I've been desperately trying to get caught up with the massive pile of work that accumulated while I was away last week. This involves me working from the minute I get up every morning until a pass out from exhaustion every night. Ordinarily, such unending torture would be bad enough... but this morning things became further complicated when I awoke with "severe intestinal distress." A disappointing development to be sure, but I've got pills to fix such horrors.
Except the pills didn't work.
At least not completely.
Which meant on top of my huge load of work, there was another potential huge load to worry about all day...
I'm afraid to speculate as to what might happen next. Am I going to wake up tomorrow and start projectile vomiting? I'm sure if it's contagious and will make my work day even more miserable and unproductive, I'll come down with it.
Bleh. This is the second time I've been inexplicably afflicted this year. I can only guess that my colon is finally starting to stage some kind of rebellion against my love of chocolate pudding.
Is it too much to hope that this is the Norwalk virus, a parasitical infection, or some other kind of non-chocolate-pudding-related ailment?
This morning I woke up, rolled over, looked at the clock, lost my mind.
Given my insomniac-nature, I stopped setting my alarm clock a long time ago. I'm always awake long before it goes off, so why bother? Which is why I freaked when the first thing I saw after waking up was a clock that said "10:08" on it. "Holy crap!" I exclaimed, as a shot of adrenaline surges through me and I start bouncing wildly around the bedroom trying to get ready for work. Wanting to grab a slice of leftover cold pizza before hopping in the shower, I dash to the kitchen. And that's when I notice something odd.
Turns out my clock wasn't displaying 10:08... it was flashing 10:08.
The power went off last night, and my clock decided to display some random number on it.
The actual time? 4:30am
I'm not two hours late for work, I'm three-and-a-half hours early.
The odds of me being able to fall asleep for any meaningful amount of time before having to get right back up again is effectively zero, so I start in on work. And I work and I work and I work. Until I notice that it's 9:10, and I am over an hour late for work. Again. Kinda.
Can't. Catch. A. Break.
Except today was the day my new comic books arrived, and the current issue of The Brave and The Bold had George Pérez drawing both Batman AND the Legion of Super-Heroes, which is like a comic geek's dream come true. So I guess it's all good.
Oh yeah... since I've (obviously) decided to keep my beloved iPhone, I went to AT&T today so I could have my old Verizon phone number transferred over. Right now I feel like I should say something mean like "suck it, Verizon!!" but I really don't feel that way. I have no complaints over the quality of their mobile network at all. About the only complaint I do have is that their phones are always older generation crap (when I bought my first phone there, they had ONE Bluetooth model, whereas all other carriers were swimming in dozens). And when Apple approached them to partner-up for iPhone, they refused. This was a huge opportunity for them to leap ahead of the curve, and they blew it. Well, I wanted a damn iPhone, and so I was given no choice but to switch carriers. And, despite all the warnings, I have been very happy with AT&T... from the backwaters of rural Georgia to Atlanta to Minneapolis to Milwaukee to Seattle and back home to the backwaters of rural Washington State... AT&'T's network has performed no worse than Verizon ever did. I'm sitting here with 5 bars and loving it.
And now, if you will excuse me, I've got to go install new backup batteries in my alarm clock in case the power goes off again.
UPDATE: EXCEPT I BOUGHT THE WRONG KIND OF BATTERIES!! Can't. Catch. A. Break...
This is one of those rare days when I didn't leave the house. I've been home working all day long, despite the fact that it was an absolutely beautiful day out. Sadly, this doesn't give me much to blog about.
Unless I were to write about the potato chips and Coke I had for breakfast. Cereal just seemed like too much work with all the pouring of the milk and finding a clean bowl and stuff... but hey, the bag of chips was already open. Anyway, I got to the bottom of the bag where all the crumbs were. Not wanting to waste them, I poured them into my mouth so I could finish them off.
And nearly choked to death.
It's funny what goes through your head as you are struggling to breathe. Things like "how do you do that self-heimlich thing again?" and "I wonder if my face is turning blue?" and "oh dear, I hope I don't crap my pants when I die... that would sure be embarrassing!" and, lastly, "what do I care if I crap myself? I'll be too dead to be embarrassed!"
But eventually I managed to cough my way out of my death throes and live another day.
At first I was glad to be alive. But then I looked at the pile of work I had left to do and was kind of sad. Being dead is an excellent excuse to take a vacation.
In other news across the blogosphere... ooh! ooh! ooh! Brandon finally spilled the beans!
2008 seems so far away...
It's Bullet Sunday, and I'm running low on ammo!
• Bourne! The latest (and final?) installment in the Jason Bourne film franchise... The Bourne Ultimatum... is finally here. And it totally kicks ass. I love that these movies are so brutally unforgiving with the action, and not afraid to fight dirty. The ending kind of meanders a bit, but there's enough going on earlier that it doesn't sink the picture. I really do hope that they find a way to continue with a fourth film but, if not, at least we've got a rejuvenated James Bond series to entertain us.
• Talk! While seeing The Bourne Ultimatum in a packed theater, I found myself thinking of a new Dumbasses Book for my series...
There are entirely too many people in the world who simply cannot understand this simple concept, and about twenty of them decided to go to the movies at the same time I did.
• Choke! Given my near-death choking experience yesterday, I find myself much more sympathetic to the choking of others. Ironically, the one piece of junkmail which managed to evade my spam-filter this morning had a subject line of "My boyfriend's phallus is too big for my mouth." I wrote back and wished her good luck with that... then included a link to the self-heimlich maneuver just in case she ever needs it. Poor girl.
• Vinyl! I finally broke down and purchased a USB turntable so I can get my extensive collection of 12-inch maxi-singles converted into digital format. It's been a long time coming, and I can't wait to have some great music from my past on my iPod. I would have preferred to spend the $100 re-purchasing the music at the iTunes music store, but the record labels stupidly refuse to make the entire back-catalog of an artist available for sale. And it makes absolutely no sense. There is no reason that an obscure B-side released by the Thompson Twins in 1986 should be out-of-print. DIGITIZE THE SHIT AND SELL IT! ALL OF IT! Since you don't have to produce a crap-load of CDs to sell music anymore, no music should ever... EVER... be out-of-print.
Sigh. It's only 10:30, yet it seems much, much later. Oh well... nothing a handful of sleeping pills won't fix.
I was just flicking through channels and see that BravoTV is airing Eddie Murphy: RAW... except they are silencing all the curses. This makes the jokes incomprehensible, and renders the entire show 50% silent. Why even attempt run a censored version of Eddie Murphy standup? It makes no sense.
Anyway, earlier today I mentioned on a message board that had I re-watched Battlefield Earth this weekend and was surprised that it wasn't as horrendously terrible as I had remembered. Sure the acting was mostly awful and the makeup on the Psychlos was embarrassingly bad (their "hands" didn't work, and looked like giant mittens)... but it had good FX, a passable (if implausible) story, and was decent mindless entertainment. Whatever...
A couple of hours later, some dumbass leaves this enlightening response...
"Don't be such a fag. Battlefield Earth sucked and that's a FACT!!!
I ignored his obvious struggle with his sexuality, and went on to explain that Battlefied Earth "sucking" was an opinion, not a fact. Believe it or not, there actually are people who like it, and the flick did receive a few positive reviews by the critics. But, much like Bill O'Reilly, the moron simply could not distinguish between opinion and fact. The conversation immediately degenerated into idiocy, at which point I took my leave. I'd rather give up than waste time with inane crap like this.
Much like I've given up on the antiquated and stupid state of patent law. I've written about the absurdity of the US patent system before, but without using curse words. Today I feel like writing about it again, but this time I can't be as generous in watching my language (much like Eddie Murphy in RAW)...
If you're not afraid of the word "fuck" and aren't bothered by mindless ranting, then feel free to proceed...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
My first trip to Paris was an accident.
My brother and I had just returned to London from a trip up to Scotland. When we arrived, the weather was miserable, and neither one of us felt much like running around the city in the rain, fog, and cold. Stopping in an internet cafe, we were going to look through Frommer's Online to find something interesting to do indoors, when I accidentally clicked on France instead of England in the little European navigation map. "Hey, you want to go to Paris?" I asked. "Okay" said my brother. So we booked a hotel on Expedia and off we went to the train station.
Three hours later, we were wandering around the streets of Paris trying to remember what hotel we had booked. Since neither one of us understood a word of French, this was not an easy prospect. All the hotel names sounded the same. We ended up having to call back home to my mother, wake her up, and have her go to Expedia and tell us the name and address of the "third hotel down the list on the fourth page" ("PARIS? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN PARIS??") Of course, since we had not planned to visit Paris, this information didn't do us much good. We had no map and no way of knowing where the hotel actually was. Fortunately, the natives were very patient and friendly in helping us find it... a tiny little place with a view of the Eiffel Tower (if you stuck your head out the window and looked 90-degrees to the right).
For two days, we bummed around Paris, hitting all the touristy spots... The Eiffel Tower... Notre Dame... The Louvre... and even the Arc de Triomphe...
Photo by my brother, a far better photographer than I will ever be.
The visit was all too brief, but I fell in love with Paris and vowed to return.
Which I did the following year. But this time, I studied a Pimsler French course for three months before the trip. Speaking the language made my visit much more enjoyable, and I had four whole days to visit as many museums as I could manage before returning to London. A few years after that, I was in Germany and decided to meet up with a friend in Paris. My French skills had faded, but I could still manage to ask for directions and carry on a simple conversation.
The last time I was in Paris four years ago, I was dismayed to learn that my French skills were completely gone. I could barely manage to say "hello." When I got back, I immediately started listening to my Pimsler course again in an attempt to remember what meager French I had forgotten.
Fast forward to last week, and Laurence over at Bee Happy asks me to guest-blog for a day while she is on vacation. In a bold move, I decide to write my entry in French...
Two hours with my French dictionary (and absolutely no recollection as to how to construct a sentence) resulted in... something. Hopefully it's at least a little close to what I was wanting to say. My greatest fear is that I've mistranslated the text, and somehow end up insulting all of France. Since I would very much like visit again one day, the last thing I want is to be banned from the country over my crude French skills.
UPDATE: Laurence has shut down her blog, but I was able to find an archived copy of my entry. If you understand French, the original "Bad French" version is below, so keep reading.
If you don't speak French, Google can (kind of) translate my crappy attempt at French by clicking here.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
BUILT-IN ETHERNET IS CURRENTLY ACTIVE. BUILT-IN ETHERNET HAS A SELF-ASSIGNED IP ADDRESS AND MAY NOT BE ABLE TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET.
I've got to start staying in a different hotel. Bad enough that this place doesn't have wireless and I have to bring my own ethernet cable for internet... even worse that it doesn't work half the time, so I end up having to drag my sorry ass down to the lobby for their crappy lobby wireless (which is almost as bad). Why is it some hotels just don't seem to get it? Most everybody NEEDS reliable internet now-a-days. If you don't provide it, and people are going to go somewhere else.
Today was yet another three-hour drive through
The good news is that if you leave at the right time of day, you don't have to share the road with anybody. The bad news is that if you've done the drive once, you've done it a million times... and it's always the same.
Of course, once you actually get to Spokane, you can drown your sorrows in two delicious slices of the Best Pizza in The Universe at David's Pizza...
I know I've blogged about this pizza like a hundred times now, but that's about all there is for me to write about here. I've lost count of the number of times I've taken that same photo composition, but oh well... here it is again: two slices of DaVinci pizza with a Stewart's Orange Cream Soda (which, coincidentally, is exactly what I would order for my last meal if I were on death row).
After dinner, I went to go see The Simpsons Movie which was kind of boring. The show definitely works better when the writers are condensed for time on your typical half-hour episode. Giving them 90 minutes just drags everything out. The real reason I wanted to see it, however, was to know if anything in the film would have a lasting affect on The Simpsons' "universe." For one character it actually does, which made me a bit sad (hey, I liked that character!).
And now it's time to head back to the lobby so I can post this. Fortunately, everything else I wanted to do on the internet tonight can be done on my iPhone while running around my hotel room in my underwear.
They don't let you do that in the lobby.
Last night proved to be a productive evening for work, but a disastrous evening for catching up on sleep. The hotel was packed and people were slamming doors, running up and down the halls, and being overall obnoxious well past 2:00am. I remain dumbfounded as to why people act like such inconsiderate assholes at hotels... I am paying money so I can get some SLEEP!
After dragging my exhausted ass out of bed, I was heading back to work when a parking enforcement scooter went zipping by me, lights blaring. At first, I was curious as to what would constitute a parking emergency, but all that vanished once I saw the model name of the vehicle...
INTERCEPTOR?!? At what point has anybody ever needed to "intercept" a PARKED CAR? The first laugh of the day is always the sweetest.
Lunch, no surprise, was once again an orgasm-inducing pizza experience at David's. This time I tried a new photo composition, laying the Stewart's Orange Cream Soda on its side and flipping the pizza 180°. No matter how you shoot it, it still tastes amazing...
After lunch I had some free time, so I stopped by The Comic Book Shop to see what's new. Nothing could prepare me for what I found there...
ESSENTIAL DAZZLER?!? Dazzler? Seriously? I always thought that the character started out as a joke. A sad attempt to capitalize on the fading popularity of disco music at a time when disco backlash was gaining momentum. Redemption finally came when Jim Shooter retooled Dazzler in the now infamous Marvel Graphic Novel #12... "Dazzler: The Movie." Outed as a mutant and unemployable as a singer, Dazzler finally came into her own and ultimately joined up with The X-Men in a series of fairly good stories. By the time she ended up with my favorite Marvel character, Longshot, I actually ended up liking her a bit (she was, after all, one of the few people to escape disco alive). I was afraid to even touch Essential Dazzler out of fear that I would have disco flashbacks and go insane.
After work, the three-hour drive home was uneventful, as usual.
But when I got there, my new toy was waiting for me... an ION iTTUSB 05 USB Turntable!
It's kind of weak in construction... just a big heap of lightweight plastic... but for $99, I'm not complaining. The important thing is that it actually works. The included Mac/Windows "Audacity" software isn't very intuitive (and only rips into WAV format), but I did manage to rip a few of my vinyl albums and 12-inch maxi-singles with decent results. I am most pleased. Now all I have to do is find the time to rip my entire collection, and I'll finally be able to have the last bit of my music in digital format. Sweet!
Well, it's now 10:15 and my DVD of Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle just ended (how frickin' hilarious was Neil Patrick Harris in that flick?), so I'm off to bed early.
Hopefully to get some sleep this time.
In a mere two weeks, I'll be in Chicago for big-time fun and excitement, culminating in Saturday's blogger meet-up in the city on the 25th. Just like last year, the guest list is packed with a great bunch of people, and good times are sure to ensue!
Right now, we are planning to meet for dinner at Pizano's on Madison, in The Loop. But before we can make reservations, we need a head-count. If you are able to attend, please email me so I can call up and make reservations next week. Even if you've already told me you're coming, It would be great to have confirmation that your plans haven't changed.
Last year, dinner was just the beginning, and the festivities continued on into the night, as we just couldn't get enough of each other. Talking with people who "get" blogging is a treat, and I cannot wait to hang out with everybody again this year. Hope you can make it!
In other news, I've finally given up waiting for the mailing tubes to ever arrive for mailing out Artificial Duck Co. print and photo orders. I've done some test-mailings in boxes, and everything has arrived in great shape, so I'm just going to start mailing them out that way. This kind of makes me feel bad, because $5 of the price for the prints was to accommodate the cost of the tube and additional mailing charges. Now that I'm not using them, I've overcharged everybody by $5. To make up for it, there will be some extra goodies sent along with the orders. Again, thanks so much to everybody for their patience while I got this all sorted out!
Cover of the Artificial Duck Co. Print and Photo User Guide Booklet.
And now, it's time to get ready to head back to the coast for the weekend...
Who is the sadistic bastard responsible for designing the air conditioning in cars?
As I was driving back over to the coast in the heat, I noticed that my air conditioner has four fan settings: dead air, light draft, wimpy breeze, and HURRICANE ASSAULT!! And then I started thinking back to the cars I've owned, the cars I've rented... basically every car I've ever driven... and realized that they were all the same. For some reason, they skip 2 or 3 steps before you get to "HI" which means you either bake or freeze...
I spent most of the trip trying to come up with that magic combination of fan speed and temperature that would make me comfortable, but never managed to find it.
Eventually I shut the thing off and just rolled down the window.
Home again, just in time for Bullet Sunday!
Today, on a very special episode of Blogography, Bullet Sunday is overtaken by a new meme started by Lewis over at Spirit of St. Lewis called Highlights That Shaped Your Life. Lewis is curious to know about those once-in-a-lifetime moments where you just know that "this is one hell of a special time." Here are ten of mine that come to mind...
1977 • Seeing Star Wars for the first time... Seriously, what geek saw Star Wars back when it was first released and didn't feel as if their life had changed?
1978 • Reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars... Science fiction was a random encounter until I read the first book of ERB's John Carter of Mars novels. After that, I was obsessed. I devoured science fiction in every form I could find it. My obsession would solidify after I read Frank Herbert's Dune, one of the most mind-blowing science fiction epics ever written. Sci-fi is now such a huge part of me, that I cannot imagine my life without it.
1979 • Buying Green Lantern #121 and The Flash #277... While out of my mind with boredom one day, I wandered downtown with $1 and no plans. I ended up buying my very first comic books so I'd have something to read. Thus began my lifelong infatuation with collecting comics, a hobby that has brought much entertainment to my life.
1983 • Visiting New Orleans for the first time... I won a high school DECA competition and got to go to New Orleans... completely unsupervised... for a week before my senior year started. This resulted in many "first" experiences, which very much shaped (mis-shaped?) my life.
1987 • Visiting my first Hard Rock Cafe... While vacationing in Maui with some friends in the late 80's, I happened upon my first Hard Rock Cafe. Needless to say, this had a profound affect on my life, as I've spent a great many of the years which followed visiting Hard Rocks around the world (current count: 106 properties). Though drastically outdated, I keep a journal of my Hard Rock obsession at DaveCafe.
1996 • Visiting Japan for the first time... My first "real" trip outside the country was all by myself to Tokyo, which is about as foreign a culture as you can get from the US. I had already fallen in love with Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime), but it was embracing Japanese culture... even for such a short time... which sparked my love of travel that continues to this day.
1998 • Visiting Thailand for the first time... Of all the places I've been and seen, no one place has had a more profound affect on my life than Thailand. This was the trip that introduced me to Buddhism, a way of thinking which changed
2003 • Starting up Blogography... This is one of those rare events where you don't understand the significance of it until much later. I had been a blogger off-and-on for three years before I finally made a serious attempt at it back in April of 2003 (after a Blogography false-start in March 2002). Who knew?
2005 • Standing on the Great Wall of China... A life-long dream was realized when I, at long last, walked along The Great Wall two years ago. This began a trifecta of visits to ancient engineering wonders, when I visited The Acropolis in Greece and The Great Pyramids in Egypt earlier this year. Pretty special indeed.
2006 • DaveCago... I had met with fellow bloggers before, but the blogger meet-up in Chicago last summer was my first opportunity to hang out with a group of them. I had such a great time that I started meeting up with bloggers every chance I got, culminating with the amazing TequilaCon 2007 event in Portland, Oregon. If you haven't yet experienced the joy of hanging out with your fellow bloggers, there's a new meet-up in Chicago in a mere thirteen days, and TequilaCon 2008 comes to Philadelphia next Spring!
And another Sunday bites the dust...
Well crap. Mike Wieringo has died.
I'm a regular reader of his blog, and loved the way he treated his fans to numerous sketches and drawings on a regular basis. So imagine my shock and sadness when today's entry was a notice that Mike had passed away.
I realize that 99% of people are going to be saying "Mike Wier-who?!?" and have no idea who he is, but to comic book fans, this is a crushing blow. Mike Wieringo was an incredibly gifted artist who I envied on just about every possible level for his talent. If I were to describe his drawing style, I think "economical" sums it up nicely. The guy had this uncanny ability to use just the exact amount of line-work necessary in his art, and was never compelled to scribble in anything unneeded to camouflage his shortcomings... mainly because he didn't have any shortcomings. This stylistic approach gave him a beautifully clean style of drawing, which he enhanced with an exaggerated perspective that made everything he drew leap off the page...
Mike's Art for Fantastic Four #509
My favorite work by Wieringo was his collaboration with Mark Waid on The Fantastic Four. I treasured every issue they worked on, and consider their run to be among the best FF stories ever made... right up there with the Lee/Kirby originals. I've re-read my trade paperback collections of those issues numerous times, and it is never lost on me just how much humor, imagination, and humanity that Wieringo managed to inject into those stories. Boy will he be missed.
I'm feeling lazy, so it must be time for... One Sentence Commentary!
The new iMacs... Sublimely beautiful, fairly powerful, and ultimately well thought-out.
The new Apple keyboard... Initially confusing, ultimately delicious... I love mine!
Karl Rove is retiring... Good riddance, you evil fucker.
John From Cincinnati cancelled... Did anybody like this horrible mess of a show?*
Merv Griffin dies... "So I came to Europe to kill... and it's really worked out very well for me!"
SCO doesn't own Unix... Sucks to be you, losers!
Ugh. I am really, really behind in my blog reading. And my email. And my work. And my comics. And my television shows (BURN NOTICE!!). And my snail-mail. And my laundry. And my life, I guess. Where does the time go?
*And wasn't that like the WORST season-ending episode ever? I still think that John Monad was actually Shaun Yost from an alternate-reality future with a scrambled brain, but that's just the comic book geek in me talking.
So there I was minding my own business, trying to decide which flavor of popsicle I wanted for dinner last night, when my mobile started ringing. This made me happy, because iPhone is still new enough that it's funky maramba ringtone gives me a shudder of delight whenever I hear it.
At least until I look and see that it's a "Number Blocked" call, at which time I have to decide whether or not I am going to answer it. Odds are, it's going to be a wrong number or somebody I don't want to talk to, otherwise they're number would be in my phone. Seeing that the only flavor of popsicle left is dreaded CHERRY, I close the freezer door and answer the call...
GUY: "Hey, did you lose your bag?"
DAVE: "Huh?" I say, looking over at my backpack on the kitchen table.
GUY: "I found this bag and there's no name in it... just this number on a paper. Is it yours?"
DAVE: "Ah. No, my bag is here with me. Where did you find it? What's it look like?"
GUY: (describes bag and location)
DAVE: "Sorry, I don't know anybody who has a bag like that. What's in it?
GUY: "Uhhh... like a sports bra type-thing, socks, ladies running shoes, and..."
DAVE: "Wait a second... you thought this bag was MINE?"
GUY: "Hey, I don't know what stuff you're into..."
As I stood there with what's left of my manhood fleeing the scene, the guy says "this six could be a zero" and hangs up. I then start thinking of any attractive lady joggers I might have given my number to, realize I haven't given my number to a woman in years, then open up the freezer and grab a cherry popsicle I know I won't enjoy.
Somehow it seemed appropriate.
In other news, I finally caught up on my television tonight.
Isn't Gabrielle Anwar totally scrumptrellescent in Burn Notice?
For those not watching one of my favorite shows on television, Burn Notice is kind of like a dirtier version of MacGyver with more guns and overall nastiness. And it's got Gabrielle Anwar playing ex-IRA operative Fiona Glenanne, which is really all you need to know. What's amazing about her character is that she's totally raw, wears minimal makeup, and looks kinda rough. But she still manages to come off totally hot...
It must be the way she kicks ass and is always wanting to shoot everybody.
Or, more likely it's her body, which is fantastic. I would totally give her my number. Lucky for all of us that Burn Notice has been given a 13-episode second season order. Thank you USA Network!
Now I must get back to work.
And decide if I want to eat the last yucky cherry popsicle.
Things may be a little strange around here for a few days. I am upgrading Blogography to Movable Type 4.0, and it will take some time for all the templates and stuff to be transitioned to the new format.
The decision to upgrade something that ain't broken is always a difficult one, but I need to start learning the new system in anticipation of clients who ask me to work with it. I had thought about creating a test-blog, but ultimately decided to just forge ahead with this one. Your motivation for learning something new is considerably higher if you have something at stake...
Here's hoping that I don't totally f#@% things up, because I don't have a lot of time before I have to leave again.
Say a prayer to the blog gods, because here I go...
UPDATE: Okay... who didn't say their prayers! Things are so f#@%ed up that you'd swear I had planned this crap. Not only won't anything publish properly, but MT4 is balls-slow. As in agonizingly balls-slow.
UPDATE: Oh shit! Shiiiiiiiiiiiit!!
UPDATE: Hmmm... uhhh... comments are working again. Notifications are slow, slow, slow to arrive though... much like everything else.
UPDATE: I kinda think that everything is working properly now. I had hoped to upgrade my templates to use some of the new MT4 features, but Movable Type's weak link has reared its ugly head once again... crappy documentation. You look up a tag that you want to use, and are presented with the bare minimum of information. No examples. No external references. Nothing. I would attempt to dissect the default templates to see how things work, but when you upgrade an existing installation (even to a clean directory), the default templates go missing. Any attempt to add a new template and copy over the defaults manually is defeated by missing links and modules that I can't seem to locate. Maybe when I have more time, I'll try again... but holy crap! This is VERSION 4 and there's STILL no frakin' documentation!! WTF? What good are new features if nobody can find out how to use them? Movable Type could be the greatest application in the universe, and it wouldn't mean shit because without good docs, who is going to want to work with it?
♫ Ahhh AHHHHHHH! He'll save every one of us! ♫
I finally got around to watching the Sci-Fi Channel's Flash Gordon show. I was really stoked for the series, which is why I was devastated to find out that it sucks ass. This is probably one of the worst television shows ever, and that's saying a lot. Not only is the writing complete and total shite, but the acting is horrendously bad and the special effects (what few of them they use) are laughable. I can't find a single thing worth praising on this trainwreck of a series, and am dumbfounded that Sci-Fi... who are supposed to be fans of good science fiction... would screw things up this badly.
Which begs the question... how could you possibly fuck up Flash Gordon? There's so much source material to work from.
I mean, come on, the crazy-cheesey 27-year-old movie staring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, and Max von Sydow was sheer genius by comparison. I love that flick! Not only have I see the film dozens of times and purchased all iterations released that I could find (VHS, LaserDisc, DVD, Import Special Edition DVD, and Saviour of the Universe Edition DVD), I've also got the movie poster framed and hanging on my wall...
And here's the puzzler... the writing on this film was over-the-top, the acting was far from great, and the special effects weren't anything to write home about (though there was a musical score by Queen!). So why did the movie work, while the television show fails so miserably?
BECAUSE IT WAS ENTERTAINING!! Hell, I'd argue that the FIFTY year-old Black & White Buster Crabbe serials were more fun to watch that this shitty television atrocity!
In the movie, Flash was trying to save the entire earth. In the TV show, Flash was trying to find an iMac (or whatever). In the movie, Ming was a sadistically evil egomaniac. In the TV show, Ming is a whiny little bitch. In the movie, Dr. Zarkov is a brilliantly mad scientist. In the TV show, Dr. Zarkov is a bumbling idiot. In the movie, Aura is a brutally hot psychotic bitch. In the TV show, Aura is just plain boring. Much like the show itself... totally boring.
Flash Gordon fans deserve so much better.
With even a little effort and creativity, a new Flash Gordon show could have been brilliant. I was counting on it being brilliant. Instead I was only setting myself up for disappointment.
Stupid Sci-Fi Channel bastards.
"No. No. No. No. Nooooo..." I said quietly to myself, hoping the mantra would offer some protection... perhaps by rendering me invisible or causing the bitch to go temporarily blind.
For the most part, I am a pretty social guy. But there are a few people that I just don't want to socialize with. Ever. One such person crossed my path quite unexpectedly as I was heading to the bakery for a donut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles on top...
"Hey Dave!" she squeals.
"Kill me. Kill me. Kill me. Kill me. Kill meeeee..." I scream in my head.
Alas, no heart attack or drive-by shooting interceded, and I was forced into a conversation about inconsequential crap with somebody I despise. Ordinarily I'd feel bad about it, but she hates me enough to have screwed me over (alas not literally) on a couple occasions, so I don't.
The fun part is that she doesn't know that I know. So I have to play nice in public.
Errrr... unless she reads my blog.
In which case I hope she leaves me a comment letting me know, so that I can stop pretending to be nice in public.
Karma's pendulum of fate swung back in my favor, however, when I got to the bakery and snagged the very last donut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles on top.
Proving that life is okay every once in a while.
I like to travel light.
Even for a two-week trip, I'll just take a single small suitcase and have my clothes washed at hotels along the way. Unfortunately, my upcoming trip has me bouncing all over the place, so I won't be anywhere long enough for laundry service. This means I'll be taking my big-ass suitcase, which I really don't like at all. There's nothing quite like dragging around a pile of dirty clothes with you wherever you go (thank heavens for zipper baggies!).
In better news... one week left to go...
Blargh. As I head off to bed now, I just realized that I have to get up in 3 hours so I can have time to finish my work and drive to the airport for my flight.
That kind of blows.
Since I'm flying to Chicago today, then driving north into Wisconsin, I've decided to bullet my entire day. Thanks to iPhone, it's a piece of cake.
Delicious chocolate cake with sour cream frosting and a side of chocolate pudding with a glass of milk.
• Crack of Night. Not "crack of dawn," because it's 4:10am, and dawn is hours away yet as I head to the airport. I've barely had three hours of "rest" (not sleep), so I can pretty much guarantee that this day is going to suck.
• Pulled Over. The final stretch of road to the airport is well-known to be notoriously patrolled by the police. I know this, and yet I'm so tired that I wasn't even bothering to watch my speedometer... I just followed the car ahead of me. Unfortunately, this was not too bright, because just as I can see the runway, flashing lights come roaring up behind me and I notice that I'm going 47 in a 40 zone. SHIIIIIIIIIIIIT! Rolling down my window, the officer says "And how's your day?" Trying to keep my disbelief from showing, I say "Well, it was going okay up until now." He finds this funny and replies "Eh, it will still be okay," and proceeds to let me off with a warning after calling up my flawless driving record. Pleasantly surprised, I find myself thinking that perhaps the day won't suck after all.
• Check-In. Lovely. The first words out of the agent's mouth as I approach the counter are to tell me that there is a weather advisory for Seattle, and the plane may have to return to Wenatchee if they can't land. I guess the day is going to suck after all. An interesting aside... my big-ass suitcase was 1.4 pounds above the 50-lb. limit. I took out a pair of jeans and hit a weight of 49.9 pounds... sweet! No additional baggage fee for me! Of course, now I'm having to carry that excess weight in my backpack, so I guess it all balances out in the end.
• Bitch-slap. Wenatchee's Pangborn Field is a tiny little airport served by one airline with minimal flights each day. Because Homeland Security fears that lax security at smaller airports poses a threat, the security team here is quite a bit more thorough than larger airports. This means passing through the check-point takes considerably longer because they only allow one person in the screening area at a time. This makes the line move agonizingly slow but, since the planes are so small, the wait isn't terrible. So when the dumbass behind me decides to advise me that I should unlace my shoes so I can be ready, I very nearly bitch-slap the fucker so hard his ponytail would snap off. "MY SHOES ARE ALWAYS UNLACED," I snap. "Uh... what?" he replies. "I DON'T LACE MY SHOES UP!!" I say even louder. "Oh!" He mumbles. The guy probably thought that I was blowing him off, but I was actually telling the truth. I haven't laced my shoes up all the way in nearly 20 years. But still, even if I did lace my shoes, what fucking business is it of his? If you're not with the TSA, kindly fuck off and don't tell me what to do.
• Take a Seat. The flight-load out of Wenatchee is fairly light, so the post-security lobby is almost empty. Yet, despite an entire room filled with empty seats, a clueless couple decides to sit right next to me AND take my arm-rest. I try to be flattered, thinking perhaps they like the way I smell or something but, truth to tell, I just want them dead.
• Strawberries & Ass. Across from me a woman is snacking on some kind of shredded-wheat-type cereal that has an obnoxious pink frosting on it. Even worse, the crap smells like strawberries and ass. I skipped breakfast this morning so I could eat in Seattle so, as hungry as I am now, even strawberry-ass cereal is making my stomach growl.
• In-Flight. We are told, twice, that there will be air turbulence on the way over to Seattle, so no beverage service will be offered. Problem is that this was one of the smoothest flights I've ever had out of Pangborn Field, so I can only assume that the cabin steward lady was too tired and/or lazy to pour apple juice at 6:00am.
• Unsurprising Delay. My flight into O'Hare has been delayed 30 minutes. Typical.
• Breakfast Burrito. Sea-Tac International was remodeled a few years back, giving weary travelers a very nice open-air food court with plenty of eateries to choose from. The egg-and-potato breakfast burrito at Qdoba is especially delicious. I order a large one with extra cheese and a carton of milk.
• BOSE Sucks! I really like my SURE headphones, but they don't fit into my iPhone, so I have to use this ridiculous adaptor. Problem is that the it sticks out pretty far and I keep smacking it with the stiff cords coming out of my earbuds. Terrified that I'm going to bust my glorious iPhone, I leave my SURE set at home because I know there's a BOSE booth at Sea-Tac. A sign on the booth says they open at 7:00am, but there's nobody there at 7:05am. With nothing better to do I decide to wait. Finally, at 7:22am, the booth bitch comes walking up with her cup of Starbucks. Apparently, her morning coffee is more important than getting to work on time. As I walk up to the kiosk, she immediately tells me "You'll just have to wait 5 minutes while I get set up." I'm pretty pissed, and tell her that "I've already been waiting 22 minutes and I'm not waiting any more." With service like that, BOSE can kiss my ass.
• iPhone Buds. There's an InMotion store at Sea-Tac, so I wander in and see that they have some V-Moda "Vibe Duo" earbuds made specifically for iPhone. They tell me that the microphone isn't great but the sound is good, and offer to let me try a pair. I don't care about the microphone (as I rarely use a headset when talking on my iPhone) so I give a listen. The sound quality isn't as good as my SURE buds, but they have very nice bass and crisp hi-lights that make The Cure and Nine Inch Nails sound glorious, so I go ahead at dish out the $100 and buy them. I've been listening with the Vibe Duos for an hour now, and they aren't too bad... some songs suffer from the hi-lights being too crisp, but overall it's good so I'm happy with my purchase. You could certainly do worse where earbuds are concerned.
• Storms of Chicago. Thunderstorms in Chicago have now delayed my flight even further. Two hours late and counting. Thank heavens I took that ass-early flight out of Wenatchee to make sure I had plenty of time for a connection! Word is that I may not even get out today. Waaahhh!
• Muckie? Mookie? Woo hoo! I'm on the plane! My in-flight snack is an oatmeal cookie with blueberries. It doesn't taste like a cookie though... it kind of tastes like a muffin. I guess that would make it a muckie? Or a mookie? Maybe a coofin? Whatever it is, it tastes pretty good. But, then again, I'm really hungry.
• Arrival O'Hare. I get to Chicago three-and-a-half hours late but, keeping in mind that there were other flights that got cancelled, I'm not going to complain. Except about the landing. The plane slammed onto the runway so hard that I think my brain got smooshed inside my skull. Seriously... I fly a lot, and this was pretty bad. I was expecting the landing gear to collapse we landed so hard.
• P.T. Cruisered. My rental car ends up being a little P.T. Cruiser, which I have never driven before. Unfortunately, the high center of gravity PLUS the small size PLUS the torrential rains PLUS the crappy stock tires make this a terrifying car to be driving in bad weather. It wants to spin and slide on wet roads anytime you try to stop at speeds over 40mph. This has given me some terrifying moments as the roads gets worse and the visibility starts dropping. I'll bet it's fun to drive when the roads are good though.
• Frozen Custard. I finally arrive at my destination in Wisconsin at 8:45pm. Because I haven't eaten anything except my muckie since 6:30am, I head directly to Culver's for some delicious crinkle-cut French fries and a caramel-cashew sundae. I embarrass myself by making yummy noises and having two orgasms while I eat my frozen custard.
And I guess that's all she wrote!
It is now 9:15, and I'm finally in my hotel room. I just found out that my work has been pushed back until late Tuesday (bleh!) so I now have an entire day-and-a-half to goof around. Who knows what trouble I'll get into tomorrow?
My work schedule keeps changing. One minute I've got two days before I start... the next minute I've got two hours. This makes any grand adventure out of the question, so I decided to just wander down toward Milwaukee and catch a movie or something.
But first, breakfast.
Since it was 11:30am before I got my work situation figured out, I missed my breakfast window of opportunity... but still wanted breakfast. Remembering that Cracker Barrel serves breakfast all day, I decide to see if there's a location near me. Thanks to iPhone, stuff like this is simple...
And, just like that, iPhone pops up with the nearest Cracker Barrel down on County Line Road Q in Menomonee Falls (if Apple ever adds a GPS unit, that would eliminate step 2...hint, hint). Have I said how much I totally love my iPhone?
After a plate of eggs and corn bread muffins with a side of grits, I consult iPhone once again to see what movies are playing at the AMC down at the Mayfair Mall. Turns out that Superbad doesn't start until 1:40, so I decide to take a look at the new Apple Store at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale before I go. I have no idea where that is but, once again, iPhone comes to the rescue with detailed maps and driving directions, complete with traffic status. How did I ever get along in life without it?
The Glendale Apple Store is nice enough, but it turns out that Bayshore Town Center is a kind of elitist-fascist shopping area with a "Code of Conduct" posted at the entrances. Rules include "no congregating in groups of more than four people" and "no profanity" and "you must carry photo identification" and "no unauthorized photography." This kind of scary crap made me feel very much out of place and unwelcome, so I decided to bail. But not before screaming "FUCK YOU BAYSHORE TOWN CENTER" at the top of my lungs and taking this completely unauthorized photo of the Apple Store there...
Surprisingly, this anti-conduct behavior did not cause a swarm of security guards to come beat me up and kick me out of Bayshore Town Center as I expected. It's too bad, because then I would have REALLY had something to blog about.
Then I was off to the much more sane and friendly Mayfair Mall, where I arrived just in time to see Superbad. Except not really. Once the twenty minutes of commercials, advertising, previews, and crap had aired, THEN I got to see the movie.
Superbad was pretty darn funny, and seeing Michael Cera on the big screen just makes me miss Arrested Development all the more. Oddly enough, however, I found the main story-line with Jonah Hill to be kind of annoying... it was the sub-plot with two cops played by Bill Hader (funnier here than he's ever been on Saturday Night Live) and Seth Rogen (who co-wrote Superbad) that completely stole the show for me. Funny, funny, stuff... McLovin.
Almost as funny as when I went to pick up my rental car yesterday and saw that two guys had decided to ignore the warning signs, arrows, and big-ass spikes so they could exit through the entrance gate...
I hope that they purchased the full insurance coverage option on their rental. But I'm guessing that they probably didn't, because once I got inside I noticed them in a heated discussion with the manager. I think that they were actually trying to blame him for their mistake, so good luck with that guys!
And now I'm at work. But I can't hook my laptop up to internet here for some reason, so heaven only knows when I'll get to post this (my schedule has me working straight through until 9:00am). Bleh. Maybe I can escape for a midnight "lunch break" or something.
UPDATE: And so I run back to my hotel where I will have internet to post this, and decide to stop at McDonald's for a large fries and a chocolate shake. But when I get to my room and open the bag, I see that my large fries is only HALF-FULL!!! Frickin' rip-off McDonald's bastards! Is nothing sacred?
And so it goes...
Bitch Got Three Spaces
Lyrics and Music by Blogography Gangsta.
Sung by Blogography Gangsta (featuring Snoop Dogg, G-Unit and 50 Cent).
Eatin' out at The Hut,
Getin' my pizza and sticks.
Jonesin' for a frozen custard,
Needin' to get in my licks.
Rollin' over to Culver's,
Dodgin' road construction.
Speedin' down the Sixty,
Wantin' creamy destruction.
Cruisin' through the drive-thru,
Handin' over four-nineteen.
Roundin' the corner with my sundae,
Diggin' the parking lot scene.
Frakin' van parked sideways,
Takin' up three whole spaces.
Talkin' on her cell phone,
Hogin' all the shady places.
You ain't even a customer, bitch!
Gotta be movin' your shit, bitch!
Get the =beep= out my face, bitch!
Else I pop a cap in your ass, bitch!
Because I roll like dat.
Because I smoke em' like dat.
Parkin' in the sunshine,
Soakin' up the heat.
Scarfin' up my custard,
Meltin' on the seat.
Lookin' over at the talker,
Lackin' any kind of class.
Dreamin' of my vengeance,
Beatin' on her cracker ass.
Creepin' past the stupid ho,
Slidin' my hand to my piece.
Raisin' up my mini Canon,
Snappin' the shutter release.
Laughin' my ass off as I pass,
Thankin' digital photography.
Makin' yo inconsiderate ass famous,
Postin' dis shit on Blogography.
You ain't even a customer, bitch!
Gotta be movin' your shit, bitch!
Get the =beep= out my face, bitch!
Else I pop a cap in your ass, bitch!
Because I roll like dat.
Because I smoke em' like dat.
Because I roll like dat.
Because I smoke em' like dat.
— All lyrics copyright ©2007 by Blogography.
When you find yourself driving between Chicago and Milwaukee time after time after time, you're always looking for something new and interesting to do. Today after work had FINALLY finished, I was planning on visiting America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, only to find out that they were closed for "summer break." To which I can only say "WTF?!?" Summer is when the most people take their vacation time and can visit your museum! Oh well. I guess I'll be saving that one for another trip.
With the museum out of the picture, I consulted a page of notes I keep about things to do in the Milwaukee and Chicago area. It's an ever-growing list of stuff I run across in magazines, web sites, or TV shows that sound like something I might enjoy. Buried in middle of the list was a single link and these words...
Wilmette Bahá'í - Timothy.
And that's when I remembered that Timothy had written about a wonderful visit to the Bahá'í Temple in Uganda, and had mentioned that there was another north of Chicago. So, after consulting iPhone for an address and directions, off I went.
And what a sweet decision that was. The Bahá'í House of Worship (Mashriqu'l-Adhkár in the original Arabic) was completed in 1953, and is an extraordinarily beautiful building that has to be seen to be belived...
You can't take photographs inside, but the ornate carvings continue once you enter the building. The dome is a remarkable piece of architecture because those carvings go all the way through, making it particularly beautiful as the light streams through the holes. The building itself is open to the public (no admission fee), and is meant to be a peaceful place for people of all faiths to come and pray or meditate.
I have a fleeting knowlege of the Bahá'í Faith because some friends I know are followers. In many ways, it's a nifty religion, attempting to unify different faiths by looking at them as manifestations of the same single God. This means that divine religious figures such as Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad, all come from the same place and are teaching different aspects of a single religion. This principle is so important that symbols of these other religions are carved on the outside columns...
(And, just because there's always somebody dying to make a smart-assed remark about Buddhists being Nazis, I should post a reminder that the swastika was used as a religious symbol in Hindu and Buddhist faiths thousands of years before Hitler was even born, and is used even today to mark Buddhist temples on maps in Asian countries).
There are currently seven Bahá'í Houses of Worship world-wide... Wilmette, USA - Kampala, Uganda - Sydney, Australia - Frankfurt, Germany - Panama City, Panama - Tiapapata, Samoa - Delhi, India (which is the most visited buildings in the world, and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful structures created). I can't help but wonder if I should make future travel plans around visiting all of them? Heaven only knows they are located in some interesting places.
And now, a few random bits to close out the day...
And I guess that's my Wednesday. Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will lapse into a coma.
This morning I sat in my O'Hare hotel room staring at the traffic updates on my iPhone. The route into the city was flashing a lethal-looking red, so I figured there wasn't much point in leaving until the roads opened up. Otherwise, I'd just be paying for a taxi to sit in traffic as the meter racked up an already-huge fare.
Eventually around 11:00, there was enough green showing on the traffic monitor that I decided to head into the city and check-in to my hotel.
The first thing I did when I got to my room was throw open the window. It was a glorious day and, unlike most hotels, the windows here are not limited to opening just a few inches (I guess they're not worried about suicide jumpers). It's hot outside, with a few scattered clouds and beautiful blue skies...
While soaking up the atmosphere, something blows up against me and I look down to see this little card sitting in the window sill...
WTF?!? Beware of the spiders? SPIDERS?!?!
Then I look outside the window pane and see that, sure enough, there's little spider webs all over the building exterior. Then it hits me... GAH!! SPIDERS!!!
I think my worst nightmare would be to wake up in the middle of the night, notice that there's a strange tickling sensation on my face, then turn on the lights only to discover that my bed was covered in spiders. So, uhhh... yeah... we'll just close the windows and enjoy the view that way.
Around 1:30 I went to have lunch with a good friend and ex-coworker I haven't seen in a while. Everywhere I looked it was absolutely beautiful out, so we decided to eat outside. The heat was pretty intense, but an occasional breeze made things bearable. An hour-and-a-half later, lunch was over and I decided to head back to my hotel and catch up on some work. It was noticeably darker out, and I saw that additional clouds had started rolling in...
By the time I actually made it to the hotel, the weather was positively grim. Thunder was echoing in the distance, and rain had started to fall. The scene out my window just two hours after the first photo above had been taken was quite a bit different now...
Oooh! And there goes massive lightning flashes with thunder so loud that my windows are shaking. Sweet! You can't tell by the photo, but the rain is actually falling sideways. And the sky just keeps getting darker and darker, so I'm not sure what we're in for here in The Windy City. I'm guessing it's an alien invasion.
Maybe I should just crawl under the covers and try not to think of what might happen. After all, now that I have the spiders crawling around in my mind, do I really need something else to worry about?
It's a sound I remember well. A sound I loathe with every fiber of my being. A sound I thought that I had eliminated from my life forever.
It's that annoying sound that a Motorola mobile phone makes when the battery is running low. Last night some dumbass in the room next to mine left his dying phone behind while he was away. I can only imagine that he was out banging some crack whore, and didn't want the inconvenience of having his wife call while he's acquiring his latest STD (why else leave your mobile behind?).
Meanwhile, I had to try and work while that stupid mobile phone kept begging for somebody to charge it. Eventually I cranked up my iPod so I wouldn't hear it, but that's not the way I work best. I need silence.
The owner eventually returned around 10:40pm... but waited an agonizing ten minutes before plugging-in his phone (sorry buddy, but washing your dick in the sink is no substitute for a shot of penicillin). Silence was mine at last, and I started in on my work once again, confident that my troubles were over.
I would be wrong, of course.
Around 1:30am I was beyond tired and decided to finally drop into bed. I took a couple of sleeping pills, hoping that I might be able to sleep-in late and get a full eight hours rest for once. Heaven only knows I need it after a week of not getting much sleep at all.
But the phone rang at 7:00am, waking me from a dead-sleep...
Since they hung-up on me, I'll now take a minute to respond...
Dear Anonymous Blogography Fan Callers,
Thank you so much for your phone call bright and early this morning at 7:00am! I cannot help but be touched. It's people like you who make my blogging experience all the more satisfying and worthwhile. By taking the time to let me know just how much you care, I'm even more inspired to keep writing in my blog. Your enthusiasm and kind words are a beacon of light in the darkness of my existence, and I am ever so grateful to you for sharing your feelings with me!
And one more thing before I forget...
After napping for a couple more hours, I had to go out most of the day for work. Around 2:00 it was scorching, and I decided to take a break from the heat. I bought a bottle of Vitamin Water and took a seat in front of an office building where they were kind enough to put benches around a large planter. While I was sitting there, I looked down and noticed a small worm struggling on the hot sidewalk. It had rained earlier, which probably drew him out of hiding, but now all the moisture had evaporated leaving him high and dry. I was pretty sure the little guy was a goner, but I kicked him aside, picked him up, then set him in the planter under the shade of some greenery. Maybe he would get lucky and recover.
A woman sitting two seats away from me was talking on her mobile phone loud enough for me to overhear her disgust as she said "Gross! Some guy just picked a WORM up off the STREET!!" I immediately turned towards her and said "Don't worry, if you were to collapse dying on the sidewalk right now, I wouldn't lift a finger to help YOU out."
Then I walked away mad at myself because I knew that I undoubtedly would help the bitch if she collapsed on the sidewalk.
But I'd "accidentally" step on her mobile phone and smash it into a million pieces while I was trying to save her hater ass. Karma, and all that...
Two of the hotel spiders have disappeared, leaving me with one sole window-mate remaining. At first I thought that he might be dead, but then I saw him wandering around his web and upgraded his condition from "dead" to "feisty zombie." He's out for blood alright, and it's only a sheet of double-paned glass that separates him from mine.
From a distance, Wesley (that's what I named him) is a fairly innocent-looking creature. He's small (less than an inch in length) and could even be considered "cute" if you can get past the fact that he'd gladly kill you if he had a bit more size on him. But when you put your camera on super-zoom, Wesley looks pretty terrifying...
He's not somebody I'd like to have as a house-guest, that's for sure.
Anyway, I'm all ready for Davecago2 tonight, and am really looking forward to seeing everybody...
UPDATE: Well, I was planning on posting about the event tonight, but it's past midnight and I have to be up at 5:00am... so I guess my Davecago wrap-up will have to wait for another day. Suffice to say that it was big-fun, as always, and a big thanks to everybody who made the trip!
It's Bullet Sunday back at home, as I return from a week of fun and excitement in the Mid-West. Well, at least ONE day was fun and exciting... most of the rest was nothing but hard work and sleepless nights. Right now I'm exhausted and feeling thoroughly worn out, which is why I'll be off to bed directly after finishing up this entry.
• Davecago2... Nothing makes me happier than adding people to my "Bloggers I've Met" list that's growing ever-longer in my sidebar. So, in addition to Ariana, Diane & Evan, Gary, Jenny, Kevin, RW, Mrs. RW, this year's Chicago Meet-Up happily allowed me to add three new bloggers to the list...
Excellent blogs, all of them.
And lastly, truly... from the bottom of my heart... thanks again to everybody who took time out of their weekend to come eat pizza and visit. Saturday meant a lot to me, and it's always an amazing feeling to connect with my fellow bloggers up-close and in-person. Hopefully we can do it all over again next year!
• Bob 'Maters... RW and Mrs. RW arrived at the festivities bearing gifts... in the form of two perfect garden-fresh tomatoes. I was then charged with the rather daunting task of getting them home in one piece and squished-free. The box I had for them was too small, so I ended up protecting them the best I could with T-shirts and books. Fortunately, airport security decided that they were not a liquid or gel, and they survived the trip in perfect shape. It was Mrs. RW who suggested a BLT sandwich so, after micro-waving some veggie bacon, lunch was served...
Needless to say, my sandwich was totally delicious. Few culinary delights can compare to a garden-fresh tomato! Except chocolate pudding. Or maybe chocolate cake. Or perhaps even ice cream. But yeah, a garden-fresh tomato is hard to beat.
• Pizano's... Choosing a pizza restaurant in Chicago is a tough thing to do, because there are so many good ones to pick from. For the most part, any pizzeria worth its salt will be able to get a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza right, as it's one of the city's signature dishes (I'm partial to Giordano's for deep-dish, but have had many great pies from many terrific Chi-Town restaurants). What's more difficult is finding a pizzeria that serves a good deep-dish AND a terrific thin-crust pizza. And for thin-crust, it's tough to beat the cracker-crispy "butter crust" from Pizano's. So many thin-crusts are boring and flavorless, but all that butter does wonders here...
If you're looking for good pizza in Chicago, you might want to give Pizano's a try.
And it's midnight. Time for sleep...
And so I'm back from Chicago browsing through all the TV shows stacked up on my TiVo, when I notice that one of my favorite shows, My Boys has several new episodes waiting for me. I've always known that the show is based in Chicago, but I never realized how entrenched the show is in Chicago until tonight. The characters regularly drop the names of Chi-Town locations I've been to or through, but it wasn't until they talked about eating tapas at Emilio's that it finally sunk in. That's the restaurant where RW invited me to dinner, then subsequently went insane and had to be taken away by the police (or something like that). It's cool to know that not only is the show funny, but it works hard at being authentic as well.
On the way home from work today, I made the turn onto my street and noticed something odd in the distance. A car on my side of the road was going in the wrong direction, heading straight for me. Thinking that it was a temporary adjustment because of a cat or pothole (or whatever) on their side of road, I wasn't worried. But he never went back into his lane. He kept coming. My concerned deepened when he started honking his horn as he approached. Not knowing what else to do, I slowed down to a near-stop, and waited to see what's going on. But the guy kept coming. And once he got almost to the hood of my car, he swerved into the proper lane (still honking), flipping me off as he passed, then went back into my lane.
And then it happened.
Suddenly I found that I was doubting myself over something I knew to be correct.
"Holy crap! Am I driving in the wrong lane?!?"
It was only for a fleeting second that I thought the right lane was the wrong lane, but it's been bothering me all night. I'm a total genius! How could I question myself like that? Especially over something so fundamental like driving, which I do every day.
It's a mystery. And I still don't know why that guy was driving on the wrong side of the road. Perhaps he just got back from living in England or something? Dunno.
And, lastly, speaking of wrong...
Geeks of Doom is reporting that Keanu Reeves has been tapped to play Klaatu in the remake of one of my favorite films ever, The Day The Earth Stood Still. I mean, come on, the movie really doesn't need to be remade in the first place... but Keanu Reeves?!? That's like getting Bender from Futurama to play the intergalactic peace-keeping robot Gort...
Heh, heh, heh... "Klaatu barada niktooooo-bite my shiny metal ass, humans!"
It's a sick, sad world.
Why is it considered "cute" if a cartoon penguin pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot somebody... but if I were to do that I'd probably end up arrested?
Feathers McGraw from Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers
I need a Davecation.
Today has been a much better experience than yesterday. Instead of wanting to shoot people in the face, I merely want to break their knee-caps or give them a wedgie or something. Of course, I'm blogging early, and so there's plenty of room for massive trauma to strike before the day is done.
That probably sounds pessimistic, but I prefer to think of it as realistic. And THAT probably sounds defeatist, but I prefer to think of it as not setting myself up for disappointment.
In other news... it is SO on, bitches!
I don't know where or what time yet (suggestions welcome!), but I will be working in La La Land during the week and totally ready to meet on Saturday for big fun and excitement. So if you think you'd like to come hang out with swell bloggers and have a bite to eat, please email me at email@example.com so we can get a head-count and I can make name-lanyards and reservations and stuff. Hope you can make it!
I haven't asked Paris if she'll be able to attend yet (she's working on both a new album and a new book), but I've got my fingers crossed...
Lil' Dave is totally not wearing panties in this shot...
Next up will be Orlando, hopefully in October, but I haven't planned my schedule that far out. Heck, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing tomorrow.
It's 9:00pm and I'm already in bed. DYING!!!
I think I'm coming down with something. Perhaps the ebola virus or the Black Death or whatever other plague-like horror is in fashion these days.
It all started this morning when I awoke in a haze, not feeling myself at all. It was kind of like my mind was off sitting on a shelf somewhere, and my body was moving around all independent and zombie-like. Such as when I found myself standing in the shower trying to remember if I had already shampooed my head or not, then deciding to shampoo anyway just in case. Everything went downhill from there. I think the worst part was when I stopped at a stop sign on the way to work and then forgot how to drive my car for a minute. By the time I remembered how to engage the clutch, I forgot where I was going and how I got there. At first I thought that this was a good excuse to go eat ice cream, but then a vague recollection of having to go to work floated across my mind, ruining an already bad moment.
It must be time for some... oh crap... I just remembered that I dropped an Airborne tablet in a glass of water a half hour ago and forgot to drink it.
Excuse me for a minute...
Well that tasted lovely. Kind of like a cross between 7-Up and battery acid, I'd imagine. I wonder if Airborne can cure an ebola virus outbreak? Hmmmm... probably not. I would think you'd need Pepto Bismol for that. Pepto Bismol can cure anything.
One last thing before I go... if I should happen to actually die from this, please everybody remember to follow my last wishes as to how I want to be buried. Thanks!
On top of having the ebola virus (or whatever), I find myself to be in a really cranky mood. I was forced to leave work early because my eyes would not stop watering, and so now I'm even farther behind than ever. Just writing this blog entry is a huge effort that's probably going to take forever. Since I am mostly incoherent, I should probably just lay down some bullet-points full of whining and be done with it.
• Desktritus... Avitable has picked up on a meme whereas you share a photo of your desk. Of course, anything Avitable does seems to propagate through the blogosphere like a wildfire, meaning that if I don't participate there must be something wrong with me (even RW is doing it!). The problem is that there IS something wrong with me and I'm at home sick. This means I can't snap a photo of my nicely-organized work desk... oh no! I have to use a photo of my home desk, which is pretty much a disaster area that should be condemned...
Here you go Avitable, you bastard!
0) Business cards from people I will never contact, 1) A stack of books to read (probably recommended by Vahid), 2) A bottle of melatonin, 3) A pencil cup with my Maui shark keychain and assorted pens, 4) A plastic bag with a defective camera lens in it, 5) Two tarot card decks (I'm making my own Bad Monkey Tarot, and need them for reference), 6) An unused plastic rain poncho I got from Disney World, 7) A shot glass from my trip to the Hard Rock Lisbon, 8) Coin cups from the Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas with loose change inside, 9) My Rosetta Stone French course, 10) My Mac G4 Cube that I can't bear to get rid of, 11) A container full of Lego pieces, 12) A spare blanket from my car, 13) A container with Farscape trading cards and autographed photos of the cast, 14) A bag of rejected shirts from the Artificial Duck Store, 15) A box of souvenir crap from my trip to China, 16) A bag with an original Chris Ware print from a trip to Chicago needing to be framed, 17) A container filled with Japanese manga comics, 18) A tube with a poster from my trip to The Vatican Museum, 19) A hardcopy of my book, 20) A stack of comics I've read and need to file away, 21) A mess of cables and a LiveStrong bracelet, 22) A voodoo doll from my trip to New Orleans that really works, 23) My Sully plush from Monsters Inc., 24) My old Nintendo DS, 25) My Batman alarm clock that Karl gave me at TequilaCon, 26) My iPhone and glasses, 27) My MacBook Pro, 28) Old film negatives that I need to send in for scanning, 29) Comics to read, 30) Buttons left over from Davecago2, 31) Comics to read after I have a few more issues.
Yeah, that's pretty bad. But, in my defense, I've been traveling and working a lot and haven't had much time to clean it up around my home.
• Theft... I am constantly getting emails from people telling me of dumbasses who steal stuff from Blogography and try to pass it off as their own. Whenever I confront these idiots, it's always the same story... "I just wanted to share it with my readers!" Well, if that's all you wanted, then why not link to the original source? Or, if you simply must post it on your site, why not at least credit where you took it from? Otherwise, you're nothing more than a douchebag thief, passing off somebody else's work as your own.
My Creative Commons license is very generous. As long as you aren't a commercial site making money off my stuff, go ahead and take anything you want... as long as you credit me as the creator with a link to the source material. If you don't credit the source, you're breaking my copyright and the law. If you post my material on a site whose primary function is selling advertising, that's a commercial site and your're breaking my copyright and the law (even if you credit the source). It's not rocket science, it's the difference between right and wrong, and I'm tired of it. If you are totally incapable of saying anything original and have to steal all your content, then just give it up you thieving hack.
• NBC... I pay for DirecTV, so I don't buy many television shows online. I prefer to wait for the DVD. The only exception are those times I miss an episode, or I'll buy shows just to have something to watch when I'm stuck somewhere without entertainment. This is why Apple's iTunes Store is so great... it's so easy to buy a shows whenever you want. The $1.99 price tag is a bit steep for what you get, but I'm willing to pay the money for the convenience of it all. Except now NBC Television has decided to pull out of the iTunes Store because they want $4.99 per episode, and Apple (quite rightly) said no. IS NBC OUT OF THEIR FUCKING MINDS? Let's take a look at current options for obtaining television programs. As an example, I am using the first season of NBC's hit program Heroes...
Who in their right mind would pay $4.99 for a television show that's of low quality, has DRM crap encoded in it, is more expensive than a DVD set loaded with extras, comes without any storage media, and is more expensive than even HD-DVD? NOBODY! That's who! Digital delivery of files is the cheapest possible method of distribution with practically no benefits (except convenience) yet the legal options for buying it always cost the most. That is totally fucked up. Fuck NBC. Fuck them up their stupid, greedy asses. And bravo to Apple for not caving to idiocy, and being willing to lose money rather than compromise to a no-win situation.
• Adobe... After having had to get my MacBook repaired because of a TSA agent dropping my battery on it and denting the case, something was wacky with the hard drive and I had to reformat it. This is no big deal, I keep full backups of my data, and I don't mind reinstalling my software. Unless that software comes from Adobe. Because of their new online activation bullshit, I ended up having to call in to get technical assistance so I could access software I PURCHASED DIRECTLY FROM ADOBE. This idiocy is meant to stop software piracy, but all it does is piss me off (meanwhile, cracked versions of the software are available on BitTorrent, which means that it doesn't stop piracy in the first place). What kind of company purposefully initiates a scheme whose only effect is making their loyal customers hate them? Why do I pay these idiots to treat me like a criminal?
• Finale... Eh, that's enough bitching for one day. I'm going to see if a couple of tubs of chocolate pudding will make me feel any better.