Somewhere you'll probably never go, but would like to. Outer space... like the moon or something. To be more realistic, I'd probably have to say Elizabeth Hurley's bedroom. Okay, that's probably less realistic, but you know...
Something you'll probably never do, but would like to. Visit every Hard Rock Cafe in the world. It was a goal for the longest time but, after I hit visit #100, it was not such a big goal anymore. It's also getting increasingly unrealistic, because properties open and close before I can get to them.
Someone you'll probably never meet, but would like to. Well, there are several people I'd like to meet solely for the purpose of bitch-slapping them back to the stone-age (Judge Judy and Jared the Subway moron is at the top of the list). I'd also like to meet a bunch of bloggers that I read. But, truth to tell, it would be either Elizabeth Hurley or Betty White. If forced to choose, it would be Elizabeth Hurley.
REALITY CHECK: What would have to happen in order for you to actually accomplish those three things? Money. Lots and lots of money. Not that I'm saying Elizabeth Hurley would suddenly let me meet her or visit her bedroom if I had a billion dollars, but I could probably bribe people that allow these disturbing and stalker-ish behavior.
I've decided to recover from three weeks of doing nothing but work... by doing nothing much at all. I fully plan to stay in bed surfing the internet most of the day. At most I'll be catching up on the tremendous backlog of blog-reading and maybe watch my News Radio DVD set. I have no plans to leave the apartment today... even for a motorcycle ride, which will tell you exactly how lazy I plan on being.
One thing that has already caught my eye (via an entry on Boing Boing) is a Japanese artist named Toru Kanamori who was an illustrator for Star Trek novels back in the day. He is retired now, and unable to take on book assignments as he once did. But, since he still needs to make a living, he is looking for some kind of licensing or publishing deal for his stunning collection of original art...
Amazing. And there are at least 400 more illustrations sitting in a cardboard box in a suburb of Tokyo just begging to be seen. I mean, holy crap! Somebody get Kanamori-san a book deal or a gallery showing A.S.A.P.!
It is rare that I just dump a news story here for linking purposes, but I had to make an exception for this. To read more about the artist and his work, there is a web site up.
I just hope the blood-sucking licensing department over at Paramount will respect the fact that Kanamori-san is responsible for selling a bunch of their books in Japan, and not hassle the guy if somebody is smart enough to want to publish his works.
I finished the last episode from my News Radio DVD set, and then turned to watching Joss Whedon's Firefly. I never saw the show past those few episodes that aired before it was cancelled. But now that the big Serenity movie is coming out, I thought it was time to take a look.
Besides, I got the entire series on sale for a ridiculous $22.
And it's probably the best $22 I've ever spent on DVDs. A real pity that FOX decided to screw Joss (not to mention the fans) and cancel it, because everything about the show is brilliant... from the writing to the special effects. I wish they hadn't moved the film all the way to September.
And then I decided to play around with putting the set together for my tooncast (a Flash animation follows, but you probably have to be in a browser to see it?)...
Look! It's going to be in widescreen! I'm so totally HDTV-ready.
Of course, I need to finish the theme song and record the introduction before I can animate the opening of the show for real, but it was fun to goof around with it for a bit. I am particularly pleased with the multi-planing that goes on between the set and the photo of Seattle in the background. But the amazing thing is that the file is only a measly 120K. No audio or anything, but there's still a lot going on for such a small size. There's a logo now too...
There's probably not much else I can do until my new microphone, pre-amp, mixing board, and compressor arrives next week. I need audio before I can really get to work.
I gave up on MTV ages ago. That's because somewhere along the way they seemed to forget that the "M" in "MTV" stood for "music" and abandoned the idea of actually playing music. Instead you have a lot of dumbass crap that has nothing to do with music at all. A simple and brilliant idea has been destroyed utterly.
But I made an exception yesterday, because I wanted to see the Live 8 concert. So I had TiVo record the entire thing... the plan being that I could sit down this morning and skip to all the bands I wanted to see.
Leave it to the insanely stupid, greedy ass-hats at MTV to totally rape a benefit show.
NOTE TO THE STUPID f#@%S IN CHARGE OF MTV "MUSIC" TELEVISION: Live 8 is a benefit concert to raise awareness of the plight of poverty-sricken countries within the African continent. And, while applaud you taking time to air educational segments to show people the horrors of what is going on there, YOUR VIEWERS TUNE IN TO A "CONCERT" FOR THE MUSIC!!! So when you continuously interrupt performances so no-talent idiots can provide useless commentary and introduce yet another commercial... RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A SONG... that makes you THE STUPIDEST f#@%ING IDIOTS ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET!!
I kept skipping forward past the endless commercials to try to actually find "music" in the broadcast, but it was a rare event. Apparently MTV could give a shit about what's going on in Africa, and saw this as nothing more than a money-making opportunity from continuous advertising revenue. "Oh look! It's Maroon 5!" But then they interrupt for a commercial and so that some dumb bitch can wander through the audience asking people "what have you learned here today?"
Well I've learned that MTV sucks ass on a level of ass-sucking I never thought was obtainable. What a bunch of moronic pricks. I eventually gave up trying to even watch... there was just no point in it.
f#@% MTV. If I lived in New York, I'd be protesting in front of your Times Square studio.
Protesting or fire-bombing... one or the other.
UPDATE: Okay then, I'm not the only one who thinks MTV sucks.
Whooooo! Happy Independence Day!
Today is the day where every red-blooded American gets to be a patriot. Or at least torch off some fireworks and burn the house down. Or whatever. It's also a day when politicians can wrap themselves in the flag and wax poetic about America so they can sucker people into believing that they actually give a crap about something other than money and power.
And what better way to do THAT than to drag out the old flag-burning debate? And that's exactly what the House of Representatives did last month when they endorsed a Constitutional amendment to ban such activities.
It's a perfectly lovely non-issue diversion that works every single time. I mean, why would we possibly want to waste time solving real problems like unemployment and health care when we can discuss idiots who are so stupid that the only way they can get their point across is to burn something.
Yes, I said it... I think anybody who burns a flag is a raging moron.
Partly because they have no respect for people who fought and died for what that flag represents... but mostly because it's just so lame and pathetic. About the only thing more pathetic is a politician trying to make it illegal.
And let me tell you why.
I was once involved with a project that had a very "patriotic" theme to it. As I started work, it was brought to my attention that it is forbidden by the "Flag Code" to use the flag as a symbol on anything except military, police, and firefighter uniforms. It is considered especially heinous to use the flag on "temporary" items which are discarded after use, or any form of advertising. This is considered to be desecration.
I adhered to this ideal for years because I didn't want to offend anybody. But then I started noticing that the flag appears on EVERYTHING from party streamers and T-shirts to campaign signs and posters. That's when I finally just decided to ignore the "Flag Code" and use the flag in situations where I want to sum up America in one iconic symbol. Hey, they do it for the Olympics, and all kinds of other organizations, so why should it be any different for citizens like me? So long as I use the flag respectfully... as a symbol of nationality and pride... I actually think this is a good and patriotic thing to do. Like when Perry and I went on our Hard Rock Run through Europe and I designed badges and pins for the event. I used flags to show nationality, and find nothing wrong with that:
But, with the flag appearing on practically everything, my point about lame flag-burners and the politicians against them is totally proven. Let's take this example:
Yes, it's a pair of flag underwear. But think about it for a moment. Let's imagine that this buff, shaven stud with a small penis was wearing these flag underwear to a dinner party. Then let's imagine that this was a dinner party where some food was under-cooked, and he got sick. Then let's further imagine that he got diarrhea and shit his pants.
Thus shitting on the flag of the United States of America.
Now, I don't know about you... but, in my mind, shitting on the flag is far worse than burning it. So if our STUPID f#@%ING POLITICIAN ASSHOLES decide that they need to distract us from REAL problems by amending the Constitution to make flag-burning illegal... then where is the amendment making SHITTING on the flag illegal?
And, because I'm in a mood, here's another example:
Those are flag napkins. But think about it for a moment. Let's imagine a high-school girl is going to a 4th of July party. Then let's imagine that she decides to drink alcohol for the first time and consumes a fifth of Jack Daniel's (another American institution). Then let's further imagine that she gets alcohol poisoning and pukes all over the buffet table and they clean it up with the napkins.
Thus smearing the flag of the United States of America with puke and tossing it in the garbage.
Now, I don't know about you... but, in my mind, cleaning up vomit with a flag and throwing it in the garbage is far worse than burning it. So if our DUMB-f#@% POLITICIAN IDIOTS want to waste taxpayer money to distract us from REAL problems with a new amendment... then where is the amendment making PUKING on the flag and THROWING IT IN THE GARBAGE illegal?
I could go on and on, of course. My imagination knows no bounds when it comes to stuff like this. But let's wrap this up, shall we?
Now go eat apple pie, watch a baseball game, light off some fireworks, and shoot guns from the back of your pick-up trucks... and do it quickly before they add a new amendment to the Constitution which makes it illegal. Happy Independence Day.
Show! While waiting for my new audio equipment to arrive, I wasted a couple of hours animating a studio audience for Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show. It's not as easy as you might think. I ran out of ideas for different people "looks" after four characters, yet had to come up with a minimum of 36 to get the effect I wanted. I'm still not sure how I am going to assemble "cuts" in Toon Boom Studio, but I am quite pleased I was able to build an entire studio audience in just 90k. I rule.
Stats! It's interesting to note just how few people were surfing my blog over 4th of July weekend. Traffic was cut nearly in half! In some ways, this is kind of nice, because I barely made it through last month's bandwidth allowance (again).
Lego! I just got the latest Lego Shop-at-Home catalog. If anybody wants to buy me a present, I am so wanting the new "Dino Attack" T-1 Typhoon Helecopter vs. T-Rex set! It's unbelievably cool...
Withdrawals! I have been attempting to wean myself from Coke with Lime, which has been keeping me going over the past three weeks of 16-20 hour work days. I'm down to two cans a day, which is a marked improvement from the 6-7 I was consuming daily just last week.
Answers! Science Magazine has listed the "Top 125 Things Facing Science Over the Next Quarter Century" as a cornerstone to the essay entitled "What Don't We Know?" Since I know everything, I've decided to take a dozen of the questions and answer them. Uhhh... well, I'm answering them the best I can given the limitations of human understanding. After all, it's not my fault I'm so much smarter than today's top scientists. The boring answers (with absolutely no scientific basis) are in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
What a freaky day.
This morning I got an email from some random guy who was starting a new blog and came up with this fantastic idea to call it "Blogography", but the domain "blogography.com" was taken which made him mad. And then he found out ".net" and ".org" were also taken, and he got even madder.
He checked the URLs and discovered something astounding: the same jerk bought all three domains!
Oh wait... that's me!
After writing back to say "so?" I received another email accusing me of everything from domain squatting to destroying the internet. He went on to pretty much demand that I release one of the domains so he could have it (apparently, he didn't want ".info" or ".tv" or any of a hundred other top-level domains available). This made me laugh, but not as much as when he tried to comment-spam me (he left six before realizing I manually approve all comments).
Back when I thought of the name (April 2003), I Googled "blogography" to make sure nobody else was using it and came up blank. Since that time, dozens of other "blogography" sites have sprung up on the internet... but I was first, and I wanted all three domains to make sure some ".net" or ".org" didn't cause confusion. This is not an unusual thing to do, and having somebody equating it to domain squatting is just bizarre.
Almost as bizarre as trying to figure out how to animate something. Since TV is in reruns, I decided to goof around with making my DaveToons move. At first I was going to do it like South Park, and have the characters bounce along without actually walking... but it didn't work for me. I needed a simple "walk cycle" to give the illusion that I was at least trying to make an effort. How hard could it be?
A lot harder than you'd think. It took me nearly two hours to get something I considered to be acceptable, and I'm still not really happy with it...
He needs to bobble a little bit when he walks, but my attempts to do this make him look like a complete spaz. He also needs a shadow, but when I attempted to add one, it looked like he was walking with a pet blob. At some point I need to just accept the fact that I am not Walt Disney, and be happy that I can manage this much.
I woke up sick this morning for no particular reason. I don't get sick very often, so it was a bit disorienting to be feeling all queasy (especially after only four hours of sleep). Not knowing what to do about it, I decided to make sure I wasn't going to puke then take some Pepto Bismol. Good old Pepto Bismol! During my younger days, I was convinced that it could cure most anything.
It was my intention to go back to bed and see if I could get some more sleep... thus allowing the Pepto Bismol to do its thing. But that wasn't happening, so I grabbed my laptop off the night-stand and thought I would see what's happening in the world.
Finding out that the London Underground was suffering terrorist attacks made me go from "queasy" to "totally nauseated" within a heartbeat.
My mind flashing back to Madrid, I struggled to understand exactly how such an act could possibly benefit a terrorist organization. It certainly isn't going to make anybody sympathetic to their cause. If anything, it only galvanizes the world's resolve to strike out against terrorism. I guess that's the "senseless" part of "senseless violence."
What truly mystifies me is the target of the attacks. I mean, LONDON? These are the people who would not buckle under the horrors of never-ending bombing raids during The Blitz! If history tells us anything, it's that Londoners will not cave. Ever. So, while this is certainly a sad day for London, for England, for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and for the world... there should be no doubt in anybody's mind that London will endure. Always.
My thoughts are with my friends in the city and their countrymen today. Remember your history. Remember your resolve in the face of adversity. Remember you are not alone. God save the Queen.
Your thoughts on TV reaity shows... love them or loathe them? Pretty much loathe them, as they take up space that could have been used by excellent, thought-provoking shows that end up cancelled.
Your favorite TV reality show (or the one you are able to tolerate the most). The only show I will not miss is the original reality show: Survivor. I used to download torrents of the UK version of Big Brother, but it's getting more and more difficult to find torrent feeds. I don't watch any others now that Paris Hilton isn't doing The Simple Life, and American Chopper is stuck in a rut.
Your least favorite TV reality show (or the one you find the stranegst/stupidest). There are too many. I loathe American Idol with a passion, so that's probably the most obvious to me. But now David E. Kelley (respectable creator of shows like Ally McBeal and Boston Legal) is sullying himself with a mockery of the law in his upcoming reality courtroom show The Law Firm. I expect that will sink reality TV to even new depths of suckage (though he would have to go a long way to out-skank that bitch Judge Judy).
FQ TV: Invent your own TV reality show. Would you appear on it? I'd like a show that would give me a million dollars and follow me around as I attempt to spend it all in a single week. We could call it Million Dollar Dave, and I would absolutely appear in it.
You too can get real at the FridayQ.
I've spent the last several hours attempting to organize my travel arrangements for the next two weeks. It's a good thing I did, because I forgot a rental car for Boston and a hotel in Hartford, Connecticut. Usually I don't make mistakes like this, but my overwhelming work schedule for the past several weeks made it easy to overlook things.
I just hope that I can get some sleep tonight so I can get up at 4am tomorrow morning. Argh. The good news is that if things go as planned, I'll accomplish a few nifty things next week:
Still trying to find time to work on Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show. I don't know why I thought this was going to be easy... because every step has been horrendously difficult. The animation alone takes hours for even the simplest things. I guess the good news is that once I get a sequence figured out, I can reuse the movements in other shows. I'm hoping this means that future episodes will come together much faster than this one.
Another major challenge is getting the cartoon likenesses for my guests to look even remotely like the actual people they're supposed to represent. I killed an hour story-boarding the sequence where that freak Jared (from those idiotic Subways commercials) appears. The segment requires building two additional sets and some challenging props, but I think it will be worth it...
I can't decide if Jared's appearance on the show is funny or cruel, but I don't really care. It's not my fault he makes those stupid-ass commercials which are so grossly misleading people. What an annoying, sack-licking Subway whore.
My fantasy of getting more than four hours of sleep for a long day of travel did not come to pass. This is probably a good thing, because a zombie-like state helps dramatically when trying to ignore the plethora of morons that I'm bound to encounter.
Like now. As I sit here at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, some rude bitch is screaming into her mobile phone about how horrible her vacation was. Needless to say, the rest of us here are just riveted as to the juicy details... broken shower, no hot water, not enough towels... and on and on. I try to imagine how anybody could possibly want to hear this shit, and my sympathies go out to the person on the other end of the line.
It's not all tragedy though. Whilst looking for a magazine to kill my two-hour layover, I see Elizabeth Hurley staring back at me from the cover of VEGAS...
Sure it's only a one page interview, but there are four amazing shots of the most beautiful woman on the planet inside, so I don't much care. I mean, damn! Faint with hope that she is promoting a new movie or something, I race over to her entry on IMDB and see that she still doesn't have anything past Method waaayyy back in 2004. Shucky darn.
Oooh ooh! First my flight to Seattle was oversold, now my flight to Minneapolis is oversold... and somebody at the check-in counter is very, very unhappy that he doesn't have a seat yet. On one hand, I can't blame him but, on the other, he will probably get on when they release seats at the half-hour mark (and we're 45 minutes away yet). When that happens, all his crazy antics will have been for nothing, but oh well. I suppose there's no point in telling him that he wouldn't be in this predicament if he had shown up the recommended 90 minutes early instead of 45.
I keep having Japan flash backs due to my delirious state of semi-consiousness. The first time was while riding the airport subway... the automated voice-box was cycling through a few different languages as I was nodding off. Suddenly I hear Japanese, snap awake, and then see the LED signs are in Japanese as well. For a period of two seconds I am in a full-on panic wondering how I got to Japan. And in the middle of typing the previous paragraph, a Japanese tour passed through the waiting area and I was back again.
I don't know if this means I've been to Japan too many times... or not enough.
I still can't find any current news as to the state of the original London Hard Rock Cafe catching fire yesterday. BBC News hasn't updated since last night. There's a few photos on Flickr, but it's difficult to tell anything. Perhaps they'll tell us what happened on Monday?
Argh! Some idiot just sat next to me drenched in cologne... he reeks of the stuff. It burns. IT BURNS!!! I just know I'll be sitting next to his stinky ass on the plane. I'm lucky that way. Is it wrong for me to sit here and hope he has a heart attack before boarding? Probably. I am such a horrible, horrible person.
I think everybody must like to people-watch. There's something fascinating about being a voyeur into a life that is not your own. Probably because curiosity is intrinsic to the human condition, so it's only natural to wonder who people are, what they do, where they are going, and why that rather large woman in a purple track suit is digging in the garbage can.
To me, even more fascinating than people-watching is watching the people-watchers.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is abuzz with activity, and a group of 5 or 6 girls across from me are soaking it all in like gravy. The beauty of it is that they are hardly discreet in their observations, so I am privy to everything they say. Most of the conversation concerns some random guy they see that they are totally ready to have sex with.
At this point, I have to interject that I am completely oblivious to what makes a guy handsome in the conventional sense. As an artist, I can admire the graceful beauty of the human body, and can extend this appreciation to the male form... but anything past that is lost on me. For example: I just don't "get" Brad Pitt. Yeah, he was buff in Troy, but I don't understand what makes him "hot" at all.
Anyway, back at the airport, I tire of these teen girl fantasies and decide to look for something else to divert my boredom.
And. There. He. Is.
A guy so perfect that I feel less a man for being in his presence. In the blink of an eye, a vagina has appeared where my penis once was. He's a Greek god in perfect mathematical proportion... he's not overly-muscled, but still looks like he could beat the shit out of anybody in the room. I guess "chiseled" would sum up his manly perfection. Dark hair, tanned skin, jutting chin, a T-shirt one-size too small that shows off abs so toned that I wonder if you truly could use it as a washboard. Here is one beautiful man.
To make myself feel better, I tell myself he is "most certainly gay" - but then have to stop thinking that for fear I was secretly hoping he was gay. Then I don't know what to think, because with a guy like this in the dating pool, no woman would ever look at mere mortals such as myself ever again.
And then his girlfriend/wife/whatever shows up. She's hot, of course. But it's hard to tell if she's actually hot... or if her hotness is just reflected glow from his radiant perfection. And just like that, I know what "handsome" is. Brad Pitt is hideous by comparison. As they leave the sitting area, I realize that he is not Greek, but Italian, as that was the language they were speaking.
He's probably got a 2-inch penis. In fact, I'm sure of it.
I have come to the conclusion that my hotel here in the heart of Wisconsin is frequented by hookers. This is partially because of the outrageous sounds that were coming (heh heh) from the room next to mine last night until 2am... but mostly because the shampoo and soap they give you smells like lavender or lilacs or some other whore-house boutique cologne.
Unfortunately, I didn't have anything else to use, so now I smell like I was with a hooker last night. Or perhaps I smell like I became a hooker last night... I can't decide. In any event, I have the definite air of a hooker about me thanks to a very poor choice made by hotel management in bathroom amenities.
Wisconsin, for lack of a better word, is "charming." Especially once you get out into the countryside. The people are exceedingly nice and friendly. So when I inquired at the front desk this morning as to whether the people from last night would be giving a repeat performance (two guys and a gal... let your mind wander with THAT for a while), it was very uncomfortable. Without giving details (seriously, you don't want to know) I asked if the "noisy room" next to mine had checked out today, or if I could get a different room. The woman was so apologetic that I thought she might cry. The good news is that they are gone... the bad news is that something very much worse could potentially move in for tonight.
If a donkey is involved, I'll be checking out.
There are down-sides to Wisconsin if you are a vegetarian, because they really like meat here. It is not uncommon to find restaurant specialties involving one meat, wrapped by a different meat, that is then stuffed in yet another meat. It's all very disturbing. If you like cheese, however, you are in luck. Wisconsin is famous for cheese, and they put it on everything (even the meat-wrapped-meat-stuffed-meat thing).
"Home cooking" is prized here, and there are many home cookin' restaurants scattered about. I rather like this idea, and eat at them whenever I can. The conversations go something like this:
DAVE: Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. Do you have anything I can eat?
WAITRESS: Why sure... we have a lovely beef stew that's filled with vegetables!
DAVE: Ah. I'll just have a grilled cheese sandwich please.
I end up eating a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches here.
The worst day of the week for me in Wisconsin is Friday. On Fridays, every restaurant has a massive fish-fry. Entire towns smell like deep-fat-fried fish, and it is not so pleasant. On Fridays, the conversations go like this:
DAVE: Yeah, I'm a vegetarian. Do you have anything I can eat?
WAITRESS: So you'll be having a baked potato with your fish then?
DAVE: Ah. I'll just have a grilled cheese sandwich please.
WAITRESS: And what kind of fish would you like on your sandwich?
It's almost as if they can't possibly conceive of anybody showing up at a restaurant on a Friday and not ordering fish. It just doesn't register.
Nope. On Fridays, it's much safer to leave home cookin' behind and eat at a place like Culvers, where I can hunker down with a huge plate of crinkle-cut fries and a caramel-cashew frozen custard. Oh so bad for you... but oh so tasty. Culvers is mostly famous for their frozen custard (which is sublime), but also for their "Butter Burgers" which I can only guess are named as such because they fry each burger in a stick of butter. If only they made Veggie Butter Burgers, I could die a happy man (mainlining cholesterol like that almost guarantees it). Oh well, I leave on Wednesday night, so I won't have to worry about it anyway.
And UNTIL Wednesday, my work has me on call 24-hours a day. I've maybe gotten a couple of hours in naps over the past 36 hours, so I am understandably buggin' right now (especially since I only got three hours the night before that). I think I'm starting to hallucinate. If this entry is totally incoherent, now you know why. Of course, this doesn't excuse every other entry I've made being incoherent, but it's nice to have an explanation once in a while.
Here's yet another "I don't usually post story links here, but this one is just too disturbing" type entries.
Over at Boing Boing, they came up with a scary link about a trend in Photoshopping little girls to make them look more "angelic." This is not a little touch-up here and there, it's more like an entirely new painting of your child, but dressed like a prostitute with big, pouty lips and enormous manga-style eyes that look like they're made of glass.
I think it makes them look like "Dead Hooker Babies" and it scares the crap out of me...
WTF?!? I mean, these people DO realize how many perverted child-molesting freaks are out there... don't they? Why would you invite their attention by doing this to your child? Even more puzzling, what parent would want to turn their kid into a hooker Barbie doll? What am I missing here?
This got me curious as to what I might look like as a Dead Hooker Baby. Probably something like Jared Leto (but without his charisma and acting talent)...
Or maybe Chris Rock (but without his brilliant sense of humor, millions of dollars, or hottie wife)...
Or even Pamela Anderson (but without her, well, you know)...
The mind boggles. And now I'm going to see if I can squeeze in one or two hours of sleep before I have to go back to work. Bleh.
Today something rather odd happened... my work was pushed back a full twelve hours. Stuck out in the Wisconsin countryside with nothing to do, I decided to meet up with a friend from Illinois for a chat and then bum around Milwaukee for the day. After a late breakfast with my friend, he went back to Joliet... but I did not go to Milwaukee after all.
I went to Iowa.
Partly because I've been to Milwaukee dozens of times and have already done the stuff there I am interested in, but mostly because I wanted to visit "Field of Dreams."
If you've read my blog for a while, you probably already know that Field of Dreams is my favorite movie of all time. It's one of the few films I honestly believe to be flawless. There is not a single moment I would change. And since it has James Earl Jones in it, I guess that kind of pushes it "beyond perfect" in my book.
"If you build it, he will come."
The corn field where the movie was shot mostly belongs to the Lansing family of Dyersville, Iowa, though a portion of it (left field from the 3rd base-line over) belongs to a neighbor. After filming was completed, the neighbor plowed under his part of the field and re-planted. But the Lansings decided to leave their part untouched because, much to their surprise, people actually did come to see it. Lots of people... from all over the world.
To help pay for upkeep, the Lansings added a souvenir stand to the attraction so that they could sell T-Shirts, hats, postcards, and such. Unlike the movie, however, no ticket is required, and guests can look around for free.
The popularity of the attraction did not go unnoticed.
Eventually, a group of crap-weasle investment bankers struck a deal to lease the land that the neighbor had plowed under. They then restored the missing part of the baseball field, open up a competing gift shop, and cashed in on what the Lansing family had so generously begun for the film's fans. I guess the good news is that you can see the complete field now... but it sure was a lousy thing to do. Fortunately, there are signs posted so that guests know where their money is going.
While I was visiting, dozens of people came and went, which really surprised me. Even more shocking: according to the souvenir book, busy summer weekends can pull in over 3000 people. This is kind of bizarre for a movie that's approaching 20 years old.
After running the bases, buying a T-Shirt, and sending some postcards, I decided to make the most of my 7-hour round-trip and drop by the nearby city of Dubuque, Iowa to have a look. It's an interesting place, filled with an eclectic mix of building styles that range from beautiful to bizarre. One of the most unusual is the courthouse, which is a scary blend of styles that doesn't really seem to come together...
Bleh. I'm tired from driving all day. A pity I have to be to work in an hour.
I've been falling behind in my email, but received a very interesting note from a Blogography reader "Jim" who ran across some of my entries that had been reproduced on another blog. My words had been changed around and the images cropped and scaled, but there was no doubt that I had been plagiarized. At first Jim thought that perhaps I had a second blog, and was re-posting content there. He did a search to see if I claimed this other blog, but instead found out something even more puzzling...
Some OTHER guy has decided to "claim" the word "blogography" and use it as some kind of bizarre definition for blogs he thinks are "anti-Christian" or something...
I mean, wow. Where do I start?
First of all, I don't even understand what in the heck this nut-job is trying to say. His flowery text is a valiant attempt to sound literate, but is ultimately incomprehensible. All this talk about "base desires for man praise and tickling" sounds like gay-fetish porn or something.
But wait! It gets even better! The above "claim" to the word "blogography was written in an entry dated July 12th, 2005. But, in order to make it look like he thought it up last year, he decided to retroactively "define" the word 8 months earlier on November 12, 2004... even though he just started his "Anti Blog" blog on July 9th!
And it just gets more bizarre and freaky the more you read. Apparently, he really hates blogs... he finds them a "sinful desire to make a name for ourselves" and that they are "mediocrity clothed as creativity" and "sacrificing more important reading for the hot topic of the moment."
And how does he decide to address these horrific blasphemies? He starts a blog!!
Conclusion: What a tool.
When days start out this weird, things are bound to only get worse.
UPDATE: Oooh. He responds. And then goes on to read the sarcastic description of my blog to prove his point. Apparently I'm not as tongue-in-cheek funny as I think I am, because he thinks I am being serious. Oh the humility.
Well, not really. The relevant portion of my response:
I am Buddhist, so your condemnation of me as a blogger is inoffensive, but I have studied The Bible more than most Christians, and must ask you if you have read Luke 6: 27-38? It amazes me how Christians are always so happy to overlook this passage when judging others.
I think that I might be dead. I'm too tired to know for certain. As with so many things in life, It's all Mr. Jerz's fault.
He has another podcast up, and proves that his earlier efforts were not a fluke. It doesn't matter that it's 1:30am and I haven't slept in days, I am compelled to listen. The guy has talent, and I'm not just saying that because he gives me a shout-out... and certainly not because he tears into my favorite movie ever. It's because this is one of those rare podcasters that's actually worth your valuable time. Go take a listen, and then send Jerz some encouragement so we won't have to wait two friggin' months for the next one.
Anyway, I've left Hartford (Wisconsin) for Hartford (Connecticut) and two glorious days of vacation (well, kind of... I'll still be working evenings). The journey was mostly uneventful, except 3 hours at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport without internet access...
Great. Some network monkey screwed the configuration, and now I have no idea what's going on in the world. For all I know, Cavan's finished a new book and Kazza's married with four kids. It's time to admit that I have a serious internet addiction.
Oh well, it was probably grossly over-priced anyway. At least my Mac PowerBook tells me WHY it's not working. The Windows-sufferers around me get no explanation, so they're all like "WTF? I got full signal!! WHY ISN'T IT WORKING?!?" I ignore their constant pestering ("IS YOUR'S WORKING? DO YOU HAVE INTERNET?") which is easy when you've got an iPod drowning them out. It's so much easier than pretending you don't understand English.
Oh crap. I forgot I'm on East Coast time, so my clock is wrong... it's not 11:30pm, it's 2:30am! How can I be so tired, and yet not be sleepy? My brain feels numb. Somebody poke it with a stick if I forget to keep breathing.
Connecticut is very small. Tiny, in fact. I dare say that from Hartford, you can reach any other place in the State in under an hour. As an example, a trip to the Foxwoods casino resort area was a mere 42 minutes. This is kind of disturbing to somebody like me who is from a State that would take a full day to drive across. I'd imagine it would be even stranger to somebody from Texas.
Anyway, the reason for my trip was to visit the Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods (#106 on my list), and that's exactly what I did. Overall, it's a nicely appointed cafe with a beautiful vaulted ceiling and nifty stone accents...
Sadly, I worry about the success of this cafe when I arrive at lunch-time to find it mostly empty. And when I look around at the people visiting the casino complex, I know why... the demographic is mostly elderly people. There's walkers, wheelchairs, canes, and the smell of Ben Gay at every turn. Needless to say, these are not the Hard Rock's target audience. The people running the cheap all-you-can-eat buffet, however, have a line a mile long outside of their door. Bummer. If you have your heart set on seeing this one, I wouldn't put it off.
From Foxwoods, I continued onward to the picturesque city of Mystic, Connecticut and the famous Mystic Seaport, where it was hot and muggy...
My plan was to visit both the seaport museum complex and the aquarium. But after I had to pay $17... yes, SEVENTEEN f#@%ING DOLLARS, to get into the museum... I had no desire to dump any more of my hard-earned cash in the city. I still can't get over the fact that they charge such an outrageous amount of money to wander around old buildings and look at a couple of ships. There's no rides or shows or anything else to make it worth it. At MOST, I would have paid $7 for what little you get. If only I had known, I would have skipped this rip-off "attraction" entirely.
After the disappointment at Mystic (such a cool name for a city!), I turn north to Boston. But before you can get to Massachusetts, you have to go through Rhode Island first. And the thing about Rhode Island is that it is very small. Minute. Minuscule. Teeny. Wee. Once I hit the Rhode Island border, it was a mere 32 minutes before I had exited through Providence at the other end. Now THAT'S small. I dunno. Maybe it was more impressive back in the days when people rode in horse and buggies instead of cars blazing along at 80 miles per hour.
My trip to Boston started out as one of my worst travel days in recent memory, but ended up being really amazing. It all started when I couldn't get into the city because of an accident on I-93 & the Freemont exit. Suddenly, my ETA of 2:30 became 3:30, then 4:00. Not fun.
Things then go from bad to worse when I finally get to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts so I can take a look at their Monet collection, only to find out that they close down half of the museum each evening. This meant that the hour I spent battling Red Sox traffic in the Fenway Park area, and the $3.50 I spent on parking was completely wasted. Now I have to go back tomorrow at 10am, which means I'll be getting a very late start to my day. Fortunately, my $13 ticket is good for another visit or else I'd really be pissed.
Things go from worse to tragic when I finally make it to The Lenox Hotel. I have been wanting to visit this classic property for ages, but it's always been booked solid when I'm in town. This time I got lucky... or did I? I'm told to use the parking garage up the street to store my rental car for the night. But it's full. So are the three others I find in the area. I end up circling the block several times without success. I finally pull up and ask what I should do since there doesn't seem to be a single parking spot in a 2-mile radius. That's when I hear "oh... you're a GUEST here? If you're a GUEST, then I'll park it for you." Great. Another half-hour WASTED. Why the f#@% would I want to park at a hotel that I wasn't going to stay at? Why wouldn't you assume somebody wanting to park at the hotel WASN'T a guest? After check-in, things are looking up, because my room is pretty classy...
But happiness is fleeting when I find out that the wireless Internet sucks ass, and is only marginally improved when I get a network bridge from the front desk. That's when things go from tragic to near-suicidal when I find out that my toilet is plugged up... and I'm blameless, because I didn't put anything down there. I'm beginning to regret ever having wanted to come to Boston.
Then, as if by magic, things turn around. I meet a very good friend I haven't seen in two years for a fantastic early dinner. Then we walk over to Copley Square for a FREE concert that completely blows my mind. Playing in the park is "The Shore" and "Ari Hest" - both of which I had never heard of before. Amazing, amazing stuff. I go buy CDs from both groups, because the possibility of not finding them on the iTunes Music Store is too much to bear (yup, they're both there... which means I paid $8 more than I had to for CDs I'll end up tossing in the garbage after I've ripped them). I cannot recommend these astounding musicians highly enough. "The Shore" is kind of an inspired blend of Oasis and The Verve. "Ari Hest" has lush vocals that pierce your very soul...
After the best concert I've seen in quite a while, it's off to the Hard Rock for a frosty chocolate milkshake and some fries, which turns a bad day gone good into sweet perfection...
Tomorrow it's sleeping in late, a visit to the museum (again), and a lot of driving so I can scratch New England off my "Map of Visited States" page. Sounds like a plan.
What's the most depressing song you've heard and movie you've watched? Depressing song would have to be something country-western, since I find all of it depressing. But since I don't know the names of any country songs, I guess I'll say "It Couldn't Happen Here" by the Pet Shop Boys. It's not so much the lyrics, as the song's tempo. Easily the most depressing movie ever was Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace because we waited nearly TWO DECADES for that steaming pile of crap. The minute Jar Jar Binks appeared on the screen, I wanted to shoot myself. Well, myself or George Lucas. But mostly George Lucas.
What's the most depressing place you've been? Hollywood, California. Not so much for the city or the people, but because I had a dream project of mine utterly crushed there by a whole team of lying bastards that will roast in hell for all eternity (assuming there is justice in this world... or the next). Every time I go back to L.A., the memory of it consumes me totally, and I'm depressed for days. The smog and traffic doesn't help either. Hmmm... I guess it is the city and the people after all.
What's the most depressing event in current news to you? Gee. How do you choose just one? The London bombings are, of course, depressing me because I love the city so much and have some good friends there. Continuing break-downs in the Middle East along with the ever-growing death-toll in Iraq is seriously depressing. Those f#@%ers at Halliburton getting a new government contract, despite having ripped-off the American people for millions, is mind-numbingly depressing. Then there's Dafur, FOX News, Haiti, lawyers, and the list goes on and on. But what I find most depressing of all is that the top story around the world is the release of a new Harry Potter book. WTF?!?
FQ REMEDY: List five things you do to make yourself feel better when depression strikes.
I'd like to say that watching DVDs or recordings of my favorite television shows makes me feel better... but since most of them are cancelled, I just get more depressed.
The wait to see Boston's Museum of Fine Arts was actually worth it. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of their collection, particularly in Egyptian artifacts, which is magnificent. It was all I could do to tear myself away from the place after three rushed hours, and I could have easily spent the entire day there.
But alas, the rest of New England was calling, so I said a quick goodbye to my friend as she left for a meeting, and then headed northward to Kittery, Maine... then westward to Manchester, New Hampshire... continued on to Brattleboro, Vermont... and then back to where I started in Hartford, Connecticut. That's 484 miles of big fun, according to my rental car receipt. It sounds kind of impressive, until I realized that the entirety of the trip is the equivalent of driving from my home town of Cashmere, to the Tri-Cities, then to Spokane, and then back... which is not so impressive after all. Washington State is bigger than I give it credit for...
The good news is that I can now fill in a bit more of my "Visited States" map (including my trip to Iowa earlier this week)...
Just six more to go!. I think I will see about flying into North Dakota in September 2006, and then driving straight down through SD, NE, KS, and OK... then swerve into New Mexico on the 27th, just in time for a wedding. I could easily drive it in a couple of days, but there are some things I'd like to see along the way, so I might just plan on making a week of it. Then I can add "Visit All 50 States" to my List of Things to do Before I Die.
Tomorrow is a nothing day. My flight doesn't leave until late afternoon, and I don't have anything to do until then except stay in my hotel room and catch up on some work. Sigh. I should have kept my rental car for one more day and taken a quick trip down to New Haven. Live and learn.
And here I am. Stuck in Hartford, Connecticut without a car. Just sitting here watching really bad television in my hotel room. Woe is me. Life sucks.
Actually, I lie. It's pretty great.
Until they kick me out of the hotel in two hours... then I have to bum around the airport for another two-and-a-half before my flight. I hope they have wi-fi access at BDL. In the meanwhile, I have a scenario for you...
I mean seriously. Why the f#@% would you sell postcards without the means to actually send them somewhere? That IS the point is it not? Sometimes you get lucky and there's a place for stamps nearby, but that's a rare event. I try to remember to have stamps with me when I travel, but then some places selling postcards refuse to mail them for you, and so you end up having to hunt down a post box.
There should be a law that anybody selling postcards should be required to sell postage too. Furthermore, if there isn't a post box within a reasonable distance, they should be required to mail them for you as well. Is that really so unreasonable?
I should pack my suitcase. I'm finally in a situation where I don't have to wait until the last minute and can take my time. That's kind of cool. I hope nothing comes along to distract me.
Oh wait... Dora the Explorer is on TV!
My flight out of Hartford BDL was delayed because the inbound flight from Detroit was late. Apparently, there was some serious weather going on there. That worked out just fine because my flight from Detroit to Seattle was delayed as well.
And this was made exponentially worse because of the drama queen at the Northwest gate counter. Actually, there were two drama queens, but one woman was so horrendous that I think she might actually qualify as a "drama whore." You'd have thought this bitch was curing cancer the way she was going on and on and on about every little thing. This is astoundingly stupid, because this type of activity only upsets the customers more than they already are. Gate agents need to stay calm, cool, and collected so that everybody feels the situation is under control. By freaking out and carrying on about things as if the world were ending, you may feel more important... but you just look like a complete tool. What an embarrassment to the truly professional gate agents that know how to handle their job.
Northwest needs to hire "Drama Monitors" that can go around the airport bitch-slapping those idiots who feel the need to add drama to their jobs when none is required.
But all that paled in comparison to the dumbass douche-bag pig-f#@%er that I had to fly home with on my last leg. He was one of those "corporate buzzword idiots" that uses words like "people networking" and "synergy" and "empowerment" when blathering on in his mobile phone about absolutely nothing. And then it wasn't enough that he had to take up the entire arm-rest... he had to stick his elbow into my seating area as well. And then, since he is obviously the most important person in the universe, he felt it was okay for him to turn on his Blackberry to try and retrieve messages during the flight (Federal regulations mean nothing to somebody whose job is Synergy Empowerment... or whatever). Whilst navigating the parking lot, I had the opportunity to run down this dumbass douche-bag pig-f#@%er, but felt I would probably have a better chance at a good night's sleep in my own bed instead of a jail cell.
Since I am only home for a day to clear off my desk at work and grab some clean clothes, there's not much time for anything else. I pretty much had two goals outside of that: 1) Set up my "recording studio" and 2) Catch up on my TiVo.
Setting up audio recording on the computer-side of things was as simple as I had thought it would be (hey, it's a Macintosh). But since I am a complete novice at this type of stuff, the hardware was a bit more difficult. First I had to figure out how to get it all connected. Then I had to play with all the various dials and switches to try and figure out what they do (the documentation was surprisingly sparse). And then I had to learn the software and experiment with the hundreds of filters and effects to see what works. In then end, this is what I'm working with...
My initial efforts sound a hundred times better than what I was getting before I bought the proper equipment. The recorded sound is much, much warmer and pleasing to listen to (even if it is me). But all is not perfect. The microphone is very sensitive to even the slightest ambient noise... the whir of the hard drive... the click of the mouse... everything is recorded. Some of this can be filtered out, but not all of it. Adjusting the gain doesn't seem to help. Before I can get serious, I'm going to have to either find a quieter spot or figure out a way to lessen the distracting noises.
Then it's time to start animating the tooncast.
Catching up on TiVo was far easier, because there's very little new stuff on TV. About the only thing to see was INXS: Rock Star and The Family Guy. Both were fairly entertaining (though I thought Wil was more talented than some of the other INXS wannabes, and shouldn't have been voted out so quickly). But it was The Family Guy which blew me away. The show is famous for pop culture homages and quirky parody, but their use of a-ha's Take on Me video was pure genius. Chris goes to get a carton of milk when a strangely familiar hand reaches out to him...
So much left to do before I fly out again...
Here I am back in Seattle (again). After taking off on an over-booked Horizon Air flight (again). So that I can travel to the East Coast (again). For work (again).
Since I had to get up at 3:30am (after having gone to bed shortly after midnight), I am in a rather cranky mood. Though it would be hard to lay all the blame on my measly 3 hours sleep, because I've been cranky most days for the past couple of weeks. Also, I want a piece of chocolate cake.
Oh well. Because I'm in a cranky mood, I've decided to break my indifference to the entire Karl Rove situation, mostly because of this statement made by our fearless leader:
No shit?!? Is this starting from TODAY, or is it retroactive? And shouldn't that quote actually be: "If someone is CAUGHT committing a crime, they will no longer work in my administration"?? Seriously, did somebody actually write this up for him, or is he flying solo with this crap? Also, is a politician in public office who lies to the American people committing a crime? Just asking.
And, just out of curiosity, if they ARE caught committing a crime, is the being fired in ADDITION to going to a pound-you-in-the-ass penitentiary, or INSTEAD of? I mean, criminals still do go to jail, don't they? Or aren't they at least supposed to? So shouldn't that quote really be: "If somebody is CAUGHT committing a crime, they will no longer work in my administration AND BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW"?? How can you hold a job in the Bush administration if you're in jail? I suppose you could always be hired as a consultant.
Storms on the East Coast were causing delays for most every flight into Baltimore International Airport except mine. My flight actually landed five minutes early. But this minor victory was short-lived considering that it took FORTY FRICKIN' MINUTES for BWI to get me my suitcase. I'm not positive, but I am fairly certain that this has to be a personal record. We were walking off the plane at 6:55, and luggage hit the baggage claim carousel at 7:35.
FORTY FRICKIN' MINUTES!!!
I can only guess that all of the baggage handlers were reading the new Harry Potter book, and didn't want to be interrupted until they finished the chapter they were reading.
Speaking of Harry Potter... do book stores carry any other books now? Everywhere you go, they've got Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince stacked to the rafters. Sometimes it looks as if they've got nothing else for sale, which gave me a great idea for being a smart-ass while waiting for my plane connection in Minneapolis...
WARNING: Workers at the book shop do NOT find this funny for some reason. It's a pity, because I thought it was darn clever!
Anyway, I am finally in Lancaster, Pennsylvania now. This city is famous for being at the heart of Amish country. The Amish lead a very admirable life, free from all our modern conveniences like electricity and the internet. I must admit that I don't know much about the Pennsylvania Dutch except what I've seen in movies and on that television reality show called "Amish in the City." On one hand, it must be nice to live a simpler life, free from the stress and hassles that modern civilization has thrust upon us. On the other hand, I'd probably kill myself out of sheer boredom. I mean, I've never churned butter before, but something tells me it's not as much fun as playing Lego Star Wars on my Xbox.
Ooog. I need some sleep. My day started at 3:30am, and it's just now midnight. Even subtracting three hours for the time zone change, that's a long day.
After working in Lancaster and Harrisburg all day, I decided to do something naughty. Something I haven't done before.
With great nervousness I approached the Hershey Highway. I have never been this route before, and didn't quite know what to do. As I first entered, there was very little resistance. The route was smooth... a pleasure to drive. But then things started tensing up, and I ran into some heavy blockage. It was a real mess, and I didn't know if I was going to be able to get out of it. But I was determined, so I thrust onward down that brown-stained road*. Suddenly, all obstructions were gone and it was smooth sailing to the climax of my journey...
HersheyPark is a pretty straight-forward coaster park that's very clean and well-maintained, but under-staffed and difficult to navigate. They desperately need better signage to help you make your way around the park (the maps they provide are practically useless). Half the time I could SEE the ride I wanted to go on, but then wasted precious minutes trying to figure out where I am supposed to go to ride it. The worst part BY FAR is that they do not have enough fans/mist-sprayers/canopies/shade to help keep you cool. Many lines are out in the full sun, where you will melt in the summer heat. Even worse, rides that did have fans were near-useless because some units were turned off or broken.
Admission is normally $39.95, but since I arrived after 5:00, I got in for just $21.95. The park is open until 10:00pm, but after entering at 5:30, I had ridden all the coasters (except the "Roller Soaker" which looked lame) by 8:45... giving me excellent value for my money. The park was full, but lines were short because everybody was eating dinner I guess?
As a "theme park" it isn't as inspired or clever as Disney-World. As a "coaster park" it is not as thrilling as Universal Studio's Islands of Adventure. But, overall, I was very happy to have visited, and recommend it if you are in the area. If they would hire more staff to manage the queues in a more orderly manner, provide better shade and/or fans for the lines, and make better signs, HersheyPark would be a slam-dunk.
For my fellow coaster aficionados (or anybody else who cares), here's a quick recap of the rides...
After you've finished at the park, you can stop at "World of Hershey" for an informative (yet oh so lame) "ride" that explains the chocolate-making process. It's not very well done, but you do get a free piece of candy at the end. After that, there's a nice food court where you can eat dinner, but I just had a carton of Hershey's Chocolate Milk and some Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookies and called it a day.
Tomorrow is a little better for me, because I can get a full night's sleep and don't have to be to work until 9:00am. Then it's time to head back home (again) around 2:00.
* Yes, the Hershey Highway actually is colored chocolate brown in most places! It's kind of cool, and reminds me of the red roads in Zion National Park.
Okay then. This is Blogography entry #1000.
And I don't know what to make of that.
When I began this blog (after two previous failures) I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn't start again unless I could commit to 1000 entries. At that point I figured I'd either quit blogging or move on to something different. Now that the promise to myself has been fulfilled, what does it really mean?
When I look around at other personal blogs, I notice a trend to post less and less (with some people quitting altogether). I don't think that this means blogging is in a downward spiral, I just think it means that people are getting burned out writing in them. But I'm not burnt out at all. Writing an entry every day is a habit that I'm not sure I want to break. Most entries only take a few minutes of my time (though if I draw a cartoon or have a rant going, it can take a lot longer) so it's not like maintaining Blogography is an overwhelming burden or anything.
And it's not like people have stopped reading it either...
At first I thought it was just Google search results that was driving up my counts, but a closer look at my stats show this is not the case. The hits on my "home page" and RSS feed increase every week, so people are actually coming here intentionally (as opposed to looking for porn or something). I don't think I will ever know what makes Blogography worthy of this kind of attention (especially since only the tiniest fraction of my visitors leave comments), but I am certainly touched that so many people enjoy reading what I have to say here.
In the end, "1000" is just a number, and I don't anticipate anything changing in the immediate future. But now that the milestone has passed, there are a few things I am CONTEMPLATING...
And here's a few things I will actually be DOING...
Anyway, to all of you who visit this happy place... thanks! As always, your comments are welcome and, who knows, there may just be another 1000 entries to come.
As I've said many times... you don't judge a company when things go right, because that's what's SUPPOSED to happen. You judge a company by how they handle it when things go WRONG.
Unfortunately, the company in question this evening (well, morning, actually) is Northwest Airlines. And when it comes to royally screwing you over when the shit happens, nobody does it quite like Northwest Airlines... even when it's their fault that something's gone wrong.
Due to a scheduling problem, Northwest decided they needed to transfer somebody from Detroit to Seattle. So they loaded us on the plane, then had us all sit there for an hour while we waited for this ONE guy to show up. But he ended up running late, and they finally decided that they would send us on our way without him. So, basically, we wasted an hour FOR NOTHING!! Congratulations NWA dumbasses... you just f#@%ed a full flight of 112 people FOR NOTHING!!
Naturally, this meant that I missed my connection in Seattle.
So first I have to go to the ticketing counter and get re-ticketed. Then I have to wait while they fart around for 30 minutes to get me booked in the shittiest, cheapest, economy hotel they can find. Then they tell me to go get my luggage from Horizon Air, where they've transferred it, and to "have a good evening" (when it's actually morning).
But Horizon tells me that the wait to get my luggage pulled is two hours MINIMUM. And I can't go to my crappy hotel and wait for it, because they will not deliver pulled bags. If I want my bag, I have to wait there at the counter. FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS! Screw that. So now I am stuck in Seattle with no flight and no luggage. But Horizon does give me a lovely consolation gift... this lovely "Distressed Passenger Tote Bag!"
Well that just makes up for everything!
Note how there is a spot to get the case monogrammed. Too good to be true, I say.
Anyway, so here I am in my tiny shit-bag hotel room that smells like ass. Moldy ass. Moldy ass with OLD FEET and RAW SEWAGE! They assured me that the hotel would have "WiFi Internet." But what they didn't tell me is that it was not available in the rooms (only the lobby) and that it's broken. Lovely.
Now, don't get me wrong. If my missed connection was due to weather or something outside of Northwest Airline's control... I would be grateful for my tiny, stinky room. But since this is 100% their f#@%-up, why are they making me suffer for it? I'm an Elite customer that travels 70,000 miles a year with their airline. I deserve better than this at their hands.
I'd give them credit for buying me dinner, but the crap-bag hotel they stuck me in is out in the middle of nowhere, so the dinner voucher they gave me is useless.
So there you have it. As a company, Northwest Airlines sucks ass. They have no problem screwing you and 111 of your closest friends to solve their problems, and then treats you like shit afterwards. In fact, I feel that I've been treated so badly, that they've got me thinking it must be all my fault. Somehow I am the one who didn't cover the Seattle schedule properly, and so now I'm being punished. Abandoned. Sent to hell.
Oh well. At least there's cable television here in hell, even if it does smell like moldy ass.
UPDATE: This morning, after two hours of sleep, I didn't feel like taking a shower because the bathroom smelled like urine. But I did want to at least brush my teeth. Bleary eyed, I squeezed out some toothpaste and started brushing away... only to find out I had used shaving cream instead of toothpaste. Now, why would they put shaving cream in a toothpaste tube?? Sadistic bastards... don't tell me they don't do this on purpose. I'm having a flashback now.
From the past, what's something that's ended which you wish hadn't? The show Cupid, starring Jeremy Piven and Paula Marshall. The best television program ever to air. May the executive at ABC who was responsible for this travesty burn forever in the fiery pits of hell. Oh, and by the way... Jeremy Piven had BETTER win the Emmy for his role on HBO's Entourage. Classic.
From today, what's something that's gone on too long and you wish it would end now? The obvious answer is the Bush regime, because I sure wouldn't be crying if that evaporated tomorrow. But ultimately, I think it's a tie between Microsoft Windows (Vista?!?) or reality television shows... both of which suck ass.
For tomorrow, what's something you wish would never end at all? Coke with Lime. I stopped drinking soda for years, but now that I'm addicted to Coke with Lime, I think that I would die if the Coke people stopped making it.
FQ FINALE: Visit the FridayQ Archives, and revisit an old favorite with new answers, or pick a favorite you missed to answer new. My favorite of all FridayQ's was the fourth one from June 25th, 2004. They were all downhill from there! (Link to my original answers)...
Lie about where you spent your last vacation. Scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef with James Cameron as he did research for his next film: Aquaman.
Tell an untruth about your last romantic encounter. Elizabeth Hurley and I made passionate monkey-love in a Tuscan Villa after she ironed my shirts.
Fib about the last gift you received. Dale Chihuly sent me a piece from his latest glassworks collection. It's a beautiful fluted "seaform" piece in blues and greens.
FQ DARE: This time tell the truth on all the above! My last vacation was two days ago, when I spent 3 hours in HersheyPark. My last romantic encounter was so long ago I don't even remember. The last gift I received was chocolate-covered peanut brittle.
Thanks to everybody who played along with the FridayQ... it was fun while it lasted!
Many thanks to everybody who left comments or sent emails on the occasion of my 1000th entry at Blogography. You are all too kind, and I love hearing from you. Especially to those who took the time to complain over the years. I mean, you know I'm just going to ignore you, yet you take the time to write anyway. Sweet!
Anyway, in honor of those valiant few who hate my blog, complain about my blog, yet still feel compelled to read it... this entry is for you. Here I respond to my five favorite quotes (paraphrased) from the peanut gallery, their voices no longer ignored:
"You are a sadistic, violent, sexist pervert.
This came from a woman(?) who found one of my DaveToons in a Google search, and liked it enough to visit Blogography. Sadly, she had the grave misfortune to arrive on "penis salad day" and was mortified. She then had to go through the archives only to find further evidence of my depravity, and simply had to let me know about it. Yeah, like that's never happened before. Look, I'm sorry something I did upset you, because that's not my goal. But let me be very clear... I really, really don't care. In real life, I don't go around shooting people and am about as non-violent a person as you are likely to find. But here on my blog I can be whatever I want to be and, unfortunately for you, that sometimes includes being a sadistic, violent, sexist pervert. For that I won't apologize.
"Your blog is just a desperate cry for attention at the expense of others."
This one just arrived yesterday. From what I can understand from her rather flowery email, she used to read my blog, stopped reading for a while, then started again. But now that she's back, she finds me "mean" and "offensive" and won't be reading ever again. Awwww... darn it anyway! There goes more advertising revenue. Oh... wait a second... I don't get ad revenue from my blog! Seriously, if you decide to stop reading, there's no reason to tell me about it because I... just... don't... care. I don't know if these people think I am going to all of a sudden change the things I write to make them happy, or what, but it doesn't work that way. I don't write here to make money. I don't write here as a popularity contest. I don't write here to make people happy. So read or don't read... it doesn't matter. Because my blog, like my life, is always changing.
"You are as two dimensional as the crappy cartoons you draw."
Oh, now that hurts. Well, not really... but only because my blog is that way by design. This guy started some kind of business and wanted to buy one of my domains from me. When I politely refused, he decided to write back and criticize my blog. First in a racist and thoroughly offending comment (which I deleted) and later in a racist and thoroughly offending email. A pity he never took the time to read my FAQ, or else he would realize that I fully acknowledge the two-dimensional nature of Blogography. I do not write about my work. Ever. I do not write about my friends and family. Ever. I do not write about my more serious personal problems. Ever. This is simply because my co-workers, clients, friends, and family deserve their privacy. I don't want people I know to have to worry about what I might say about them, so I don't say anything at all. Aside from all that, I deserve my privacy as well. Seriously, I love my readers and am just flat-out honored that anybody should choose to spend their valuable time reading my blog... but there are parts of my life that I keep just for myself, and that's not going to change. While there are some exceptions, I don't think I am unique in this.
"Microsoft won. Get over it already."
This came from somebody who wrote me a long, drawn-out email as to the superiority of Windows, and how the Mac will never prevail over it. Well, if they've won, then why am I still using a Mac? If they've won, then why does the iPod own the mobile music market? If they've won, how come MSN search hasn't surpassed Google? If they've won, how do you explain the escalating popularity of Firefox? If they've won, then why is all their revenue dependent on upgrades to Windows and Office? I think it's time to wake up and realize that Microsoft not only hasn't won... they are losing ground every day. People don't love using Windows the way people love their Macs... they tolerate Windows because they don't understand that there is something better out there. Well, guess what? There is something better, and I'm going to write about it when I feel like it. Microsoft sucks ass... YOU get over it already.
"What a hypocrite! If you don't care what people think, why do you have comments turned on?"
This is one from a while back, but it still brings tears to my eyes... tears of laughter. This guy wrote several abusive emails complaining about stuff I had written. At first I just ignored him. But he kept writing. So then I wrote back and told him to please leave a comment instead of sending email, because I wasn't going to get trapped into a "battle of emails" over my opinion. But he kept writing. I finally wrote back and told him to just stop reading my blog since he was so unhappy with it, and please stop emailing me because I "just don't care." That's when he unloaded about my being a hypocrite, which is ironic considering I encouraged him to leave comments in the first place. The simple truth is that I love comments. Sometimes, the comments people leave send the conversation in an entirely different direction... many times more entertaining than the entry itself. So if readers want to put in their two cents, or expand the discussion, or even tell me I'm full of crap... I love reading it. But, if you're just being a dumbass or want to criticize everything I do, then screw-off, because I really don't care. Go start your own blog and see how perfect people think YOU are.
Alrighty then... to all the other ass-biters who didn't make the top five, I can only encourage you to try again. But this time, instead of just throwing out profanity when you write me hate mail, try to be creative in your efforts. Make me feel it. Curse words are a dime a dozen and, frankly, don't really have an effect on me... but telling me I'm "as two-dimensional as the crappy cartoons I draw" is darn clever. So, unless you can write something of that caliber, then don't bother. I'll be deleting your email so fast that physicists will be debating as to whether it ever existed at all.
After toiling away at work until 3:00, I decided to take a break so I could watch the Oscar-nominated film Finding Neverland and eat some Cheesy Potato Quesadillas. Both the movie and the food were spectacular.
Finding Neverland is a shockingly good film of brilliant imagination that showcases just how amazing an actor Johnny Depp has become. His performance is the epitome of subtlety and nuance that few others can match. It's been a long road since 21 Jump Street...
Depp portrays J.M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, and the film shows the real-life inspirations that led him to write about the little boy who would never grow up. Of equal brilliance is the supporting cast which includes Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman, and four boys who are beyond gifted. I always marvel at how child actors can manage to pull it together, and this movie features some of the best I've seen in quite some time. Highly recommended.
Dave's Cheesy Potato Quesadillas.
Heat 1/3 cup of cooking oil in a skillet and then add one pound (1/2 bag, if frozen) of Southern-Style (Small Cubed) Potatoes. Sprinkle with Taco Seasoning to taste. Cook until crispy and golden brown, then drain the oil and set aside over low heat.
Take a Large Flour Tortilla and lightly butter one side. Place into large skillet over medium heat (butter-side down). Sprinkle with potatoes and plenty of cheese, then add a spoonful of salsa with green onions and black olives to taste. Cook until cheese is starting to melt (don't over-cook!). Fold tortilla over in half with a spatula, then continue to cook until both sides are a nice golden brown.
Cut into thirds, then serve with Sour Cream and Salsa (if desired). Delicious!
After Finding Neverland, I took a look at Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which was moderately entertaining. I've never read the books, but it seems as though they must all be the same story... Orphans get taken in by some freaky unknown fringe relative, then the evil Count Olaf comes along in disguise and tries to get them back so he can kill them and inherit the family fortune. I guess it's a formula that works, since the books are wildly successful, but it all seems a bit redundant to me.
Back to work...
I really try to be a nice guy. I don't always succeed, but I do try.
Which is why when I see two idiot kids picking on another kid because he doesn't have a nice bike and expensive clothes... well, I don't understand it at all. It isn't you, so why do you care? You've GOT the pricey bicycle and sweet threads, so what does it really matter that some other guy isn't as fortunate? Is your life really so pathetic that you feel the need to belittle somebody over what they don't have and can't change? Bizarre. But they are just stupid kids, so what are you gonna do?
Though it kind of makes me wonder if things really change once we've grown up.
Probably not, but the dynamics do. When you're a kid, you rely on your parents for the things you have, so it's really out of your hands. As an adult, it's all you. I can't decide which is the least desirable situation to be in.
Since people probably make fun of what I choose to wear, I think I'd rather go back to being a kid again.
At least way back then, my biggest problem from Microsoft would be DOS instead of the whole Windows fiasco.
Today I was forced to test a document to be sure it would work on a WindowsXP PC. The problem is that my Windows machine died with the last "Critical Update" and I don't feel like blowing two hours of my life doing a complete reinstall. So I borrowed another machine, only to find that it was begging for a round of "Critical Updates" too... which I ignored (not wanting to repeat the demise of my own machine on somebody else's). It was all downhill from there...
At this point, I quite honestly don't know what to do. I am forced to use Windows on occasion, and I accept that... but HOLY CRAP!! HOW DO YOU WINDOWS USERS GET ANYTHING DONE?!?? I am constantly fighting the OS in order to make things work (e.g., on the Mac, the menu bar is always at the top of the screen, so you can never "over-shoot" it... with Windows, there's such a tiny area to hit that menu bar within the window, that I end up working with windows "full-screen" to save my sanity). And that's just the beginning... there are dozens of things so stupidly unintuitive and ridiculous, that I just marvel at the absurdity of it all.
My real problem is that I'm so used to having everything so easy on my Mac, that Windows is very much like torture for anything past surfing the web or checking email. To do actual work requires hopeless periods of lost productivity that I just can't afford. I have to wonder how many man-hours Microsoft is responsible for pissing away on a daily basis... and I'm not even including down-time from corrupted system files, viruses, spyware, and everything else you have to deal with. Sheer insanity
Is it all my fault? Am I using it wrong? Would it help if I were to go buy a Windows for Dummies book? Something tells me the answer is "no," but I figure it's only diplomatic to look for an alternative to making fun of Windows because it's wearing a ripped-out pair of 70's bell-bottom jeans and riding a busted-ass tricycle that was rescued from the dump.
Why did the rat cross the road?
I don't know, and apparently neither did he.
On the way home from work today, I had to slam on the brakes because a rat ran out in front of my car from the opposite side of the road. He got all the way across, took a look around, then turned around and ran right back to where he started. Perhaps he thought that things would be better over on the other side, and finally worked up the courage to run across... then found out that the other side of the street wasn't all he had hoped it would be.
I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere. Hopefully it involves looking both ways before crossing the street, because that rat very nearly became road kill.
Speaking of rats, I am fearing that the guest list may be slightly altered for Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show (whenever I get around to working on it again)...
I'll keep you posted.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, SJ is forever coming up with cool list ideas for "Chronic Listaholic," but her current list idea is so cool that I'm going to steal it:
Ten Phrases I Hope To Say Someday...
Hmmm... I had a rant ready for today, but I want a slice of chocolate cake now. Maybe tomorrow.
Make no mistake about it... Adobe is evil and must be destroyed.
Ever since upgrading my "Adobe Creative Suite" to version 2, I've been plagued with problems. And since 99% of the work I do is in CS apps (Photoshop, Illustrator, GoLive, and InDesign) this is a seriously big deal. Most of the problems are just annoyances that hinder my productivity. But a few of the problems are so mind-staggeringly critical, that my work abruptly comes to a halt and there doesn't seem to be any way around it.
Case in point: A typeface that I use every single day is "Helvetica Black." Look at any US food product and where you see the words "NUTRITION FACTS" - that's Helvetica Black. It's everywhere in everything I do. But it no longer works in Adobe Illustrator CS2. The font doesn't load and won't appear. It works perfectly in CS1, but CS2 refuses to acknowledge it. So I go to the Adobe KnowledgeBase and find a document telling me that some fonts won't load if they are too old, and the solution is to purchase a font upgrade.
But there is really no such thing as a font "upgrade" because there is no upgrade discount at all. It simply means that you have to purchase all new fonts. Which is quite a scam when you think about it. How do you get people to buy fonts they already own? Just make the fonts they purchased not work anymore! Genius!
So I go spend hundreds of dollars to buy those same fonts (AGAIN) only to find out that there is a bug in Illustrator that prevents replacing old document fonts with new versions. This pretty much sucks, because it means that I am forced to change each and every occurrence manually... which adds up to hours of extra work.
Since I am on a deadline, I call Adobe Technical Support.
The operator tells me that I need to have a credit card ready to pay for support. When I ask how come I don't get complimentary support for a new product purchase, I'm told that it's up to the support specialist to decide that. When I ask how come I have to pay to get support for a bug in their program, I'm told that it's up to the support specialist. Well, whatever, so I ask to be connected to a support specialist.
"Sure, can I get your serial number?" the operator asks.
"Errr... here's the number from the 'About Box' - is that what you want?" I reply.
"NO! That's only the first 20 digits... I need all 24 digits. You'll have to get it from your CD case" he tells me.
"Uhh... I don't have my case with me..." I say.
"Well, you'll just have to go get it and call back... it's for YOUR protection" the operator responds.
MY protection? How is this for MY protection? You want to protect me... how about telling me how to fix your f#@%ing program so I can protect MY JOB?!? I've owned every version of Adobe Illustrator ever made. I've purchased every upgrade ever released. I bought my CS2 upgrade DIRECTLY FROM ADOBE... yet they still insist on acting like I've stole their program, and won't help me. I mean, WHAT THE f#@%?? Do they honestly expect for their customers to drag their packaging with them wherever they go? This is the stupidest shit I've ever heard in my life. I mean if they are so f#@%ing paranoid about somebody copying my precious serial number, what is to keep me from scrawling it on the front my PowerBook in permanent marker for the entire world to see?
Companies have got to stop treating their customers like criminals. Because right now, I don't give a f#@% about Adobe. What's the point in spending money for their bug-ridden shit when they won't help you get around THEIR errors? Why should I bother to pay them for something when their first instinct is to believe I stole it? If I am going to be treated like a criminal that's unworthy of their support, then why not just take the next step and actually steal a copy of the program?
Congratulations you stupid Adobe f#@%s, you've just destroyed a 20 year relationship with a loyal customer.
But why should I expect different? They're going to buy Macromedia and have a total monopoly on creative content software. There's nobody else out there, so you'll be forced to buy Adobe whether you want to or not. And if you have no choice in the matter, why should they give a flying f#@% about anything or anybody?
Well that's just fine... but don't expect your customers to feel any different about you. Burn in hell you Adobe ass-wipes.
After a grueling day at work (thank you Adobe!) I have a grueling night of work ahead of me. It wouldn't suck so much except that I've got some great DVD rentals that I've been wanting to watch. I also would like to make ice cream a few times before summer is over. Homemade ice cream on a hot summer day kicks ass. Waaah.
I found this meme over at The Shape of Days, though it will be tough to top Jeff's answers...
Five things I'd like never to do again:
Five things I've lost that I'd like to have back:
Five things you can totally have for a song if you make me the right offer:
Five people to whom I owe apologies:
Five people who can totally lick my balls:
Argh. It's been five days and I still haven't unpacked my suitcase. I should really do that before the clean underwear runs out. It's too hot and sweaty to be going commando. Bleh. One more thing I have to do.
Usually, it takes liters of alcohol and a really good party for me to strip down and do the funky chicken.
Well, either that or Wang Chung is playing on the radio.
But now, thanks to The Gap, you can watch me "gettin' jiggy with it" whilst fully sober...
Kind of freaky how it actually kind of looks like me, albeit with better hair. If you want to see the whole sordid display, just click here.
John C. Dvorak is a long-time Macintosh basher that has been predicting the demise of Apple for years. He's also a long-time tool, but that's beside the point. People listen to the ass-wipe because PC Magazine continues to publish his bullshit. His most infamous attack on Apple was when he declared that the Mac should be "discontinued" and Apple do something different. Never mind that the Mac is a highly profitably chunk of business for Apple, Dvorak is Dvorak, and stupid shit like this gives him the attention he craves so badly. Like I said, he's a tool.
But now the Mac faithful are all in a tither because Dvorak's latest column slams Microsoft's next OS release ("Windows Vista") as "the end of the line for Microsoft's dominance in the OS business." He then goes on to say that "the Mac OS is already better than Windows in its modern look and feel as well as its functionality" and "I see too many smart people with Mac laptops nowadays." This follows still other Apple-friendly jibes that would almost lead you to believe that Dvorak is changing his stripes.
Personally, I don't buy it.
Dvorak can safely slam Windows NOW, because "Vista" is over a year-and-a-half away. Basically, he's attacking vapor until Microsoft ships the product, so what's the danger?
But once "Vista" is released... even if it's total shit... Dvorak will undoubtedly change his tune...
If I were more talented, I would have drawn Dvorak blowing Gates at the same time as eating his shit. Not that I blame Dvorak. I'd blow Gates for his couch money (well, assuming he's lost a couple of million in pocket change down there)... but I'm not a journalist, so whatever.
Anyway, once "Vista" is finally unleashed, Dvorak will be all "Windows was worth the wait" and "surely the Mac is dead now" and "no other OS experience can touch it" - yadda yadda yadda. He's an attention whore, willing to say anything to make waves and grab the spotlight. Today it's bashing Microsoft because it's safe to do so. Tomorrow it will be something else. A year-and-a-half from now, he'll be back to Mac bashing again.
It's what he does.
So to any Macintosh fans thinking that the battle has been won, I'm sorry to say we're most certainly not that lucky. I think that day won't come until Dvorak is dead. DEAD LIKE THE WIND!!!
Err... you know what I mean.
When I decided to shut down the FridayQ, I really didn't think twice about it. I was looking to cut back on my extraneous activities, and felt it was the logical choice since memes have been kind of dying off anyway. To be honest, I didn't think anybody would care, because so few people were participating at the end.
The problem is that the FridayQ was always written weeks in advance. So the smarter thing to do would have been to hold off until after I had run out of material, THEN close it down. Oh well. What's done is done.
Today's FridayQ was going to be about things you enjoy and you don't know why. I concocted it after channel-surfing one day and realizing that, despite the fact that I LOATHE country music, I am a huge fan of Shania Twain. Honestly... I can't stand whiny, twangy country-western. I very nearly gouged my ears out during the height of Garth Brook's popularity. Billy Ray Cyrus singing "Achy Breaky Heart" was enough to send me into epileptic fits. Yet I love me the Shania Twain...
Sure she's brutally hot, but that's only half the package. She's remarkably talented as well. And, for reasons I can't guess, I am totally into her music. And not just her more pop-oriented stuff either... all of it, including the country classics.
I try not to worry about it, but am deathly afraid that it will spread and I'm going to end up buying the latest Willie Nelson or Alan Jackson CD. After that, it's a frightfully short jump to mainlining crap by Clay Aiken and Justin Guarini... at which point I would have to kill myself.
Life was so much simpler before American Idol came along.
I am in the process of working on three different web sites just now, and have spent most of the day combing the internet (in general) and A List Apart (specifically) in order to make sure that I'm not overlooking any nifty bit of HTML or CSS that will help me in the browser/platform compatibility battle. Surprisingly, I'm more on top of things than I thought (at least until Microsoft decides to once again trash the internet when they release their next version of Internet Explorer).
As usual, parts of Blogography will serve as testing ground for some of the new things I'll be trying out (like this idea, which is just too cool), so forgive the mess that might occur over the next week or so.
So now it looks like anybody visiting the US who is not a US or Canadian citizen will eventually be required to carry a wireless device when entering the country (if a test program at the Kingston border crossing is "successful"). Holy crap. As if the "Real ID" card wasn't stupid enough, this is something monumentally asinine.
Who are the deluded morons making these decisions?
What is going to keep terrorists from ditching or trading these devices? What is going to keep terrorists from stealing these devices from law-abiding visitors? What is going to keep terrorists from modifying or forging the devices? How does it help track people who have snuck across the border without using a crossing station?
Dumbass ideas like this are always going to rely on terrorists being tech-ignorant morons who will do exactly what you ask them to. We've learned the hard way that this is simply not the case. The only people you can safely rely on to not abuse the system are the people who don't pose a danger in the first place.
Which begs the question... does anybody think this shit through before spending billions in taxpayer dollars?
Get a clue already. Orwellian shit like this DOES NOT MAKE US MORE SECURE!! All it does is give us the ILLUSION of being more secure, which is far, far worse than nothing at all. Anybody who thinks otherwise is either a tech-ignorant old fool of a politician, or is trying to sell you a billion-dollar "security system."
WTF?!? Does nobody watch movies anymore? Does nobody read books or the newspaper? There is only ONE thing you can rely on in today's world: THERE IS NO SYSTEM SO SECURE THAT IT CANNOT BE AVOIDED OR EXPLOITED!! This is not to say we should do nothing... the valiant effort to keep our borders secure and US citizens safe is a worthwhile endeavor. But spending billions on something that has no hope of actually working and makes us less safe is beyond stupid. I'm sure that well-financed, tech-savy terrorists would disagree but, what can I say, they're terrorists.
If I were a law-obiding foreigner intent on visiting the USA, I'd be scared shitless that somebody would hunt me down and kill me so they could steal my "US Visit Tracker" and use it to more easily cross the border for their terrorist activities. And who can blame them?
I swear, pretty soon the only foreigners visiting this Nation will BE terrorists, because everybody else will want to avoid the risk and hassle. That's sure to do wonders for our security. And our economy. I can't help but wonder what's coming next.