQ NATIVE: If you had to trade your nationality for that of any foreign country, which would you choose and why? That's a tough one. Maybe Swiss so that my neutrality would allow me to visit places that I would otherwise be unwelcome as an American?

It's a foreign affair at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 6: Kolob of the Sith

Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2005

Dave!Ah, my last day in beautiful Utah started out in Zion to watch the sun rise over the park. After that, it was all about heading North so I could get back to Salt Lake City. But, along the way, I decided to get the most out of my $20 Zion Entrance Fee and take a look at the Northwestern corner called "Kolob Canyons." It's pretty sweet, but going in the morning was a big mistake, because you have to look directly into the sun to see all the coolest scenery. That means photos are pretty much out of the question, though I did snag one that wasn't all glare...

Kolob

Once back in SLC, I decided to go watch Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith in a decent theater. After reading all the rave reviews, I was really, really looking forward to it. Well, now that I've seen it, I have one thing to say...

George Lucas should never be allowed to write or direct ever again.

Ever.

George Lucas sucks so much ass as a filmmaker NOW that I find it impossible to believe that he was responsible for films like American Graffiti and the original Star Wars THEN. He is an embarrassment to himself and his profession. His once brilliant talent has been pissed away to depths impossible to fathom twenty years ago.

Revenge of the Sith was indeed better than the first two prequels... but that wasn't hard to do. Both Episodes I and II were tragically bad. Horrendously, praying-for-death bad. Lucas had nowhere to go BUT up. That he managed to do so just shows he at least has the smarts to hire some very talented people to save his hack ass. In the grand scheme of the Star Wars universe, I'd probably rate them like this...

Star Wars Ranking

And before you decide to attack me because you think that Revenge of the Sith is the coolest movie you've ever seen... think about it for a second. What was so cool about it? The awesome space battles? The mind-blowing special effects? The stunning settings? The kick-ass light-saber fights? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But Lucas didn't do any of that shit. Industrial Light and Magic created all of that. Let's take a look at what Lucas WAS responsible for... horrible, cheesy dialog that is so bad that I was visibly wincing as phrases like "it is your love that makes me beautiful" stank up the screen. He's also responsible for getting crap performances out of otherwise incredible actors. Does he even bother to actually DIRECT his characters? You can tell they're trying, but there's simply too many scenes where they wander through like zombies spouting all that f#@%ed-up dialogue.

But what I loathe most of all is that Lucas excels at drawing you into these fantastic worlds, only to sabotage himself with stupid, unforgivable shit. A fantastic scenes of Wookies on the rampage has me totally engrossed... until it's f#@%ed up by a Wookie doing the "Tarzan yell" as he swings through the jungle. WTF?!? Congratulations you dumbass, you've just shattered the illusion you worked so hard to create. But it's nothing new... Lucas is ALWAYS destroying scenes with childish bullshit like burps and farts. He defends himself by saying that these movies are written for kids... but kids from WHEN? The 1960's when this kind of idiotic, juvenile behavior was actually funny? Now it's not just lame, it's stupid.

Despite all of that, I must admit to having a good time at the movie. If you can ignore the dialogue and acting, it's a Sci-Fi lover's dream come true to finally see the birth of Darth Vader... those epic space battles... all those geeky touches (was that the Millenium Falcon?)... it's the first movie since Empire Strikes Back that actually feels like Star Wars again. I just can't help but wonder how amazing this film could have been had Lucas done the right thing and passed the dialogue writing and directing to more capable hands.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "No... I am your father."
Yesterday's Answer: Charlie's Angels (2000) with Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore.
Categories: Movies 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Utah Day 7: Stuck in Seattle

Posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2005

Dave!Thanks to heinous flight connections between Delta and Horizon Airlines, I am stuck in Seattle with a three-hour layover. The good news is that they've got Wayport WiFi on the "C Concourse" in addition to the crappy Cingular service (which I have never been able to access even once). This is good news, as it allows me to sync all the work I've been doing for the past week to the office so it can be awaiting me Sunday morning. Yay.

While I sit here watching the FTP transfer, I might as well clean house from the past week...

Mobile: Some bitch is screeching into her mobile phone across the lounge from me. I am concentrating really, really hard to make her head explode, all to no avail. She is a perfectly deplorable specimen of womanhood... sitting there with her legs all spread out like a dog in heat. I can only guess that it's to accommodate the huge set of balls it takes to be so astoundingly rude and uncaring as to the comfort of others. If there is a lawyer reading this... exactly how much trouble could I get into if I were to just get up, walk across the room, grab her phone, throw it on the floor and stomp on it, then bitch-slap her gum-smacking face so hard her teeth rattle?

Sith: The topic du-jour everywhere I go is Revenge of the Sith which is interesting. The general consensus seems to be "I liked it a lot, but..." (then fill in the blank). Even more interesting? Everybody has something different as to what is bothering them about it. Some petty, but others profound. Some problems I had never even thought of until it was mentioned. The most intriguing aspect is that these are not sci-fi geeks... just "regular" people. I guess that Star Wars is so ingrained in our culture that its something everybody has feelings for.

Q-Less: Next week's "FridayQ" will mark the meme's one-year anniversary. I have not yet decided as to whether I should carry on with it. I originally intended it as an easy way to fill up a Friday blog entry when the "Friday Five" died. But now the Friday Five is back, so I wonder if it's even necessary? I guess I've got a week to decide. Maybe somebody else would like to take it over? A warning: it's not as easy as it might sound. Oh well, suggestions are always welcome.

Shirt: If I had brought some "Bad Monkey" T-shirts with me this trip, I probably could have sold dozens of them. Quite a lot of people stopped to comment on it or ask where I got it (my favorite was the woman who said "hi there you bad monkey!" as she passed me in Goblin Valley, then started laughing hysterically). I passed out the URL thinking nothing would come of it, but new orders keep showing up every day. I am going to have to order more shirts when I get back, though I was hoping to wait until the new designs were voted on.

Pod: In looking around me, everybody seems to have an iPod with them. And yet, the Apple Death Watch doomsayers are still saying Apple will go under any minute now? What does Apple have to do in order to get these people to shut the f#@% up? Obviously a wildly successful line of products and overwhelming market share in the digital music player market is not enough.

Firearm: Oh terrific, yet another screeching bitch is on her mobile phone in the next row. I need a gun. And a beer. Many beers.

Booked: My files have all been uploaded, and now I am signing off so I can get back to reading a book I picked up in Salt Lake called Just One Look by Harlan Coben. Apparently, he is quite the famous author, but I have never heard of him before. I like the book quite a lot (so far) and will definitely be checking out his 11 others once I've finished it.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I don't feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom... just my enemies."
Yesterday's Answer: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) with Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Billable

Posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

Dave!Wouldn't it be great if you could send a bill to people who waste your time? I mean, if time truly is money, then shouldn't I get paid when forced to interact with some dumbass who steals away minutes I could have spent doing something more important?

I think about this often when dealing with airlines, phone companies, technical support, and other organizations that seem to excel at pissing away my valuable time. Yesterday, as I was trying to make my way home, I had more than my fair share of it. In fact, I think I should have netted out around $1000 in dumbass-billable hours.

But it's not all bad news, while trying to catch up with work today, I've been watching all the TiVo-ed television shows I missed last week. Alias, which has been taking a nose-dive as of late, finally managed to churn out a decent show (with Lena Olin, no less!). Lost was kind of an interesting stop-gap until this week's season finale (which looks incredible). Grey's Anatomy was brilliant as always. The Tarantino-directed CSI did not disappoint and was suitably disturbing (I never thought George Eads had it in him). And even The O.C. was unexpectedly entertaining. Good television is so rare, I feel like I've entered some kind of alternate dimension or something.

In other news, I've decided to host my own talk show...

Tooncasted

My first guests will be Elizabeth Hurley, Batman, Paris Hilton, and (time permitting) President George W. Bush. I'm thinking there will also be a segment for "Stupid Jared Tricks" where I make Jared (from the dumbass Subway commercials) jump in a tank with hungry sharks and other cool stuff.

If Tony Danza can do it, how hard can it be?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Just the idea of having sex with another woman creeps me out... but if we're still single at 30, ask me again."
Yesterday's Answer: The Godfather: Part II (1974) with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

   

Sync

Posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2005

Dave!Most people who visit my blog and have something to say about it leave comments. But a lot of people send emails as well, even those who leave comments, and I never know what's going to bring it on. Usually I have to do something people consider to be bad taste (like setting a clown's ass on fire) or say something controversial (though I am still trying to figure out how wanting people to be happy is controversial), but I just never know. This morning the emails were about my entry from last night about wanting my own talk show...

"Are you serious about that??? A DAve cartoon show would be so cute!!!"

Errr... yes... I am quite serious. I'm serious about trying it, anyway. You see, I love the idea of podcasts, but I would completely suck at it (like most people do). And every time I run across a fantastic podcast, my jealousy soars. The one who is most responsible for my jealousy is Mr. Jerz. All he does is ramble on about stuff that's on his mind, but he's really, really good at it. Unlike Jerz, who actually has a "radio voice," I most definitely do not. I am going to need something to make me interesting. But all I know how to do is draw goofy cartoons, so that's what it's going to have to be.

The problem is that animation is (in the immortal words of Dubbuya) hard work. For instance, just to lip-sync with the audio is a massive chore. I spent days analyzing Wallace and Gromit cartoons, and spent close to six hours drawing the mouths necessary to create convincing speech...

Dave Lip Sync

The idea is to emulate South Park (which I worship). They have jerky, crappy animation... but the mouths are always perfectly in sync, so they can get away with it. Since I'm doing a talk show, I figure that the mouths have to be perfect, and I wouldn't worry about the rest. I thought it would be easy, but it absolutely is not. This is some difficult shit right here. There are "sets" to be built, scripts to write, storyboards to draw up... you'd be surprised at how many hours fly by on the simplest of things.

So, the bad news is that it is going to take a long while before I can actually post the first edition of Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show. There is a scary amount of work left to be done (and, if anybody is interested, I'll keep you apprised of my progress). The good news is that I think it will be friggin' sweet once it has been completed! Not only can my cartoon persona do things that I could never do in real life (yes, he packs a gun and is NOT afraid to use it), I really can have guests like Elizabeth Hurley and Paris Hilton on my show!

I sure hope that it gets easier after the first episode (blogisode?) though.

Categories: TooncastingClick To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Troll

Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Dave!Since I've been back, every day is busier than the day before. I suppose that this means tomorrow will be the worst day ever. I'd stay home and hide in bed, but then I'd just get further behind in my work. It's at a time like this that I have to ask myself "what would Britney Spears do?" In channeling my inner white-trash self, I've come to the conclusion that I should wake up extra early so that I can have a half-rack of beer before heading out. The only question being whether I shower before or after I crack open that first can?

The answer of course is "both" AND "during."

Naturally, the more work I have, the less time I have to goof around animating Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show. But I did manage to upgrade my copy of the most excellent "Toon Boom Studio" (the cartoon-making software I use) and also work out the second segment of the show. Since Elizabeth Hurley and Dubbya are guests, I'm faced with having to draw caricatures. Not something I'm especially good at...

Dubbya and Dave

Drawing President Bush was easier than I thought though. You just take one of those freaky Troll Dolls and add beady little eyes. I'm not sure whether people will recognize him as Dubbya, but I wanted him more "cute" than "scary" so I guess it will have to do.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Another little white girl done fell down a well. Fifty black people get their ass beaten by police today... but the whole world gotta stop for one little whitey stuck down a hole!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Romy & Michele's High School Reunion (1997) with Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino.
Categories: TooncastingClick To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shafted

Posted on Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

Dave!Okay, I just sat through two hours of Lost expecting that at least one small something would be solved or explained. Of course, nothing was, and now I want my two hours back. I think this was about the most lame, disappointing, piece of shit finale ever aired on television. Note to writers and producers: you can't just string people along forever with no pay-off. So where was my f#@%ing pay-off? If they're not going to explain anything at season's end... the most important episode of the entire year... does that mean they never plan on it at all? Will they just keep going and going until they're cancelled, and then leave everybody hanging? Whoopee! It's a hole! THAT'S what I waited all season for? I mean, who cares?

Amazing how Lost can go from being one of the best shows on television to one of the absolute worst. Of course, why should I be surprised? J.J. Abrams f#@%ed up Alias, so I guess it was only a matter of time before he destroyed Lost as well. He has a real talent for starting out with something mind-boggling cool, then letting it degrade to utter shit.

And speaking of Alias... what started out as a slightly promising fourth season (after a disastrous third season)... quickly slid into something far, far worse. Now we've got big red balls and Night of the Living Dead zombies? WTF? And sorry, but no, the little plot twist at the end does NOT make up for what a crap season this turned out to be. Unless something really spectacular happens in the season-opener of these shows, I'm done with them both.

Thankfully there was Veronica Mars this year with a REAL pay-off for the fans at the finale. Otherwise, I might have just given up on television entirely.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Oh, that's great, blame it on the little guy! How original... He must've read the schedule wrong with his ONE eye!"
Yesterday's Answer: Scary Movie 3 (2003) with Jenny McCarthy and Jeremy Piven.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Health

Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Dave!I've decided to have elective surgery to garner sympathy from total strangers. It seems everywhere I go, people I don't even know are forever droning on about some health crisis I couldn't care less about. Since I don't get sick and have never had so much as a broken bone, I feel that I must be missing out on something.

The question is... what do I want to have done? It has to be something that sounds dangerous and life-threatening, but is actually fairly harmless. At first I was thinking that I'd just go have my appendix ripped out because, well, it's not like you need it or anything. But an appendix sounds pretty lame when somebody decides to hit you with that triple bypass they just had.

Maybe I'll just lie and say I got my brain rotated or something. That should shut people up.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "From now on, the only person who gets to yell is me! Why? Because I have a gun... and people with guns get to do whatever they want."
Yesterday's Answer: Monster's Inc. (2001) with John Goodman and Billy Crystal.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Endorsement

Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2005

Dave!Which famous person do you think sold out the most to endorse a product? What's the product? Ah, there are so many. I especially love these mega-million stars who consider themselves too good to do commercials here in the USA, but are more than happy to do Asian commercials for major bank (Ben Affleck's stuff is particularly bad). But, in the end, I'd have to say it's a tie between 1996 Presidential nominee Bob Dole for Viagra and former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka for Levitra. Yeah, yeah, I understand that erectile dysfunction is a problem for people, and having famous personalities endorse the drugs for it help to break down the stigma surrounding the need for such things... but I think it's the definition of "sell-out" to go on television and talk about problems with your penis. Well, unless you are June Allyson talking about Depends adult diapers, but that's another story altogether.

Which famous person do you think has the best celebrity endorsement for a product? What's the product? I am a huge fan of James Earl Jones, and think his commercials for Verizon DSL are great. But, when I really think about it... getting hottie Jessica Alba to pimp L'Oreal cosmetics was utter genius. What woman doesn't want to look that hot? She is the epitome of "fresh-faced beauty" and doesn't wear cosmetics... cosmetics wear HER...

Yummy Jessica

Which song do you think has best been used to endorse a product? What's the product? No doubt it would have to be Pictures of You by The Cure, which was used brilliantly in HP's campaign for digital photography. I used to love The Cure, then kind of forgot about them until I heard that achingly beautiful song coming from my television and was haunted for days. It completely resurrected my love for the band.

FQ SPOKESMAN: Pair a famous person with a product endorsement that you think would be the perfect match! Angelina Jolie for just about anything. If Microsoft hired Angelina Jolie to pimp WindowsXP, I'd give serious consideration to chucking my Mac and downgrading to a crappy PC. If Jimmy Dean were to hire Angelina Jolie to pimp sausages, I'd be tempted to quit being a vegetarian after 20 years and start eating it. The woman is irresistible. If Apple were smart, they would give her a few million to pimp Macs and iPods in television commercials. She is the perfect spokeswoman for just about any product.

Speak up at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Skipper

Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2005

Dave!Funny... I'm on the "grid" now.

One of my regular reads, Gawker Media's excellent Gridskipper.com, has taken one of the little collages I made for my entry praising Shynola's work on the Junior Senior video for Move Your Feet. I guess I shouldn't be surprised... all of my images are thoroughly indexed by Google, after all. It's just strange to run across stuff like this. Oh well, it's not like it's my work... all the credit goes to the demi-gods at Shynola (who are also responsible for The Guide graphics from the current movie Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

Gridskipper

At least Gridskipper was nice enough to copy the image to their server rather than steal my bandwidth (good thing too, because I will probably run out AGAIN before the end of the month).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Mickey and Mallory know the difference between right and wrong... they just don't give a damn."
Yesterday's Answer: The Ref (1994) with Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

LegoMe

Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2005

Dave!   
Sometimes it's good to be me.

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Future

Posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Dave!Sweet! Thanks to terrific DVD sales, the highly entertaining Futurama may be revived in the form of direct-to-DVD movies! I loved this show, and felt that it had surpassed the later seasons of The Simpsons in quality. Originally, I had thought that it was too much to hope that the show would come back (like Family Guy did), but now there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Bender has got to be one of the funniest characters created for television. He had me at "bite my shiny metal ass"...

Futurama!

In other television news, I've been main-lining continuous episodes of Scrubs from the Season One DVD set all day while catching up on work. It never ceases to amaze me that a show this smart and funny has not been cancelled yet. Go buy it immediately...

Scrubs

Lastly, I am having to rearrange a few things here this weekend in hopes that I can conserve bandwidth. I am really close to blowing past my new limit (that didn't take long), and hope that dividing up some long, long archives by year will help out. It's just my luck that this would happen right as I am trying to get things together before I head over to Seattle next week for work.

Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Searchable

Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Dave!Why is it I have absolutely no motivation to do anything on a Sunday? It's 10:00am and I have not yet gotten out of bed. But now that I've spent the last two hours catching up on blog reading, I suppose I should consider it. I need to get a bed with a built-in toilet, refrigerator, and microwave so I can spend Sunday as it was intended (and here comes the hate mail from the church-goers!).

Neil has put up a few bizarre Google searches he's received. I was going to do the same, but find that the searches people enter once they're actually here are even more bizarre than what people Google (mostly "Lindsay Lohan Boobies" and the like).

Here are twenty of the more interesting Blogography searches as of late...

  • Most Powerful Good Mutants On Earth (which is odd, because I consider myself to be the most powerful EVIL mutant on Earth!)
  • show poop (I get a lot of "poop" searches because of this stupid entry)
  • www.showpeoplespoop.com (What the-?? And I got this search from more than one person too!)
  • diagram of poop (I have no idea...)
  • britneyspearsnude (BecauseIwritewithallthewordstogetherlikethis?)
  • granny sex pics (uh... disturbing)
  • why is martha stewart in jail ? (Because she's a bitch and must be made an example of to women everywhere... luckily men don't get sent to jail for being a bastard, or else I'd be in a "pound you up the ass Federal Penitentiary" right now)
  • ellen degeneres favorite shoes (wonder no more... it's a pair of Air Jordan Retro XII's)
  • keanu reeves gay (I wish! Keanu is sooooooo hot!!!)
  • is dave gay? (Only for Keanu Reeves, though these guys also have a shot)
  • dave sexy pics (Hey, ALL my pics are sexy! I just can't help it!)
  • dave naked (Why would somebody want to see this? As an FYI, there is a photo of my bare ass on the internet... somewhere... I'm not saying where. I can only guess she thought my ass was perfect, and needed to be shared with the world - anonymously, thankfully)
  • sexy photo (Ah, you must be looking for Elizabeth Hurley)
  • You are guests in my corn (a quote from my favorite movie of all time)
  • mature adult photos (because looking for adult photos on the internet is such a mature activity)
  • mix chicks fliks in the park (Picks six tricks for kicks!)
  • paula radcliffe peeing (I know she's the Brit marathon gal, but I didn't know that her urine has mystical healing properties)
  • vampire women (Aren't they all? Well, at least the ones I've dated)
  • stockholm women (I wish)
  • how Rhodeisland got his name (Rhodeisland got it's name when our founding fathers forgot to press the space-bar while naming the States of this great nation)

That's only the tip of the iceberg, of course. People come here and search for the strangest stuff.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "If we get caught, we're not going to white-collar resort prison... no, no, no... we're going to federal pound me in the ass prison!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Natural Born Killers (1994) with Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis.
Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Parked

Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Dave!I am so totally boring today. Though I did finally manage to get out of bed, so I suppose that's something.

Neil started a very cool Flickr tag for everybody wearing Bad Monkey shirts... if you've got a photo up, add "badmonkey" to your tags. Then go see everybody looking impossibly cool by checking it out on Flickr. If you want a Bad Monkey shirt of your own so that you can be equally cool, visit the Artificial Duck Store and get one before the price goes up. Though, I must warn you: I've run out of small and medium, so there will be a wait for those sizes until I get another batch printed up in early June (your order will ship immediately after they're available).

South Park Dave

Another fun thing before I head off to work. Kirkkitsch has a nifty entry about making your own South Park character...

South Park Dave

It's me! And now you can go make your own South Park character too.

Categories: DaveToons 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pickled

Posted on Monday, May 30th, 2005

Dave!On behalf of a grateful nation, my thanks to all who sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom this Memorial Day... and every day.

Neil is on a roll, with the meme du jour being a run-through at Blog Ideas. I have alread done this one before, so here's hoping that there are new questions in the mix.

  • What is something scientists need to invent? A replacement for fossil fuels would be nice. Preferably one that is renewable and not harmful to the environment. Will it be biodiesel? I have no idea. Better work that one out really quickly.
  • My life as a cartoon. Bwah ha hah. I draw too many cartoons of my life as it is.
  • Boxers; Briefs; Commando? I mostly wear boxers, though I do own some briefs as well. I have gone commando exactly twice (once because my underwear was forgotten... once because it was stolen).
  • Vanity Search @ Google: does your site come up? Both my name and my blog ("Blogography") come up first. That's kind of nice, I guess.
  • Pickles: Friend or Foe? Pickles are my friend. I love pickles. I especially love pickle chips, but not on my burger... I always take them off my veggie burger and eat them separately.

Dave Pickle

Ooooh... time to pack my suitcase. See you in Seattle.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "There's only three reasons why you can't make your court date... One, you're in a hospital. Two, you're in jail. Three, your ass is dead."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Office Space (1999) with Ron Livingston and Stephen Root.
Categories: DaveToons 2005, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Deluge

Posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

Dave!Seattle is famous for its rain, which is only partially correct. The city does get its fair share, but there are many days of clear blue skies and sunshine too.

But today is not one of those days.

Today the heavens decided to split open and dump a deluge of water on the downtown city streets. It is not a pretty site, and people have vacated the sidewalks to escape the flood. I tried to photograph the chaos as thunder was booming above, but the rain was so dense all you could see was a blur. After waiting a bit for the rain to lessen, I finally managed to take a photo down 1st Street in Pioneer Square...

Rain

If you look carefully, you can see the rain still streaking through the shot. Kind of strange that just last week Seattle was suffering through record high temperatures.

I am tired to the point of collapse, so it's off to bed for me... if you are looking for a bit of entertainment, you might want to check out Maddox's review of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which is pretty harsh (but very funny).

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Today I saw a slave become more powerful than the Emperor of Rome."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Jackie Brown (1999) with Pam Grier and Robert Forster.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Access

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

Dave!I am one of those people who believes that complimentary internet access should be included with every hotel room... kind of like a toilet, bed, and those little bottles of shampoo. Nothing pisses me off faster than having to pay an additional charge for internet after already having paid through the ass for a room.

But there is something worse... paying for SHITTY internet access.

Such is the case for the newly remodeled Vance Hotel in Seattle. They use "Eleven Wireless" as their paid provider. Eleven Wireless sucks ass. Primarily because you have to pay $10.95 a day to use it. But on top of that you have to create an account that expires at the end of the day AND CANNOT BE EXTENDED!! Oh no... you have to create ANOTHER account on the second day. Then another on the next, and so on. What's the f#@%ing point in creating a f#@%ing account if you can't f#@%ing buy more time to f#@%ing add to it? Dumbasses. As if that weren't enough, half the time pages don't come through, so you have to push the "reload" button two and three times to see anything.

Bah!

While eating dinner at the ever-excellent Il Fornio restaurant tonight, I had the grave misfortune of spattering tomato sauce from my fabulous Cappellacci Di Zucca on my Bad Monkey T-shirt. Ordinarily, this would not be a big deal, as I have twenty more back home. But this one is my favorite because it's been washed a dozen times and has reached that comfy-soft stage that's so prized by T-shirt connoisseurs. As you might guess, tomato sauce is next to impossible to get out, so I just resigned myself to the fact that the shirt was probably a goner. But when I got back to my hotel room, I remembered I had these little "Oxi-Clean" stain sheet packs in my bag.

Miracle of miracles... the stuff actually works! With a little patience, the stain eventually disappeared, and my shirt is as good as new. NOTE TO SELF: buy more Oxi-Clean travel packs when I get back home, and stick them in my backpack, my desk drawer, and my glove box. No telling how many pieces of clothing I could have saved over the years if I had these little suckers available (or if I weren't such a sloppy eater).

Now, if you will excuse me, NBC has The Eagles "Farewell 1 Tour" running. It's not like that's something you can pass up watching.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I've fought many wars in my time... some I've fought for land, some for power, some for glory. I suppose fighting for love makes more sense than all the rest."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Gladiator (1999) with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.
Categories: Food 2005, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Noise

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

Dave!It's pushing midnight in the Emerald City and I just had to change hotel rooms.

What kind of total ass-bag, sack-licking tool decides to throw a party ON A WEEKNIGHT in a hotel room, downtown, when most of the people staying there are undoubtedly business travelers who have to... oh, I don't know... SLEEP... so they can get up and f#@%ing go to work in the morning?

I swear, one of these days somebody is going to pull this shit in the room next to mine and I am going to totally lose it. I think it will go something like this...

ME: Knock! Knock!

INCONSIDERATE NOISE-MAKING DUMBASS: Who is it?

ME: Room service.

INCONSIDERATE NOISE-MAKING DUMBASS: (while opening door) Funny. I didn't order any...

ME: (with a shotgun) BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

ME: DIE f#@%ERS! DIIIIIIIIIEEE!

And then I would do a little dance in the middle of the room after setting the bodies on fire. I am so not kidding. This is the type of crap that turns normal, every-day people into homicidal maniacs. More and more it seems that common courtesy and manners slide just a little bit further into non-existence. People only seem to care about themselves now-a-days, and don't even bother to think about how their stupidity affects others. I honestly don't know what to think about that... do I laugh, cry, or go buy that shotgun?

Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Booked!

Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Dave!Ack! I've been tagged!!

The latest blogosphere craze seems to be the "Book Meme" which I've been tagged with by James Bow...

How Many Books Do You Own? I am not at home to count them, but it must be at least a hundred. If you include comic books, then the count would be around two to three thousand.

What is the Last Book You Bought? Just One Look by Harlan Coben on May 21st. I rather like it, but haven't had time to finish it.

What is the Last Book You Read? Well, since I haven't yet finished Just One Look yet, I suppose I could say that the last book I completed was yet another reading of Noble House by James Clavell. This is my favorite contemporary novel, and I have read it at least a dozen times now... probably more. Brilliant, brilliant book... and complex enough to demand multiple readings.

Name five books that mean a lot to you. Oog. Narrowing it down to five only? That's tough...

  1. Nobel House by James Clavell. As I said, I love, love love this book. I will probably read it ANOTHER dozen times before I die.
  2. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. The first book I can remember to make me laugh out loud while reading it. A lot. Actually, I love all of Adams' books, and could probably make a strong case for putting one of his more serious books (but still hilarious) called Last Chance to See on this list. Fantastic book.
  3. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is not my favorite of the Burroughs "Barsoom Books," but it is the first in the series, and responsible for the ten that followed. So worth reading.
  4. Watchemen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The ultimate graphic novel... so utterly brilliant that I loathe to even call it a "comic book" (although it is) because people get the wrong idea. Completely changed a genre, and its influences are still felt even today.
  5. Illusions by Richard Bach. Totally changed the way I look at life after reading it. Very few books have affected me as deeply as this one, and I consider it (along with Bach's other amazing book: Jonathan Livingston Seagull) to be essential. If you can ignore the new-age hijinks, and focus on the underlying themes that Bach so beautifully weaves into his stories, this is well worth reading.

Now "tag" five individuals to provide their own lists. Errr... I'm not caught up on my blog reading because of work, so I have no idea who might have done it already. Perhaps Tonya, because she is ALWAYS reading something cool. I have no idea what Mr. Jerz is reading, so that might prove interesting. Gary has similar taste in television shows, so I'm naturally curious as to what he reads. Kachina has a "what I'm reading" graphic on her site, but I'm curious to know what else she might be into. And lastly, how about Anthony McG... I wonder what they're reading in Dublin now?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You're so money, and you don't even know it!"
Yesterday's Answer: Troy (2004) with Brad Pitt and Eric Bana.
Categories: Books, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  8 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Art

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2005

Dave!Who is your favorite artist? What is it about their work that you find so appealing? This is an impossible question for me to answer, because there are literally hundreds of artists I admire equally. Michelangelo is probably furthest up my list, and that's the best I can do. He has such a magnificent and inspiring body of diverse works, that it's hard not to count him as a "favorite among favorites."

What is your favorite work of art? What makes you like it so much? There are two paintings I am infatuated with... The Flower Bearer by Diego Rivera, and Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. I can't tell you why I like them so much except to say that I seem to connect with them on an emotional level.

Where is your favorite place for art? What does this location have that makes it so great? Hmmm... in choosing among my top three picks of New York City, London, and Paris... I'm going to have to give the edge to New York. That's probably because The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, and Museum of Modern Art (three of my most favorite) are all there.

FQ ARTISTIC: Create a quick piece of art for us... Ready. Set. GO!

DaveArt

I shall call it... Sunflowers in Utah!

That's two-and-a-half minutes quick! For anybody interested, here is my initial quick sketch superimposed over my impressionistic completed picture...

DaveSketch

Get artistic with the FridayQ.

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

   

Return

Posted on Saturday, June 4th, 2005

Dave!Food: Returning from a week away means there's no food in the house, so it's off to the market I go... only to have my ears immediately assaulted by Michael Bolton screeching one of his suck-ass "songs" across the store's speaker system. And don't ask me which one, because they all sound the same to me. That's because, for lack of actual talent, Bolton SCREAMS the lyrics to his "music" which means all I hear is WAAAAAHHH! As much as I fantasize about shooting stupid people that bug me, I'm glad that I don't pack a gun, because I would have blown my own head off right there in the produce section. As if that wasn't punishment enough, the guy ahead of me in the check-out line had "Pure Country" tattooed on his arm.

Switch: All the internet is abuzz with the rumor that Steve Jobs is switching the Mac platform to Intel chips. I don't really care. It's Microsoft Windows that sucks ass, not the Intel and AMD chips it runs on. If I can get a faster Mac at a cheaper price on Intel-based machine, that's fine. That having been said, I'll believe it when I see it.

Handbook: As I mentioned in my "Book Meme" answers, a book that means a lot to me is Richard Bach's Illusions. Inside this fictional account of a "reluctant messiah," there is reference to the Messiah's Handbook. Whenever you are uncertain about something, you flip randomly through this little book and read a page that is supposed to remind you about an answer that you already know. While I was in Seattle, I stopped by the most excellent Elliott Bay Book Co. to see what the staff is recommending, and was shocked to see that they have actually published this fictional tome! It's packed full of little quotes from Bach's wondrous books. Just like in Illusions, the book is not meant to be read... you're supposed to flip through it when you need guidance. As an example, you might ask yourself "why am I here?" then flip open the book and read: "Here's a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." It's kind of fun, but I've been doing this for years with any book at hand... whether it be The Bible, Curious George Makes Pancakes, or Frommer's Guide to Boston. The nice thing about using Bach's book is that the passages are written specifically for insight, which makes it kind of a nifty thing to own.

Wacko: The Michael Jackson trial is coming to a close. Will the freak who likes to sleep with little boys in his bed be sent off to a pound-you-in-the-ass federal penitentiary? Probably not. I'm sure he'll just be written off as an eccentric, and walk away with nothing more than a big lawyer bill to show for it. I would be more interested in seeing the parents of these children put on trial for actually allowing a scary-ass pedophile like Jackson near their kids. But what do I know... let's ask the Messiah's Handbook: "Not being known doesn't stop the truth from being true." Yikes. The stuff really works!

Smile. I am addicted to Coke with Lime. This is unusual because I don't even really like soda. But for reasons unknown, I am currently drinking two cans a day. From the Messiah's Handbook: "No one can solve problems for someone whose problem is that they don't want their problems solved."

Driven: While making my way home yesterday, I had to drive through boat-loads of horrendous Seattle traffic because, on top of being rush-hour, there was also a Mariners game going on. Making matter worse was the fact that people are stupid. EVERYBODY knows that you don't enter an intersection if you are not able to get through it... this is so that you don't block said intersection and obstruct traffic. But a stupid woman in her silver Volvo did exactly that, just as the light turned green for me. I gunned my engine and pulled right up to her door, thinking the daft bitch would try to move out of my way, but she took out her mobile phone and made a call instead. It took every bit of restraint I could muster to avoid ripping her car door off, grabbing her mobile phone, and then beating her to death with my bare hands. From the Messiah's Handbook: "Anger is always fear, and fear is always fear of loss. Wow. That sounds like something Yoda would say! Apparently Yoda is a Richard Bach fan as well.

Bleh. I think I'm going to sit in front of the television for the rest of the day and veg out. I don't feel like doing much of anything. What does the Handbook have to say about that? "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours." Ain't that the truth.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You know what the worst day of my life was? The day Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon... I was probably the only person in America who wanted to commit suicide that day."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Swingers (1996) with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Alias

Posted on Sunday, June 5th, 2005

Dave!As a part of my plan to slip into a television coma yesterday, I've started watching the first season of Alias again. And oh how far this once mighty show has fallen.

There's only one word to describe what it once was: stunning.

Compare anything from those first magical episodes to the complete shit we've got now in the third and fourth season, and the difference is staggering. It's almost like watching two completely different shows. And all of that makes me wonder... how could an amazing program that once had edge-of your seat espionage and was one of the best things on TV be allowed to degenerate into a weak X-Files parody with vampires, zombies and other such bullshit? They shouldn't even be allowed to call it Alias anymore, because it just isn't. I'm totally embarrassed for everybody involved.

Somebody needs to bitch-slap J.J. Abrams and then kick some sense into him. Alias has pretty much been flushed down the toilet... and his other creation, Lost is well on its way. Does he even care? Or is he too busy rolling around naked in huge wads of cash to give a crap?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "All I want to do is graduate from high school, move to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die. Now, that might not sound too great to a scone-head like you... but I think it's swell!"
Yesterday's Answer: Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Marklar!

Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2005

Dave!Holy Marklar! Today Marklar announced that Marklar will be using Marklar instead of Marklar in their Marklar. I guess that the Marklar were true. As I said, I don't give a Marklar if it means we'll end up with cheaper and faster Marklar.

Also today I finally managed to get my motorcycle back out of storage after over a month of being trapped in cars and planes. The only problem is that I'm not used to riding it. And I'm old. This means I don't ride the motorcycle... the motorcycle rides me. I was out for only a half-hour and feel half-dead... mostly in my legs, which are not used to stretching like that.

In other news... I've decided to rename all the constellations.

Davenightsky

The current names are all Greek gods and stuff, which is kind of boring. I'm going to name them all after myself and stuff I think is cool. Things like "Daveon: The Dave" and "Macinopolis: The Macintosh" and "Lizobethia: The Elizabeth Hurley" and "Cheeseora: The Cheese Sandwich." I'm thinking of keeping "Draco: The Dragon," because that's already kind of cool-sounding.

Next up: I'm renaming all of the mountains and rivers of the world. Oh yeah... and all the countries and cities too. Trust me, it will be much better this way.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It's not important how many people I've killed... what's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive."
Yesterday's Answer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) with Kristy Swanson and Pee-Wee Herman.

   

Testicles

Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

Dave!Despite the wildly homicidal fantasies you read here on Blogography, I am not a violent person.

This is not by choice.

It comes down to the fact that I was cursed with mind-bogglingly vast intelligence instead of the muscle needed to adequately enforce a violent lifestyle. It's a trade-off I have long-since accepted. Sure I may not be able to kick your ass, but I can probably talk you into kicking your own ass for me... I'm just that smart.

I am telling you all of this because it is important that you have the proper perspective for what I am about to say...

IF I EVER MEET THE SADISTIC BMW ENGINEER BASTARD WHO DESIGNED THE BATTERY ACCESS FOR MY F650-GS MOTORCYCLE, I WILL RIP HIS TESTICLES OFF, NAIL THEM TO A BOARD, THEN BEAT HIM ON HIS HEAD WITH IT REPEATEDLY UNTIL HIS EYES POP OUT.

I mean seriously... the absolutely ridiculous way you have to tear apart the bike's entire faring assembly and then juggle a drain tube and the rubber restraining strap to get to the battery is just plain stupid. THIS is the best that famed German engineering could come up with?

I've been having problems with my battery, and decided to remove it so I can check fluid levels and make sure it's charging properly. I don't know if it did any good, but I still wanted to install it back into my motorcycle and see if it was any better. But because of all the stupid crap you have to juggle any time you mess around in there, I dropped one of the connecting bolts...

...and then spent the next hour trying to find it. All without success. So now I've got a bolt bouncing around somewhere, and still don't know if it's my battery, my voltage regulator, or any one of a hundred other things that is f#@%ing up my motorcycle. I finally gave up when the sun went down. Now all I can do is dream of the horrendous torture I will unleash upon the idiot responsible for the grotesquely flawed design of the battery housing. He really must die... and die ugly.

A pity my fantasies of torture are such a small consolation considering I don't get to ride to work tomorrow.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "There are times for falling apart... and there are times for gettin' funky. This is one of them funky times. So what's it gonna be? You ready to play some funky music, white boy?"
Yesterday's Answer: The Whole Nine Yards (2000) with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry.
Categories: MotorcyclesClick To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cruelty

Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

Dave!While killing time waiting for an eye exam appointment after work, I went to JC Penny's because the socks I like are on sale there. While looking around, I ran across a man and a woman shopping in the menswear section. The guy was clearly not into it (what guy would be?) but the verbal exchange that followed shocked me pretty bad...

GUY: (holding up a shirt) Screw it. I'm just going to get this one.

GAL: (holding up a different shirt) Really? I think this one would look better on you.

GUY: Well nothing looks good on you, you ugly bitch, so why don't you just shut up! I'm getting this f#@%ing shirt.

GAL: Okay. Okay. Sorry.

I will never forget the look on that woman's face after having heard such a heinous remark. It was a look of utter defeat and sadness that will haunt me for a long, long time. One minute she was cheery and helpful, the next she was mentally beaten and distant. The sad thing is that this is probably not the first time she's heard that.

The even sadder thing is that she probably believes it.

I cannot fathom why people put up with such cruelty and abuse. If the bastard had said that to me, he'd end up with the clothes-hanger shoved up his ass, and I wouldn't care about the consequences. I mean, seriously, what keeps this woman from cutting his penis off in the middle of the night and flushing it down the toilet? How does somebody get to the point where they are so damaged that public degradation is deemed acceptable?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "A person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside allowing him to grow. Without change, something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens... the sleeper must awaken."
Yesterday's Answer: Undercover Brother (2002) with Eddie Griffin and Dave Chappelle.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Awarded

Posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2005

Dave!I don't know about you, but I definitely plan on tuning in to the MTV Movie Awards tonight...

Alba Boobies

From the press photos for the event, it looks to be a bit more... uhhhh... exciting than The Oscars, I think.

Categories: Movies 2004Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: News

Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2005

Dave!A news story from your past that had a big influence on your life is... It would be easy to answer with the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, because it's so hard to overlook something that recent with such far-reaching effects... but I think I'll have to go with the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. I was in college, and skipped my morning classes specifically so I could stay home and watch the launch. When it happened, it was shocking in a way that I wasn't prepared to deal with. Now-a-days, of course, we're conditioned to accept shock and horror on a daily basis, so I think it will be difficult to top that one. Though, now that I think about it, the death of Princess Diana was also pretty shocking. I had learned of her car crash in Paris just as I was leaving for a trip to Orlando. Nobody really knew at that point if she was alive or not. When I made it to Florida, I learned that Diana had died, but it didn't really sink in until I was at Disney's United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot the next day. Since the attraction is literally built and staffed to be a piece of the United Kingdom, it was almost like being there. The British workers were devastated. There were flowers everywhere. Pictures of Lady Di were displayed in all the shops. Nobody spoke. It was a powerful moment I won't soon forget.

A news story that you wish would go away so you never have to hear about it again is... Oh gee, where do I start? Probably with the Michael Jackson trial. I wish they'd just send the freak off to prison and be done with it. I'd also love for the war to end so I wouldn't have to hear about any new deaths in Iraq. It would also be sweet if Britney Spears would drop off the face of the earth... I accidentally caught her "reality show" after the MTV Movie Awards and could not believe what a white-trash skank she's become. Oh, and she can take Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and all those other sleazy ho-bag role-models for young girls with her.

A news story that you feel deserves much more attention than it has been getting lately is... When Weapons of Mass Destruction were not found in Iraq, we were told it didn't matter because Saddam Hussein was evil and should be gotten rid of anyway. Meanwhile, total GENOCIDE is taking place in Africa by people so evil that they make Hussein look like a humanitarian, and nobody says shit. I suppose if they ever strike oil in Darfur, then people will start to care. Global warming is another pitifully overlooked topic that our government continues to downplay as if it isn't the threat to everybody on the planet that it really is. I'm also upset that the "One Campaign" here in the USA to end world poverty is almost unheard of, which is truly sad. Too many newsworthy stories lost beneath the shuffle of who's sleeping with who in Hollywood. The media tells us what we should care about, and all too often it's stupid crap that doesn't matter. It's appalling. Thankfully the bloggers of the world are picking up the slack.

FQ REPORTER: Look into the future and create a headline for an interesting news story that hasn't happened yet... BELOVED WORLD DICTATOR FOR LIFE DAVE AND HIS FIRST LADY ELIZABETH HURLEY HOLD INTERGALACTIC PEACE CONFERENCE AT THEIR MARTIAN RETREAT. COOKIES AND PUNCH TO BE SERVED.

Be the headlines at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Healthy

Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2005

Dave!Politicians suck ass. Republican... Democrat... whatever... they are so busy trying to screw each other that everyday citizens are the ones who lose out because nothing else gets done.

Sadly, professional politicians wouldn't have it any other way. The bigger the battles, the more money they make. The bigger the distraction, the easier it is to slip in a pay raise. The entire political situation here has come to a head of such gross inefficiency that you have to wonder how in the heck anything happens at all. My home state of Washington is a prime example. We've got a mayor in Spokane who traded jobs for sex (and is accused of molesting young boys as well), yet the city is having a tough time getting him recalled (despite the fact that some of the evidence is undisputed). We've got a Governor's race that was held last November, but has only just now been settled (6 months later) because we can't even count votes. Tax dollars are being wasted at a record pace. Government at all levels is a complete mess.

And where is the outcry? Buried. Buried because Democrats are too busy fighting Republicans and Republicans are too busy fighting Democrats. And so long as we allow it, nothing is going to change.

I'm quite angry about that.

And it's mostly because of health care.

If there is ONE thing that people should be able to agree on, it's that the citizens of this country should be able to have access to health care, right? You would certainly think so. But it doesn't seem to matter who is sitting at the President's desk, the cost of being healthy keeps going up and up and up.

Lucky for me, I am in excellent health... so far. I haven't taken a sick day in years, and so it doesn't matter that my health insurance keeps cutting benefits and the cost for decreasing coverage spirals out of control every year. Hey, I consider myself lucky to even have insurance, when so many people are without. It may cost a lot and not cover much, but if I have a massive heart attack, I am secure in the knowledge that I won't go bankrupt.

And now we have "Health Savings Accounts" where you can put aside money to pay for today's massive insurance deductibles... all tax free. This is a good thing, but it is done horribly wrong. You see, you can only put in money that matches your annual insurance deductible. And even though you can USE the money for medical procedures NOT covered by your health plan, those dollars don't apply to your deductible in the first place, so basically you are f#@%ed both ways. More and more things (like vision care) are no longer covered, no longer apply to your deductible... yet DON'T count towards the money you are allowed in a tax-free account. That is some pretty f#@%ed up shit right there. I keep thinking I might one day give up contact lenses and go for Lasik eye surgery. But it's not covered, and it would take me TWO YEARS to be able to put the money needed in my new HSA and be tax free. Why? Why the f#@% can't I get the whole thing tax-free NOW? Sure I can claim it on my taxes come next year but, after calculating the percentage over my adjusted income, it won't gain me a damn thing. The government is just giving me a big "f#@% you" because I was unfortunate enough to be born with poor eyesight (heck, even if I never get surgery, my eye exams and lenses still have to be paid for!).

Health Care

What it comes down to is that even those people who have jobs and have insurance are slowly becoming unable to pay for medical expenses. It's either too pricey, not covered, or their deductible is so outrageous that they simply cannot afford it. And, on top of all of that, unless it's a major medical expense that's above a certain percentage of your adjusted income... it's not even tax deductible unless you can some how pull it out of a savings account that barely covers the insurance deductible in the first place!

How much longer are people going to take politicians fighting each other instead of fighting for the people who elected them? Time is running out... if things keep going as they are, pretty soon nobody will be able to afford to be healthy. But I suppose as long as they are just healthy enough to vote, politicians will continue to make empty promises for health care reform that never materialize.

Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hang

Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2005

Dave!Writer, student (and self-proclaimed Lord of The Dance) Cavan Terrill has come up with an interesting meme over at his "The Blurred Line Blog." He is basically asking how important the personality of the blogger is to your reading, and which of the bloggers you read would you like to hang out with.

The short answer is that I would like to hang with everybody listed in my blogroll (along with a dozen other bloggers I've forgotten to list, or those bloggers who write so infrequently that I've dropped them). Since I find each person listed there interesting enough that I keep going back for more, I can only guess that they would be interesting enough that I would like to hang with them in person. Nobody on that blogroll is there just because they link to me, or write nice comments... they've earned a spot on the list (I really do need to update it though).

The long answer is a bit more complex because of another question Cavan raises: How well do you actually get to know the bloggers you read every day? And that's the trick, isn't it? Because you can only interpret who a person really is based on what they write. But even the best writers aren't going to give you all the details of their life. When you read a blog, you don't get the whole story... only what the writer wishes you to know.

In the case of my blog, this is actually more true than in others, because I leave quite a lot out. I do not write about my friends and family. I do not write about my work. I (usually) do not write about my more personal problems. There's a lot of things happening with me that will never show up in Blogography. Cavan calls this "quasi-personal" which is exactly right... there's just enough of "me" here that you can probably figure out what type of person I am, but not enough for you to truly know me.

Unfortunately, there is a danger in this... some people don't realize that this blog is "quasi-personal" and think they know all about me just because of what they see here. I'm guessing this would make Blogography "pseudo-personal." I give the impression that this blog is an open book unto my life when, in reality, it isn't (I wrote about this in more depth here).

I will tell you that people who know me in "real life" who also read Blogography often tell me that I seem much angrier in my blog than I am in person. This is true, for obvious reasons. Here I can vent my frustrations knowing that if people don't want to hear it, they just won't read it. If I was bitching like this all the time to my friends, I probably wouldn't have many friends for very long. I am a fairly easy-going guy, and I know that this doesn't always come across here. This will be a relief to some of you (and grave disappointment to others).

Knowing that about myself, I have to wonder why I would want to hang with anybody whose blog I read... because there's always the chance that the person I like so much from their writings will turn out to be entirely different in real life (well, except for Girl on a Glide... she rides a motorcycle, and what else do you really need to know about a person?).

I don't know... would it be worth the risk?

   

Of course it would. Let's all meet next Thursday and hang out. Mr. Jerz is bringing the beer (happy birthday by the way!).

And, speaking of "happy birthday," best wishes to the love of my life, Elizabeth Hurley, who turns 40 today!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Separately, we are flawed and vulnerable... but together we are the masters of our sexual destiny!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Dune (1984) with Kyle MacLachlan and Jose Ferrer.
Categories: Blogging 2005, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Ham

Posted on Saturday, June 11th, 2005

Dave!I went and saw Mr. & Mrs. Smith today, and it has to be the most entertaining movie I've seen this year. It also has the highest body count. Angelina Jolie was stunningly hot, and this was the first role since 12 Monkeys that Brad Pitt has done that I've enjoyed (a pleasant surprise). The only problem was the ending, which fell a little flat, but getting there was so good that I didn't much care. I am embarrassed to admit that I am secretly hoping for a sequel. I could watch Angelina Jolie blow stuff up and shoot people for hours. I could especially watch her shoot the dumbass behind me WHO MADE A MOBILE PHONE CALL DURING THE MOVIE!!

Whenever you think you've seen the ultimate depths of human rudeness, somebody comes along to prove you wrong. One day that idiot is going to end up with his mobile phone deeply impacted into his ass. That would rule.

My love and addiction for Kitty Spangles Solitaire is well documented. But Kitty and I drifted apart after I upgraded to MacOS X Tiger, because she refused to play anymore. I had forgotten about it, but then Swoop released a Kitty upgrade, so I wrote and got a working serial number and she's all better now. There's a few improvements in the new version. One option is that a pig comes out and tells you when there are no more moves...

The Pig!

It's great at first. You don't waste any time running through a deck when there's no cards you can play. But after a while, all I want to do is bake that little ham when he comes on and tells me I'm a loser. That's pretty drastic considering I'm a vegetarian...

Ham!

Mmmmmm... bacon!

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive?"
Yesterday's Answer: American Pie (1999) with Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott.

   

Cotton

Posted on Sunday, June 12th, 2005

Dave!I am so cool.

When I left work this afternoon, I ran into a guy and his young son looking at my motorcycle. This is nothing new. I look out my office window and see people inspecting my ride all the time. It's just unique enough... just cool enough looking... to attract attention. The guy asked me the standard bevy of questions, but it was his kid's query that made my day...

Kid: Can you fly a plane too?
Dave: Ha! No. I can jump out of a plane with a parachute though.
Kid: Wow! You're just like James Bond!

Yes. That's me. Just like James Bond.

Except I smell funny.

But this is not my fault. I switched to GAIN "Cotton Fresh" Touch of Softness laundry detergent, and now I smell like I've been doused in pesticides. I don't smell cotton fresh at all. Looking back, I should have known better. I mean, what exactly does fresh cotton smell like anyway? Oh well. I wonder if since I smell like bug spray if this means I don't have to worry about being attacked by packs of wild cockroaches.

And after a liberating bike ride out in the beautiful sunshine, I'm home to work some more. But within a few minutes, I get a call on iChat...

Reagent: Whatcha doin?
Dave: Watching TV and working.
Reagent: Watcha watchin?
Dave: I dunno... some kind of home improvement show. Two guys are remodeling their house or something. I'm not paying that much attention, it's just background noise.
Reagent: Two guys? Together? Quick, write a letter and boycott the network!
Dave: Hey! Why do you assume they're gay? They might be brothers or cousins or roommates or something!
Reagent: Are they hot?
Dave: WHAT? How in the hell would I know that? They're just guys. Hey... they're Mac users!!
Reagent: Oh yeah... they're gay alright.

And here I was worried that I wouldn't have anything to write about today.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "If the Martians land, the're gonna need a place to stay... just like everybody else."
Yesterday's Answer: Broadcast News (1999) with Holly Hunter and William Hurt.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Guilt

Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2005

Dave!Oooh, look... Michael Jackson is like totally innocent!

Well, I sincerely doubt he's totally innocent, but given the wonderful job the prosecution did of piling on bad evidence on top of bad witnesses, it's the verdict he gets. Why oh why didn't they just focus on a child molestation case instead of all the stupid shit that diluted everything into an un-winable mess?

I'd attempt to be shocked, but it's exactly as I predicted...

The Michael Jackson trial is coming to a close. Will the freak who likes to sleep with little boys in his bed be sent off to a pound-you-in-the-ass federal penitentiary? Probably not. I'm sure he'll just be written off as an eccentric, and walk away with nothing more than a big lawyer bill to show for it. I would be more interested in seeing the parents of these children put on trial for actually allowing a scary-ass pedophile like Jackson near their kids. But what do I know?

Do I think that Michael Jackson is guilty of everything he was charged with? No. Do I think he acted completely inappropriately with little boys he invited into his bed "so that he could show his love for them"? Uh, yeah. This is just not normal behavior, and the fact that the child accuser provided graphic details as to the incidents... well, something very wrong was going on there. The fact that Michael gets away with it is really sick.

MJI

The real losers are, of course, the kids. Their innocence has been taken, but whether it was by Michael Jackson or the prosecution is open to debate. I still blame the parents. Where in the f#@% were they when this crap was going on?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "The name's Francis Sawyer, but everybody calls me Psycho... any of you guys call me Francis, and I'll kill you."
Yesterday's Answer: Mars Attacks! (1996) with Jack Nicholson and Annette Bening.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Googlimage

Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Dave!I had seen the "Google Image Meme" someplace, then promptly forgot about it. But then whilst catching up on my blog-reading this weekend, I ran across it again at Chronic Listaholic, and decided to give it a go. It was supposed to be for Sunday, but I ended up having something to write about, and put it off until now.

How it works is this... you are given ten questions, and then have to enter your answer into Google Images to see what comes up for each one. You can either take the first hit, pick a favorite, or however you want to do it so that your answer ends up being a picture...

Google Image

  1. The place you grew up. Cashmere, Washington. I selected a photo of downtown that had a pickup truck and a bunch of flags in the shot, because that pretty much sums it up.
  2. The place you live now. Same place, so I used the same photo.
  3. Your name. Despite having a pretty good Google Index, my full name does not result in any photos of me popping up (I suppose I should be relieved?). When I simply enter "Dave" I still don't show but, oddly enough, my friend Dave does show up, so he gets his picture here.
  4. Your grandmother's name. Despite the fact that my grandmother's name is not "Marilyn Monroe," that's the photo that comes up. Odd.
  5. Your favorite food. This is such a toss-up, but I'd have to say the top-three are "Pasta Salvi" (from Salvi's Bistro in Columbus, Ohio), The Da Vinci Pizza (from David's Pizza in Spokane, Washington), and the ORIGINAL Fettucini Alfredo (ONLY from Alfredo alla Scrofa in Rome, Italy).
  6. Your favorite drink. It's usually Italian hot chocolate, but given that it's summer time, I chose my current obsession... Coke with Lime.
  7. Your favorite song. Would be something by Depeche Mode. But since I didn't want to spend hours trying to narrow it down to a short list, I just picked my current fave song... Everything's Changing by Keane. This is a photo of the lead singer, I think.
  8. Your favorite smell. Always grandma's apple pie.
  9. Your favorite shoes. Despite being made in a sweat-shop somewhere, my Nike ACG Boots remain my favorite pair of shoes ever. Unfortunately, my favorite fave model has long-since been discontinued, so these are a different pair of Nike ACG boots.
  10. Your favorite number. Four. Which is considered hugely bad luck throughout most of Asia. For reason's unknown, this really cool stealth bomber SR-71 Blackbird shot comes up when I type "4" into Google Images.

And there you have it... a cool meme to fill up space in your blog!

Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

International

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2005

Dave!It's always an interesting battle to try and keep under my bandwidth allotment each month. Every couple of days I take a look at my stats and try to estimate whether I'm going to make it or not. Most times, it's obvious I'm going to run over, so I have to make little adjustments... chopping up large categories... removing redundant archive pages... that kind of thing. From previous history, I know that 42% of my bandwidth is used in the first-half of the month. Right now I'm at 51%, so I'm already in trouble. After tweaking a few things to limit the data be transmitted, I was bored and decided to look at all the other stats my hosting company offers.

There's a lot of cool stuff there, but the most surprising was the "Top Countries by Access" list. After eliminating "unknowns" and the USA, here's a list of the top-twenty countries of international visitors to Blogography (in order of volume, and I've bolded the countries I've been to)...

  1. Portugal (18%)
  2. United Kingdom (16%) - visited
  3. Canada (13%) - visited
  4. Saudi Arabia (9%)
  5. Singapore (8%) - visited
  6. Australia (6%)
  7. Mexico (5%) - visited
  8. Finland (4%)
  9. South Africa (3%)
  10. Germany (3%) - visited
  11. Austria (2%) - visited
  12. France (2%) - visited
  13. Netherlands (2%) - visited
  14. Hong Kong (1%) - visited
  15. Denmark (1%) - visited
  16. New Zealand (1%)
  17. Indonesia (1%) - visited
  18. Japan (1%) - visited
  19. Sweden (<1%) - visited
  20. Italy (<1%) - visited

I'm trying to make sense of this list. Naturally, I expected predominantly native English-speaking countries to come out on top, but that's not the case. I have never blogged about Portugal. I have never been to Portugal (yet very much wish to visit one day... there is a Hard Rock Cafe in Lisbon, after all). But people in Portugal lead the pack by a comfortable margin (boa vinda!). Maybe my blog is more entertaining when translated into Portuguese?

Saudi Arabia at #4 is a bit puzzling, though I suppose the US military build-up there might explain it.

Another surprise... I (incorrectly) assumed that places I've been to and blogged about would rank higher on the list. With this in mind, I'd have thought that Japan and Germany would rate much higher. Sweden was actually under 1%, despite the fact that I blogged from there every day for four days (omöjlig! where for art thine countrymen Patrick?!?). Italy barely made a half-percent (nessun amore per Dave?).

The biggest shocker of all? I thought for certain that the USA would account for 80-90% of my traffic. It probably doesn't. Once "unknowns" are eliminated, it accounts for just 62%. That's kind of remarkable when you think about it. I wonder if blogs outside the USA have such large foreign readership? I'm guessing that English-language blogs have a considerable edge in attracting a "world view," but can't be sure now.

I hope I manage to get more sleep tonight than the three hours I got last night. Dwight Yoakam is whining his way through an incredibly bad country song (that has stolen riffs from Chuck Berry's Johnny B Good!) on Leno. I can't take it anymore, so I'm going to bed whether I can sleep or not. People actually pay money to buy this guy's "music?" Yeeargh.

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Widget

Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2005

Dave!My internet is down. I wonder why you don't get to deduct outages from your DSL bill? Seems like you should be able to.

So in lieu of spending a few hours surfing blogs and the latest entertainment news, I decided to take a break from work and play around with making widgets for MacOS X's Dashboard. For those of you not OS X savvy, Dashboard is a tool that holds useful little "widgets" that can be summoned instantly to your desktop. There are widgets for everything, and new ones are being released all the time. I've got widgets for converting measurement and currencies, viewing my Netflix queue, weather forecasts, Wikipedia lookups... even one to show the lyrics for the song I've got playing in iTunes. It's pretty slick.

Dashwidgets

Making your own widgets is not too difficult, because they're just mini web apps written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The tricky bit is getting it all to look cool and function as intended. I've got two widgets I am currently working on:

Ask Dave. The "Ask Dave" widget is like a Magic 8-Ball. You ask a question, then click on the Dave Widget and he'll give you an answer. Sage advice at your fingertips! I'll probably release it over the weekend...

Ask Dave Widget

BloggerPeeps. The next project is quite a bit more complicated, because it's not just a Widget, it's an entire web site project that I've been working on called "BloggerPeeps" which is a visual blog directory based solely on photographs. When you visit the site, there will be a set of photo tiles with pictures of bloggers in them. When you click on a face, you are taken to their blog... it's as simple as that. New photos will be rotated in the set, and there will be a second set of "peeps" that will randomly pull from previous tiles. The widget for BloggerPeeps will show the current blogger, the previous blogger, plus a random "blogger of the day" - and will be updated Monday through Friday. The web site and the widget should both be going live by the end of the month...

BloggerPeeps Logo

BloggerPeeps Widget

BloggerPeeps Widget

BloggerPeeps Widget

The intent is to create a place where my favorite blogger peeps (people) are displayed in a way that's more interesting than a blogroll or links list. I've managed to dig up 100 photos, so I've got at least that many peeps to play around with. I'm sure others will pop up as I work on the site. I have no idea whether it will be of interest to anybody, but it will be a fun experiment.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Give my regards to King Tut, asshole!"
Two Days Ago Answer: Stripes (1981) with Bill Murray and Harold Ramis.
Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Bad

Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2005

Dave! Something you like to do or say that's considered to be bad. Riding a motorcycle is bad for your health... with all these SUV-driving distracted soccer moms, it can be fatal.

Something you like to watch or listen to that's considered to be bad. Television itself is considered to be bad by many people, but I just can't help myself. Also, everybody considers 80's synth-pop to be bad, and I listen to a lot of that.

Something you like to eat or drink that's considered to be bad. I'm guessing that would be Jones Blue Bubble Gum Soda. It doesn't seem natural to be consuming something that's this blue.

FQ ASSOCIATION: Tell us something "bad" you associate with the following ten words: movie: Spanglish, song: Country-Western, television: Reality Shows, place: Koontz, book: Atkins, taste: Cauliflower or Broccoli, smell: Vomit, sound: Mobile Phone Ringtones, touch: Slime, and sight: Wrecked Motorcycle.

Be a bad monkey at the FridayQ.

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Answers

Posted on Saturday, June 18th, 2005

Dave!Last night I stayed up way too late working on my "Ask Dave" widget, and I think it's finally done. One thing I wanted very much to do was add some kind of animation to give the "Toon Dave" a bit of life. Eventually I thought of using one of those Etch-A-Sketch type toys so he could shake it up and down to erase the old message, then a new message would appear. But I had no idea how to simulate motion using only JavaScript, so I went widget hunting to see if somebody else had managed it. That's when I found Alwin Troost's Magic 8-Ball widget, and used his image array technique to build the shake animation. Every time you click on Toon Dave, he shakes the "dave-a-sketch" and the answer to all of life's questions magically appear!

And, just like Apple's widgets, you can flip him over to get a quick link to everybody's favorite blog...

Ask Dave!

Overall I'm quite pleased with my first widget. If you own a Mac running OS X 10.4 Tiger, and want to try it, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD. If you don't own a Mac, then you need to run right out and buy one so you can have Dave's wisdom readily available to you. Or I suppose you could just become an Apple developer so you can get your hands on OS X for Intel, then install it over your Windows or Linux OS (and no, I don't know where to download it). Hmmm... probably easier to buy that Mac (you'll be glad you did!).

In any event, here is the discaimer I include with the ReadMe file:

DISCLAIMER: The Ask Dave widget is just for fun. Any resemblance to actual advice is purely coincidental, and should not be taken seriously (much like Dave himself).

Have fun with your own personal Dave. Try not to abuse him too badly.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "They say that right before you die your life flashes before your eyes... that's true, even for a blind man."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Stargate (1994) with Kurt Russell and James Spader.

   

Bats

Posted on Sunday, June 19th, 2005

Dave!It seems that every time I go to the movies, it ends up being more about the morons who are sitting around me than the film itself. When I went to see Batman Begins, this did not change.

Sitting two chairs beside me was a woman who wheeled in what I thought was a suitcase. But it wasn't luggage, it was an oxygen tank. Ordinarily, this would not be a problem, but it was a defective oxygen tank that kept making a "sssst - sssst - sssst" noise throughout most of the film. I was getting so angry that I was contemplating either beating her over the head with the tank, or strangling her with the surgical tubing. I have no problem with people who need oxygen to breathe, but come on! If you are going to a public venue, be sure you've got a tank that isn't going to annoy the crap out of people.

But tank-woman was nothing compared to the f#@%ing sack-licking dumbshit that sat two rows behind me. It wasn't the fact that the redneck asshat felt the need to constantly talk to his inbred cracker clan... IT WAS THE FACT THAT HE TALKED TO THEM VERY LOUDLY!! He was forever dropping pearls of insight like "THAT FALL WOULD KILL A NORMAL MAN" and HEH, HEH... HE HIT HIM IN THE FACE. IT WAS THE FACE!!!!" and, my personal favorite... HE'S ON FIRE! THAT MAKES HIM THE HUMAN TORCH! HUH! HUH! HUH! HUH!!!" People like this should not be allowed in public... let alone be allowed to breed. He's just propagating an entire generation of movie-talking white trash that should be wiped from the face of the planet. If I had the ability to set things on fire with my mind, he'd be crispy like a burnt marshmallow. And, after I tossed the oxygen tank on him, he'd be like a crispy-dead exploded marshmallow.

BatDave

Now, on to the movie. I don't really talk spoilers but, just in case you want to stay pure and haven't seen it yet, I'm putting my comments into an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Movies 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Legal

Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2005

Dave!I am very cross this evening. Very cross indeed.

This is probably due to my working 16-18 hours every day for the past two weeks, but it could very well be that I'm just a crotchety bastard who is tired of the never-ending legal stupidity that seems to accumulate day after day. Here's just a sampling from this morning's news...

Flag. Oh crap. Boing Boing is reporting that Hollywood turd-wranglers are trying once again to sneak the "Broadcast Flag" bullshit onto a Senate appropriations bill. This time they're taking no chances and being really sneaky... they're attaching it TOMORROW. This insane attempt to completely control all aspects of how Americans watch television was already swatted down once but, thanks to the totally f#@%ed up way our government works, is back from the dead. Why is it that we have a legal system that allows legislation to be snuck onto bills without any debate? That's pretty chicken-shit if you ask me, and explains how idiotic crap like the "Real ID" act gets passed into law despite public outcry. If this bitch passes, you can kiss TiVo goodbye. I'll then be telling Hollywood to kiss my ass, and turn to sock puppets and masturbation as my sole sources of entertainment. Because if you can't play well with others...

Patent. How to make a million dollars without doing shit... 1) Think up some new obtuse method of doing something simple and draw a picture of it as a computer interface. 2) Take advantage of our antiquated and tech-inhibiting legal system to get a patent. 3) Sit back and wait for some poor bastard to come along and actually create this blindingly obvious product that should have never been given a patent in the first place. 4) DON'T ACT... WAIT!! Wait five or six years for the product to become a phenomena, and then sue. SUE LIKE THE WIND YOU SCAMMER f#@%!! Never mind that you never had any intention of building the shit... you drew a crappy picture, so go get your million dollars!! 5) Be content that you are contributing to a problem that will inhibit future technology from ever being developed, due to fear of dumbass patent-infringing legal action. If you want a text-book case to study, here's one: Apple is being sued over iTunes.

I'm already working on my own patent right now...

Dave Bread Slicer

Once they start building computerized bread slicers (or automated circumcising machines), I'm rich, baby!!

This case against Apple is complete bullshit. Seriously. Music can be organized using artists, albums, songs, cover art, and genres. THAT'S IT!! FIVE f#@%ING THINGS! How many ways is there to display such limited information so that it makes sense? One? Two or three? FIVE perhaps?!? This is basic, basic, BASIC stuff. ANYBODY designing a player for music is going to come up with pretty much the same thing. And yet some ass-clown was able to get a patent for it. Stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID. Whoever granted the patent for this needs to be kicked in the ass and then bashed in the head with a rock. Even if lame patents are allowed, you should then be required to actually BUILD THE DAMN THING within a certain period of time! Use it or lose it dumbasses.

Misery. And lastly, some crazy bitch is suing Stephen King because she claims her life is the inspiration for his book Misery. Given that the character in question was a psychotic nurse, I'm happy to see that life is indeed imitating art. But the best part is yet to come... this is not the first time that she has sued the famous author. Back in 1991, the same woman accused King of breaking into her house numerous times and stealing manuscripts written by her and her brother. Assumably the manuscripts were the basis for his best-selling books. Never mind that the case was dismissed... this total whack-job is allowed to once again clog up our overcrowded courts with her bullshit. Whatever monkey-spanking lawyer took this case should be flogged in public.

There are more, of course. Stupid lawsuits are filed at a rate of thousands per day. But so long as lawyers are actually allowed to live for propagating such ambulance-chasing crap, nothing is ever going to change. One day society WILL tire of this moronic behavior, and it will be legal (encouraged, even) to shoot lawyers in the head whenever they file a frivolous lawsuit. When that day comes, I am so applying for a job as a file clerk at the local courthouse.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Kids are starving in China and you're walking around with a sombrero full of peanuts!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Daredevil (2003) with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Download

Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Dave!Apple has picked up my Ask Dave widget for their Dashboard widget repository:
http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/justforfun/askdave.html

I just now realized that anybody downloading the widget who then clicks on the Blogography link is going to come here and read how I want to become Pope, explode people's heads, shoot frivolous lawsuit lawyers, and all the other crazy things that I write here in my blog fantasy life.

Uh oh.

I already receive enough hate mail as it is... something tells me this does not end well. I really, really should think these things through before I do them.

Here come the labels.

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Surprise

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

Dave!Next to my apartment complex is a small, yet nicely appointed, mobile home park. Housed within the park is an elderly couple who seem to like nothing better than yelling and screaming at each other over the most trivial things. They yell about postage stamps. They yell about the weather. They yell about sandwiches. They yell about dirt for heaven's sake. This morning as I was leaving for work, they were at it again. This time they were yelling about where to place the lawn sprinklers (of all things). And it ain't no "cute little old people fighting" type of thing... it's more of a "one day somebody is going to end up stabbed to death" type of thing. I will try to be surprised on the day the police finally show up.

Much like I was surprised to see the new packaging for the pending DVD release of The Simpsons: The Complete Sixth Season which is coming out on August 16th. Sets 1-5 had a similar look that was actually kind of cool... each season, the television on the front of the box would change slightly to reflect the passage of time (on Season 3, for example, the Simpsons finally got cable television because there's a cable TV box on top). I was actually looking forward to future seasons to see if they would ever upgrade to a plasma flat-screen or something! But, alas, the next release will switch the format to "big plastic heads" for the boxes (starting with Homer)...

Simpsons Season 6

Yes it's a cool box, but I hate it when they change the packaging design in mid-series. I want all the boxes for a show to look similar on the shelf (like the boxes for Friends, Buffy, Angel, and South Park). And how are they going to make boxes for Lisa and Maggie, who have round heads... or for Marge, who's hair is five times taller than Homer? And will they label the sides so you can tell what season is what without having to pull them out? These are all going to look like crap on my DVD shelf. Maybe this is my cue to stop collecting the show? I wish you had the option of the old packaging to complete your collection.

But the biggest surprise of the day was finding out I have a stalker.

Well, not really... but a Blogography reader from Olympia did track me down while she was passing though the area today. From her first stop in town, it took her all of ten minutes before she found me. Such is life in a small town where everybody knows your name. This is a bit disconcerting, because it means when the government finally comes to take me away, it won't be much of a challenge for them. Anyway, "hello Tara" and thanks for stopping to say hi.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood-chipper..."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Meatballs (1979) with Bill Murray and Russ Banham.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  9 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

DeStressify

Posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

Dave!Ack! I've been tagged by Neil.

This one is about stress and anxiety, which doesn't happen to me very often. About the closest thing to stress that I've had recently was a strange disturbance in the force yesterday afternoon... as if thousands of people were crying out in suffering and pain... but then I realized it was just Dave Winer landing in Seattle for Gnomedex, two hours away from here.

List five things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play. What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level? Make a list, post it to your journal, and then tag five friends and ask them to post it to theirs:

  • Take a ride my motorcycle. It doesn't matter where.
  • Watch a mindless movie on DVD that I've seen a dozen times before.
  • Leave the country for a week.
  • Play video games set on the "easy" level.
  • Write a rant on my blog.

Okay, I lied. Now I am stressing trying to think of five people to tag. Since this is kind of a list thing, my first instinct is to tag SJ at Chronic Listaholic (who would make it 10 things instead of 5)... but she is in the middle of starting the "100 Things About Me" meme, and so I don't want to interrupt.

How about I just grab some random recent commenters?

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Say hello to the Scream Extractor!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Fargo (1996) with Frances McDormand and William H. Macy.
Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Home

Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2005

Dave!Does your home town host any annual gatherings, festivals, or events? This is a very small city, but that doesn't stop us from hosting the annual "Founder's Day Parade" (happening this weekend, coincidentally enough) and "Apple Days" (first weekend in October). It's kind of nice, I suppose, but anything we do pales in comparison to the neighboring city of Leavenworth (which I talk about here).

What is the "claim to fame" of your home town... what is it famous for? The "Early American City" of Cashmere, Washington has three things that are somewhat noteworthy...

  • Pioneer Village and Museum. Twenty authentic old pioneer buildings have been relocated to the museum here and is pretty cool. My grandfather (who used to be the barber in town) donated some of the tools that are on display in the barber shop building. They also have a comprehensive display of American Indian artifacts from the area, that is one of the best anywhere.
  • Aplets & Cotlets Candy Factory. Makers of famous Aplets (apple-walnut) and Cotlets (apricot-walnut) candies and other fine confections. Since they pass out free samples, it's a popular stop between Leavenworth and Wenatchee for tourists in the area.
  • Tree Top Apple Juice Factory. Though Tree Top corporate headquarters are in Selah, Washington, Cashmere is home to one of their processing facilities which handles fruit from local growers.

What's something about your home town that is NOT so great? You are constantly having to run to the nearby city of Wenatchee (20 minutes away) for just about everything and anything. We have a grocery store, a few mini marts, a couple restaurants, and assorted shops... but most everything you end up having to drive to Wenatchee for eventually (that's where the movie theaters are as well).

FQ ARCHITECT: Invent a new attraction to bring even more fame and fortune to your home town. I'd think a shrine to me would be a massive hit! People could come from around the world to pay their respects to Dave, learn his life story, and have big fun... it could be like Neverland Ranch, but without the inappropriate touching... I think I'll call it "DaveLand" - "The Daviest Place on Earth!"

Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Daveland

Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2005

Dave!As mentioned in my FridayQ entry earlier today, I need to build my own theme park. A place where my followers can come to worship me and have big fun as well. A place that's a safe refuge from the craziness of the outside world. A place where people can give thanks for all the little things I do to make the world a better place. A place that's better maintained than Disneyland, more enlightened than DollyWood, and more kick-ass than Universal Studios.

A place that will make me incredibly wealthy...

Daveland!

And here's a map and list of attractions you'll find at Daveland...

Daveland Map

  1. Ticket Booths & Main Entrance. Your gateway to the Daveiest Place on Earth!
  2. Church of Daveology. Before starting your day at the park, here's your chance to take a moment to worship all things Dave! After praising his existence, take an express elevator to the top of Dave Spire for a magical view of Daveland. Don't forget to make a donation! - in Dave Street USA
  3. Dave Shopping Village. Here's the place to buy Dave souvenirs and official DaveLand merchandise. - in Dave Street USA
  4. Daveism Temple. This stunning temple is a quiet retreat for contemplative study of the Book of Dave. Daveism priests are available to take your donations, and offer advice for conversion of friends and loved ones to the Church of Daveology. - in Dave Street USA
  5. DaveBurger. This premiere dining establishment situated in the middle of Dave Lagoon has dozens of DaveBurger vegetarian favorites and the official DaveBurger gift shop. - in Dave Street USA
  6. DaveVision Theater. Experience the miraculous life and times of Dave on the amazing five-story DaveVision screen in full 3-D! Shows run every 30 minutes. - in Dave Street USA
  7. Lord Dave Apartment. Board a DaveBuggy and take a tour of an amazing recreation of the apartment where Dave first wrote the Book of Daveism and started the Church of Daveology. - in Dave Street USA
  8. Daveland Carousel. Grab a gun and board a pony to take a ride on the wildest carousel on earth! Shoot your way to victory by eliminating the non-believers and preserving the Word of Dave. - in Dave Street USA
  9. Blogography Center. Stop by the Blogography Center to read Dave's latest postings and relive the Blogography Archives. - in Dave Street USA
  10. Dave Taco. Fine vegetarian Mexican restaurant.- in Dave Street USA
  11. Dave's Flaming Cheese. Five-star vegetarian Greek restaurant. - in Dave Street USA
  12. The TidalDave. Ride the big one at Dave's giant wave pool and beach resort... just like the real thing, including the sand in your ass! - in Dave's WaterWorld
  13. H2-cOaster. Ride the rollercoaster that's underwater! Put on your tanks, strap in, and prepare for high-speed thrills through pirahna infested waters. - in Dave's WaterWorld
  14. Shark Bait Theater & Restaurant. Enjoy top-name music talent while surrounded by the world's largest shark tank. But you better turn off your mobile phones and shut up during the show, or you could become shark lunch! If you're hungry, visit the restaurant & bar upstairs. - in Dave's WaterWorld
  15. Dave's River Adventure. Do you dare explore the dark backwaters of Daveland's Water Country? Grab a rifle, some dynamite, and rocket launchers and find out! - in Dave's WaterWorld
  16. Splashabout Laser Killers. 1001 jets of water pulse through a laser tag arena for wet thrills and possible temporary blindness! - in Dave's WaterWorld
  17. Dave's Swamp Skippers. Feeling lucky? Board an authentic Louisianna fan boat and rip through mined waters to reach the mystical Lost Temple of Dave! - in Dave's WaterWorld
  18. Dave's Deathboat 3000. Take a trip on the Dave River with a fully-armed speed boat, and have wet-n-wild fun trying to blow up other Deathboaters! - in Dave's WaterWorld
  19. Fredo Dave's Jungle Pasta House. Delicious vegetarian Italian foods served in a jungle hut. Watch out for the gators! - in DaventureLand
  20. Dave's Revival House. Sing praise to Dave in this old-fashioned, lakeside revival theater! Shows begin every hour on the half-hour. - in DaventureLand
  21. Dave Island Destroyers. Board a jungle jeep for a rollicking adventure across Dave Island, then confront the non-believers and destroy the Anti-Dave. - in DaventureLand
  22. Daventure Coaster. Blast through this jungle-themed roller coaster and see how many poachers you can shoot along the way! - in DaventureLand
  23. Daveology Jungle Trek. Become a Davology missionary, bringing the Word of Davism to the non-believers with love and automatic weapons! - in DaventureLand
  24. Davism Battle Bots. Let Davism be your shield as you enter the deadly Battle Bot Death Arena! - in DaventureLand
  25. Dave Plaza Fountain. Touch the Dave-blessed waters at the hub of Daveland! - at Dave Plaza
  26. Skyline to Dave's FutureWorld. Take a leisurely-paced SkyCar across DaveStudios into Dave's FutureWorld! - at Dave Plaza
  27. DaveToon Animation Place. Bring the kids to the place where all of the Church of Daveology cartoons are made! You can never start converting your children too early, and DaveToons make a fun and easy way to teach Daveism at every age. Fun for adults too! - in DaveStudios
  28. DaveToon Praise Palace. Here you can watch all the latest animated features from the Church of Daveology. After enjoying the show, visit the Way of Dave workshop to see how Daveism can be applied to daily living. - in DaveStudios
  29. DaveRail Museum. All aboard! here you can board the Daveland Train that circles the entire park, and see artifacts from the earliest beginnings of Daveland. Hop on and off the train at stations throughout the park. - in DaveStudios
  30. Cinema Dave Six. The Cinema Dave Six has continuous showings of every Elizabeth Hurley movie ever made on six giant screens.- in DaveStudios
  31. Cinema Dave 360. Cinema Dave 360 shows "Everybody Loves Dave" - a humorous look at Dave's early efforts to spread his Word and the virtues of Daveism to non-believers - in an immersive 360-degree theater.- in DaveStudios
  32. Life of Dave: The Ride. This mind-blowing attraction combines all the latest technological effects in sound and vision to create the ULTIMATE Dave experience. This multimedia extravaganza lets you experience Dave from his earliest days, right up until the Church of Daveology was founded! - in DaveStudios
  33. DaveCafe Gift Shop and Snack Bar. Atop "Life of Dave: The Ride" is the most rockin' place in the park... DaveCafe! Enjoy fine dining, rock-n-roll, and a sweeping panoramic view of the entire park in this giant revolving restaurant, complete with concert stage in the round.- in DaveStudios
  34. Davebusters 3-D. The popular Davebusters series of Daveology evangelism films come to life in this amazing 3-D adventure! - in DaveStudios
  35. Skyline to Dave Plaza. Take a leisurely-paced SkyCar across DaveStudios to Dave Plaza, the hub of Daveland! - in Dave's FutureWorld
  36. A Brave New Dave Future. This thought-provoking ride into the future shows how much better off everybody will be once Dave has conquered the world, and Daveism has spread to the farthest reaches of the globe! - in Dave's FutureWorld
  37. Dave's FutureSnack. Sample tasty vegetarian foods of the future and delicious DaveSoda! - in Dave's FutureWorld
  38. Davism Conquerors. Board a battle buggy and take on the non-believer hoards to further the reach of the Church of Daveology! - in Dave's FutureWorld
  39. Daveology Outreach Center. Here you can learn about the future of the Church of Daveology and what you can do to help spread the Word of Dave. - in Dave's FutureWorld
  40. Dave-O-Rama. A science fiction adventure to new frontiers shown on the 10-story, 4-dimensional, Dave-O-Rama screen! Shows run every hour. - in Dave's FutureWorld
  41. Daveism Now! SuperCoaster. This high-speed roller coaster of the future has you racing through holy passages from the Book of Dave brought to life! Not appropriate for young children or expectant mothers. - in Dave's FutureWorld
  42. Pizza Dave's Bistro. If you're getting hungry from exploring the future, stop by Pizza Dave's for the best pizza around! - in Dave's FutureWorld
  43. Dave's Ring-tone Busters. In the future, all those stupidly annoying ring-tones will be banned but, in the meanwhile, you can take aim at non-believer offenders and blow them away! - in Dave's FutureWorld
  44. Passageway to The Dave Resort. Exclusive entrance for The Dave Resort guests to DaveLand.- in Dave's FutureWorld

And there you have it. Plenty of fun and educational activities to keep you occupied for days! It can all be yours once I've built "Daveland" the "Daveiest Place on Earth!"

   

Reservations

Posted on Saturday, June 25th, 2005

Dave!After spending ten hours at work on a Saturday, nothing could be more fun than spending another four hours trying to book travel reservations.

I am being sarcastic, of course.

Despite the strides made by companies like Orbitz and Expedia, making reservations still suck ass. I am attempting to book back to back to back trips for July, and nothing seems to be working out right. For example, I go to Orbitz and manage to get the flight I need at $470. Great. But when I go to actually book the f#@%ing ticket, Orbitz tells me that the fare I selected is no longer available, and it will now cost me $588. Thinking that I could do better by buying direct, I go to Northwest Airlines. But NWA tells me they don't have any flights serving my route, which is surprising considering that Orbitz was perfectly willing to sell me a fare on their airline. And it's no dice with Expedia, which comes up with some truly freaky routes that end up taking me TWO DAYS to get to the East coast!

Having no choice now, I eat the extra $118 and buy from Orbitz.

And then I try to rent a car. Orbitz finds me good rates with Alamo, but every time I click on one, it tells me the rate is unavailable and to try again (which I do... again and again and again...). Since Orbitz is hosed, I try to go direct with Alamo, but their web site is down. So then I go back to Expedia, only to find that something is messed up on their site as well (clicking a rate calls a Javascript that doesn't do anything). I tried Hertz and Dollar, but they don't have a rental counter at the airport I am flying to. Thinking it's a problem with my browser, I try again with FireFox, only to find things still don't work. Attempts at Travelocity and other sites return only ridiculously expensive fares.

So now I'm giving up and going to bed.

(and dreaming of bitch-slapping the people responsible for making simple online booking so freakin' difficult)

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I refuse to play your Chinese food mind games!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Monsters, Inc. (1996) with John Goodman and Billy Crystal.
Categories: Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Resort

Posted on Sunday, June 26th, 2005

Dave!Apparently, Daveland disappointed a few people because of some things that were missing. But Daveland is only a small part of a much bigger plan... you see, right next door to the theme park is The Dave Resort. A magnificent place where Dave's legion of worshipers can go to relax and have fun in a Church of Daveology-friendly environment.

Here's a map and list of attractions you'll find at The Dave Resort...

Daveland Map

  1. Train to DaveLand. An exclusive stop on the DaveLand railway for guests of the resort.
  2. Daveology House. A mammoth estate house for research and study of the Book of Daveism. Complete with 120 guest rooms for visiting apostles, and a television-studio theater where Dave can preach The Word of Daveism around the globe.
  3. The Grand Davenian Hotel and Marina. 600 room hotel with easy access to the marina. A popular hotel for guests of Dave Cruise Lines.
  4. The Marina. Berths for up to 50 water-craft. Rentals available.
  5. Dave Cruise Lines. Home of the Elizabeth Hurley I, Elizabeth Hurley II, and Elizabeth Hurley III luxury liners. Sail the seas in style, with Dave Cruise Lines!
  6. Davism Outreach Center. Visitors new to the Church of Daveology can attend seminars and lectures by top Daveism theologians daily from 9am to 9pm.
  7. Daveological Center for Global Domination. Here are the offices of the hard-working men and women who battle daily to extend the reach of Dave's Word and the Daveism faith. Fascinating historical tours and gift shop open daily (hours vary by season).
  8. Davetown. A charming shopping village with all the latest shops, including an Apple Store and Barnes and Noble (which has all of Dave's books in stock... guaranteed!). As always, Church of Daveology members get a generous 50% discount when presenting their DaveLocator implant.
  9. DaveLinks Luxury Hotel. Located right off the DaveLinks Golf Course, this stunning 800 room hotel has a built-in mini-mall for shopping and dining at its finest!
  10. The Daverium. Concert venue and laser light show theater for the best in music and live theater! Underground motorcycle parking is complimentary.
  11. The Daveria Hotel and Casino. A luxurious 1400 room all-suite hotel complete with full-gaming casino and Daveology chapel.
  12. The Davearia. Six-story shopping mall with all the high-class stores you know and love. As always, Church of Daveology shoppers receive a 50% discount!
  13. Davetica Oceanic Studies Center and Hotel. This off-shore research facility also has a 300-room underwater luxury hotel with stunning views of the crystal-clear waters of Dave Bay.
  14. Salvi's Bistro, Dave's Pizza, and Alfredo alla Dave. A trio of restaurants featuring the best Italian food from around the world, with all recipes translated into vegetarian classics!
  15. Church of Daveology Business Offices. Administration for Dave's world-wide conglomerate of worship centers.
  16. DaveLinks Golf. Two world-class golf courses in one fabulous location!
  17. DaveLinks Club House & Hotel. This 400 room hotel also features a fully-stocked golf pro shop, a bowling alley, video arcade, and movie theater.
  18. Dave Arena. This state-of-the-art sports arena can be configured for any major world sport in mere hours. Also used by Dave as a place to preach the Book of Daveism to thousands of loyal followers at a time.
  19. DavePlex 10. A ten-screen movie theater with a wide assortment of Elizabeth Hurley classics and all the latest films from around the globe!
  20. Hard Rock Cafe at The Dave Resort. The local installation of this world-wide chain of restaurants features hundreds of pieces of rock-n-roll memorabilia, a full stage, and the best milkshake in the entire resort! Reservations recommended.
  21. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino at The Dave Resort. Complete with a full gaming casino, "The Joint" live music venue, and "King's Spa"; this 1200 room dual-tower luxury hotel is themed with rock-n-roll memorabilia, and has "The Vault," where priceless rock artifacts can be viewed daily from 9am to 9pm.
  22. The Dave Needle and Revolving Restaurant. Enjoy a sweeping panorama of the entire resort from atop The Dave Needle, then dine in style at our revolving restaurant where every table has a view!
  23. Dave Village. Charming shops and restaurants with a European flair. Church of Daveology members should remember to ask for their 50% discount!
  24. The Royal Davenia Apartments. Here is where all employees of The Dave Resort live in luxurious splendor! Features a private shopping complex, theater, and restaurants exclusively for use by resort staff.
  25. The Dave Resort Gateway and Detention Center. Here is the checkpoint for all resort guests. Please note that only motorcycles are allowed entry! If you are traveling via automobile, you must park at the car lot and take the shuttle bus into the resort. Motorcycle rentals are available at all hotels if you would prefer personal transportation outside of the DaveBus resort shuttle system. If a friend or family member has been detained by the Church of Daveology, please check in here at the Dave Global Armed Forced desk.
  26. Lord Dave's Manor and Church of Daveology Expansion Center. The personal residence of our beloved leader, Dave. Also serves as the command center for all Church of Daveology missionary work and chief operations offices for Dave Global Armed Forces.

Alrighty then. Another couple of billion dollars added to the total, but what does money matter?

   

Illeana

Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2005

Dave!I think the 18-20 hour work days are finally getting to me. Just one more day left before I am caught up and can go back to a more sane schedule. Thankfully television is in reruns, or else I'd be screwed. It's bad enough I'm two weeks behind on email, I don't think I could handle being behind two weeks on TiVo.

There is something new happening on HBO though. Six Feet Under is actually getting good again (after a disastrous run last year). The fact that they brought back the utterly brilliant Illeana Douglas for a guest shot is just icing on the cake. Would somebody please give her a series?

HBO's other brilliant show, Entourage, remains highly entertaining despite the fact that the main plot for the series has kind of stalled right now. Some of this has to do with the amazing writing talent behind the show's better-than-real dialogue, but MOST of the credit has to go to Jeremy Piven, who completely rules the earth as slimy talent manager Ari Gold. I wish that they would shift the focus of the show to him since his character is anything but boring. If not, would somebody give him a series? Or better yet, bring back the best show ever to air on television, Cupid?

And last on my television hit list... why did ABC stop re-runnning Grey's Anatomy? The more I watch it, the more I like it... even when it's an episode I've seen before. I could have really used an episode last night. The good news is that TV Shows on DVD is reporting that the series will come out on DVD soon. I wonder how soon is "soon"?

Argh. I'm falling asleep while typing this. Here's hoping I can get more than 4 hours sleep before starting all over again.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We're no longer called 'Sonic Death Monkey'... we're on the verge of becoming 'Kathleen Turner Overdrive' but, just for tonight, we are 'Barry Jive and his Uptown Five!'"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) with Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott.
Categories: Television 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Salad

Posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

Dave!WARNING. Today's Blogography contains subject matter of a disturbing nature. Rather than be upset by what you read and then feel the need to write me another hate mail, why not just save us both the trouble and go f#@% yourself. Thanks!

As I slowly approach the finish line of the project that has been consuming every waking moment of every day for the past two weeks, I have been able to squeeze in a bit of free time to check in on some blogs and make a tiny dent in the hundreds of emails that have been accumulating. It is not a lot of progress, but it does make me feel better knowing that my life is on a track back to "normalcy."

And now that I'm finally going to have some honest-to-goodness free time in my future, I find myself starting to think of what I am going to do with it. The list goes something like this...

  • Launch BloggerPeeps.
  • Start working on my talk show.
  • Catch up on my DVD backlog.
  • Finish a rant I started (fire is involved).
  • Make some ice cream.
  • Wash my piles of dirty clothes.
  • Sleep.

But that's a week away. In the meanwhile, I still have loads of work to do and a blog entry to write. This should be easy... I could just weigh in on the two topics that are dominating the blogosphere right now:

  • iTunes 4.9, now with podcasting! Whatever. I mean, I am still waiting for the killer content that is going to make me care. Apple has a few promising podcasts in their directory (Al Franken!), but there's nothing going on that is going to make me suddenly fall in love with something that is still 99% crap.
  • President Bush's speech. Not to undermine our "war on terror" or the troops laying it on the line to safeguard this Nation... but are you EVER GOING TO f#@%ING ADDRESS the false pretenses which got us into the war in the first place? Here was your opportunity to explain yourself in regards to the "Downing Street Memo" and all the other crap that is starting to surface, but you say N-O-T-H-I-N-G. If you think people are just going to "forget" all the bullshit that got us into this, then you desperately need to get a clue. How can I be encouraged by your words when your track record has me questioning everything that comes out of your mouth?

So if I am not going to write about iTunes or Bush, what's the topic for the day? Find out in an extended entry!

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Dave Approved: Veronica Mars on DVD

Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

Dave!Why oh why didn't I become a member of Congress? Despite the fact that the economy is in the crapper and unemployment is at a record high, they apparently feel that this is no reason that they shouldn't vote themselves a $3100 pay raise. This means that if you are a Congressman, you'll be pulling down $165,200 next year. Obviously, their salary is not tied to their job performance. If the dumbasses worked at a regular job, not only would they not be getting a pay raise, they'd probably be getting a pay cut (or even fired) for gross incompetence. I mean, HELLO?! Iraq? Health care? Unemployment? Trade imbalance? Peak oil? Education? The environment? WTF?!?

If I wasn't afraid of being shot by the Secret Service, I'd walk into Congress and bitch slap each of the f#@%ers who voted for themselves a pay raise.

But there is good news. One of the best new shows of 2005, Veronica Mars, is coming to DVD in October (as reported by TV Shows on DVD). This is very good news, at will finally allow me to wipe gigabytes with of BitTorrent files off my hard drive (and 22 hours off my TiVo). Apparently there's going to be a bunch of extra footage and a director's cut of the first episode, which is kind of cool as far as extras go.

Logan and Veronica 4-ever!

Veronica Mars on DVD

There's also going to be a DVD release of another fantastic 2005 show soon... Grey's Anatomy, which is equally good news. I just hope that I am able to find time enough to watch all these TV DVDs.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "It's called 'Sex Panther by Odeon'... it's illegal in nine countries. It's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: High Fidelity (2000) with John Cusack and Jack Black.
Categories: Dave ApprovedClick To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Audio

Posted on Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Dave!Waah! I'm tired and I don't wanna blog today! Keep that in mind as you try to make your way through my senseless ramblings in this entry, as there will be no proofreading.

Of course, that makes this no different than any other entry I've ever written, but still.

Work on "Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show" continues, but is not going as smoothly as I had hoped. Perhaps I am getting in way over my head with this "tooncasting" idea, but it sure is a lot of fun trying to figure out how I am actually going to pull it off.

Tooncasted

The latest hurdle is recording the audio. I needed some voice tracks in order to test out my lip-sync maps and see if they in any way resemble speech. I mean, it looks good in theory, but until I match it up with actual recorded words, there's just no telling.

Dave Lip Sync

So last night I actually sat down and did a read-through of a page from the first show's script and recorded it. I was shocked at just how bad it turned out. In fact, "bad" fails to adequately describe what I was hearing. Granted, I probably sound more like Michael Jackson than James Earl Jones, but even Michael would be a hundred-fold improvement from what I got. I tried to push some warmth into the tinny, scratchy audio using Garage Band (and eventually Soundtrack as well), but it was so inherently flawed as to be useless.

There was no way I was going to spend weeks animating a show if it were going to sound this horrible. The pay-off would not be worth it. For a moment, it seemed as though "Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show" was dead before it even started.

So this morning I made a phone call to a friend who has done radio work, thinking he might have some idea as to what I could do in order to get a more presentable recording.

Dave: I'm trying to get a voice recording into my computer and...

Matt: HOLY SHIT! ARE YOU GOING TO DO A PODCAST?!??

Dave: Errr, no. I want to animate a cartoon and need to record the voices.

Matt: You should podcast! That would rule!

Dave: Probably not. I think a "tooncast" is about the best I can hope for. But when I record the voices, it sounds terrible.

Matt: Please don't tell me you are trying to record with that shitty microphone in your PowerBook.

Dave: No. I'm using the microphone in my iSight camera.

Matt: Yeah, that's almost as bad. You need a professional mic. A good one will cost you about $500.

Dave: WHAT?!??

Matt: Uh huh. You'll also need a pre-amp and a mixer. There's another $500.

Dave: WHAT?!??

Matt: Sure. And you'll want a compressor, but that's only a couple hundred bucks.

Dave: WHAT?!??

Matt: Hey, if you don't want to sound like shit, you have to have this stuff.

Dave: WHAT?!?? I'm making an online cartoon... not Citizen Kane!!

Matt: Yeah, I know. I'm just kidding. You could probably get away with about $200-$250 in equipment and sound like a pro.

Dave: WHAT?!??

... and so it goes. Regardless of how you slice it, I was going to have to shell out some cash if I had any hope of having decent audio. Since Matt seems intent on suggesting gear that costs thousands of dollars, I decided to do some internet research instead. After a bit of digging, I found out that pretty much everything he told me was true: the bottom line is that it's a $150 investment, minimum.

Twenty minutes spent shopping at "Musician's Friend" and I am suddenly missing $210 and am poor again... even though today was payday.

This sucks ass!

I was not counting on having to spend anything more than my time to get this new hobby going. But every time I turn around, money is involved. Perhaps I should hit up some tobacco companies for sponsorship. Since they can't advertise on television anymore, maybe pushing deadly products is a lucrative financing option for me.

Oh well, I won't worry about any of that now. I'm just going to get to work and see what happens. If all-else fails, I'm acquiring enough equipment that I could start filming low-budget porn. As an up-side, I'm relatively sure that the scripts are much easier to write for stuff like that.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "My doctor says now I have enough silicone in my body to kill a small elephant... isn't that cool?"
Yesterday's Answer: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) with Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate.
Categories: TooncastingClick To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Never

Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2005

Dave!Somewhere you'll probably never go, but would like to. Outer space... like the moon or something. To be more realistic, I'd probably have to say Elizabeth Hurley's bedroom. Okay, that's probably less realistic, but you know...

Something you'll probably never do, but would like to. Visit every Hard Rock Cafe in the world. It was a goal for the longest time but, after I hit visit #100, it was not such a big goal anymore. It's also getting increasingly unrealistic, because properties open and close before I can get to them.

Someone you'll probably never meet, but would like to. Well, there are several people I'd like to meet solely for the purpose of bitch-slapping them back to the stone-age (Judge Judy and Jared the Subway moron is at the top of the list). I'd also like to meet a bunch of bloggers that I read. But, truth to tell, it would be either Elizabeth Hurley or Betty White. If forced to choose, it would be Elizabeth Hurley.

REALITY CHECK: What would have to happen in order for you to actually accomplish those three things? Money. Lots and lots of money. Not that I'm saying Elizabeth Hurley would suddenly let me meet her or visit her bedroom if I had a billion dollars, but I could probably bribe people that allow these disturbing and stalker-ish behavior.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "I'm going to go on an overnight drunk... and in 10 days I'm going to set out to find the shark that ate my friend and destroy it. "
Yesterday's Answer: Orgazmo (2004) with Trey Parker and Dian Bachar.
Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  3 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Trek

Posted on Saturday, July 2nd, 2005

Dave!I've decided to recover from three weeks of doing nothing but work... by doing nothing much at all. I fully plan to stay in bed surfing the internet most of the day. At most I'll be catching up on the tremendous backlog of blog-reading and maybe watch my News Radio DVD set. I have no plans to leave the apartment today... even for a motorcycle ride, which will tell you exactly how lazy I plan on being.

One thing that has already caught my eye (via an entry on Boing Boing) is a Japanese artist named Toru Kanamori who was an illustrator for Star Trek novels back in the day. He is retired now, and unable to take on book assignments as he once did. But, since he still needs to make a living, he is looking for some kind of licensing or publishing deal for his stunning collection of original art...

Kanamori-san Art

Kanamori-san Art

Kanamori-san Art

Amazing. And there are at least 400 more illustrations sitting in a cardboard box in a suburb of Tokyo just begging to be seen. I mean, holy crap! Somebody get Kanamori-san a book deal or a gallery showing A.S.A.P.!

It is rare that I just dump a news story here for linking purposes, but I had to make an exception for this. To read more about the artist and his work, there is a web site up.

I just hope the blood-sucking licensing department over at Paramount will respect the fact that Kanamori-san is responsible for selling a bunch of their books in Japan, and not hassle the guy if somebody is smart enough to want to publish his works.

   

ToonTesting

Posted on Saturday, July 2nd, 2005

Dave!I finished the last episode from my News Radio DVD set, and then turned to watching Joss Whedon's Firefly. I never saw the show past those few episodes that aired before it was cancelled. But now that the big Serenity movie is coming out, I thought it was time to take a look.

Besides, I got the entire series on sale for a ridiculous $22.

And it's probably the best $22 I've ever spent on DVDs. A real pity that FOX decided to screw Joss (not to mention the fans) and cancel it, because everything about the show is brilliant... from the writing to the special effects. I wish they hadn't moved the film all the way to September.

And then I decided to play around with putting the set together for my tooncast (a Flash animation follows, but you probably have to be in a browser to see it?)...

Look! It's going to be in widescreen! I'm so totally HDTV-ready.

Of course, I need to finish the theme song and record the introduction before I can animate the opening of the show for real, but it was fun to goof around with it for a bit. I am particularly pleased with the multi-planing that goes on between the set and the photo of Seattle in the background. But the amazing thing is that the file is only a measly 120K. No audio or anything, but there's still a lot going on for such a small size. There's a logo now too...

Show Logo

There's probably not much else I can do until my new microphone, pre-amp, mixing board, and compressor arrives next week. I need audio before I can really get to work.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "But the worst thing is, if you so much as set a foot in the Bog of Stench, you'll smell bad for the rest of your life... it'll never wash off."
Yesterday's Answer: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) with Bill Murray and Angelica Houston.

   

Greed 8

Posted on Sunday, July 3rd, 2005

Dave!I gave up on MTV ages ago. That's because somewhere along the way they seemed to forget that the "M" in "MTV" stood for "music" and abandoned the idea of actually playing music. Instead you have a lot of dumbass crap that has nothing to do with music at all. A simple and brilliant idea has been destroyed utterly.

But I made an exception yesterday, because I wanted to see the Live 8 concert. So I had TiVo record the entire thing... the plan being that I could sit down this morning and skip to all the bands I wanted to see.

Leave it to the insanely stupid, greedy ass-hats at MTV to totally rape a benefit show.

NOTE TO THE STUPID f#@%S IN CHARGE OF MTV "MUSIC" TELEVISION: Live 8 is a benefit concert to raise awareness of the plight of poverty-sricken countries within the African continent. And, while applaud you taking time to air educational segments to show people the horrors of what is going on there, YOUR VIEWERS TUNE IN TO A "CONCERT" FOR THE MUSIC!!! So when you continuously interrupt performances so no-talent idiots can provide useless commentary and introduce yet another commercial... RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SONG... that makes you THE STUPIDEST f#@%ING IDIOTS ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET!!

I kept skipping forward past the endless commercials to try to actually find "music" in the broadcast, but it was a rare event. Apparently MTV could give a shit about what's going on in Africa, and saw this as nothing more than a money-making opportunity from continuous advertising revenue. "Oh look! It's Maroon 5!" But then they interrupt for a commercial and so that some dumb bitch can wander through the audience asking people "what have you learned here today?"

Well I've learned that MTV sucks ass on a level of ass-sucking I never thought was obtainable. What a bunch of moronic pricks. I eventually gave up trying to even watch... there was just no point in it.

f#@% MTV. If I lived in New York, I'd be protesting in front of your Times Square studio.

Protesting or fire-bombing... one or the other.

UPDATE: Okay then, I'm not the only one who thinks MTV sucks.

   

Flag

Posted on Monday, July 4th, 2005

Dave!Whooooo! Happy Independence Day!

Today is the day where every red-blooded American gets to be a patriot. Or at least torch off some fireworks and burn the house down. Or whatever. It's also a day when politicians can wrap themselves in the flag and wax poetic about America so they can sucker people into believing that they actually give a crap about something other than money and power.

And what better way to do THAT than to drag out the old flag-burning debate? And that's exactly what the House of Representatives did last month when they endorsed a Constitutional amendment to ban such activities.

It's a perfectly lovely non-issue diversion that works every single time. I mean, why would we possibly want to waste time solving real problems like unemployment and health care when we can discuss idiots who are so stupid that the only way they can get their point across is to burn something.

Yes, I said it... I think anybody who burns a flag is a raging moron.

Partly because they have no respect for people who fought and died for what that flag represents... but mostly because it's just so lame and pathetic. About the only thing more pathetic is a politician trying to make it illegal.

And let me tell you why.

I was once involved with a project that had a very "patriotic" theme to it. As I started work, it was brought to my attention that it is forbidden by the "Flag Code" to use the flag as a symbol on anything except military, police, and firefighter uniforms. It is considered especially heinous to use the flag on "temporary" items which are discarded after use, or any form of advertising. This is considered to be desecration.

I adhered to this ideal for years because I didn't want to offend anybody. But then I started noticing that the flag appears on EVERYTHING from party streamers and T-shirts to campaign signs and posters. That's when I finally just decided to ignore the "Flag Code" and use the flag in situations where I want to sum up America in one iconic symbol. Hey, they do it for the Olympics, and all kinds of other organizations, so why should it be any different for citizens like me? So long as I use the flag respectfully... as a symbol of nationality and pride... I actually think this is a good and patriotic thing to do. Like when Perry and I went on our Hard Rock Run through Europe and I designed badges and pins for the event. I used flags to show nationality, and find nothing wrong with that:

Hard Rock Run 2004

But, with the flag appearing on practically everything, my point about lame flag-burners and the politicians against them is totally proven. Let's take this example:

Flag Undies

Yes, it's a pair of flag underwear. But think about it for a moment. Let's imagine that this buff, shaven stud with a small penis was wearing these flag underwear to a dinner party. Then let's imagine that this was a dinner party where some food was under-cooked, and he got sick. Then let's further imagine that he got diarrhea and shit his pants.

Thus shitting on the flag of the United States of America.

Now, I don't know about you... but, in my mind, shitting on the flag is far worse than burning it. So if our STUPID f#@%ING POLITICIAN ASSHOLES decide that they need to distract us from REAL problems by amending the Constitution to make flag-burning illegal... then where is the amendment making SHITTING on the flag illegal?

And, because I'm in a mood, here's another example:

Flag Napkins

Those are flag napkins. But think about it for a moment. Let's imagine a high-school girl is going to a 4th of July party. Then let's imagine that she decides to drink alcohol for the first time and consumes a fifth of Jack Daniel's (another American institution). Then let's further imagine that she gets alcohol poisoning and pukes all over the buffet table and they clean it up with the napkins.

Thus smearing the flag of the United States of America with puke and tossing it in the garbage.

Now, I don't know about you... but, in my mind, cleaning up vomit with a flag and throwing it in the garbage is far worse than burning it. So if our DUMB-f#@% POLITICIAN IDIOTS want to waste taxpayer money to distract us from REAL problems with a new amendment... then where is the amendment making PUKING on the flag and THROWING IT IN THE GARBAGE illegal?

I could go on and on, of course. My imagination knows no bounds when it comes to stuff like this. But let's wrap this up, shall we?

  • FLAG BURNERS: Lighting up a flag in protest is pathetic, lame, and disrespectful. You are doing NOTHING to further your cause. All you are doing is trying to get attention because you know flag burning is going to upset people (and these people are probably far braver and worthy than your sorry ass will ever be). Obviously, you are unintelligent, unimaginative, and most-likely illiterate if the only way you can make your point is to burn something. Furthermore, the fact that people can puke and shit on the flag with no recourse makes your act of defiance just sad and embarrassing.
  • FLAG-BURNING BAN POLITICIANS: The flag of the United States of America is an enduring symbol of this Nation. It does not require protection. You can burn it, shit on it, or wipe up puke with it... and this country shall endure. Your pathetic attempt at lying to people about preserving freedom while making laws that would limit this same freedom is a slap in the face to anyone who has ever died while serving under it. Shame on you. Shame on you for crapping all over the memory of these brave people by using the flag as a distraction from the REAL problems facing this Nation. Shame on you for wasting valuable time on flag-waving while your constituents are going sick because they can't afford to visit the doctor or buy medication. Shame on you for speaking out so vocally over a piece of cloth when people are wearing tattered rags because they have no jobs to earn money to buy clothing. Shame on you for wrapping yourself in the flag at a time when brave men and women are dying in service of it far from home. Stop it. Just stop. Stop bringing shame to yourself and the people you serve and DO YOUR f#@%ING JOB!
  • MY FELLOW AMERICANS: On this day where we celebrate our independence and freedom, realize this: our country is more than a flag. Things are temporary. Ideals are not. Don't let yourself be suckered into distraction by those who are trying to exploit you over a thing. A new amendment to the Constitution banning flag burning is not going to bring back jobs. It's not going to make health care affordable. It's not going to win the "war on terror". It's not going to do ANYTHING to solve the REAL problems facing us as a Nation. It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor. It doesn't matter what race or religion you are. Because what you really are is an American. And as an American, you have a rare gift to decide who represents you in our government. You have a rare opportunity to demand more from those whom you elect to serve you. So ask yourself this... does it make sense to waste YOUR time and YOUR money to create an amendment that makes flag burning illegal, when people can still shit in their flag underwear and puke on their flag napkins? There are far better things our politicians can be doing to serve us than passing a law that isn't going to help people, but instead limit the freedoms we've paid so dearly for.

Now go eat apple pie, watch a baseball game, light off some fireworks, and shoot guns from the back of your pick-up trucks... and do it quickly before they add a new amendment to the Constitution which makes it illegal. Happy Independence Day.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "You realize we're all going to go to college as virgins... they probably have special dorms for people like us."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Labyrinth (1986) with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly.
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Science

Posted on Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

Dave!Show! While waiting for my new audio equipment to arrive, I wasted a couple of hours animating a studio audience for Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show. It's not as easy as you might think. I ran out of ideas for different people "looks" after four characters, yet had to come up with a minimum of 36 to get the effect I wanted. I'm still not sure how I am going to assemble "cuts" in Toon Boom Studio, but I am quite pleased I was able to build an entire studio audience in just 90k. I rule.

Stats! It's interesting to note just how few people were surfing my blog over 4th of July weekend. Traffic was cut nearly in half! In some ways, this is kind of nice, because I barely made it through last month's bandwidth allowance (again).

Lego! I just got the latest Lego Shop-at-Home catalog. If anybody wants to buy me a present, I am so wanting the new "Dino Attack" T-1 Typhoon Helecopter vs. T-Rex set! It's unbelievably cool...

Dino Attack Lego

Withdrawals! I have been attempting to wean myself from Coke with Lime, which has been keeping me going over the past three weeks of 16-20 hour work days. I'm down to two cans a day, which is a marked improvement from the 6-7 I was consuming daily just last week.

Answers! Science Magazine has listed the "Top 125 Things Facing Science Over the Next Quarter Century" as a cornerstone to the essay entitled "What Don't We Know?" Since I know everything, I've decided to take a dozen of the questions and answer them. Uhhh... well, I'm answering them the best I can given the limitations of human understanding. After all, it's not my fault I'm so much smarter than today's top scientists. The boring answers (with absolutely no scientific basis) are in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: DaveLife 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Walk

Posted on Wednesday, July 6th, 2005

Dave!What a freaky day.

This morning I got an email from some random guy who was starting a new blog and came up with this fantastic idea to call it "Blogography", but the domain "blogography.com" was taken which made him mad. And then he found out ".net" and ".org" were also taken, and he got even madder.

He checked the URLs and discovered something astounding: the same jerk bought all three domains!

Oh wait... that's me!

After writing back to say "so?" I received another email accusing me of everything from domain squatting to destroying the internet. He went on to pretty much demand that I release one of the domains so he could have it (apparently, he didn't want ".info" or ".tv" or any of a hundred other top-level domains available). This made me laugh, but not as much as when he tried to comment-spam me (he left six before realizing I manually approve all comments).

Back when I thought of the name (April 2003), I Googled "blogography" to make sure nobody else was using it and came up blank. Since that time, dozens of other "blogography" sites have sprung up on the internet... but I was first, and I wanted all three domains to make sure some ".net" or ".org" didn't cause confusion. This is not an unusual thing to do, and having somebody equating it to domain squatting is just bizarre.

Almost as bizarre as trying to figure out how to animate something. Since TV is in reruns, I decided to goof around with making my DaveToons move. At first I was going to do it like South Park, and have the characters bounce along without actually walking... but it didn't work for me. I needed a simple "walk cycle" to give the illusion that I was at least trying to make an effort. How hard could it be?

A lot harder than you'd think. It took me nearly two hours to get something I considered to be acceptable, and I'm still not really happy with it...

He needs to bobble a little bit when he walks, but my attempts to do this make him look like a complete spaz. He also needs a shadow, but when I attempted to add one, it looked like he was walking with a pet blob. At some point I need to just accept the fact that I am not Walt Disney, and be happy that I can manage this much.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "We're the only two people on this island without handcuffs!"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: American Pie (1999) with Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott.

   

London

Posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2005

Dave!I woke up sick this morning for no particular reason. I don't get sick very often, so it was a bit disorienting to be feeling all queasy (especially after only four hours of sleep). Not knowing what to do about it, I decided to make sure I wasn't going to puke then take some Pepto Bismol. Good old Pepto Bismol! During my younger days, I was convinced that it could cure most anything.

It was my intention to go back to bed and see if I could get some more sleep... thus allowing the Pepto Bismol to do its thing. But that wasn't happening, so I grabbed my laptop off the night-stand and thought I would see what's happening in the world.

Finding out that the London Underground was suffering terrorist attacks made me go from "queasy" to "totally nauseated" within a heartbeat.

Unionjack

My mind flashing back to Madrid, I struggled to understand exactly how such an act could possibly benefit a terrorist organization. It certainly isn't going to make anybody sympathetic to their cause. If anything, it only galvanizes the world's resolve to strike out against terrorism. I guess that's the "senseless" part of "senseless violence."

What truly mystifies me is the target of the attacks. I mean, LONDON? These are the people who would not buckle under the horrors of never-ending bombing raids during The Blitz! If history tells us anything, it's that Londoners will not cave. Ever. So, while this is certainly a sad day for London, for England, for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and for the world... there should be no doubt in anybody's mind that London will endure. Always.

My thoughts are with my friends in the city and their countrymen today. Remember your history. Remember your resolve in the face of adversity. Remember you are not alone. God save the Queen.

Categories: News - Politics 2005Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

FridayQ: Reality

Posted on Friday, July 8th, 2005

Dave!Your thoughts on TV reaity shows... love them or loathe them? Pretty much loathe them, as they take up space that could have been used by excellent, thought-provoking shows that end up cancelled.

Your favorite TV reality show (or the one you are able to tolerate the most). The only show I will not miss is the original reality show: Survivor. I used to download torrents of the UK version of Big Brother, but it's getting more and more difficult to find torrent feeds. I don't watch any others now that Paris Hilton isn't doing The Simple Life, and American Chopper is stuck in a rut.

Your least favorite TV reality show (or the one you find the stranegst/stupidest). There are too many. I loathe American Idol with a passion, so that's probably the most obvious to me. But now David E. Kelley (respectable creator of shows like Ally McBeal and Boston Legal) is sullying himself with a mockery of the law in his upcoming reality courtroom show The Law Firm. I expect that will sink reality TV to even new depths of suckage (though he would have to go a long way to out-skank that bitch Judge Judy).

FQ TV: Invent your own TV reality show. Would you appear on it? I'd like a show that would give me a million dollars and follow me around as I attempt to spend it all in a single week. We could call it Million Dollar Dave, and I would absolutely appear in it.

Dave Millions

You too can get real at the FridayQ.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Turns out that Parkes is the biggest radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere..."
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: Exit to Eden (2004) with Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O'Donnell.
Categories: Memes 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Jared

Posted on Saturday, July 9th, 2005

Dave!I've spent the last several hours attempting to organize my travel arrangements for the next two weeks. It's a good thing I did, because I forgot a rental car for Boston and a hotel in Hartford, Connecticut. Usually I don't make mistakes like this, but my overwhelming work schedule for the past several weeks made it easy to overlook things.

I just hope that I can get some sleep tonight so I can get up at 4am tomorrow morning. Argh. The good news is that if things go as planned, I'll accomplish a few nifty things next week:

  • Visit the Hard Rock Cafe at Foxwoods, which will once again allow me to claim that I've been to every Hard Rock property in the USA & Canada.
  • Finally see the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which houses the largest collection of Monets outside of Paris.
  • Stay at The Lenox, a historic Boston hotel that has been booked solid for all my previous trips.
  • Visit a very good friend who I haven't seen in almost two years since she moved from Seattle.
  • Finally color-in the states of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire on my Map of Visited States (just seven left to go after that).

Still trying to find time to work on Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show. I don't know why I thought this was going to be easy... because every step has been horrendously difficult. The animation alone takes hours for even the simplest things. I guess the good news is that once I get a sequence figured out, I can reuse the movements in other shows. I'm hoping this means that future episodes will come together much faster than this one.

Another major challenge is getting the cartoon likenesses for my guests to look even remotely like the actual people they're supposed to represent. I killed an hour story-boarding the sequence where that freak Jared (from those idiotic Subways commercials) appears. The segment requires building two additional sets and some challenging props, but I think it will be worth it...

Jared

I can't decide if Jared's appearance on the show is funny or cruel, but I don't really care. It's not my fault he makes those stupid-ass commercials which are so grossly misleading people. What an annoying, sack-licking Subway whore.

Movie Quotable of the Day: "Debbie? Yeah, Debbie's here. Who's this? Ralph? Well Ralph, Debbie can't talk right now... my dick's in her mouth. How about I have her call you back later when I'm done?"
Day-Before-Yesterday's Answer: The Dish (2000) with Sam Neill and Patrick Warburton.
Categories: Tooncasting, Travel 2005Click To It: Permalink  6 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tripping Day One: Seattle

Posted on Sunday, July 10th, 2005

Dave!My fantasy of getting more than four hours of sleep for a long day of travel did not come to pass. This is probably a good thing, because a zombie-like state helps dramatically when trying to ignore the plethora of morons that I'm bound to encounter.

Like now. As I sit here at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, some rude bitch is screaming into her mobile phone about how horrible her vacation was. Needless to say, the rest of us here are just riveted as to the juicy details... broken shower, no hot water, not enough towels... and on and on. I try to imagine how anybody could possibly want to hear this shit, and my sympathies go out to the person on the other end of the line.

It's not all tragedy though. Whilst looking for a magazine to kill my two-hour layover, I see Elizabeth Hurley staring back at me from the cover of VEGAS...

Lizvegas

Sure it's only a one page interview, but there are four amazing shots of the most beautiful woman on the planet inside, so I don't much care. I mean, damn! Faint with hope that she is promoting a new movie or something, I race over to her entry on IMDB and see that she still doesn't have anything past Method waaayyy back in 2004. Shucky darn.

Oooh ooh! First my flight to Seattle was oversold, now my flight to Minneapolis is oversold... and somebody at the check-in counter is very, very unhappy that he doesn't have a seat yet. On one hand, I can't blame him but, on the other, he will probably get on when they release seats at the half-hour mark (and we're 45 minutes away yet). When that happens, all his crazy antics will have been for nothing, but oh well. I suppose there's no point in telling him that he wouldn't be in this predicament if he had shown up the recommended 90 minutes early instead of 45.

I keep having Japan flash backs due to my delirious state of semi-consiousness. The first time was while riding the airport subway... the automated voice-box was cycling through a few different languages as I was nodding off. Suddenly I hear Japanese, snap awake, and then see the LED signs are in Japanese as well. For a period of two seconds I am in a full-on panic wondering how I got to Japan. And in the middle of typing the previous paragraph, a Japanese tour passed through the waiting area and I was back again.

I don't know if this means I've been to Japan too many times... or not enough.

I still can't find any current news as to the state of the original London Hard Rock Cafe catching fire yesterday. BBC News hasn't updated since last night. There's a few photos on Flickr, but it's difficult to tell anything. Perhaps they'll tell us what happened on Monday?

Argh! Some idiot just sat next to me drenched in cologne... he reeks of the stuff. It burns. IT BURNS!!! I just know I'll be sitting next to his stinky ass on the plane. I'm lucky that way. Is it wrong for me to sit here and hope he has a heart attack before boarding? Probably. I am such a horrible, horrible person.

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