Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2005
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.
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.
Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2005
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?
Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2005
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...
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?
Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2005
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!
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...
Get artistic with the FridayQ.
Posted on Saturday, June 4th, 2005
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.
Posted on Sunday, June 5th, 2005
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?
Posted on Monday, June 6th, 2005
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.
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.
Posted on Tuesday, June 7th, 2005
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.
Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2005
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?
Posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2005
I don't know about you, but I definitely plan on tuning in to the MTV Movie Awards tonight...
From the press photos for the event, it looks to be a bit more... uhhhh... exciting than The Oscars, I think.
Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2005
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.
Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2005
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!).
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.
Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2005
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!
Posted on Saturday, June 11th, 2005
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...
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...
Posted on Sunday, June 12th, 2005
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.
Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2005
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...
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.
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?
Posted on Tuesday, June 14th, 2005
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...
And there you have it... a cool meme to fill up space in your blog!
Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2005
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)...
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.
Posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2005
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.
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...
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...
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.
Posted on Friday, June 17th, 2005
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.
Posted on Saturday, June 18th, 2005
And, just like Apple's widgets, you can flip him over to get a quick link to everybody's favorite blog...
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.
Posted on Sunday, June 19th, 2005
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.
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...
Posted on Monday, June 20th, 2005
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...
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.
Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
Apple has picked up my Ask Dave widget for their Dashboard widget repository:
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.
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.
Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005
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)...
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.
Posted on Thursday, June 23rd, 2005
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:
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?
Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2005
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...
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!"
Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2005
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...
And here's a map and list of attractions you'll find at Daveland...
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!"
Posted on Saturday, June 25th, 2005
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.
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)
Posted on Sunday, June 26th, 2005
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...
Alrighty then. Another couple of billion dollars added to the total, but what does money matter?
Posted on Monday, June 27th, 2005
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.
Posted on Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
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...
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:
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...
Posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2005
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.
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.
Posted on Thursday, June 30th, 2005
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.
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.
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.
Matt: Uh huh. You'll also need a pre-amp and a mixer. There's another $500.
Matt: Sure. And you'll want a compressor, but that's only a couple hundred bucks.
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.
... 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.