Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2005
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).
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.
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.
And now for a few more MacOS X Tiger observations in an extended entry.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2005
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...
Every pore in her face... ever hair... is clearly visible. It's almost surreal. Now compare that to the previously released "large-sized" trailer...
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.
Posted on Monday, May 2nd, 2005
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.
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).
Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2005
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.
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.
Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2005
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.
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!
Posted on Thursday, May 5th, 2005
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...
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!
Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2005
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.
Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2005
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.
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.
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.
Posted on Saturday, May 7th, 2005
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.
And then there's the matter of having to fold all the booklets.
And of course each shirt has to be wrapped in plastic to protect it during shipment.
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.
Posted on Sunday, May 8th, 2005
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.
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!).
Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2005
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?
Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2005
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.
Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2005
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...
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.
Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2005
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.
Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2005
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...
Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2005
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...
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."
Posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2005
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:
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:
Which is along the same lines as this one I got last week:
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:
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.
Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2005
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.
Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2005
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.
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!
Posted on Saturday, May 14th, 2005
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.
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.
Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2005
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?
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.
Posted on Sunday, May 15th, 2005
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?
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.
Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2005
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.
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...
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.
Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2005
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.
Posted on Monday, May 16th, 2005
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.
Posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2005
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...
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...
Whereas I was seeing something entirely different when I looked at the same scenery. Goblins everywhere I looked. Hundreds of them...
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.
Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2005
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...
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...
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...
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.
Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2005
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.
Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2005
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...
And then took a couple of quick shots just for fun...
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...
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...
Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2005
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...
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...
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.
Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2005
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.
Posted on Friday, May 20th, 2005
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...
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.
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...
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.
Posted on Saturday, May 21st, 2005
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.
Posted on Sunday, May 22nd, 2005
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...
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?
Posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2005
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...
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.
Posted on Tuesday, May 24th, 2005
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...
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.
Posted on Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
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.
Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2005
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.
Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2005
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...
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.
Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2005
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).
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).
Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2005
Posted on Saturday, May 28th, 2005
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"...
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...
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.
Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2005
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...
That's only the tip of the iceberg, of course. People come here and search for the strangest stuff.
Posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2005
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).
It's me! And now you can go make your own South Park character too.
Posted on Monday, May 30th, 2005
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.
Ooooh... time to pack my suitcase. See you in Seattle.
Posted on Tuesday, May 31st, 2005
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...
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).