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Map

Posted on Saturday, April 1st, 2006

Dave!I love a good map.

Historical maps, world maps, city maps, street maps... it doesn't matter. I just think that maps are cool to look at, and I've accumulated quite a few of them over the years. Mostly from places I've been, but also from places I want to go (like the Aegean) and places I will probably never go (like the planet Mars). I even like these newfangled internet maps like MapQuest and Google Maps. Sometimes I wish I had a GPS so I could see myself on a map wherever I am. Because that's how much I love maps.

My map passion began in a very unlikely place... an album cover.

In 1984 one of my favorite bands of the day, The Thompson Twins, released their latest work titled Into The Gap. In addition to unforgettable 80's musical favorites like Hold Me Now and Doctor! Doctor!, the back of the album cover had a very cool treatment of the Thompson Twins logo by the artist Satori...

Satori Thompson Twins Map

He had turned it into a map! And then he put the album credits as cities on the map!

This fascinated me. I had never thought of maps as art before, but here was an incredibly cool artistic statement that inspired me to take a look at "real" maps. And I was hooked. From that moment onward, I was a cartography whore.

So much so, that I started creating my own maps. Sometimes of real places, like this map of the Hard Rock Cafe run Perry and I took...

Hard Rock Run Europe

Other times I make maps of fake places, or of fake places that should be real. Like the sovereign nation of Davenia...

Davenia

I drew this map back in 1998 for the relauch of "DaveWorld", which never happened (close-ups of the map can be found in an extended entry).

So what's all this leading up to? Glad you asked...

One of the greatest map inventions of the 20th century was the laminated roadmap. And the best of these was "FastMap", which was manufactured by the HM Gousha Company. These fantastic travel companions are always in my car, ready for use at a moment's notice. They are low-profile, single panel height, accordion-style maps that are brilliant both in execution and design. And, because they're laminated, they wear well and don't rip apart like paper maps. Eventually, map giant Rand McNally came out with their own laminated maps, but they were pale imitations that folded out to HUGE dimensions and were difficult to use in a car. The leaner, meaner FastMap was a much better choice.

So can you guess what happened next?

Rand McNally bought out the HM Gousha Company in 1996. This was a smart move, because now Rand McNally could have access to the wonderful FastMap catalog, and release this superior product under the Rand McNally name!

But I think we all know that's not what happened. Rand McNally promptly discontinued FastMaps in favor of their own INCREDIBLY CRAPPY AND PRACTICALLY WORTHLESS PIECE-OF-SHIT laminated maps. This means that my beloved FastMaps, which are now falling apart, cannot be replaced thanks to the dumbass bastards at Rand McNally (whose web site has sections that are not Mac-compatible, by the way).

Needless to say, I am not happy about this. And, to add insult to injury here, I couldn't buy a new Washington State map from Rand McNally even if I wanted to... they're out of stock. Somebody at Rand McNally needs a serious bitch-slapping.

Anyway, more Davenia maps are in an extended entry, if things like that interest you...

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Categories: DaveLife 2006Click To It: Permalink  24 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Thrash

Posted on Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

Dave!♫  With a rebel yell, she cried "more, more, more!"  ♫

As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a woman totally rocking out in her car. She was thrashing around in a frenzy as she sang along with the radio, and looked like she might be going into an epileptic seizure.

I stared at her for a minute trying to figure out what song could possibly be causing her to freak out, and then tried to take a guess based on those songs that I like to thrash to...

Rockin Out

Dave's Top-5 List of Head-Bangin' Tunes

  • Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
  • Rock the Casbah by The Clash
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Lepard
  • American Woman by Lenny Kravitz
  • Holiday by Madonna

Turns out it was none of them. It was Betty Davis Eyes by Kim Karnes. Except it sounded really, really terrible. After I was done shopping and came back the parking lot, she had started all over again, and that's when I realized that it wasn't Kim Karnes on the radio... the woman was practicing karaoke tunes off a CD. Badly.

Heaven help those poor souls she would be "entertaining" on karaoke night.

Dead TiVo

Speaking of entertainment, my TiVo has been slowly dying. The hard drive has been squealing like crazy and stuttering from time to time. Since you can't buy a new dual-tuner TiVo for DirecTV anymore (dumbasses), I had no choice but to try and repair it. After an hour of internet research, I stumbled across a company called WeaKnees. They offer brand new hard drives for TiVos that have already been pre-loaded with the TiVo software! All you have to do is open up your TiVo, rip out the old drive, then pop in a new drive with the tools and instructions provided.

The entire process took under 10 minutes, and my TiVo is good as new... in fact, it's better than new because I ordered a faster, bigger 160 GB drive to replace my crappy old 40 GB one. As a side-benefit, the new drive is whisper-quiet, which is sweet. If you are looking to upgrade your TiVo with more space, or need to replace an old hard drive in your TiVo unit, I highly recommend WeaKnees (all warnings about possibly ruining your TiVo considered).

♫  She's ferocious, and she knows just what it takes to make a pro blush.
All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes!
 ♫

Oh great, now I can't get that song out of me head.

   

Hosed

Posted on Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Dave!Sometimes having a blog sucks ass.

Sunday morning I received an email from my hosting company telling me that my site was "in quarantine" because it was using an excessive amount of CPU resources. This strikes me as funny, because I've done a lot of work to optimize everything, and am not dynamically generating any pages, but whatever.

Of course, there's no way for me to verify this myself... I just have to take their word for it.

Anyway, the quarantine site kept losing data, so I eventually decided it was safest to just find a new hosting company. Movable Type (my blog software) recommends Yahoo!, so here I am.

So, for the next day or so...

  • Email sent to my Blogography address may bounce back. Please keep trying.
  • You may see freaky URLs in your address bar for a while.
  • The web feeds aren't updating properly for a while yet.
  • I'm going to be really pissed off until all this is settled.

And to find out why I am pisssed off at just about everybody involved, you can read the whole story in an extended entry. Otherwise, just ignore me for a day or two, and everything should be back to normal by then.

UPDATE: Thanks to Göran over at 6ft5, I found out that MacZot is releasing a new version of "AppZapper" (a drag-and-drop uninstaller for Macs that track down pesky related files you might miss). The cool part is that the price drops 5¢ for every site that links to their page. If 259 people link by midnight (when the offer expires) you can get a copy for free! I don't even care about the program... I just want that cool ray-gun icon in my applications folder! This is a brilliant marketing idea, and the price has already dropped to $7.15 as of this writing.

UPDATE: More good news... an exclusive internet trailer for Clerks2 is up! Sweet!

Clerks2 Teaser

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Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  30 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Drama

Posted on Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Dave!Last night as I was driving home, two girls ran across the street in front of me on a rural road. Not knowing what was going on, I stopped the car. Then I noticed that a small boy was also wanting to cross, so I waved him onward so he could catch up to the two girls (who really should have been watching him closer). Good thing he was smart enough to stop and look both ways, or else I very well might have ran him over.

So there I am sitting in my car as the boy waves and starts to run across. All of a sudden, his shoe comes off. Does he grab the shoe and continue across the street?

No.

He sits down right in front of my car and proceeds to put his shoe back on.

Ordinarily, this would have annoyed me greatly, but I was fascinated. It was like a sudden moment of clarity when I realized that this kid had it all figured out. Rather than panic and try to solve two problems at once, he stopped and worked on the problem at hand before moving on.

A minute later, he pops up, waves at me again, then runs across the street to the two girls who seem very upset with the poor tyke.

It's amazing how little moments like this can have such an effect on me.

Yesterday I made the decision to shut down my blog.

No joke, it was really going to happen. The entire hosting fiasco had just gotten to be too much, and I honestly didn't know where to go with it. Yahoo! is not working out. I got a lot of recommendations from people as to other hosting services but, every time I checked into them, I found out that Movable Type users had been banned there for excessive CPU usage (this includes Dreamhost, and everybody else I tried).

No thanks. Once was enough. This "blogging thing" which was supposed to be a hobby had suddenly become a liability that I don't need. I simply don't have the time or energy to try and maintain three blogs during a second move. Everything is a mess, and I just don't need it. Enough is enough, and it was time to move on.

But then a little boy stopped to put on his shoe in front of my car.

And suddenly I realized that I don't have to stress about it. All I have to do is stop, solve the problem at hand, and move on. Who cares if my email is down for a while. Who cares if my blog is inaccessible for a bit. Who cares if everything is a mess. Just solve the problem at hand and THEN finish crossing the street.

So... I've done that. I think.

In the meanwhile, I'm sorry if I don't get your emails. I'm sorry if some comments get lost during the move. I'm sorry if things don't work right for a while. But I'm not going to worry about it. Eventually everything will work out. Eventually everything will be okay. I'm not stressing over a silly blog that shouldn't mean as much as it does.

One thing at a time. And it's time to move. Again.

So, if you like reading Blogography, and are happy that I've found a way to keep on going... you can thank a little boy who stopped to tie his shoe in front of my car yesterday.

It's amazing what you can learn if you just stop the car.

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  41 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Moving

Posted on Tuesday, April 4th, 2006

Dave!And so I'm moving.

Again.

Changing hosting companies is a huge mess that I never really wanted to experience. But, lucky me, this is the third time I've had to do it in three days. I am documenting my pain in an extended entry, so feel free to read it if you are interested (or ignore it if you aren't).

Moving

With luck, everything will be sorted out in a day or two. Until then, I am screaming a lot.

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Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  29 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

F#@% PAYPAL!

Posted on Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

Dave!You know... just when you think things can't get any shittier, that's usually when they do.

Thanks to a lot of hard work and the kindness of one incredibly generous person, I am very close to climbing out of the nightmare of getting my blog re-hosted. It has been a totally crappy four days, but it's almost over. Then BLAM! I get f#@%ed by PayPal!

This lovely piece of email lands in my inbox...

PayPal is committed to maintaining a safe environment for its community of buyers and sellers. Our team employs the most advanced systems in the world to protect the security of your account.
During a recent review of our system, we determined that you received funds from an account that reportedly has been associated with possible unauthorized use. In accordance with PayPal's Seller Protection Policy, the following transaction has been reversed...

WTF?!?

THEY accepted the charge, and yet it's MY problem?

And what kind of bullshit is "POSSIBLE unauthorized use"??

It's POSSIBLE that aliens have replaced world leaders with pod people. It's POSSIBLE that Elvis is still alive. It's POSSIBLE that PayPal is a giant scam. It's POSSIBLE that diamonds might shoot out of my ass...

Diamond Ass

So PayPal steals MY F#@&ING MONEY because of a "possible" problem. No proof is offered. I'm just supposed to take their word for it. No mention on whether they will reinstate my money if the charge is proved to be valid. No mention on me getting any evidence whatsoever as to this ALLEGED claim of "unauthorized use".

This is bullshit.

I wrote and asked for the evidence that this is, IN FACT, an unauthorized charge. Who knows if I will ever see it. I'm probably just f#@%ed, which is fantastic. Not only am I going to be out $12.90... I'm also out $4.05 in shipping... and $7.95 in shirt and materials.

I just had to pay hundreds of dollars to host my blog, and now T-shirts that I sell at near-cost out of the goodness of my heart, have just screwed me out of $25.

What's coming next?

UPDATE: I got an email from somebody saying: "If somebody stole YOUR credit card and bought a shirt don't you think that you should get your money back? Being ripped off by credit card thieves is part of owning a business and you need to grow up". First of all... the person who bought the shirt has no idea why the transaction was flagged as "possible unauthorized use" - NEITHER OF US DO! Even better, the buyer didn't even know that there was a problem until I wrote and told them! PayPal never bothered to contact them! So basically, PayPal says there is a "possible problem" but there is NO evidence provided to either buyer OR seller, and THAT is what I am upset about. And this is not an email scam, because the reversal of the money credit is showing up in my PayPal account. Second of all... Even if there IS fraud, "my business" WAS NOT THE ONE WHO TOOK THE CREDIT CARD! PayPal accepted the credit card! And they aren't doing it for FREE, I get billed fees every time. I mean, seriously... if I was the one who took the card and the charge was bogus... is it fair that I turn around and bill the company who printed the shirts for my loss?? No. In any event PayPal needs to provide evidence that there is wrong-doing OR GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK!!

   

Dave

Posted on Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Dave!LINK OF THE YEAR: I keep forgetting to mention THE TRUTH. This is where I get all my news... Ze does the thinking, so I don't have to. Somebody give him a correspondent gig on The Daily Show ASAP.

If you hadn't already guessed, I am a very self-centered person. The entire world revolves around me, and if something doesn't affect me, I really don't care about it. In order to understand the New World Order, I have made these helpful illustrations to explain it to you...

Dave Universe

Dave World

It's quite simple, really. Some people might call me a narcissist, but I prefer to think of it as "reality". Unfortunately, not everybody understands how reality is supposed to work.

Here's an example...

I am terrible at remembering dates. I can barely remember when my own birthday is, let alone somebody else's birthday. This can be quite embarrassing with my friends, and so I've come up with a way to fix it. What I do is go to the Hallmark Card Shop at the beginning of every year and buy about thirty "Happy Belated Birthday" cards. I fill them all out for my friends and stick them in my sock drawer. Then, when I find out that it's my birthday, I realize that other people have birthdays too, and so I go to my sock drawer and mail the belated birthday wished to all my friends.

It's not a perfect system, but I've been doing it for years and it works for me.

Except this year I even forgot about the cards, so they didn't get mailed until a week ago.

Then this morning I get a phone call...

Mobile Phone: Ring! Ring! Ring!
   
Dave: Hello.
   
Meagan: YOU ASSHOLE! IT'S BAD ENOUGH THAT YOU FORGET MY BIRTHDAY EVERY YEAR AND SEND ME THIS BELATED SHIT... BUT NOW YOU ARE SENDING BELATED-BELATED BIRTHDAY CARDS?!? WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TO WORK THE CALENDAR IN YOUR COMPUTER?!? IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT YOU TYPE MY F#@%ING NAME IN SO THAT I ACTUALLY GET A BIRTHDAY CARD ON MY BIRTHDAY? WHAT THE F#@%?!?!
   
Dave: Uhhhh. Okay. When is your birthday again?
   
Meagan: AGAIN?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN "AGAIN"?? YOU NEVER KNEW IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! MY BIRTHDAY IS TOMORROW ASSHOLE!! EVERY YEAR YOU SEND ME A BELATED CARD 330 DAYS LATE, BUT THIS YEAR YOU ACTUALLY SENT IT ON TIME, BUT YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT, AND SO HERE I AM GETTING THIS BELATED SHIT!!
   
Dave: Yes. I can see how you might be upset about that...
   
Meagan: UPSET?!? UPSET?!?! DO I EVER F#@%ING FORGET YOUR F#@%ING BIRTHDAY? NO! AND DO YOU KNOW WHY?!? BECAUSE I KNOW HOW TO USE A F#@%ING CALENDAR!!
   
Dave: That is pretty bad. Hey, did you watch Veronica Mars last night?
   
Meagan: Oh yeah... can you believe that XXXX totally XXXX to XXXX and got him XXXX in that stadium? How cool was that?*

(* mad-libbed to prevent spoilerage)

I think I'm safe.

Until next year, anyway.

But here's the problem. That card was actually for last year's birthday. And so now I am confused as to what to do. Since her birthday is tomorrow, I could send a new card for this year's birthday, but it would have to be another belated card because it won't get there tomorrow. But if I send a belated card, then that means I have to remember not to send another belated card next year for this year. But if I do that, then forget to send the card the next year, then this year's card should have been for next year's birthday, but it says "belated" when it really isn't.

Crap. Maybe this actually would be a lot easier if I learned how to work my calendar.

Hopefully Veronica Mars will get a third season, because then I can worry about this in 2008 and focus on more important things. Like me.

   

Davebo

Posted on Friday, April 7th, 2006

Dave!I finally got a response from PayPal regarding my request for any actual evidence that a shirt payment was, in fact, unauthorized.... "We are not able to disclose any information for an ongoing investigation, Please help us with our investigation by responding to any question we have so we can verify that you are covered for the transactions."

Uhhhh, why are you not able to give me any information? Who's stopping you? I'm not asking for account numbers or any sensitive stuff... just a copy of notice that caused you to reverse the transaction so I can verify it with the bank. Since you are holding ME accountable for this shit, isn't that the very least you can do?

This is great. PayPal can take your money without any explanation. When you ask for an explanation, they won't give you one. Not only that, but they won't tell me if I will get the money back if the charge is found to be authorized. As far as I know, they will be keeping my money no matter what happens.

PayPal has got to be one of the biggest scams ever.

Since they will provide me with no proof, no evidence, and no information... I am just supposed to take their word for it that there is a problem? Well, I'm sorry, but if you won't tell me anything I have no choice but to look at this as theft. PayPal has stolen money from my account.

You steal from me mutha-f#@%er, and you had better run.

Do not make me fly down to San Jose and collect my $12.90. Trust me when I say that you do not want that.

Davebo

I have been spending my PayPal money as fast as I can before they steal any more of it. Who knows... they might suddenly decide that ALL of my transactions have "possible problems."

What assholes.

Given all the outrageous shit that they do to people on a regular basis, why aren't they under investigation for fraud?

If you have a PayPal account, you might want to start looking for alternatives. This is a very scary company.

Categories: DaveLife 2006Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

MovableHype

Posted on Saturday, April 8th, 2006

Dave!Yesterday was one of the greatest days ever because my Batman Legos arrived. But do I have time to put together my Bat-mobile, Bat-plane, Bat-boat, and Bat-dragster?? No. No I do not. And why haven't I had time to play with my new toys? Because my blog is still completely messed up. I got an email last night telling me that most of the links on my Best Of page are broken. A quick check of my server logs shows hundreds upon hundreds of "Page Not Found" errors... broken links everywhere.

It turns out that there is a major, major problem with Movable Type. I'm not going to go into it just yet but, suffice to say, if you are an MT user I've put the whole story in an extended entry and you should read it. For everybody else, it's time for BULLET POINTS!!

Blog Bullets

• Campaign. All next week I will be participating in Kevin's "grassroots campaign" to promote Paul Davidson's new book The Lost Blogs. This is a great opportunity to blog as somebody else for a while, so I'm looking forward to it.

• Celebrate. The week after that is Blogography's Kick-Ass Blogiversary III Celebration, which means it's going to be a busy few weeks. I don't want to give anything away... but prizes will be involved.

• Vegas. The show Las Vegas gave a nice shout-out to my favorite charitable organization, Doctors Without Borders, in last night's episode. This is one of those shows that surprises me with its consistency... you can always count on being entertained when you tune in (though part of that might be due to my infatuation with Mary, Sam, and Delinda on the show).

• Loopy. On the other end of the television spectrum, FOX has unleashed a new show called The Loop upon an unsuspecting nation. I tuned in because it stars that kid who was the next-door neighbor in Grounded for Life, only to be subjected to the stupidest half-hour of television I've seen in a long, long time. How in the heck did this show get greenlit?

• Cheese. Holy crap! I just went to make myself a sandwich and found out that I'm out of Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese! WHY?!? OH LORD, WHY ME??? IS THERE NOTHING SACRED? WAAAHHHHH!

Today, I am a man without cheese. =sob!=

I guess I have to run to the store before I can play with my Batman Legos.

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Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  20 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Linked

Posted on Sunday, April 9th, 2006

Dave!Tomorrow begins five days of "lost-blogging" for Kevin's "grassroots campaign" to promote Pauly's new The Lost Blogs book. Even though I've known about it for around two-and-a-half months now, I just haven't decided on which historical figure I was going to blog as. No matter who I thought might make a good choice for a "mystery game", I had no idea how to make it go on for five days. There's just too much to figure out and, if somebody guesses your pick on the first day, you're screwed. I had toyed with the idea of picking a new person for each day, but I don't think that's allowed by the rules.

I finally just wrote all nine of my candidates on slips of paper, put them in a cup, then picked one.

Who I ended up with doesn't surprise me as much as how I've decided to write for them.

This is either going to end up being a lot of fun (in which case I'll give myself a pat on the back for my ingenuity), or it's going to be a disaster of biblical proportions (in which case I'll blame Kevin). In any event, I'm very interested in seeing how everybody else is going to handle this challenge. Knowing how hard it is, I don't know that I can bring myself to post guesses on other "lost-blogger" sites in case I'm right.

Dave's Lost Blogs

Back to the blogging front...

After almost two full days of trying to fix links that Movable Type has broken, I'm giving up. The problem is just too extensive to be repaired. Any entry that had its name changed, or whose name was duplicated... even YEARS APART... is now named something entirely different. This is really devastating to me, because I pride myself on not breaking links. I would go on another rant about how stupid it is that Movable Type makes no effort to warn you about such a serious KNOWN bug, but I'm too tired. So let me once again thank Six Apart for taking three years of hard work maintaining my links and flushing it down the toilet... I appreciate that.

The up-side is that I am in good company.

I was utterly shocked at how many outgoing links I have that are broken. Not only to other blogs, but to major companies like Sony, BMW, OreIda, and many others. At first I thought that these companies were stupid for not comprehending the importance of maintaining link history, but then I thought perhaps they run their sites on Movable Type and it's not their fault.

Links are what MAKE the internet. Doesn't anybody understand that?

I am almost to the point where I don't want to create another outbound link ever again. But what fun is that?

Categories: Blogging 2006, BooksClick To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lost Blogging: Day 1

Posted on Monday, April 10th, 2006

Dave!This morning I had set my alarm an hour early to 4:30am so that I could write my first "Lost Blogs" entry. As it turns out, that was hardly necessary, because I was awoken by a loud pounding on my door shortly after 4:00am. "Mr. Simmer? Mr. Simmer are you there?" a voice shouted from outside. Worried that the racket would wake up my neighbors and give them even more reason to torment me, I rushed to answer.

Standing there was a smallish man with a pink face who was dressed in a drab, wrinkled suit and a brown overcoat that was too big for him. Without an invitation, the man (who introduced himself only as "Professor Blattenthorp") rushed passed me to the dining room table, talking a mile a minute.

It turns out that professor had purchased a book at an estate sale, and found the last page of a letter inside of it. It was undated, faded, and badly torn, so the author was not known. The only thing that could be identified was my name, and a web address for Blogography! The letter appeared to pre-date the internet by a wide margin, so the professor was quite anxious to know about it. The contents of the document seemed wildly impossible, yet all evidence pointed to it being real...

Lost Blogs Letter

The professor had written out the contents as follows...

I find myself in a state of disbelief as to what has just occurred.
   
I was tending to my dismal finances, as is my custom most evenings, when suddenly I see a golden glow emanating from behind me. In haste I turn around to discover a rather tall gentleman has appeared as if from thin air! He is dressed in strange attire, the likes of which I have never seen. He is ruggedly handsome, with a tousle of dark hair and a well-trimmed beard. There is an aura about him which I cannot explain, but I had an immediate sense to trust him implicitly.
   
Once I had gathered my senses, I bade this stranger to tell me his name. I learn that he is called "David Simmer" and he has a favor to ask of me. From out of his satchel he hands me a smooth metal box with rounded corners. It is of a dull silver color... aluminum perhaps... and I am guessing it measures approx. 14-inches by 9-inches and is an inch thick. Mr. Simmer tells me that this is a "Macintosh" (though it looks nothing of apples!) and it possesses a magical connection to the future.
   
I scoff at his unbelievable tale, yet he assures me he speaks the truth. As if to prove himself, he presses a small latch on the metal box and it opens and comes to life! It seems all at once impossible and magical, but I soon learn that this "Macintosh" is indeed a link to the future. "And what would you have me do with this device?" I asked. The stranger laughs warmly, and then lays a gentle hand upon my shoulder. "My friend", he replies, "I want nothing more than your thoughts of life in this time. Your hopes, your dreams, your experiences... all the things you find interesting about your world here. I ask that you keep a journal, as a link from my time to yours, so that I might know better how you live here in this primitive past!"
   
And then David Simmer vanished, as if he had never been.
   
I must admit to being skeptical of his ask, but the overwhelming trust and affection I feel for this stranger forbade me to decline. And thus I have begun to write in this wondrous device as a matter of course. I am told that if a future-person wishes to read of my journal, he has nothing more to do than to navigate his own Macintosh to the address that follows:
https://www.blogography.com/lostblogs
   
Yours very sincerely,
???

Naturally, I know nothing about it. The "ruggedly handsome" part certainly sounds like me though, and so I can only assume that this is a reference to my future-self or something. But, despite it all, I tell the professor that it is absolutely impossible for there to be such a URL on Blogography, because I just moved hosting companies, and would have seen it. He then tells me that he verified the link in the document immediately after finding it, which was just around midnight. After that, he drove straight from Idaho to my door seeking answers.

I laughed in his face, because I was certain that such a link does not exist at Blogography, and decided to prove it to him. I wake up me beloved Macintosh G4 Cube and type it in.

It turns out that the link is real.

I don't know how. I don't know why. But it's there: https://www.blogography.com/lostblogs is an actual, working URL on my site.

I have no idea what is happening, but it seems that the "me" from the future has decided to take care of this "Lost Blogs" thing for me. So, as it turns out, I get to play along with the rest of you in an attempt to figure out the identity of this "lost blogger". I can only guess that new entries will appear every day this week, but you can read the first one here.

Those of you wanting to make guesses as to this "lost blogger's" identity should send me an email at the address in my sidebar. Comments with guesses will not be approved! Who knows, there might be a prize for the first person to guess correctly! But remember the rules... you only get ONE GUESS... so make sure you're sure about who it is before contacting me, because any subsequent guesses by the same person will be tossed out.

If you want to learn more about Pauly's book (or pre-order a copy), visit The Lost Blogs site!

Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  30 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lost Blogging: Day 2

Posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Dave!Blogs are so cool.

Originally, I liked having a blog because it was a way to let my friends know where I was at and what I was doing. Then I liked having a blog because it let me bitch about stuff that was bothering me. Then I liked having a blog because the comments allowed me to interact with readers and find other blogs to read. Then I liked having a blog because of all the nifty people I was meeting.

And now?

Now I like having a blog because of free socks.

Yes! Free socks! A couple days ago I got a comment on my entry "I Want a Gun" from Jon, who runs a most excellent site called "Drive Right, Pass Left" (which is all about those dumbasses who drive in the left-side passing lane WITHOUT PASSING ANYBODY, which drives me insane). He was nice enough to send me a few stickers (one of which is now on my backpack), a license plate frame (which is going on my car ASAP), and a pair of socks with his site's logo embroidered on them...

Socks

At first I thought that the socks were just a fun novelty, but I tossed them in the wash and decided to try them on today. HANDS-DOWN THE MOST COMFORTABLE SOCKS I HAVE EVER WORN! Seriously, they stretch-fit so there's no bunching in your shoe. The seams are imperceptible, so they don't rub against your toes. They have some kind of miracle fabric that keeps your feet cool. These are NOT some crappy novelty... they are truly awesome socks. Jon didn't cheap-out here, he went for "Sock Guy" socks, which I had never heard of, but am now in love with.

Naturally, I am so jealous of Jon and his personalized socks that I can barely stand it. I want custom socks of my own!

Dave Socks!

Unfortunately, I don't have $650 burning a hole in my pocket to place a minimum order. Oh well. I'll just have to be happy dreaming of socks. Thanks Jon!

And in non-sock-related news...

It looks as though another "Lost Blogs" entry has appeared over at DaveSpace!

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that out of all the participating bloggers, I've guessed just ONE "lost blogger", and even that one I'm not 100% sure about.

Those of you wanting to make guesses as to my "lost blogger's" identity should send me an email at the address in my sidebar. Comments with guesses will not be approved! Who knows, there might be a prize for the first person to guess correctly! But remember the rules... you only get ONE GUESS... so make sure you're sure about who it is before contacting me, because any subsequent guesses by the same person will be tossed out. Good luck!

If you want to learn more about Pauly's book (or pre-order a copy), visit The Lost Blogs site!

Categories: Blogging 2006, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  28 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lost Blogging: Day 3

Posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Dave!Cheaters! I have cheaters reading my blog!

Ever since moving to a new hosting company, I've been closely monitoring my error stats to see if there's anything that needs to be fixed. Today when I checked, I noticed a bunch of people typing in "lostblogs/daythree.html" and "lostblogs/daythr.html" and "lostblogs/day3.html" - apparently looking for the next "lost blogger" entry a day early (even though it didn't exist yet). Cheaters!

Ha! I can only DREAM about being organized enough to write something a day in advance.

Sorry, but everything at Blogography is baked fresh daily, baby!

Dave Cook

Most of my entries are written first thing in the morning (like today!). I wake up, grab my trusty PowerBook to check my email, and something pops into my head to write or draw. If it turns out okay, I post it. But most of the time I let it sit until my lunch break so I can read it over and make sure I didn't say anything stupid. But since I always say something stupid, I usually try to make it less stupid and then post it. On rare occasions I can't think of anything to write about, and it's not until dinnertime that I get around to writing. In any event, I don't write ahead. Even while lost-blogging, which I'll be cooking up after this.

Oh, and before I forget... I have the bestest blog posse ever (yes, this means you!). Two days ago I was lamenting over my broken links and got a suggestion from Blogography reader Wejn on how to fix it. When I didn't understand what to do... he wrote the fix for me. I've installed it, and now my problems are solved. How cool is that? Thanks Wejn! An extra Blogography cookie for you today, fresh from the oven!

And while I am passing out cookies, I cannot forget about Bre, who left the 7000th comment here yesterday. Congratulations Bre, You just won a Blogography T-Shirt! Email me your address and the size you want to claim your prize.

And in non-baking-related news...

There's another "Lost Blogs" entry over at DaveSpace! Click here to read it!

I am hopelessly addicted to reading all 40 participants now, and many of them are getting really interesting!

Those of you wanting to make guesses as to my "lost blogger's" identity should send me an email at the address in my sidebar. Comments with guesses will not be approved! Who knows, there might be a prize for the first person to guess correctly! But remember the rules... you only get ONE GUESS... so make sure you're sure about who it is before contacting me, because any subsequent guesses by the same person will be tossed out. Good luck!

If you want to learn more about Pauly's book (or pre-order a copy), visit The Lost Blogs site!

   

Lost Blogging: Day 4

Posted on Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Dave!When I was younger, I had braces installed by one of the finest orthodontists money could buy. Unfortunately, he was a bit of a quack, and never managed to fix my teeth properly (particularly my lower teeth). I went back years later and he tried again, but his dumbass "solution" to remedy the situation just made everything worse. My teeth are now falling apart because of uneven pressure points. Every once in a while, I bite wrong and pieces of tooth break off that I then have to go get fixed.

It really sucks ass. And, because of all these problems, I hate going to the dentist with a passion.

So can you guess where I got to go first thing this morning?

The only thing worse than the actual work being done is the bill that follows. Argh.

The Dentist 1.

Needless to say, I am not a happy camper today.

And in non-tooth-related news...

I am way behind in reading my email. So totally behind that I probably won't be caught up until Easter. I promise that I am not ignoring those people who are patiently waiting for an reply... but I've just been really busy trying to get all my work done so that my half-day at the dentist doesn't make me have to work the holiday weekend.

Of all the lost bloggers, I've only identified eight (I think). I'm not good at this game at all, but remain surprised that nobody has guessed my historical figure yet. I suppose not everybody looks at things like I do, or expresses themselves like I do, so they are missing the clues? Oh well, since tomorrow is the last day, I'll be revealing just about everything...

Oh yeah, the penultimate "Lost Blogs" entry is now up over at DaveSpace! Click here to read it!

Those of you wanting to make guesses as to my "lost blogger's" identity should send me an email at the address in my sidebar. Comments with guesses will not be approved! Who knows, there might be a prize for the first person to guess correctly! But remember the rules... you only get ONE GUESS... so make sure you're sure about who it is before contacting me, because any subsequent guesses by the same person will be tossed out. Good luck!

If you want to learn more about Pauly's book (or pre-order a copy), visit The Lost Blogs site!

Categories: DaveLife 2006, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  7 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lost Blogging: UPDATE!

Posted on Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Dave!My historical "lost blogger" has been identified!

Congratulations to Firda and Alexis who wrote in with the correct identity within minutes of each other. They will each be receiving a fashionable T-shirts from the Artificial Duck Store for free!

But don't despair! You still have a chance to win a shirt of your own! You still only get ONE guess, but if you email the correct answer before midnight tomorrow (PST/Seattle Time), you'll be entered in a drawing to win a runner-up free-shirt coupon. Tomorrow's entry reveals even more tasty clues as to the identity, so you might want to wait until then before sending in your ONE guess! Good luck!

UPDATE: I should mention that everybody has a clean slate now. If you sent in a wrong guess before, you have another shot to get in the drawing if your new guess is correct.

Helpful Hint...
I am a very visual person. The best clues are NOT in the words... look elsewhere. EVERY SINGLE IMAGE ON THE PAGE MEANS SOMETHING. With the exception of the header and the header ad, everything is a clue!

Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lost Blogging: Day 5

Posted on Friday, April 14th, 2006

Dave!Yesterday on the way home from the dentist I stopped at K-Mart to get a pizza. That sounds strange, I know, but I kind of like the "Little Caesar's Pizza Station" there. It's the best of the worst pizzas in town, and a 14-incher only costs $5. K-Mart is kind of a strange place. Once upon a time, it was the "bargain basement" store in town, and people put up with the low quality, imitation-brand merchandise because it was cheap. But then along comes Wal-Mart, and suddenly K-Mart is caught with their Wrangler's around their ankles. No longer are they the best bargain in town. Wal-Mart has blue-light specials on every item all the time.

So K-Mart hunkers down and retools. They can't really compete with Wal-Mart (who can?) so they start getting exclusives (like Joe Boxer and the Martha Stewart stuff) and tries to serve the middle ground with good merchandise as decent prices. But it's a crowded field, because there are a lot of stores in that arena. I don't shop K-Mart very often because my favorite store in that space is Target (nothing personal, I just prefer their stuff).

So when I get to K-Mart, I order my pizza and then go shopping while I wait for it to cook. Most of the bargain shoppers frequent Wal-Mart, but you still get an occasional penny-pincher.

Like yesterday.

I make my way back to the grocery aisle so I can get some Pop-Tarts on sale (3 for $5) and find an older woman on her hands and knees, spreading out boxes of crackers on the floor. At first I think that she fell while carrying an arm-load of crackers, so I run up to see if I can help. But she waves me away and says that she's "doing fine". This puzzles me greatly, because none of the boxes are marked with prices and there's no special offers printed on any of them. The price is on the shelf. And then I realize what's happening... she is actually looking at the UPC codes and comparing them. At least I think that's what it happening. I guess that she thinks a UPC code with a lower number would be cheaper?

I suppose I should have found a way to explain it to her, but she made it clear that she didn't want my help. I still have no idea what was going through her head. A part of me hopes that wide-scale deployment of RFID technology is a ways off yet, because I can't imagine what this woman is going to do once price tags AND UPC codes aren't used anymore. She won't have anything to look for.

Anyway...

Here it is... the final "Lost Blogs" entry is now up over at DaveSpace! Click here to read it!

Those of you wanting to make guesses as to my "lost blogger's" identity should send me an email at the address in my sidebar. Comments with guesses will not be approved! The "main prize" has already been won, but everybody who sends me a correct guess between now and midnight Seattle time (PST) will be entered in a runner-up prize giveaway for a free Blogography T-shirt. But remember the rules... you only get ONE GUESS... so make sure you're sure about who it is before contacting me, because any subsequent guesses by the same person will be tossed out. Good luck!

If you want to learn more about Pauly's book (or pre-order a copy), visit The Lost Blogs site!

Categories: DaveLife 2006, Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Lost Blogging: FINALE!

Posted on Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Dave!The identity of my "lost blogger" from this week is revealed and explained in an extended entry. Don't read any further unless you are totally stumped! If you are new to the game, and want to give it a try, read the introduction here and then the entries are here: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, Day Five. And for those 40 of you who entered a correct guess in the runner-up drawing, I'll be posting the T-shirt winner tomorrow (Sunday) after I've found somebody to draw a name out of a hat for me.

Thanks to Kevin for coming up with such a great idea, Pauly for writing The Lost Blogs book, and to all of you who participated. I had a lot of fun with the project. But the fun has only just begun here at Blogography! Starting Monday, it's another week of entirely new big fun...

Blogiversary III

And now... it's time for the reveal...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Memes 2006Click To It: Permalink  20 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Unwritten

Posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Dave!Well, The Lost Blogs Grassroots Blogger Marketing Campaign is now over, and I am exhausted. On top of having to write two entries every day, I also made daily rounds of the 40 blogs that were participating, which left little time for anything else. I have 63 non-spam emails in my in-box. I have hundreds of entries from the 224 web feeds I subscribe to that need to be read. A big chunk of my Easter Sunday is going to be spent in bed with my PowerBook just trying to get caught up.

But it was all worth it. I had a great time, and there were some very interesting reads among the participants. In fact, I dare say that I did not find a single one that didn't entertain or educate me in some way. On top of all that, lounging around in bed reading email and blogs isn't the worst way to spend the day.

And speaking of a good way to spend time, I went to see the film Thank You for Smoking and enjoyed it immensely...

Aaron Eckhart Thank You for Smoking

This is not a movie for everybody, but I was completely hooked in the opening minutes and was laughing out loud more than once during the film. The story revolves around Nick Naylor who is a lobbyist for big tobacco, and spends his days defending the right of people everywhere to smoke and get cancer. And though the movie features great guest spots by William H. Macy, Rob Lowe, and many others... the really interesting stuff happens when Nick is with his son. That's where you get to understand why Nick is the way he is and how he is able to do the things he does. It's in these moments that a one-note story with only superficial satire becomes a brilliant commentary on the human condition.

Most of the praise for how much I liked this movie can be placed on Aaron Eckhart, who's portrayal of Nick was note-perfect in every scene. He approaches each new situation with an almost child-like sense of wonder that never for a moment has you disliking the character despite the "morally flexibility" in things he does. Eckhart has a scene where Nick gets to fly on a private jet for the first time. Even though the scene itself does absolutely nothing to progress the story, Eckhart speaks volumes for his character in the way he reacts to this new environment. Just one of many magical moments that make Thank You for Smoking one of the best films I've seen in quite a while.

And, while I am on the subject of Aaron Eckhart, can I just say it's amazing how he can completely change from movie to movie? He's like a chameleon who has me struggling to see him as anything except the character he's being at the moment. From In The Company of Men to Erin Brockovich to Nurse Betty to Suspect Zero... he somehow manages to elevate even crappy films like Paycheck and The Core to watchable fare. I can't wait to see what he does next.

In other good news, James Bow was kind enough to send me a review copy of his new book The Unwritten Girl...

Unwritten Girl

Because of how much stuff I've got going on, I had thought I would just read a chapter or two so I could say something about the story here, then read the rest once I got caught up with everything.

But one chapter led to another, and I didn't stop until I had read the whole thing (and once you've read the book, you'll understand why that's kind of ironic!).

The Unwritten Girl is a terrific fantasy-adventure read that's categorized as "Young-Adult Fiction" but, like Harry Potter, can easily be enjoyed by anyone. It tells the story of a young girl named Rosemary whose brother (literally) becomes lost in a book, and it's up to her and a friend named Peter to try and rescue him. What follows is a clever blend of fantasy and reality that kept me turning pages until the very end.

One of the things that I enjoy about James' writing is how his character dialogue seems so natural. I had mentioned once how envious I was that it was so easy for him to create such "real" people, only to have him assure me that he works very hard to get it right. This makes me feel better about how difficult I find it to write good dialogue, but now I can't help but wonder if he was just saying that to make me feel better. The Unwritten Girl certainly makes it seem effortless! In any event, congratulation James for a job well done, and I am looking forward to your next book!

Categories: Books, Movies 2006Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary III… CELEBRATE with DAVE!

Posted on Monday, April 17th, 2006

Dave!Before I jump into it, I am happy to announce that I found somebody to help me draw a winner in the runner-up T-shirt drawing from the 41 correct guesses I received. Congratulations to Gary, who joins Firda and Alexis as the lost blogger winners! And thanks again to everybody who took a guess. If you didn't win, don't be too sad, because there will be plenty of new opportunities to win something this week. And on that note...

w00t! My blogiversary is here! Back when I started three years ago, I never thought things would come this far. Blogography began as a way to stay in touch with a half-dozen friends while I travel, but has turned into something much more (for anybody who is interested, I wrote all about my humble beginnings last blogiversary). Even more amazing to me than having lasted this long, is that so many have come along for the ride. Thanks to all of you who have made the past three years such a great experience!

And to mark this momentous occasion, it's time for the Blogiversary III Kick-Ass Celebration...

Blogiversary III

Over the next four days, I'll be giving away fabulous prizes valued at over ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS...

$1000, Bitches!

Yes, you read that correctly. Once again I'll be passing out loads of stuff that I think makes life worth living. I am giving back to you, dear reader, for all that you've given to me. So write yourself a note and don't forget to drop by every day for the next four days to check out all the cool crap you can win... and be sure to check back Sunday to see if you've won it!

Blogiversary Week

Good luck everybody!

And now it's time for the rules. You might want to take a minute to read them, because I'll be referring to this stuff each day...

Dave Approved!
All of the merchandise being given away is new and factory-sealed. This is not a bunch of crap that I don't want, but fresh copies of merchandise I already love and own. All prizes are offered "as-is" and I make no warranty or promise as to their contents or condition of arrival. Any problem you experience with the merchandise will need to be handled directly with the manufacturer. If necessary, you can request to have individual prizes removed from prize packages if you do not wish the item(s), or are living somewhere which prohibits the item(s).
   
Blogiversary Contest!
Last year, all you had to do was send an email in order to be entered into the drawings. This year, you're going to have to work for it! The final three day's prizes will be accompanied by a contest. In order to be entered in the drawing, you'll have to pass a little test first! HOWEVER... if you have left ten or more comments here between April 25th, 2005 and April 16th, 2006... you are automatically eligible to enter, and don't have to take a quiz at all. This is just my way of rewarding those of you who make my blog so much better by leaving comments (if you are unsure about how many comments you've left, just go to the search page, enter your commenter name in the search box, then select "search comments only" and count the results that fall within the dates given). Frequent commenters get other benefits as well, so stay tuned!
   
Prize Availability!
Some of the merchandise being offered as prizes is made-to-order, and will not be available until mid-May. NO PRIZES WILL BE SENT BEFORE THIS TIME! If you are expecting immediate shipment of your winnings after Blogiversary III Week, don't bother entering, because it ain't gonna happen. I will make every effort to send the prizes exactly as described or shown. However, if due to unforeseen circumstances I am forced to make a substitution, I reserve the right to do so. Sorry, but winners are not allowed to request a cash prize or make substitutions.
   
Winner Notification!
Winners will be announced here on Sunday, April 23rd using their first name and last initial. If you would prefer to be identified by a nick-name, it's not a problem... just let me know when you send in your entry. Winners will be notified via the return email address in their entry (please make sure your address is valid!).
   
Shipped to Order!
All of the larger prize packages (i.e., those valued at $50-$250 or more) include domestic shipping to the 48 States of the Continental USA via surface courier. If you live outside of the Continental USA, you can still enter the contests and drawings, but you will have to share in the shipping charges. Any amount above the cost of domestic shipment will be your responsibility. I will post estimated costs to different locations to try to help you decide whether it's worth it for you to enter. PLEASE DO NOT ENTER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO PAY YOUR SHARE OF THE SHIPPING COSTS! You are also responsible for any customs duties or taxes (if applicable). Insurance is not included in ANY shipment, so if you wish to insure your winnings, you have to pay for it yourself.
   
All rules are subject to change without notice

Sure I am wishing good luck to everybody, but I especially want you to win! Yes, you! Have fun.

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  60 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary III… STYLIN’ with DAVE!

Posted on Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Dave!  SORRY! VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! No new entries are being accepted.  

Every year I release a new T-shirt to celebrate my blogiversary. First there was the classic Blogography Logo T. This sublimely elegant piece of apparel is appropriate for even the most important occasions... from your wedding day to an audience with the Queen. Then came the Bad Monkey T. This cheeky statement of artistic vision is perfect for everything from dining with foreign dignitaries to making out with Paris Hilton. But one thing is for certain... no matter which shirt you choose, you're assured of being the best-dressed person in the room.

And now here we are a year later. So what's next?

I dunno. Why don't YOU tell ME?

This year I've got FOUR new Blogography designs, and it's up to YOU to vote for which one gets printed (close-ups of all four designs are in an extended entry)...

Shirt Vote!

And since you are the one making the hard decisions, you're probably asking yourself "what's in it for me?"

Good question! How about this...

Dave Ten Dollars!

Everybody who sends in a vote will receive a valuable $10 OFF coupon to purchase any reguarly-priced shirt from the Artificial Duck store. That means you can pick up a classic white shirt for just $4.95* (+ shipping)... or the new color shirt for just $6.95* (+shipping). And these ain't no crappy iron-on designs... no way! Each shirt is custom silk-screened on premium quality Hanes Beefy-T's for the ultimate in comfort and durability!

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Every voter will ALSO be entered in a drawing with TEN chances to win a FREE* T-shirt of your choice... all you pay is the shipping charges!

  SORRY! VOTING IS NOW CLOSED! No new entries are being accepted.  

It's almost too good to be true! So how do you vote? It's easy!

  1. Take a look at each design by clicking on the "extended entry" link below.
  2. Decide on which shirt you like best.
  3. Send an email to stylin@blogography.com with your vote (write your choice in the subject line).
  4. Sit back and watch democracy in action! The winning design and ten FREE T-SHIRT winners will be announced on Sunday, April 23rd!
  5. But HURRY... your vote must be received by Saturday, April 22nd at 9:00pm P.S.T. (Seattle time).

* Please note that this prize is for sizes S-XL. Larger sizes are available for an extra charge: 2XL is $1.00 extra, 3XL is $2.00 extra. Sizes bigger than 2X are not available in colors, but I'll be happy to print any design on a white shirt: 4XL is $3.00 extra, 5XL is $4.00 extra, 6XL is $5.00 extra.

Alrighty then! Take a look at the choices and get voting (one vote per person please!)...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  68 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary III… READ with DAVE!

Posted on Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Dave!TODAYS'S PRIZES: Books valued at over $200!

  SORRY! THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED! No new entries are being accepted.  

No matter how far technology advances, there is nothing that can quite compare to the old-fashioned experience of sitting down with a good book... you know, those things that have paper pages and require you to turn them to navigate the story?

When I first sat down to create a list of books that I love enough to include in this year's prizes, I quickly had 100 titles without even breaking a sweat. The first thing I did was remove the more obvious ones that people had probably either already read, or had heard of and decided not to read. I then went about choosing more eclectic books that would ensure a varied mix. Lastly, I thought that I would arrange a few surprises to make things interesting. What I ended up with was a pretty gosh-darn good list that I'm really happy with. Hopefully, you'll find something that piques your interest, because they're all worth reading...

READ with DAVE!

Ooooh... and this year there's something REALLY special happening...

READ with DAVE!

Instructions for how to enter this drawing are given in an extended entry, and you had better hurry! In order to enter you MUST enter before 9:00pm PST (Seattle time) TOMORROW (April 20th). Take a look at what you could win:

TODAY'S $150 "READ WITH DAVE" GRAND PRIZE INCLUDES...
   
B3 Blurred LineAUTOGRAPHED BY THE AUTHOR!!
The Unwritten Girl by James Bow.
An imaginative tale of fantasy for "young adults" that is a great read for "older adults" too. Rosemary must enter the Land of Fiction to save her brother who has, quite literally, become lost in a book! Visit the book's website here, and check out James' blog here. I have written more about The Unwritten Girl here. (Value: $12.99)
   
B3 Lost BlogsAUTOGRAPHED BY THE AUTHOR!!
The Lost Blogs by Paul Davidson.
Long before I had ever heard of Pauly or his highly entertaining blog, I was a big fan of his first book. Now he has a brand new book where he has tirelessly compiled scores of unearthed "lost blogs" of famous historical figures from Jesus to Jim Morrison! Learn more at The Lost Blogs website. (Value: $13.95)
   
B3 Blurred LineAUTOGRAPHED BY THE AUTHOR!!
Blurred Line by Cavan Terrill.
Cavan's cyberpunk novel Blurred Line, takes place in a 22nd century future where corporations have become governments, the net has become sentient, and androids are carving out their own future... free from the confines of their programming. Visit the Blurred Line website and Cavan's blog. (Value: $9.95)
   
B3 ShirtBlogography T-Shirt.
How could this prize possibly be complete without your choice of one shirt from the Artificial Duck store? Silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the best-dressed person in the room... Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
   
B3 Blurred LineLast Chance to See by Douglas Adams.
This bittersweet novel documents celebrated author Douglas Adams as he sets out to see some of the world's most endangered species before they disappear. Sometimes sad, but always amusing, this is an incredibly important book that everybody should read. Includes terrific photos by zooligist Mark Carwardine. Wikipedia has a good article on Last Chance to See here. (Value: $14.95)
   
B3 Blurred LineHitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
You'd hardly expect that a story about the end of the world could be funny, but here's proof that any subject can make you laugh in the hands of comedy writer Douglas Adams! I included this book, because I worry most people just watched the movie and are blissfully unaware at how much better the original is. Sometimes books are much better in your head than on the screen. (Value: $7.99)
   
B3 Blurred LineA Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.
I discovered Bill Bryson's work while stuck at an airport. After devouring his A Short History of Nearly Everything, I methodically tracked down and read every one of his books. He's probably the best travel writer I've ever read, and A Walk in the Woods is one of my favorites. Join Bryson as he hikes the length of the Appalachian Trail and laugh your ass off at the hilarity that ensues. (Value: $14.95)
   
B3 TarzanTarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Thanks to a series of crappy movies and crappier TV shows, most people have no idea how brilliant Tarzan is. All they remember is inane crap like "ME TARZAN, YOU JANE" and think he is some kind of grunting idiot that hangs out in the jungle with a monkey. The truth is shockingly different, and Tarzan of the Apes is a classic that everybody should read to know the true story. (Value: $4.95)
   
B3 A Princess of MarsA Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Edgar Rice Burroughs first story is a stunningly imaginative work that deftly combines elements of sci-fi, adventure, romance, and even a little mystery. Considering it was written in 1912, it was far ahead of its time too. Join Confederate soldier John Carter as he is transported to the planet Mars for the adventure of a lifetime. (Value: $6.50)
   
B3 Lost BlogsNoble House by James Clavell.
My favorite fiction novel ever, I have read Noble House at least a dozen times. Most famous for his book Shogun, Clavell crafts a huge story of contemporary Hong Kong that has a dizzying number of subplots to keep you occupied for hours. Exceedingly deep and complex, this novel has suspense, intrigue, espionage, romance, action and mystery so fascinating that you can't read it just once! (Value: $7.99)
   
B3 Blurred LineLightning by Dean Koontz.
Dean Koontz is best-known for his horror novels, which is a real shame... because Lightning gets ignored as "just another horror story" when it is anything but. It is actually a sci-fi time-travel novel with a nifty twist, and one of my favorite Koontz books. Every time I re-read it, I wonder why he doesn't write more sci-fi because he's really good at it! (Value: $7.99)
   
B3 Blurred LineWatchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
I loathe to have the label "comic book" applied to Watchmen, but that's pretty much what we're stuck with. This definitive graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons imagines what might happen if super-heroes existed in the real world rather than some goofy fictionalized version of it. The result is a breathtaking exploration of what comics could be, but rarely are. (Value: $19.99)
   
B3 Blurred LineThe Mighty Thor: Volume 2 by Walter Simonson.
I don't read comic books much anymore, but still like to pick up a graphic novel from time to time. Most recently, I've been re-reading all those great Thor stories by Walt Simonson, and thought that I would toss one into the mix. Volume 1 is sold out (and I ain't parting with mine!), so I've included a copy of Volume 2, jam-packed with Thunder-God action. (Value: $24.99)
   

And that's not all! This year you get two other chances to win...

TWO $25 "READ WITH DAVE" RUNNER-UP PRIZES INCLUDE...
   
B3 ShirtBlogography T-Shirt.
How could this prize possibly be complete without your choice of one shirt from the Artificial Duck store? Silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the best-dressed person in the room. (Value: $14.95 to $16.95).
   
B3 TarzanTarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Thanks to a series of crappy movies and crappier TV shows, most people have no idea how brilliant Tarzan is. All they remember is inane crap like "ME TARZAN, YOU JANE" and think he is some kind of grunting idiot that hangs out in the jungle with a monkey. The truth is shockingly different, and Tarzan of the Apes is a classic that everybody should read to know the true story. (Value: $4.95)
   
B3 A Princess of MarsA Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Edgar Rice Burroughs first story is a stunningly imaginative work that deftly combines elements of sci-fi, adventure, romance, and even a little mystery. Considering it was written in 1912, it was far ahead of its time too. Join Confederate soldier John Carter as he is transported to the planet Mars for the adventure of a lifetime. (Value: $6.50)
   

Now how cool is all that? Brilliant reads enough to keep you busy for months! Better enter now before time runs out...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2006, BooksClick To It: Permalink  44 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Interlude

Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Dave!Response to Blogiversary III has, so far, been very different than I expected. But in a good way. I couldn't be happier, so thanks everybody!

IMPORTANT!: Leaving a comment does NOT enter you in any of the contests! You MUST send an email as mentioned in the entry instructions!

Anyway, I thought maybe a hundred people would vote for T-shirts... on the outside. I get large numbers of "unique visitors" to my home page on a daily basis, but only a small fraction of them leave comments or participate in Blogography stuff in any way. Well, this morning I awoke to a total which is rapidly approaching 300. If everybody who voted turns in their $10 coupon for a shirt, that's $3000 I've given away right there! Well, not really... I'd crap myself if I had to pay out $3000 in cash... it's far less than that, but still a very surprising response. I am most pleased!

Zombieshirt

And yes, the "Zombies Ate My Brain" shirt is ahead in the voting by a fairly large margin. But, given the unexpected response, I might not wait a full year before offering another design. I guess I'll wait and see how many people actually end up turning in their coupon and getting a shirt.

The "READ with DAVE" giveaway reaction has been strange indeed. I created a quiz for everybody who hasn't left 10 comments and made it a requirement to enter the drawing. This was meant to reward those who contribute to my blog by allowing them to enter without the hassle. But here's the thing... most everyone (and I'm talking 80% or better) who isn't required to take the quiz is doing it anyway! Apparently, searching through my blog for answers to simple questions is big fun, and I wasn't expecting that. Yet only 72 people have entered. Part of the reason is because international readers don't want to pay shipping charges on a heavy box of books, but I think there is a fair amount of people who aren't entering simply because they don't want to take five minutes and search for quiz answers. Yet those who don't have to do it are doing it anyway? Interesting.

I get a lot of people who are writing notes to me in their email entries, and questioning whether or not I read them. The answer is yes... I read every single email entry I get! But with 350+ to sort through, I'm a bit behind just now.   :-)

See you in an hour with today's new prize giveaway!

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary III… LISTEN with DAVE!

Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2006

Dave!TODAYS'S PRIZES: $200 worth of music (and stuff)!

  SORRY! THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED! No new entries are being accepted.  

Coming up with a music prize is a very difficult thing to do. First of all, everybody has wildly different tastes. It's impossible to come up with a single solution that's going to make everybody happy. Second of all, if somebody likes a band, they're bound to have all their stuff already. So the challenge is to come up with something that isn't going to be too out of the mainstream, yet unique enough that people don't already own it. In the end, I simply selected stuff I like that I think can appeal to the widest audience without being too generic. Instructions for entering are in an extended entry.

Music!

And just in case the dumbasses at the RIAA are listening, these are all brand new CDs... I don't steal music...

B3 ShirtBlogography T-Shirt.
How could I possibly create any prize without including a rockin' Blogography T-shirt from the Artificial Duck Store? Lovingly silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the coolest cat in even the hottest clubs... Liz & Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
   
B3 a-haMinor Earth, Major Sky, by a-ha
Anybody who thinks that 80's pop band "a-ha" peaked with their hit Take on Me has absolutely no idea how wrong they are. The band went on to create some stunning albums that were never released in the USA because executives at record labels are dumbasses. Minor Earth, Major Sky is a mature, mellow work tempered with pop sensibility that results in some truly great songs. I get chills whenever such beautiful works as To Let You Win and I Wish I Cared get rotated into my shuffle play. But, to be completely honest, there's not a bad song in the bunch, and I never tire of listening to ANY of it. Who cares if it's a $25 import? Worth every penny! Since I can't give you a link to something THAT DOESN'T EXIST (at least for the American iTunes Music Store), I've put up a small MP3 snippet to whet your appetite: LetYouWin.mp3. (Value $25.49)
   
B3 a-haLifelines, by a-ha
This follow-up to Minor Earth, Major Sky would be perfect if not for one of the stupidest songs ever: Oranges on Apple Trees. If you can ignore this one blight on an otherwise superb CD, you're in for a treat. Time & Again is probably one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard, and Turn Down The Lights features a duet with Anneli Drekker that is so achingly beautiful that it sends a chill though me just thinking about it. Again, I would love to point USA readers to a link so you could buy it from the iTMS, but it's not there. Instead, I'm posting small snippets so you can hear a bit of what you're missing: TimeAndAgain.mp3 and TurnDownLights.mp3. (Value $15.49)
   
B3 The ShoreThe Shore, by The Shore
When I decided to do a "music day" for Blogiversary III, my first idea was to contact the management for The Shore and see if I could get a deal on 50 copies of their debut CD for prizes. But I didn't have enough time, and so I had to be content with including a copy of this brilliant work in the "LISTEN with DAVE" Grand Prize. Seriously though, I have no idea why this band isn't a mega-huge, chart-topping smash. They have a "classic rock" vibe to their music, and seem to be very much influenced by more modern bands like Coldplay and Oasis. I'd try to pick a favorite track but, with the exception of "Firefly" which is kind of a mess, I love them all equally. Even if you don't win this prize package, you should do yourself a favor and check out The Shore. If you are an iTunes user, here's a link for The Shote on the iTMS. (Value $11.99)
   
B3 FilterTitle of Record, by Filter
As any fan of Nine Inch Nails can tell you, there ain't no substitute for the real thing. Unfortunately, this leaves us high and dry while waiting for "major" new releases (it took SIX YEARS between The Fragile and With Teeth!). The auxiliary releases around each new album help, but it's the cohesive albums I like best. In some respects, this doesn't bother me, because I'd rather have a few awesome albums and a single here and there instead of frequent releases of crap. But it is a bit frustrating, and I'm always looking for something to fill the void. Of all the wannabes, Filter is my favorite (possibly because member Richard Patrick is a former member of the touring band). This second album is more of a departure from the Nine Inch Nails sound than the first, but the remaining influences are great. For those looking for lighter fare, Title of Record has a couple of mellow tracks (including the haunting Take a Picture). If you have iTunes, have a listen at the iTMS. (Value $11.99)
   
B3 Depeche ModeUltra, by Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode is one of those bands that I love so deeply that I fully admit to being biased toward liking most anything they do. But when it comes to Ultra, I don't have to put blinders on to appreciate it. This is, simply put, one of the best albums ever made, yet is somehow completely overlooked (even by Depeche Mode fans). Surprisingly, all this magic happened without musical genius Alan Wilder, who left DM after their mega-smash Violator album. Ultra is a very deep experience that is much darker and intense than previous efforts. My favorite song is probably Insight, but I loathe to choose just one. If you are an iTunes user, here's a link to this album on the iTMS. (Value $11.99)
   
B3 BrightmanDive, by Sarah Brightman
Whenever Celine Dion is praised for her vocal stylings, I laugh my ass off thinking of how she positively pales in comparison to Sara Brightman. Sure Celine was pretty good back before she started whoring herself out in Vegas, but she hasn't really broken any new ground in over a decade. Sarah Brightman, on the other hand, is a stage performer who is legendary for belting out sensual vocals in such plays as "The Phantom of the Opera", yet has an eerie ability to subdue herself to an almost ethereal presence when required. It doesn't hurt that she's scorching hot on top of it all. Dive (released in 1993) is a successful attempt to cross over into more pop-oriented themes, and remains a favorite of mine when I want to mellow out. If you've got iTunes, here's a link to the album on the iTMS (if you go, be sure to check out her cover of Queen's Who Wants to Live Forever and, for a really good laugh, take a listen to her version of Don't Cry Argentina and marvel how Madonna ever had the balls to even attempt it). (Value $11.99)
   
B3 Lost BlogsGreatest Hits, by the Psychedelic Furs
This is one of those "one hit wonders" who never achieved wide-spread success outside of one major hit (Pretty in Pink). This is quite a shame, because there was some great stuff in their back-catalog, and they then went on to do some even more brilliant music. My iPod has such minor hits as Love My Way, Heaven, The Ghost In You, Heartbreak Beat, and Until She Comes in heavy rotation, and dearly wish that The Furs would come out with a new album. (Value $11.99)
   

And, just in case you aren't lucky enough to nab the "big prize", there's two other chances to win...

TWO $40 "LISTEN WITH DAVE" RUNNER-UP PRIZES INCLUDE...
   
B3 ShirtBlogography T-Shirt.
How could I possibly create any prize without including a rockin' Blogography T-shirt from the Artificial Duck Store? Lovingly silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the coolest cat in even the hottest clubs... Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
   
B3 a-haMinor Earth, Major Sky, by a-ha
Anybody who thinks that 80's pop band "a-ha" peaked with their hit Take on Me has absolutely no idea how wrong they are. The band went on to create some stunning albums that were never released in the USA because executives at record labels are dumbasses. Minor Earth, Major Sky is a mature work tempered with pop sensibility that results in some truly great songs. I get chills whenever such beautiful works as To Let You Win and I Wish I Cared get rotated into my shuffle play. But, to be completely honest, there's not a bad song in the bunch, and I never tire of listening to ANY of it. Who cares if it's a $25 import? Worth every penny! Since I can't give you a link to something THAT DOESN'T EXIST (at least for the American iTunes Music Store), I've put up a few MP3 snippets to whet your appetite: ToLetYouWin.mp3 and IWishICared.mp3. (Value $25.49)
   

And there you have it, enough music to put a dent in your iPod! Better get that entry in quickly...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2006, Music 2006Click To It: Permalink  33 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary III… WATCH with DAVE!

Posted on Friday, April 21st, 2006

Dave!TODAYS'S PRIZES: $290 worth of DVDs (and stuff)!

  SORRY! THIS DRAWING IS NOW CLOSED! No new entries are being accepted.  

Coming up with prizes for a blogiversary celebration is a difficult task. Not only do you run the risk of picking out stuff that people don't want, but you have to make your prize world-friendly. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done. Last year I did a food entry, and found out export of food items is prohibited to many countries. Books are heavy, so shipping is expensive. And when it comes to videos... well, that's the toughest of all. DVDs are "region encoded", which mean that they don't play outside of the area you bought them. Last year, I thought I would fix this by including both a DVD and a VHS videotape for each movie. Little did I know, this was even more stupid, because video formats are different around the world too. Apparently there's no real solution.

So unfortunately, if you live outside of "Region 1" (the USA and Canada), you won't be able to watch any of today's prize-winning DVDs unless you have a "region-free" DVD player. Sorry, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it. Please keep all this in mind if you live outside the USA and Canada and decide to enter. Though, I must say, this collection of brilliant video may well be worth tracking down a region-free player to watch...

B3 Watch Dave

Sweet! And away we go...

TODAY'S $200 "WATCH WITH DAVE" GRAND PRIZE INCLUDES...
   
B3 ShirtBlogography T-Shirt
Even the best movie or television show pales in comparison to how cool you are when wearing a sweet Blogography T-shirt! Artfully silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the best-dressed person in the room... Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
   
B3 Veronica MarsVeronica Mars: The Complete First Season
Yeah, big surprise considering I feel Veronica Mars is the best show on television. Period. The only show I've ever enjoyed more was another Rob Thomas creation, Jeremy Piven's Cupid. And to think I almost passed it up because I had thought it was going to be yet another high school drama crapfest. But NOOOOoooo! Veronica Mars is smart, funny, brilliant television with the best mysteries of any show yet seen. Veronica is a typical student at uber-posh Neptune High, until the murder of her best friend turns her world upside down. Now she helps her father run a private investigation office, all while helping her friends at school, and always trying to solve the biggest mystery of all: who killed Lilly Kane? Every episode is a piece of a bigger puzzle, with the ultimate solution so good that you'll be compelled to watch every episode all over again top spot the clues you missed. Highest possible recommendation. (Value: $49.95)
   
B3 WonderfallsWonderfalls: The Complete Series
As if to prove that ABC isn't the only television network that can destroy a brilliant television show with incompetent scheduling and marketing... FOX decided to screw one of the freshest, most interesting show they've ever had: Wonderfalls. Jaye Tyler is uninspired and going nowhere in life. She passes her time by working in a gift shop at Niagara Falls and avoiding meaningful interaction with people at all costs. But when inanimate objects start speaking to her, she's forced to get involved with not only her family, but complete strangers as well. Featuring funny, biting humor that's anchored by an amazing cast, Wonderfalls is must-see television that very few people got to see. (Value $39.95)
   
B3 South ParkSouth Park: The Complete Second Season
South Park is one of those shows you either love or hate. You either appreciate it as some of the smartest, guttiest, satire of pop culture ever created... or condemn it as a crappily-animated cartoon with four foul-mouthed kids that should be banned from the air. Me? I love it for both reasons! The second season of South Park is probably one of my most favorite, mostly because it contains an episode devoted entirely to Terrance & Philip, who are probably my favorite animated characters ever. Sure this isn't a show for everybody, but if you can get past the potty humor, foul language, and sometimes disgusting antics... it remains brilliant commentary on just about everything going on in the world today. (Value: $49.95)
   
B3 Cinema ParadisoCinema Paradiso: The Director's Expanded Edition
I can't stand romance movies. They're all so lame and cliched... with sappy dialogue and often totally unrealistic premises. Only rarely do I ever see a romance film that's worth a crap, and most of the time it's because they have something else to offer. And most of those films are foreign (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon being excellent examples). And so we come to Cinema Paradiso. This film tells the story of Toto, a young boy growing up in a small village in war-torn Italy. With his father gone, Toto turns to the projectionist at the local theater for guidance. He quickly develops a love for movies, which become the driving passion in his life. But as Toto grows up, he finds that movies don't have all the answers when it comes to love and life. Easily one of my favorite films of all time, Cimena Paradiso is a rare movie romance that works on every possible level. The DVD contains TWO versions of the film... the original, and an extended version that has a revelation so shocking that it completely changes the meaning of the movie. I recommend watching the original (shorter) edit first, because it would be difficult to feel the same about some of the characters if you watched the extended cut first. (Value: $14.95)
   
B3 Clerks AnimatedClerks, The Complete Animated Series: Uncensored
In counting the ways that ABC television has screwed brilliant television shows because of rampant stupidity, the animated Clerks series would occupy at least five spots... probably more. It is well-made, highly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny (basically, everything you want in a cartoon). I had my doubts that a fairly vulgar movie like Clerks could ever be adequately adapted for network television, but Kevin Smith somehow managed to do it, and do it well. At the core of Clerks is two guys stuck in a dead-end job who stopped caring about it long ago... now they're just trying to make it through another day. Hilarity ensues. Watch it now as preparation for Clerks II, coming this summer! (Value: $14.95)
   
B3 Veronica MarsBedazzled
This movie stars the incomparable Elizabeth Hurley as the Devil. What more do you really need to know? As an added bonus, this is actually a really good film... filled with all the things that make life worth living: Liz being funny, Liz being sexy, Liz being cute, Liz being naughty, and Liz in a bikini. If that weren't enough, there's also a positive life message to wrap it all up. If you haven't seen this movie yet, then I fear for your immortal soul. (Declared Value: $9.95. Actual Value: Priceless)
   

And, as if that weren't enough, you've got two other chances to win if the Grand Prize eludes you...

TWO $45 "WATCH WITH DAVE" RUNNER-UP PRIZES INCLUDE...
   
B3 ShirtBlogography T-Shirt
Even the best movie or television show pales in comparison to how cool you are when wearing a sweet Blogography T-shirt! Artfully silk-screened by hand on high-quality Hanes Beefy-T shirts, these Blogography-inspired masterpieces are comfortable, durable, and are guaranteed to make you the best-dressed person in the room... Dave not included! (Value: $14.95 to $16.95)
   
B3 Cinema ParadisoCinema Paradiso: The Director's Expanded Edition
I can't stand romance movies. They're all so lame and cliched... with sappy dialogue and often totally unrealistic premises. Only rarely do I ever see a romance film that's worth a crap, and most of the time it's because they have something else to offer. And most of those films are foreign (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon being excellent examples). And so we come to Cinema Paradiso. This film tells the story of Toto, a young boy growing up in a small village in war-torn Italy. With his father gone, Toto turns to the projectionist at the local theater for guidance. He quickly develops a love for movies, which become the driving passion in his life. But as Toto grows up, he finds that movies don't have all the answers when it comes to love and life. Easily one of my favorite films of all time, Cimena Paradiso is a rare movie romance that works on every possible level. The DVD contains TWO versions of the film... the original, and an extended version that has a revelation so shocking that it completely changes the meaning of the movie. I recommend watching the original (shorter) edit first, because it would be difficult to feel the same about some of the characters if you watched the extended cut first. (Value: $14.95)
   
B3 Clerks AnimatedClerks, The Complete Animated Series: Uncensored
In counting the ways that ABC television has screwed brilliant television shows because of rampant stupidity, the animated Clerks series would occupy at least five spots... probably more. It is well-made, highly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny (basically, everything you want in a cartoon). I had my doubts that a fairly vulgar movie like Clerks could ever be adequately adapted for network television, but Kevin Smith somehow managed to do it, and do it well. At the core of Clerks is two guys stuck in a dead-end job who stopped caring about it long ago... now their just trying to make it through another day. Hilarity ensues. Watch it now as preparation for Clerks II, coming this summer! (Value: $14.95)
   

Prizes so good, I almost wish that I could enter this one myself! To see how YOU can enter, read onward...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Blogiversary III… SCAM with DAVE!

Posted on Friday, April 21st, 2006

Dave!Want to know the best thing about my Kick-Ass Blogiversary III Celebration? Not the fact that I get to have some fun promoting my favorite books, music, and movies. Not the fact that I get to share cool new T-shirts with Blogography readers (at below-cost, I might add). And certainly not the fact that it's just a way to say "thanks" to everybody who has kept me blogging in the first place. Oh no! The REAL reason that I love it is because of all the wonderful people who have sent me such kind, encouraging emails!

My favorite was from the laughably misnamed chuckle-head "The Real Dave" who wrote to congratulate me on the clever scam I am running to steal email addresses so I can sell them to spammers! Here is my reply...

Dude! you SO got me all figured out! I mean, never mind the THREE YEARS I spent building up a reputation with Blogography... I am all about the scam now! Seriously, do you KNOW how much money that spammers will pay for a fresh email address? Well neither do I, but a quick Google search shows that I can buy 100,000 names for just $20, so I am guessing that I can get TWO WHOLE PENNIES for the hundreds of names I scammed! Wow... and here I thought all those people claiming to make money on the internet were full of shit! Yet here I am making 2¢ in just a week! And just think... another one-thousand-two-hundred-and-sixty-eight years of this, and I can retire! Woohoo!
   
Since you were the only one brilliant enough to uncover my secret plan, THREE YEARS IN THE MAKING, I feel it's only fair that I share my profits with you. Please forward you address in all haste, and I'll get that penny right out to you!! You sir, are a frickin' GENIUS!!

But that wasn't enough. He wrote back again to tell me "nice try" and that anybody can take pictures of crap from Amazon and claim to have prizes... I'm not showing any REAL merchandise and so this is just a scam. Here is my reply...

OMFG, DUDE! You have just so totally blown the lid off of my Master Plan! Congratulations, because you are the Austin Powers to my Dr. Evil... THERE REALLY IS NO MERCHANDISE! Ha ha ha ha haaaaa! SUCKERS!! Please let me know when you run for president, because you totally have my vote for reals!

So, to everybody who entered, I thought I would just let you know that this was all an elaborate scam before you have to hear it on FOX News or something. I threw away THREE YEARS and sold you all out for 2¢, and it was totally worth it! And, to all of you who haven't entered yet, please continue to send in those emails! Who knows, if enough of you fall for this, I may get a whole 3¢ when this all ends on Saturday!

Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go listen to my three new a-ha import CDs of Major Earth, Minor Sky... ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! BWAAH HA HA HAAAAH!

Major Skies Trio

This is almost as good as the gal who wrote to tell me she hated my blog and its "nihilistic world view", but then proceeded to enter all the drawings! You rock girl! I so hope that you win!

Sometimes being an evil scamming genius is SO rewarding!

UPDATE: This just in from the peanut gallery: "I'm famous! In the interest of fairness you should tell your readers that I asked if you were selling email addresses to spammers. Asking is different than accusing. - The Real Dave". Touche my suspicious new best friend. Touche. And the answer is "yes!" Yes I AM selling email addresses to spammers... starting with yours. Those penis enlargement emails should start arriving any day now...

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  44 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Defiance

Posted on Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Dave!Today is the penultimate day of Blogiversary III Celebration week! And while I wait for 9:00pm to arrive, I am taking my life in my own hands by defying a goddess.

This is not an easy thing to do, especially considering that the goddess in this instance is the charming, talented, and scorching hot Liz, who I love more than Coke with Lime (and if you've been reading Blogography for any length of time, you know that's quite a lot). Today on Everyday Goddess, Liz takes issue with people who do not properly enclose punctuation within quote marks:

Witness The Horror:
   
        He likes to call it "the muff".
   
Now what, WHAT, is going on with that period? See how sad and lonely? See how ridiculous and downright FLOATING-OUT-IN-THE-MIDDLE-OF-NOWHERE it looks?

You can read the whole story here, and I agree that she is 100% correct. Every rule book tells you that periods and commas should be enclosed within the quotes just as she says. It drives me crazy too.

But, alas, I refuse.

At least I do when I am writing for the web.

When I am writing for PRINT, where letter forms are spaced properly, and I am in control of kerning, tracking, and leading, then I do indeed follow the proper grammatical rules. Because in print, I know that it will turn out looking as it should...

Quoteprint

See that? See the beautiful way that the the end-quote floats ABOVE the period in that sentence? She how wonderful it is that you can understand perfectly that the quote is a part of the text? But look at what we get when we try the same thing on the web...

Quotenet

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! That end-quote might as well be in another Zip code! By the time I finally get to it FLOATING WAY OVER THERE, I've forgotten that it even went with the sentence that preceded it! In fact, it is SO removed from things that, to me at least, it looks as though you are starting a NEW quote!!

That drives me even MORE insane than doing it the wrong way...

Quotenet2

Ah! There we go! The quote is actually next to the text as it should be, and all is right with the world!

So, until typography on the web moves out of the stone age, I will continue to violate the rules because it looks better to me. And also because a very wise person told me THERE ARE NO RULES IN BLOGGING.

And, with this in mind, I do a lot of things I shouldn't. Like using boatloads of unnecessary ellipses everywhere (those are the "..." dots you see way too much here). And not omitting the final comma in a list. And starting sentences with prepositions. And using run-on sentences for dramatic effect. And dozens of other things I do wrong so as to express myself as I want.

So my sincerest apologies to Liz, because I love her more than buttered toast (and if you've been reading Blogography for any length of time, you know that's quite a lot) but I remain in defiance of a rule that makes my blog look yucky.

(But I do work hard to not confuse "their" with "they're" and "your" with "you're" because that crap drives me nuts!)

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  50 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary III… ANSWERS with DAVE!

Posted on Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Dave!Woo hoo! Alrighty then. It is now 9:00pm PST, which means all Blogiversary III contests are now closed for entries. Many thanks to everybody who entered this week, and thanks again for helping to make this blogiversary celebration the best yet!

So what happens now?

Well, since I strive for fairness in the drawings, I won't be doing anything except printing out a complete list of everybody who entered each contest and handing it over to an impartial third party to pick the names out of a hat. I'll then record each name and work up a winner's list that will be posted tomorrow afternoon.

Best of luck everybody!

Oh, and for those of you who are curious to know the answers to all of the quizzes, I've put them into an extended entry (along with where to find them)... → Click here to continue reading this entry...

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Blogiversary III… WINNING with DAVE!

Posted on Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Dave!TIME TO CELEBRATE! Okay then, all the contests for the Blogiversary III Kick-Ass Online Celebration have been closed. Thanks again to everybody who participated!

YOU ARE A WINNER! Anybody who voted or entered in a competition will get $10 off any regularly-priced T-shirts from the Artificial Duck Store (shipping not included) so, when you look at it that way, everybody wins!

Okay... here I go... when I return, I'll have a list of the winners!

$1000, Bitches!

And I'm back! Congratulations to everybody who nabbed a prize! I tried to use commenter names, where they exist (and if I could find them), but all winners will be receiving an email confirmation later today in case there is any confusion.

READ with DAVE!

  • READ GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Apricoco.
  • READ RUNNER-UP PRIZE #1: Run Jen Run.
  • READ RUNNER-UP PRIZE #2: Jonathan W.

LISTEN with DAVE!

  • LISTEN GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Chase.
  • LISTEN RUNNER-UP PRIZE #1: Pauly D.
  • LISTEN RUNNER-UP PRIZE #2: Hannah.

WATCH with DAVE!

  • WATCH GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Jodi F.
  • WATCH RUNNER-UP PRIZE #1: Chanakin.
  • WATCH RUNNER-UP PRIZE #2: Nicole A.

STYLIN' with DAVE
The following ten winners get a FREE T-shirt (not including shipping charges) from the Artificial Duck Store...

  • Cat J. W.
  • Kilax.
  • Marc Z.
  • MichaelSean.
  • Ninja Poodles.
  • Heather H.
  • Therese N.
  • Chaz L.
  • Mikey M.
  • Wade L.

And the T-shirt which got the most votes? Yeah, it ended up being "Zombies Ate My Brain" by quite a margin...

Shirtwinz

From the surprising number of voters who turned out, every design actually got enough votes to be printed... even for just a limited edition run (which I could offer at discount). Depending on how many people respond to the $10 OFF deal, I may end up having other designs printed too.

HOW WINNERS WERE SELECTED: A list of everybody who entered each contest was printed out on little cards. These cards were cut apart, dropped into a plastic bucket, and shaken thoroughly. I then had somebody who has absolutely no association with Blogography draw names. This was repeated for each contest. After the READ, LISTEN, and WATCH prize winners had been drawn, their names were removed from the T-shirt drawing to maximize the number of winners we get (no need to be greedy, since they've already won a T-shirt anyway!).

I'M A WINNER! NOW WHAT? Your winning entry will be confirmed via email with instructions on how to claim your prize. The new shirts will not be printed until mid-May, so prizes will be shipped after that time. Those receiving a $10 OFF coupon will be receiving a confirming email when the Artificial Duck Store re-opens on Wednesday so they can pre-order their shirt choice.

THAT'S A WRAP! Though the original idea was to come up with $1000 in prizes to give away, response to the T-shirt vote exceeded my wildest dreams. If everybody who voted claims their $10 OFF Coupon, the prizes given away this year end up totaling just over $4000. I cannot imagine what will happen for Blogiversary IV. One thing I am considering for next year is having more smaller prizes instead of putting so much money into the Grand Prizes. This way, more people would win... but the down-side is that my shipping costs would increase by quite a lot. Hmmm... something to think about over the next year!

Thanks again everybody!

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  40 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Porn

Posted on Monday, April 24th, 2006

Dave!As great as Blogiversary III has been, I am secretly relieved that it is all over. Usually a blog entry only takes about 10 minutes for me to write up (20-25 at the most if I decided to draw a cartoon), but the past two weeks of "Lost Bloging" and "Blogiversary" antics have taken HOURS out of every day that I am very glad to have back. After all, I've got a box full of Batman Lego that's not going to put itself together.

Drawing this year's prize winners was more painful than last time. I consider many of those who entered to be my friends, and it kills me that everybody can't win something fantastic. I guess that's why I don't have the guts to draw the names myself, and have to get somebody else to do it. I am such a weenie. I need to either stop caring, or become a billionaire. Anyway, thanks to everybody for their kind words... win or lose.

And now for the thing you've all been waiting for since seeing the title of this entry. It's time for porn!

Well, kind of...

Dave Stripper

Every once in a while I get some kind of porn catalog in my mailbox. I think I owe this to Bad Robert, who signed me up for something a year ago as a joke. Its an automatic habit to toss this stuff in the garbage, because once you've seen one porn catalog you've pretty much seen them all. So this weekend while I was sorting through my mail, I ran across a Priority Mail envelope with porn stuff inside and tossed it. But after I had thrown it away, I noticed that something was different. A second look showed me that it was NOT a porn catalog.

It was a job offer.

And, before you let your mind wander off in a totally wrong direction, let me clarify that.

It was NOT an offer for me to appear in porn. Sure I have a great ass, but I don't think anybody would want to see me in anything porn-related. No, it was a job offer to do some graphic design work for a porn company. A guy I used to work with had forwarded it to me to see if I was interested.

And if I wasn't so totally backlogged, I would seriously consider it.

But even though I decided I couldn't take the job, I did decide to take a look through the promotion kit. And it was then that I noticed something entirely shocking... women are not the only ones who are practicing "nether-region landscaping". Apparently male porn stars are now enamored with the idea of shaving everything down to a 1-inch square. Like a penis soul-patch or something.

That's some bizarre shit right there.

Yet another compelling reason to stick to more "porn-efficient" all-lesbian action, I suppose.

And, in a segue I never thought I'd be making... we go from porn to Betty White erotica.

Well, kind of...

Peterotica

Family Guy had a brilliant appearance by Betty last night. Once again, she totally kicked ass and stole the show. Whoever thought to cast her as the "books on tape" reader for Peter's erotic novel is a genius. I maintain that Betty White should make guest appearances on ALL television shows. And can somebody tell me why Disney/Pixar hasn't cast her as the voice of a cartoon character yet? Betty rules...

Welcome to Peterotica on tape! I'm Betty White reading The Hot Chick Who Was Italian, or maybe Some Kind of Spanish by Peter Griffin. Chapter One: "Oh God you should have seen this one hot chick. She was totally Italian. Or maybe some kind of Spanish...."

Along the way, we also find out that Stewie is a Mac user, and are treated to an appearance by the pre-penis-weilding Kool-Aid man. I love that show.

   

Shuckydarn!

Posted on Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Dave!I wish I had a dollar for every time I've dropped the F-Bomb today.

Nothing, and I mean nothing has gone right today. On top of all that, my internet connection has been flakey (at best), so being able to catch up on email and the various blogs I enjoy has been an exercise in futility. At first I was blaming my DSL connection, but now it looks like it must be my piece-of-crap DSL/wireless hub that's the problem.

I am very close to soaking it in gasoline and lighting it on fire... but I'm fairly certain that this would void my warranty.

And so I spend my time swearing instead...

Dave Fuck

And to top it all off, I get a call from Bad Robert informing me that a friend of ours whom we haven't seen in months had died back in February (isn't it time that they invent a cure for cancer?). He was an incredibly generous and decent human being, and it makes me sad to know that somebody like him is gone from this earth.

Robert then goes on a rant for ten full minutes about how he wishes that he would win a billion dollars so that he could quit his job and devote the rest of his life to hunting down spammers and killing them. It almost makes me wish that I had a billion dollars to give him.

After I hang up the phone, I call another one of our friends to let her know about the death, only to learn that she lost her job last Friday. Her position has been outsourced. This leads me to wonder if there is any job that WON'T be outsourced in the near-future. I picture a day when you pull up to a McDonald's drive-through and somebody from India answers on the speaker-box. Tech-sector jobs (which we were all told would be the future of employment in America) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Pretty soon the only job left will be for lawyers, and then everybody will spend their time suing each other to make a living. Sounds like Utopia to me.

Ack.

Internet connection willing, I hope to have the Artificial Duck Store open again tomorrow night. Then everybody can pre-order their $10-off shirts and be blissfully happy.

Hey, given what happened today, I fully believe "happiness" is an entirely relative term.

   

Reboot

Posted on Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Dave!This morning I got a phone call from a fellow designer who wanted advice on how to best run a straight pattern around the edge of a circle. There are many ways to approach this challenge, but I told her my favorite way is to dice the design into pieces and turn the pieces into a font. Then you simply type the pieces around a circle. It's a lot of work, but it gives you the most flexibility.

After thanking me for the help, the conversation took a curious turn...

Samantha: So what are you going to do for CSS Reboot this year?
   
Dave: Uhhh... what's that?
   
Sam: It's a redesign for you web site using web standards.
   
Dave: Ah, well my blog is already standards-based.
   
Sammy: Yeah, but you've had the same design forever. Don't you want to try something new?
   
Dave: Not really.
   
Sam-O: Well that's disappointing.

And I suppose that deep down it's disappointing to me too. With the exception of adding rotating cartoon headers, changing the background to black, and adding tabs... the design for Blogography is pretty much the same as it's always been...

Oldblogography

But here's the problem... I like it exactly how it is now. It's clean, simple, and allows the content to have prominence. About the only thing I would change would be to add "MaxWidth" to prevent everything from getting too spread out on really wide displays. But Internet Explorer doesn't handle it properly, so I guess there's nothing to be done.

So, to everybody who is bored with my design, I'm sorry to report that I won't be changing it any time soon.

Doesn't everybody read their blogs via web feed anyway?

Categories: Blogging 2006Click To It: Permalink  38 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Toast

Posted on Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Dave!Lily was dismayed to find out that the bread for her peanut butter and jelly sandwich was slightly stale. Since she preferred her bread soft and squishy, this was a deal-breaker. Complaining to her mother did no good at all. Mother abhorred waste and insisted that the old loaf be finished off before a fresh loaf was eaten. This left Lily with two options... A) Suck it up and make her peanut butter and jelly sandwich with bread that was slightly tough around the edges. B) Forgo the peanut butter and jelly sandwich until some other family member (preferably her mean older brother) finished the stale loaf, thus allowing her to open a new one.

Lily chose option C because A was unacceptable and B would take too long.

OPTION C:
Lily's grandmother had once told her that a slice of bread in the cookie jar would freshen cookies that were going stale. Applying this logic to her present situation, she opened the fresh loaf, removed a slice of deliciously soft bread, and then put it in with the old loaf. She didn't know how long it would take for the new slice to magically freshen the old bread, but she hoped it would work out before her cartoons started 45 minutes from now. Satisfied with her cleverness, the girl scampered off to do whatever it is that little girls do.

Lily's mother was not even a little surprised at the curious bread situation when she went to make her own sandwich soon after. Her daughter had always been a precocious child, even if she wasn't very bright.

Davebread

Any time now, the Washington State Supreme Court is expected to release a ruling on whether we become the second state to legalize same-sex marriage. Needless to say, this has many people up-in-arms.

Personally, I don't understand what the big deal is. I've already said my peace on the subject, and my opinion hasn't changed. So, if you haven't already, click here to go read that entry before you go any further. Don't worry, I'll wait.

Okay then.

Now maybe you can help me figure out why people against same-sex marriage look at everything backwards and somehow assume that adding this fresh new slice to their crusty old marriage loaf is going to ruin their staleness?

I don't get it. Everywhere you turn, somebody is going off about how this is going to "destroy marriage". Given current divorce statistics, I find this to be a hysterical argument. Almost as funny as the fact that nobody seems to protest when two atheists get married (just so long as they both don't have a penis). And if two atheists can get married by the Justice of the Peace in a non-religious ceremony and nobody feels threatened enough to give a crap, then how can you take same-sex marriage any less seriously? If Michael Jackson can marry Lisa Marie Presley, then I say ANYBODY should be allowed to get married.

Because in a very short amount of time, this new slice of bread is going to have all the moisture sucked out of it and end up being just as stale as the rest of the loaf status-quo. Nothing magically changes for the old slices... they're going to be just as stagnant as they've always been. All you really end up with is a more interesting loaf of bread that had momentary delusions of freshness.

And isn't delusions of freshness what this country is supposed to be all about?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that there's an uproar. The same thing happened when a slice of wheat bread was added to the loaf. Then again with the sourdough. Then again with the rye. Then again with the multi-grain. Why should adding a slice of cinnamon-raisin-swirl be any different?

Oh great. Now I'm hungry for toast...

Categories: News - Politics 2006Click To It: Permalink  37 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

OMFGBATMANLEGO!

Posted on Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Dave!With all the DSL problems I've been having lately, I've suddenly got more time to get caught up on important stuff. LIKE BATMAN LEGO!!

Batman Lego is hella-cool! Right now there are four Bat-tastic sets you can choose from. The Bat-Dragster is a bit lame (although it does come with Catwoman on her Cat-Cycle), but the other three rock!

There's Bat-Plane...

Batplane

And Bat-Mobile...

Batmobile

And Bat-Boat...

Batboat

And, of course, you get little Bat-People to to populate your Bat-Universe. Depending on which set you buy, your get a Two-Face, Killer Croc, Joker, or Catwoman. Of course you also get a flavor of Batman. Bat-Mobile comes with the all-black Tim Burton-type Batman. All the others come with comic book grey & black type Batman...

Batpeople

But all is not golden in Bat-Lego world.

Sure these toys are great to look at... but they're fragile as heck. You can barely touch them without having something fall off or bust apart. So, if you want to put them on a shelf and look awesome, Bat-Lego are for you. But if you want to run around the house and actually play with them... well... it's a bit of a challenge.

Or so I would guess.

I mean, it's not like I go running around the house playing with my Bat-Lego!

Of course not!

I mean, seriously. A grown man running around playing with Lego! How silly would that be!

Bah.

   

VRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!

Categories: LEGOClick To It: Permalink  24 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

IN-DEPTH REPORT: Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts

Posted on Friday, April 28th, 2006

Dave!Ever since I read that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are being released over at Timothy's blog, I've wanted them. Days of searching at local grocery stores turned up nothing, and so I started telling everybody I know to help me look. My Hello-Kitty Pop-Tart search eventually involved a dozen people in four states. Finally, after I had reached suicidal-levels of despair that I would never find Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, my mom found them at the local Fred Meyer (hey, you really do "find it at Freddies!").

Behold the grandeur that is Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts...

Hellokittypoptarts1

BACKGROUND: I've long held a fascination with Hello Kitty, but not in the way you are probably thinking (i.e., I don't have my bedroom decorated in Hello Kitty merchandise, nor do I wear Hello Kitty clothing). Nope, my obsession stems from two things: 1) My love of Japan from my travels there, and 2) The elegant simplicity that defines the "Hello Kitty Look". As you might guess, Hello Kitty was a big influence when creating my cartoon persona...

Davehellokitty

HISTORY: Hello Kitty was created in 1974 by Sanrio graphic designer Ikuko Shimizu as one in a line of several "characters" for the company. Her popularity eventually escalated her to near cult status, and she is easily one of the most well-known Japanese exports of the last couple of decades. Remaining popular both in Japan and abroad, Hello Kitty can be found on everything from toys and stationery to toilet paper and vibrators. There is some question as to whether Hello Kitty was inspired by Dutch cartoon icon "Miffy" (created 1955 by Dick Bruna), but most people have written this off as a coincidence.

ASSOCIATES: Hello Kitty is often found in the company of her many friends, including Cathy the bunny, Tim & Tammy the monkeys, Tippy the bear, and (ironically) her pet cat Charmmy Kitty. Hello Kitty's full name is "Kitty White", and she has a twin sister name "Mimmy".

PACKAGING: Hello Kitty "Meow-Berry" Pop-Tarts are made by Kelloggs, and is just one out of dozens of Pop-Tart flavors. They are sold in boxes of twelve and are conveniently foil-wrapped in six two-packs. They weigh-in at 22 ounces and you can buy a box for under $3.00. In addition to the front panel (shown above), there is also a game on the back...

Hellokittypoptarts2

Colorful, and well-rendered in Hello Kitty Style, it's a search puzzle to locate as many bows as you can find. The answer is printed inside the carton, and I ended up missing two because they were so small or obscured as to be unrecognizable. Faithful to the Hello Kitty brand, and an eye-catcher on store shelves, I give the packaging an A-.

APPEARANCE: From the box, it appears that Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts are decorated in her signature pink color and sprinkled with miniature candies in the shape of Hello Kitty, bows, and flowers. The reality is a bit disappointing...

Kittytarts

Instead of a festive pink frosting, it's kind of a purple-ish pink that's not very appetizing. Instead of the icing being neatly centered on the pastry, it was smeared off to one side. The generous assortment of candy sprinkles shown on the box were nothing more than a few scattered bits. In short, the product looked nothing like what I was expecting. If it had even remotely resembled what was on the box, I would have been much happier. But, alas, I give the actual product a D- for looks.

TASTE: Pop-Tarts are an acquired taste that not everybody enjoys. I happen to love them. My only criticism is that the pastry dough is dense and gummy when chewed... forming a kind of nasty paste. You have to be careful that you always have plenty of filling with each bite so that the crap pastry doesn't ruin your dining experience. The flavor advertised is "Meow-Berry" which is explained to be a "wild berry filling". Tasting it, I get a good sense of berry flavor, though trying to figure out which berries are in the mix is fairly difficult. I definitely taste strawberry... and probably some kind of raspberry or blackberry... perhaps a hint of blueberry... but nothing definite can be discerned. Overall I give the product a B for taste, considering we're talking about Pop-Tarts here.

OVERALL RATING: This product had such high potential, but really fell short in the appearance department. This is really bad news for a food item, and cuts the final score down to a C+. If Kelloggs could find a way to improve the look of Hello Kitty Pop-Tarts, they'd jump to a B+ or A- easy. Overall, I am giving them a cautious recommendation. If you like Pop-Tarts, these are worth a try. If you don't like Pop-Tarts, the Hello Kitty Meow-Berry variety will not change your mind.

Categories: DaveToons 2006, Food 2006Click To It: Permalink  56 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Potter

Posted on Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Dave!Is it a crime that I don't like Harry Potter?

I try to. Honestly I do... all my friends just love Harry Potter books and movies, so I want to like Harry Potter. But I just can't. I read the first book and found it kind of contrived and boring. The second Chamber of Secrets book was so deus ex machina that I only read half of it. I kind of liked the third Prisoner of Azkaban book, but it was still so predictable and unoriginal that I ended up skipping big chunks of it. I tried reading Goblet of Fire but only made it to the sixth chapter before giving up.

I thought that perhaps the Harry Potter movies would be my salvation, but I found them to be haphazard and somewhat incoherent. More flash than substance. I suppose if you were a fan of the books, you'd have the knowledge to fill in the blanks and enjoy the film adaptations... but that wasn't me. I ended up fast forwarding through most of them (and am I the only one that finds "Dobby" just as irritating as Jar Jar Binks?).

I guess Harry Potter just isn't in my destiny...

Davepotter

Which makes it incredibly difficult for me in social situations.

Like last night when I somehow got roped into this huge Harry Potter conversation with a group of people. There was a big debate over whether Snape is evil and something about a horcrux (which I had to Google to spell properly just now). Then they started talking about how Harry Potter was going to die. Then they transitioned into whether the movies would star all the same actors. It went on and on and on.

And the entire time I just stood there being incredibly stupid. I think the only thing I contributed to the entire conversation was how cool I thought that Alan Rickman was in Dogma and Galaxy Quest.

It used to be it was football trivia that made me feel inadequate. Now it's Hogwarts.

= Sob! =

I sure hope there's an Idiot's Guide to Harry Potter out there. Or maybe a CliffsNotes. Otherwise I'm going to be ostracized from civilization because I don't know what a horcrux is.

Categories: BooksClick To It: Permalink  39 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Pain

Posted on Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Dave!Most of my weekend has been spent working.

Ordinarily this wouldn't bother me, but now that good weather has arrived, I really want to pull my motorcycle out of storage. Problem is, it's going to take at least a day to rip her apart, de-winterize her, charge the battery, and clean her up. Unfortunately, I just don't have that kind of time to spare. So instead I worked, washed clothes, ate Pop-Tarts, drank Coke with Lime, and drew a "Pain Chart" for Belinda over at Ninja Poodles.

You see, during a recent visit to the ER for a migraine, Belinda was presented with this pain chart which has these goofy-looking green balloon-heads and says "If you are in pain, let your doctor or nurse know how bad your pain really is". I remember that they had something similar when I visited the ER with my kidney stones incident, but I was screaming so loud that I don't think they bothered to use it. This was surprising, because all the screaming didn't seem to motivate them into giving me any drugs until after an hour and twenty minutes had passed.

Anyway, here's the chart...

Pain Chart

Belinda felt this was totally inadequate, and thought it would be better if I redrew it with Bad Monkey instead of a green balloon head. But since monkeys are screeching all the time and it's hard to know if they are in pain or not, I decided to use Cartoon Dave instead....

Are you in pain?

  • NO PAIN: The only time that I am feeling no pain is when I am drunk and happy. This is me being drunk and happy. You can tell that I am happy because I have a smile on my face. Likewise, you can tell I am drunk because I am smiling.
  • MILD PAIN: I am in "mild pain" all the time. This is what I look like all the time.
  • MODERATE PAIN: When I smash my finger or get a paper cut, it makes me unhappy. This is me being unhappy. You can tell that I am unhappy because I am making a frowny face.
  • SEVERE PAIN: I grit my teeth a lot when I am in severe pain, and usually my eye starts twitching as my face gets all scrunchy. The reason I grit my teeth is because it keeps me from saying curse words... well, it doesn't stop me completely, but at least when I say "szeet" and "fookh" people don't have the slightest idea what I am talking about. This is the face that I make when I see a Jarod Subway commercial, accidentally tune into FOX News, or have to watch David Caruso "act".
  • WORST PAIN: Yeah, when I get to this point I'm pretty much screaming my head off and yelling F#@%! as loud as I can. Fortunately, I've only been in this kind of pain three or four times. Let's see... there were the kidney stones, President Bush getting elected for a second term, President Bush getting elected for a first term, having my heart broken by a lying sadistic bitch, and watching Mariah Carrey in Glitter. Hmmm... I guess that's five.

After making the pain chart, it got me to wondering what other useful charts there should be...

Are you insane?

Are you evil?

Are you a dick?

I was going to do an "Are You a Dumbass" chart, but that would have to be a big-ass chart to truly capture the many shades of dumbass that I run across on a daily basis.

Oh well. Back to work...

   

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