Posted on Saturday, March 1st, 2008
Last night was an official meeting of the TequilaCon 2008 Planning Posse. For everybody who is anxiously awaiting to hear about what's going to be happening in Philadelphia on May 3rd, your salvation will soon be at hand! A venue has been chosen, plans have been made, and a spreadsheet has been created. Jenny will be working out the few remaining details next week, so keep a look-out over at Run Jen Run (or watch your in-box if you've requested email updates).
The TQ2008 Planning Posse after-party kicked off at the sublimely cool restaurant Montage, where much macaroni & cheese and geek tattoos were to be had (w00t!). From there, the evening moved to The Green Dragon for Sopranos pinball, then to The Blue Monk for after-cocktails cocktails. A most excellent and productive precursor to TequilaCon 2008...
This morning Dustin and I decided to meet Vahid at Powell's City of Books so we could cash-in on his encyclopedic knowledge of science fiction literature. I've got some travel coming up, and nothing makes the plane time pass faster than a really good book. Fortunately, Vahid has a huge list of worthwhile titles to explore...
I managed to escape with a total under $60 this time, which showed great restraint on my part. It would be very easy to spend several days and several thousands of dollars at Powell's, not just because they have one of the best book selections on earth, but because it's so cool that independent book-sellers like this (and my beloved Elliott Bay Book Co. in Seattle) can thrive in the day-and-age of Amazon and the mammoth chain stores.
My favorite was the Pope-Mobile shopping cart, though they were having some problems getting started...
Cirque de Soleil is in opening the city tonight, and everywhere you go downtown there are people dressed up as angels to promote the event. They're juggling, dancing, walking on stilts, and passing out fliers. Since today was also the opening day of a new season for the Portland Saturday Market, many of the Cirque Angels ended up congregating there...
After goofing around at the market (FAKE BABY!!), the weather was so nice that we decided to visit Portland's Chinese Gardens. It's an incredible oasis of calm and beauty in the middle of the city...
Things were just starting to come into bloom, but it was too early to see the garden in all its splendor (lucky for you, Vahid has some great photos of a previous visit up at Flickr). Still there were some beautiful shots to be had...
After a break, Vahid came back to town and suggested eating at E-San, which has some of the best Thai food I've eaten outside of Thailand. I had a truly excellent Gang Mussamun veggie curry, and recommend E-San highly when looking for someplace unique to eat in Portland.
Earlier in the day, as we were walking by Dante's Cafe, we were handed a flyer for a special event by "The Can-Can Castaways" happening tonight. As we peeked inside to see the performers practicing for the show, it looked interesting, so we decided to come back for the show.
F#@% Cirque de Soleil and their $50 tickets... THIS is value entertainment.
For a mere $12 cover charge, we were treated to a fantastic showing of The Breaking, which is the troop's dance-inspired tale of "Love, Loss, and Lament" featuring terrific live music by The Bad Things...
Awesome performance. And they're based out of SEATTLE! It would be fun to get a group of friends together and see one of their home shows. I'm not a dance-performance lover, but this was excellent stuff. Vahid and I both bought the CD and got our show posters autographed by the cast. If you're in Seattle, check out The Can-Can Kitchen and Cabaret down at the Pike Place Market.
During show intermissions, we played table-top games, with Vahid getting high score on "Chug Monkey" which I thought was a pretty cool game. Who doesn't love a drunk monkey?
That's a pretty amazing day, and I think I set a record with the number of outgoing links or something.
Tomorrow morning it's a flight back home and a return to my regularly-scheduled boring life there...
Posted on Sunday, March 2nd, 2008
It's Bullet Sunday and I'm shooting blanks! My brain is so tired that I can only think of three points this week...
• Salmoni! When I got home from Portland, Animal Planet TV was running a 2003 special I hadn't seen before called Living with Tigers. Tigers have always been one of my favorite animals, and this documentary about the efforts to save them from extinction was fascinating. It follows two cubs, Ron & Julie, as they are raised in captivity and eventually trained to be released into the wild. The hope is that the dwindling tiger population can be bolstered in this manner before wild tigers disappear altogether.
But almost as interesting as the tigers, is one of the trainers who was working with them: Dave Salmoni. The bastard is just insane. He keeps saying things like "let's hope she doesn't realize that she's much bigger and stronger than I am so I don't get killed" as he walks up to a growling tiger to take her food away. And every time you see him, his clothes have holes all over from when he's been wrestling with the big cats. After Living With Tigers was over, they showed another program which had Salmoni working with Grizzly Bears (Predator vs. Prey)... and then aired previews of another where he was with lions (Into The Lion's Den). You can tell he has a passion for his work, but I have to wonder how long it will be before I'm reading that he's been killed by stampeding elephants (or whatever). Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's tragic death is still very fresh in my mind, and something tells me it's only a matter of time. There's only so long you can keep exposing yourself to high-risk scenarios with dangerous animals like this before your number is up...
• Mappable! As a long-time lover of maps, I was delighted to stumble upon Transit Maps of The World while browsing at Powell's City of Books yesterday. This wondrous tome has maps of every rapid-transit system on earth... which is kind of like cartographic porn for people like me. The graphics are really too small to be functional, with the diagrams being treated more like works of art than actual maps (and they are!)...
This is very cool book for anybody interested in maps or rapid transit, and you can read more about it at Amazon. If you'd rather not spend the money, you can always take a look at the free transit maps online courtesy of Urban Rail.
• Majesty! No matter how many times I fly over The Cascades, I'm always amazed at how beautiful they are. The day I stop being awed by sights like this, it's time for me to stop traveling...
And now I'm off to bed, where I hope to lapse into a coma for seven hours or so...
UPDATE: Aaaaaaannnnnnd my blog seems to be refusing to accept my entry. Guess I'll give it a try in the morning and hope that the problem solves itself rather than requiring me to do any actual work.
Posted on Monday, March 3rd, 2008
Well, hey... my blog seems to be accepting entries again this morning. What a wonderful surprise. Rather than wait for things to break again, I decided to just go ahead and post my entry for both yesterday and today.
Though because it's only 3:30am there's not a lot to write about. Fortunately, a quick run through my blogroll resulted in the best inspiration for blogging there could possibly be.
In what has to be the most hotly anticipated news all year, Jenny has announced the venue for TequilaCon 2008. After the fun everybody had at Dave L.A., I applaud the choice made by the committee, and can't wait for May to arrive! Hotels are still being reviewed, so keep an eye out at Run Jen Run for the suggested lodgings announcement...
And speaking of both Jenny and TequilaCon... for those just dying to see me in my fedora, here's a shot Jenny took of me modeling my fabulous "w00t!" geek tattoo at the TequilaCon 2008 Planning Posse meet, gangsta style...
That's a box of Hello Kitty Chewing Candy in front of me there. It may be infused with gelatin nastiness, but it goes well with beer and isn't that all that really matters?
Hello Kitty really should start her own brewery. That's a totally missed opportunity.
Posted on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008
I tend not to dwell upon the past, but every once in a while I look back in my life and become despondent over the things I've failed to achieve. Goals never met. Plans never realized. Potential never fulfilled.
I suppose I'm not unique in this regard. How many people can say their life has gone exactly as planned?
Though I'm probably harder on myself than most because my goals are set rather high. My ultimate goal, naturally, is to become ruler of the earth and all I survey. But I realize this is not something likely to happen overnight... certain "minor goals" will have to act as stepping stones towards world domination. Unfortunately, these goals (as of yet) have also gone unsatisfied.
Like becoming a Knight of the British Empire.
You laugh, but they gave that shit to Bill Gates for infesting the United Kingdom with his Microsoft Windows crap, so why not recognize me for infesting The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire with my Blogography crap? And, as if that weren't enough, I look damn fine wearing jewel-encrusted silver ornaments. I would totally be rocking that "Star of the Knight" medal, I tell you what...
And I have no doubt that Her Majesty The Queen and I could become bestest friends...
But, alas, no knighthood for me.
I was reminded of this failure as I was watching the wacky Barbara Walters host "The Royal Family" special on television last night. It was actually pretty good, but just makes me want to watch the original British documentary, Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work, upon which the Baba Wawa special was bastardized from.
In even further bad news, my Apple Time Capsule wireless backup drive arrived yesterday...
But not really.
The box was completely empty.
When I got it, I noticed it was near-weightless, but I thought it might be software of some kind. After opening the box and finding nothing, I located the label from Apple, looked up the order number, and saw it was supposed to be my Time Capsule. After a long, convoluted call to Apple, they issued an insurance claim with FedEx and placed a new order. Unfortunately, this has added ten days to my delivery time, but oh well.
Perhaps I'll feel better about things if I were to knight myself.
Sir Dave2 sure does has a nice ring to it.
Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2008
First of all, OMG, Zack Snyder has posted some promo shots of various characters from the upcoming Watchmen movie, and they kick-ass! It's going to be agony waiting a year until this film is released... I hope it's worth it.
Second of all, it would seem Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, has run out of Hit Points. As a former hard-core D&D geek, this is sad news indeed. I wasted a lot of time in my high school years battling monsters and seeking treasure, which is only moderately better than doing drugs I suppose.
And lastly, it's Avitable's Querypalooza! The rules say you have to answer these five questions on your blog, come up with five new ones for your readers to answer on their respective blogs, then link back to the original post. Here we go...
1. Out of all of the posts you've written, which is your favorite and why? That's difficult to answer... I'm really proud of entries like Wings because it took so much planning to make things happen, and it totally paid off. But my favorite posts are always those that are the simplest. Just a little illustration or something. Like Ride or Friends.
2. Out of all of the posts I've written that you've read, which is your favorite and why? Too many good entries, but my favorite is easily Halloween 2007 Recap Part 2. Great memories of a great party, and I was there!
3. Which do you find the most frightening and why... A radically fundamentalist Christian, a moderate Muslim, a pretentious atheist, or a Scientologist? I think a radial anything is inherently dangerous.
4. Rather than discuss the typical characteristics of someone you'd desire (sense of humor, good body, etc.), I'm going to focus on the little details. Rank them in order of preference, with #7 being the one you consider more important than the others and #1 being the one you consider the least important: Okay!
5. If you were going to be trapped on a remote island for the rest of your life with one other person, which would you choose and why? MacGyver would probably make life more comfortable, but I'd pick "B"... ELIZABETH HURLEY!
And now five questions for my blogging readers...
Answer 'em if you've got nothing better to blog about (my answers are in the first comment). And, if you decide to do Avitable's Querypalooza, be sure to let Avitable know.
Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2008
Today was a wacky day of catching up on work and trying to arrange travel plans for another three trips I've got coming up.
And looking over Apple's FREE iPhone Software Development Kit (or SDK) which was released this morning. If you're not a programmer, it can be somewhat technical and boring, but you can watch His Holiness Steve Jobs describe what's going on via QuickTime here (the demo hotness starts just over half-way through). Suffice to say... I am completely blown away. I simply did not anticipate that the SDK would be so refined, polished, and powerful. Developers are going to be FLOCKING to the iPhone, which means iPhone users are in for some incredibly cool stuff come June when the 2.0 software upgrade drops. I have some concerns about required distribution through the iTunes Music Store (though if you give your stuff away for free, there's no charge once you've paid the $99 developer fee), but overall I am very, very excited. iPhone is going to OWN the mobile market... sweet!
Anyway, somewhere along the day, I was asked to make a fake "tabloid magazine" prop for a play that's being put on at the High School. It's fun doing wacky stuff like this from time to time...
I would so totally buy this!
And now for another installment of Response to Hate-Mail...
Thank you for your wonderful email chastising me for "showing disrespect to The Queen of England" (from this entry, I'm guessing). A few points... #1: Her Majesty is not the "Queen of England," but instead constitutional monarch (The Queen) of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and Head of the Commonwealth. There hasn't been a "Queen of England" since 1603. Since your IP address is actually located in England, I can only express my sadness that your educational system is apparently as bad as ours here in the USA. #2: I have nothing but the upmost respect for Her Majesty, and wouldn't dream of showing her any disrespect. If wanting to be her friend is disrespectful, then this world is in deeper trouble than I thought. #3: I've read a couple biographies of The Queen, and actually admire Her Majesty for taking on a job she never asked for and performing it to the best of her abilities. Her Majesty has led an exemplary life in service, has done so with dignity and devotion to her people, and deserves nothing but respect for it. I know I'll demand nothing less when I'm king of the world, so fuck you for implying I feel otherwise...
Good night... I love you my Apple iPhone!
Posted on Friday, March 7th, 2008
Posted on Saturday, March 8th, 2008
Oops. I made an entry yesterday but forgot to set it to "publish" while I was trying to fix stuff on my blog. Better late than never, I suppose.
The thing about messing around with your blog template is that it's a never-ending battle. There's always One More Thing that you want to fix or change, and you can go positively insane trying to get it all figured out. I've been working on an iPhone template off-and-on for weeks and don't feel any closer to finishing it than when I started. It doesn't help that Movable Type has crappy documentation for the complicated new template structure introduced in version 4. Oh well. It's just a matter of finding spare time to sit down and rip through the learning curve via the infamous "trial-and-error" method.
Alas, spare time is always in short supply, so everything sits unfinished.
Though I did change my header graphic while on a long, boring phone call the other day, so I guess that's something.
Or nothing, depending on how you look at it.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I can't blog anymore because Mr. Bun and I have real work to do...
Say goodbye to Mr. Bun! He's off to Iraq next week!
Except when I say "real work" what I actually mean is "go home and read the pile of comic books that arrived in the mail yesterday."
I just hope Mr. Bun doesn't drop his little poop pellets on my Batman books like last time.
UPDATE: My blog is getting hammered by people refreshing to see all the header graphics, so I've made it easier for those wanting to see all fifty headers to see them by following this link.
Posted on Sunday, March 9th, 2008
Bullet Sunday already? Where did that weekend go?
• Radio. Today at 4:00pm Pacific (7:00pm Eastern) I will be a guest host on BlogTalk Radio for the incomparable Mr. Fab's Pointless Drivel LIVE show! Heaven only knows what we'll talk about, but it's sure to be a lot of fun! To listen in, just point your web browser here and you're good to go! Once the show begins you'll be able to view a live chat with other listeners but, to join-in the chat yourself, you'll need to pre-register for an account (it's free!). Please note that the show is usually NSFW and probably not appropriate for children, small animals, The Radical Christian Right, or those not possessing a sense of humor...
• Talk. While I'm talking up the big fun that's BlogTalk Radio, I would be remiss to mention that half the blogosphere has radio shows there on Sunday. It starts off with Karl from Secondhand Triptophan at 2:00pm (that's Pacific Time), followed by Hilly-Sue from Snackie's World at 3:00pm, Fab at 4:00pm, Turnbaby from And The World Turns at 5:00pm, and Kyra from The Kyra Sutra at 6:00pm! Quite a line-up! Usually Sundays are travel days for me and I miss the shows, then have to listen to the archives. But today I'm excited because I'll be able to listen to everybody LIVE! Though I have to say that I'm feeling a bit left out that I don't have a radio show of my own. Maybe I'll just beg everybody to guest-star on their show and it will be almost the same? Probably not, but I guess I'll find out.
• Misrepresented. While State Legislator Sally Kern (Oklahoma House of Representatives) was making disgusting homophobic remarks to a small group of people, somebody recorded her dumbass ramblings and posted them on the internets. Now the dumbass bigot is having to deal with the fallout of being a "representative" who is very selective about which of her constituates she "represents" (gays need not apply!). After listening to her bullshit, I came away with a sense that she doth protest too much. What is she compensating for I wondered? And then it hit me... she's not afraid of the "gay agenda" she's afraid of being exposed! A classic case of denial...
• Lesbionic. I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on Representative Kern... but I'm lashing out from fear. Fear that she and her homophobic nut-job comrades might actually be able to make good on their Nazi-esque fantasies of cleansing the nation of homosexuals. A nightmare! WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO LESBIAN PORN?!? Because right now I'm trying to decide which video I need most, and that's a struggle I'm not wanting to give up...
I'm leaning towards "The Trouble with Girls" because it sounds naughty! But then I see "Girls Do It Best: Volume 2" and think perhaps that's the way to go... obviously these babes are really good at making lesbian porn if they've got a SEQUEL going on! Except further down the shelf there's "Girls on Girls: VOLUME FOUR" yes, VOLUME FOUR, which sounds great, yet I can't help but wonder if they're just running the series into the ground like the Star Wars prequels did? But then... THEN... I spot "Bitch Banging Bitch" and think this video must be the one to beat... it's got bitches in it! And they appear to be experienced bitches, unlike the amateurs to be found in "Bitches in Training." And there's always "100% Strap-On," which could be interesting and educational... or just very, very scary. What's a boy to do? Well, if people like Sally Kern get their way, there won't be anything TO do. The lesbian porn industry will be shut down. THIS is AMERICA?!? Nay, I say! Hmmm... I wonder where Obama stands on lesbian porn?
• Trek I have been really enjoying the new remastered versions of Star Trek lately. It's amazing how a fresh batch of special effects can totally refresh the show. It's just as relevant today as it ever was, and looks absolutely beautiful. ..
More gorgeous images can be found here, and where you can watch the remastered episodes can be found here. If all else fails, and you're wanting to know what the fuss is about, you can always buy episodes from the iTunes Music Store.
And that's a wrap for Bullet Sunday! Be sure to tune in to Pointless Drivel LIVE on BlogTalk Radio today at 4:00pm Pacific Time (or 3:00pm if you haven't set your clock ahead yet). Your life might just depend on it!
Well, maybe not yours, but definitely mine. I hear Fabby sends out assassins to kill you if his ratings drop when you guest-host.
Posted on Monday, March 10th, 2008
Before I forget, a big thank you to Mr. Fabulous for letting me guest-host his talk show! If you missed it, you can still have a listen by heading over to the Pointless Drivel LIVE Archives. Please note that portions of the show are NSFW, and may not be suitable for children. Okay, I lie, it's definitely not suitable for children. Or anybody else for that matter. Listen at your own risk.
This morning I overheard a conversation where a woman was going on about how great things were in "the good ol' days." You know... the days when everybody would get together and sing songs and take sleigh rides for fun.
At the time I heard it, I was thinking that such lame activities sounded like sheer torture.
But then I changed my mind.
Because when I got home and was reading through my Marvel Comics Archives while eating dinner, I saw some ads that actually make "the good ol' days" look pretty cool. And it all starts with monkeys...
Apparently, you could ship monkeys through the mail in the good ol' days. This worried me at first, but since they "guarantee live delivery" I guess this means they ship you out a fresh one if you get a dead monkey in your mail box. Sweet! But sometimes a monkey alone isn't enough to impress the ladies. Fortunately, you're covered...
Genius! But what do you do if a monkey and paste-on facial hair is not enough to be a hit with women? The answer is at hand...
With mad hypnotism skills you can make the girls fall madly in love with you. That sounds like a lot less work than the alternative...
Of course, once you've got yourself a woman, you've got to keep her entertained, right?
And don't worry ladies, if comic reading, monkey-packing, facial-hair-wearing, accordion-playing, hypnotizing guys start hitting on you, there's an ad for you as well...
But my favorite ads are those placed by Grit Magazine...
Of course, in this day-and-age, advertisements soliciting dandy young boys with promises of swell money would get you in big, big trouble... but it was a different time back then. A simpler, more innocent time.
A better time.
I mean, come on... dude! Monkeys by mail!
It sure beats stealing them from the local zoo...
Posted on Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
Living in a rural area isn't always a bad thing, but there are days I would give anything to get the hell out of this podunk town.
Like today, for example.
And it's all Tracy's fault. Yesterday she blogged about top-loader hotdog rolls, which I remember fondly from my trips to Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Boston. My friend there likes to take me to Spike's because they have vegetarian hot dogs I can eat. The "buns" they use are not "buns" at all... they're French rolls, sliced at the top instead of the side. Delicious. But the rolls Tracy was talking about are top-loaders which are meant to be grilled on the sides...
EVIL TRACY!! How can I resist trying something as totally awesome as this? I cannot.
So I clicked through to Maple and More to get me some grillable top-loaders. The minimum order is 24 rolls for $20 (Priority Mail postage paid!) which sounded like a pretty good deal (assuming I eat hot dogs morning, noon, and night before they go stale). All I needed was the veggie dogs. My favorites are tofu dogs made by Yves, and I've been buying them at the local health food store for years. So today after work I headed into Wenatchee to get some.
Only to find out that the health food store doesn't carry them anymore! In a panic I run to Safeway, but they don't have anything either. Horrified that I have buns coming with nothing to go in them, I head to Albertsons where they don't have Yves tofu dogs, but they do have Smart Dogs and Morningstar Farms Dogs. I grab both. After all, I have two-dozen buns to fill.
And then on my way to the self-checkout it happens.
Some bitch in her scooter runs into me.
It's not the first time I've been hit by somebody in a scooter, but it is the first time I've been hit BECAUSE SHE WAS TALKING ON HER MOBILE PHONE!! This was no accident, it was negligence, and I would have sued her stupid ass if I thought I could have got any money out of it. Unlike the last time I was hit, however, she did apologize... but it sure didn't sound sincere. Not wanting to let the opportunity pass me by, I said "maybe you shouldn't be talking on your phone if you're going to drive that thing into people."
"I DRIVE INTO PEOPLE WHETHER I'M ON THE PHONE OR NOT!!"
I guess she told me.
Posted on Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
This morning I overheard two kids debating over something when one of them said "I'm going to punch you in the vagina!"
It was one of those moments where I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. If the kid understood that boys don't have vaginas and was being ironic, it was pretty funny. On the other hand, if he was just repeating something he heard and didn't know that boys are vagina-free, it was pretty sad. I was almost hoping that the debate escalated into a conflict so I could find out exactly where he thought a guy's vagina is.
And speaking of completely misunderstanding vaginas, that stupid bitch "doctor" Laura Schlessinger has now gone on record as saying that, in a relationship, women are nothing more than whores whose only purpose is to service their man...
"When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings, sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he's very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs."
How cool is that! It's nice to know that if I get married and decide to stick my penis in another woman, I can just blame my wife! If the bitch had focused completely and totally on ME and MY needs, there wouldn't have been a problem in the first place! Yeah! It's HER fault!
I'm not saying that it's never a woman's fault that her man might be cheating on her... but WTF?!? In many ways, I actually find "doctor" Laura's statement to be more offensive towards men than women. We're all egomaniacal assholes who require constant stroking (heh heh) or else we're going to cheat? That's weak. After all the crazy shit this bitch has said, why is she still on the air? Does anybody find her credible or even remotely relevant anymore?
I'll just add "doctor" Laura to my ever-growing list of people who need to be bitch-slapped. Hard.
And, to those who asked... no, this wasn't an accident...
Believe it or not, it IS possible to support the troops, yet be opposed to war and embrace peace.
Posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2008
MY BUNS ARRIVED TODAY!
As I reported two days ago, the evil Tracy Kaply had blogged about top-loader hotdog buns that I remembered fondly and was compelled to order. But these buns were extra-special because they had grillable sides. After work I rushed home so I could fire up the frying pan, microwave the Smart Dogs, and chop the tomatoes & onions so I could add guacamole to serve 'em up Pink's Patt Morrison Baja style...
I'd almost say that they taste better than the Pink's original, because the top-loader buns makes allllll the difference. First of all, they don't split apart when you try to eat them. Second of all, those toasty grilled sides add a new level of texture to hotdogs that should have been there all along. If it didn't cost $20 to order these buns, I'd never buy anything else again.
THANKS A LOT TRACY!!!
In other news, I have been working my way through the "new & improved" Star Trek: Remastered episodes and came across "The Corbomite Maneuver" (if you've never seen it, I have to warn you that there are spoilers ahead). In the episode, the Enterprise comes across a glowing cube that they have to blow up. Then a giant ship comes to spank Kirk's ass for busting their shit, but Kirk bluffs them into backing down. After some boring crap I don't remember, the alien ends up being Opie's younger brother... complete with freaky pasted-on eyebrows and an equally freaky-ass adult voice dubbed onto him. He says his name is "Balok" which is one of those vaguely alien names that humans can still pronounce.
In the end, the entire confrontation was all some kind of test, because the alien is lonely and looking for companionship. After getting Kirk drunk on an orgasm-inducing punch called "tranya," Kirk decides that Lt. Bailey (the whiniest moron ever to serve aboard the Enterprise) should stay behind to keep Balok company...
... AND HE IS NEVER SEEN AGAIN!!
My guess is that Balok got Bailey drunk on tranya one night, then bit his head off and ate him. That's what I would do if stuck with the whiny bitch for more than fifteen minutes.
I just find it odd that there was never any mention of Lt. Bailey again... at least not that I could find. Perhaps Balok brought him back to the Enterprise in one of the Star Trek novels or something, but I don't think so. Of course, there's always the possibility that Balok and Bailey hooked up and are now happily exploring the universe together. Who knows?
Hmmm... I've already had two hotdogs... dare I eat another? I'm not hungry, but they taste sooooo good.
THANKS A LOT TRACY!!!→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Friday, March 14th, 2008
This morning I climbed out of the shower after entirely not-enough sleep and thought I was hearing things. But oh no... running to the window I confirmed my worst fears... THE KILLER GEESE HAVE RETURNED!
After getting dressed and arming myself with a squirt bottle, I cautiously made my way downstairs and into the parking lot. But they had gone. Probably off attacking some elderly neighbor or eating a cat or something. If all of a sudden you stop seeing blog entries from me, that probably means the evil geese finally got me. The bastards.
I always dread looking through the new Comic Previews Catalog when it arrives, because there's usually something geeky and super-cool I want that I don't need. And more often than not, it's stupidly expensive too. This time it's stupider than usual, but I can't help myself! I want it so bad!
They blew up a little Kubrick Alien 400% and are releasing him as an 11-inch action figure. He's beautiful... and he'd better be for $60.00 WITH DISCOUNT! It should cost like $40.00 tops, but with the US Dollar practically worthless on the international market, anything imported is insanely expensive.
Speaking of cool toys I can't afford, my Apple Time Capsule finally arrived! Luckily the box wasn't empty this time, because I don't think I could handle the crushing disappointment twice. It's an amazing device. Within 30 seconds of plugging it in, I was creating my first backup. 30 seconds after that I was messing around with my wirelessly shared volume, creating a media depository. It's brilliant in every way...
But before I go... Amy Sherman-Palladino (of Gilmore Girls fame) has a new show called The Return of Jezebel James which I have really been looking forward to. Until I actually watched it. For anybody who doesn't follow me on Twitter, here was my reaction...
The clever rapid-fire dialogue and quirky characters are there... but A F#@%ING LAUGH TRACK?!? Totally ruins the show. Horribly distracting. FAIL!!
Posted on Saturday, March 15th, 2008
As a certified pack-rat, I've kept every cable from every piece of electronics I've ever owned. Even those I got rid of years ago. This has resulted in my having a closet with four large boxes of wire crap that just takes up valuable space. Today I finally decided to sort through everything in an attempt to simplify my life.
And make room for my Batman Legos.
It took three hours. THREE HOURS!! Because, of course, they were all tangled up. Wires tend to do that for some reason...
Then I decided to go through all my laserdiscs and videotapes to see if there was enough material to justify ordering a video capture card for my Mac. Turns out there is. So I did. This way I can digitize all my stuff and toss out my old video equipment.
More room for Legos!
What convinced me to take the plunge was my Hi-8 video tapes of two of my favorite shows.
And then there's Alan Ball's masterpiece... Oh Grow Up! He created this hysterical show before his American Beauty and Six Feet Under became famous. It was sadly overlooked, and quickly canceled...
Almost as cool as the shows themselves are the commercials between the shows. In watching a few tapes I got to see the first iMac and iTunes commercials. Oh! And an anti-drug commercial from President Clinton!
It sure will be cool to be able to have all these old shows on my Mac.
And some space for my Legos.
Posted on Sunday, March 16th, 2008
Another Bullet Sunday is upon us, but I'm not ready for the weekend to be over!
• Organizational... This past week Suzy asked me if I still had a souvenir I bought from when we were goofing around in L.A. back in September. I knew I hadn't thrown it away, but couldn't find it. Probably because whenever I get back from a trip, I toss all my souvenirs and crap into one of ten big cardboard boxes I've got piled on top of my shelving units. Disgusted with my lack of organization, I decided to sit down with one box a week until I've organized all my travel stuff. It's hard work, but every once in a while I see something from my past that makes me smile, and that makes it all worthwhile...
I wonder how many people know you could once smoke on a plane?
• Time Capsule... Cannot express in mere words how happy I am with my new Apple Time Capsule. Using the built-in wireless connection, it took 22 hours to back up the 142 GB on my laptop. That was a bit harsh, but the incremental updates every hour are very fast. It's constant, unobtrusive, transparent backup that works beautifully. I've lost count of the times that Time Machine has saved my ass both at work and at home. Just one of the hundreds of reasons I'm such an Apple whore.
• Album... 2008 promises to be a very good year for the 80's music that I love. It has been rumored since January that Depeche Mode would start work on their new album this month for release in November (with a tour hopefully following in early 2009). Morten Harket (of a-ha fame) is releasing an English-language album this month in Norway, which will hopefully be available when I'm there next week. The Pet Shop Boys are meeting with producers this month for their upcoming album. Bananarama is gathering material for their next album. Erasure is also rumored to be working on a new pop album very soon now. I have high hopes that New Order will get together this year. Still no word on a Thompson Twins reunion, but I remain optimistic that one day it will happen.
• WWZ... Many thanks to Vahid and Dustin for a brilliant recommendation... World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Totally awesome book! Now I want the audiobook, because Dustin says the recording has Henry Rollins in it and totally kicks ass! They have it at iTunes, but it costs $18.95! I think I'll see if the library has it to borrow first...
Because me loves the zombies...
And popcorn. Can't have zombies without popcorn!
Speaking of zombies... it's time for me to get back to work.
Posted on Monday, March 17th, 2008
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!
Not wanting to invite any sexual-harassment-style ass-pinching, I was raiding my closet this morning for something green to put on. This is not a color I usually wear, so the pickings were pretty slim. Fortunately, I remembered that I had 250 "A Little Geeky" shirts laying around, so everything worked out okay.
Until I got to the mini market.
"HA! HA! THAT'S NOT GREEN!" an acquaintance I barely remember shrieks as she gives me a titty-twister in front of the beverage cooler. "Ow! Hey! This is green!" I cry while trying to rub some feeling back into my mangled nipple. "Well, that's not St. Patrick's Day green... it's more like an olive green" she replies still cackling with laughter. "Well, shit... I guess I didn't realize they changed the rules. Used to be that green was green" I whimper.
Ha ha ha very funny, bitch.
I was this close to punching her in the face, but then I remembered I don't do violence and had to settle for mentally bitch-slapping her instead.
What a way to start my day.
I'd run out and have entirely too much green beer tonight, but the consequences of such behavior could be catastrophic...
Nobody likes green beer puke. Nobody.
Posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2008
Today at lunch I had to run home to grab a portable hard drive I had forgotten and noticed that a bird had crapped on the hood of my car. The violation of my automobile didn't bother me too much because my car is filthy and, well, birds have to poop. What did bother me is that the bird dropped his load off-center. That's just sloppy crapping, and if a bird is going to shit on my car, I'd prefer that they take the time to at least make it look like they meant it...
But the biggest offense was yet to come...
While at home it became necessary to open a new package of flushable wipes. I've been using Kleenex Cottonelle Wipes for ages, but recently switched to Charmin Freshmates because they advertised a "DiamondWeave" construction. I didn't know what that meant, but it sure sounded great. I always put wipes in the care packages I send to the troops, and "Diamond Weave" sounds worthy of wiping the assorted body parts of even our toughest servicemen and servicewomen. Besides, as I've written before, I'm a big fan of Charmin toilet paper, and what's good enough to send to our troops is certainly good enough for me...
But then I opened the package.
What the f#@%?!? THIS is "DiamondWeave" construction???
All they did was stamp little holes in a diamond-shaped pattern on the wipe! That ain't no weave mutha f#@%er!! How in the hell does this not-so-woven "Diamond Weave" make any difference in the product's wiping ability? I'm no scientist, but I'd think this would actually make a single-ply product weaker in a vigorous wiping session than a non-punctured wipe.
That will teach me to purchase something based on unsubstantiated, nonsensical marketing jargon!
I wish I could be embarrassed at being such a consumer whore.
Posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
The rush to get everything done before leaving on a trip is always a source of great stress and anxiety. Right now I'm skating on the edge of sanity just trying to keep track of everything. At any moment something could come along and ruin my shit, but I try not to think about it.
And I have no idea what I'm going to pack in my suitcase.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was when a crippling migraine decided to strike after lunch...
Consider my shit officially ruined.
I'm fully expecting that I'll wake up tomorrow with a scorching case of flaming diarrhea farts.
How is it that I am this lucky?
Posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2008
Packin' my suitcase!
And trying not to freak out at all the crap I have to do before I drive over to Seattle tomorrow.
On top of a pile of unfinished work, impending snow on the mountain passes, my car acting up again, a missing cable for my iPod Shuffle, and the TOTALLY CRAPPY EXCHANGE RATE FOR THE U.S. DOLLAR... well, it's not been the best day for me.
But I still had reason to smile, because this was the random photo that landed on my desktop this morning...
Anyway... I had bought some of those new Quaker Mini Delights snacks and was telling a friend about them...
DAVE'S FRIEND: So they're like tiny rice cakes?
ACTUAL DAVE: Yeah, but they've got frosting drizzled on them. The chocolate-mint ones are really good... kind of like Girl Scout Cookies. The caramel ones are okay, but the frosting tastes like plastic.
DAVE'S FRIEND: The WHAT ones?
ACTUAL DAVE: The rice cakes?
DAVE'S FRIEND: The CAR-mel ones?
ACTUAL DAVE: Yeah, the frosting is plastic-like.
DAVE'S FRIEND: On which ones?
ACTUAL DAVE: Uhhhh... the caramel ones?
DAVE'S FRIEND: AH-HAAAAHH!!
And that's when she pointed out that I pronounce caramel as "CARE-AH-MEL" which she tells me is wrong. It's supposed to be "CAR-MEL."
I asked around and found out that everybody else thinks I pronounce it oddly as well. I never noticed before.
So what the f#@% is that extra "a" doing in there? Stupid superfluous vowels! I hate silent letters!
Hmmm... I should probably take some underwear on my trip.
It's always the little things you forget.
Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2008
I'm on vacation!
And since I fully plan on being incapacitated any minute now, I wish you a happy Good Friday!
I know mine will be.
Posted on Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
Nothing to see here... move along... move along...
Posted on Sunday, March 23rd, 2008
You want a bullet? Here's a bullet for you...
• VACATION, BITCHES!!!
Away I go...
And if you celebrate the whole Easter thing (or just like chocolate bunnies), I hope your holiday is a happy one.
Posted on Monday, March 24th, 2008
"Huh? You're going to Oslo for vacation?? What in the hell for?" —Just About Everybody I Know
Trying to explain how sometimes I like to travel to places "just because I haven't been there before" is a challenging ordeal. But here I am in the capitol city of Norway for exactly that reason. I've never been here, there's a Hard Rock Cafe in the city, and one of my first blogging buddies (whom I've never met) lives in the area. That's more than enough reason for me, even if people I know have trouble understanding why I'm here instead of Hawaii.
The tough thing about Olso is not the cold, snowy weather this time of year... I'm used to that back home. No, the problem is affording to spend time here. As The World's Most Expensive City, Oslo is a real challenge for the tourist traveler. And when you compound that with the INCREDIBLY F#@%ING WEAK U.S. DOLLAR, an expensive city becomes almost prohibitively expensive. Because, let's face it, on the international market, the American dollar ain't worth shit.
In fact, I'd be willing to wager that if you forced somebody here to choose between our dollar and a pile of shit, they'd actually take the shit because it could be used as a fertilizer, whereas a U.S. Dollar has practically no value at all. And the fun starts the minute you get here... a train from the airport into the city, which would be around $5-$10 anywhere else, is $32 in Oslo. And, since I measure everything compared to the price of a roll of toilet paper, I found out that the Blogography Toilet Paper Index Score for Oslo is $4.50.
If my hotel didn't provide toilet paper, I'd be wiping my ass with the U.S. currency I had left in my pocket... it just makes economic sense.
But enough about the INCREDIBLY F#@%ING WEAK U.S. DOLLAR, here's a few things I saw today...
One of my very first blogging buddies is Karla from "Tales of a Texpatriate." She is funny as hell, loves to travel, and has a similar outlook on things as I do. I'd say this makes her a hotter female version of me, but my ego won't allow it. Instead I'll just say I love her to death, and couldn't wait to meet her at long last. So imagine my excitement when I get a text message on my iPhone telling me she'll meet me by the giant tiger at the train station...
That doesn't look very "giant" so here it is again, but with people so you can see how tall it is...
Well, not how tall "IT" is, but how tall "HE" is, ahem...
After a walk down the main street "Karl Johans Gate" we arrived at the Hard Rock Cafe Oslo, where Karla bought me birthday dinner! I guess she wanted to delay that inevitable moment where I run out of money and have to sell myself on the street for food...
After a lovely chat over potato skins and nachos, we were off to Akershus Castle down the street. Along the way, I was surprised to see a statue of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He's honored here because of the assistance the U.S. offered Norway during the war. It's kind of nice remembering when we had a president that was liked and respected around the world. It's been so long...
Once at the castle, we could look down into the harbor. It was snowing pretty hard by now, which made taking photos difficult, but I did get a nice foggy panorama out of the deal...
Oslo has a lot of public art, some of it very strange. Like this "Let Your Fingers Do The Walking" kind of thing here...
After a a little more wandering around, my lack of sleep from the past 32 hours finally caught up with me and it was time to say goodbye to Karla and head back to my hotel (conveniently located near the train station). Karla warned me that this is a popular area for hookers to hang out, but I haven't seen any yet. At first I was disappointed, but then I figured if hookers are as expensive as everything else here, I probably couldn't afford one. Besides, my bed is barely big enough for me...
And before I go, a big thanks to everybody who was kind enough to send my birthday wishes via Twitter, blog entries (I'm a holy day now!), comments, text messages, emails, and e-cards! Getting older sucks a little bit less when you know people are thinking kindly of you.
Posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
I don't even want to think about how much money I spent today.
And all I really bought was postcards, guidebooks, pamphlets, and such. But when a postcard can cost as much as $3.00, it all adds up very quickly. Karla warned me again and again not to try to translate Norwegian Kroner into U.S. Dollars or else I'd have a total breakdown, but it's kind of hard not to. When I'd buy a tiny little stack of souvenirs and the total comes to 250 Kroner, my mind is instantly converting that to $50 then deflating in my skull. Oh well... there's always bankruptcy.
Since most museums are still running on winter hours, there is very limited available time to see everything I'd like to. But I did pretty good, managing to see nine museums in ten hours...
Which was not easy. But Karla had given me a map and some advice, so thanks to trams, busses, subways, and a lot of walking, I managed just fine with some careful planning...
Munch-Museet (Munch Museum). Brilliant impressionist artist Edvard Munch is easily one of Norway's most famous artists, so visiting his museum was a no-brainer. It's small, but the collection is quite good. Oddly enough, Munch's most famous painting, The Scream, is not here.
Nasjonalgalleriet (The National Gallery). Munch's The Scream IS at The National Gallery, however... along with an astounding collection of other works. I limited my time here to an hour, but could have easily spent half my day in awe of the treasures here. Features a good number of scenic works from this beautiful country.
Bygdøy. On my first day here, Karla gave me a walking tour, and highly recommended a trip to Bygdøy because of the excellent museums there. I opted to take a boat trip, which affords excellent views of the city as you head out...
Here is where I got a lot of walking in because I didn't have time to waste waiting on buses. As I was heading inland to my first Bygdøy museum, I was surprised to see the Apple Macintosh Command Key logo on a sign along the way...
Sure enough, a search at Wikipedia turns up that Apple Designer Susan Kare did indeed take the logo from a symbol she found on Scandinavian maps denoting "a place of cultural interest." You learn something new every day!
Norsk Folkemuseet (Norwegian Folk Museum). This museum was a total surprise. I was expecting to come here and find a collection of Norwegian folk arts, and indeed they have them. Lots of them. Like this stunning detail from an embroidered vest...
What I was not expecting was the 155 historic buildings which have been gathered here in a massive outdoor walking museum. It's a fascinating collection, and includes a 13th century stave church in pristine condition...
Absolutely magnificent, and I believe it was the inspiration for the church reproduction that can be found in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot's "World Showcase" at Walt Disney World (which I blogged about here). The only downside to this museum was that the trails are covered with compact snow over gravel, leaves, and dirt, making for VERY scary climbs up and down hills. I nearly fell and cracked my ass on more than a couple occasions. Still, it was well worth the risk, and I really wish I could have had more time here.
UPDATE: In going through my photos, I found a different angle which confirms that this is indeed the church that Disney used to model their version. It's the exact same except that they've stripped off the crosses. This is odd when you consider that Disney still calls it "Stave Church," but I guess they're trying to be all PC and stuff. Kind of lame, really, you'd EXPECT a church to have crosses...
Vikingskipshuset (Viking Ships Museum). Contains three of the best-preserved viking ships in existence and other Viking treasures. A very nice museum that seems almost impossible when you consider how old these ships are...
Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum (Norway Maritime Museum). Consisting mostly of detailed scale models of various ships throughout Norway's extensive history with navigating the world's seas, this museum wasn't really my cup of tea. I did enjoy the 20-minute "panorama movie" showcasing dozens of Norwegian coastal cities I'd love to visit. So many beautiful little fishing villages built on a scattering of rocky ocean outcroppings... you could spend a lifetime exploring them all.
Frammuseet (The Fram Museum). The "Fram" is a world-famous ship which made many inspirational expeditions... the most renowned being the journey where Roald Amundsen became the first to reach the South Pole in 1911. I had thought the building would just have a bunch of artifacts and information about the ship's history, so you can imagine my surprise when I walked in the door and found THE ENTIRE FRICKIN' SHIP ENCLOSED IN THE BUILDING...
Amazing. This was easily my favorite museum of the day, and totally worth a trip to Norway to visit. Not only can you explore hundreds of artifacts from the ship, but you can actually walk onboard and look around inside it. Sweet! The thing is massive, and no photo can really put it into scale. Though I did try...
Kon-Tiki Museet (The Kon-Tiki Museum). This museum contains the famous boat constructed by Norwegian ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl who wanted to prove that people from South America could have settled the Polynesian Islands. Using only ancient tools available at the time, Heyerdahl created the Kon-Tiki and sailed it 4,300 miles over a 101 day period back in 1947. You can read more about the fascinating voyage here...
Museet for Samtidskunst (Norwegian Contemporary Arts Museum). I am not a big fan of "modern art" so this museum already had a strike against it. But things went from bad to worse when I went inside and discovered almost all of the museum areas were closed. I understand that winter is the slow season and the best time to change out exhibits, but this was ridiculous and they shouldn't even have bothered to keep it open.
Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst (Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art). This museum became famous after purchasing Jeff Koons "Michael Jackson and Bubbles." I'm guessing there must be multiple copies, because I'm certain I've seen it before. Or maybe it gets moved around, I don't know...
In any event, I went to the museum expecting to see it there. What I was not expecting to see was another Koons creation hanging to the left of it called "Blow Job-Ice." Apparently this is one in a series of hard-core pornographic works showing Koons having all kinds of sex with his porn-star ex-wife Ilona (you can see them here, but this link is obviously Not Safe For Work). Frightening.
And that's all the museums I had time for today before everything started closing. Hopefully I'll have time to do more exploring when I'm back Friday.
After all that I went to the grocery store. If you want to take a look at what I found there, I've put it in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
I am entirely too tired to function, but committed to getting today's entry finished before going to bed. I suppose I should be concerned about the rambling nonsense that's to follow, but I'm just too exhausted to care.
Göteborg, which is mostly known as "Gothenburg" outside of Scandinavia (and, as I learned from studying Swedish, is pronounced more like "Yeuo-te-boree" by the locals) is a quick 4-hour train ride from Oslo. The city has a Hard Rock Cafe, so of course I had to make the trip... even if it did mean having to get up at 5:30am so I could pack and make the 7:00am train. I was confident that the scenery would be breathtaking, so I was sure to book a window seat. Since I paid an upgrade for "Komfort Klasse" I ended up getting a sweet giant bay window all to myself...
Unfortunately, the window was filthy, which made it impossible to take any photos of the beautiful world outside. My little camera kept trying to focus on the grime, adding even more blur to an already blurry shot. Even while the train was stopped, my photos turned out pretty bad, so I eventually gave up...
But the scenery was indeed beautiful, filled with snowy wonder and lots to look at...
The hotel I'm staying at in Göteborg is located directly above the main train station. It's very nice, surprisingly quiet, and has some freaky-ass graphics on the wall...
Don't mind me and my MASSIVELY HUGE BABY!!
An hour later, it was time to meet with another long-time blogging buddy, Göran from Six Feet Five! He was kind enough to make the three-hour journey from Stockholm so we could have dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. In the meanwhile, we wandered around the city a bit. The only thing I really wanted to see was the museum, because I had read it was quite good...
Unfortunately they were in the middle of redecorating the interior, so there wasn't much open to see except two small exhibits. This was a bummer, but at least we didn't have to pay (admission is free during the renovation). After a ten-minute tour we headed back through the city...
At the other end of town is the city's authorized Apple reseller, which I was surprised to see stocking AppleTV. Since the main purpose of this unit is to purchase or rent movies and shows from the iTunes Music Store, it's practically useless here because they don't have any video content to purchase or rent! I guess you can use it to watch your photos on television or play music, but it seems kind of pointless to shell out the money for just that.
Time for dinner.
The Hard Rock Cafe Gothenburg is a fairly basic property, but it does have the benefit of containing a nice assortment of memorabilia hanging on the walls. Like Oslo, it has a "virtual bowling alley" but, unlike Oslo, it also has a single gaming table for Vegas-style cards(!). Despite it being a Wednesday night, the place was quite busy for the dinner hour, and served up a good meal (even though they don't have milkshakes on the menu)...
And now, since I am falling asleep while typing this in bed, I'm getting some much-needed rest. The hotel doesn't have wireless, so I guess I'll plug-in to post it in the morning.
I'm lazy like that. But hey, I'm on vacation.
Oh... one last thing before I go... can somebody at Apple PLEASE do something to get better exposure from the iPhone's built-in camera? It was so bright I had to wear sunglasses, yet every photo I took was dark and murky as usual. Having photos that turn out at least somewhat like reality would be nice...
Posted on Thursday, March 27th, 2008
My brief time in Göteborg was at an end, so I said my goodbyes to Göran and made my way to Track 8 for the four hour journey back "home" to Oslo.
When you upgrade your Norwegian Rail train ticket to NSB Komfort Class, they give you tokens which can be used to get a complimentary cup of coffee or tea for the journey. Lucky for me, they also had hot chocolate.
Which comes out of the vending machine SO much hotter than the word "hot" can express.
I mean, seriously... unless you are craving a mouth-full of seared flesh, what is the point of serving a beverage at scalding temperature? It's like when people order a drink at Starbucks and ask for it to be "Extra Hot." What the hell for? Are you going to kill somebody with it? Melt a hole through a steel girder? Boil pasta? Because it's certainly not suitable for drinking...
While in Sweden, I highly recommend picking up a Plopp candy bar. I first bought one just because the name sounds funny. Where I come from, "plop" is another word for "crap" (as in "cow plop") and I was intrigued. Now I buy them because they are sublimely delicious. It's chocolate filled with caramel, but they've infused it with toffee flavoring for a mind-blowing treat that tastes nothing like crap.
And speaking of treats... arriving back at Oslo, I immediately headed to the nearest kiosk so I could pick up a bag of crack...
Actually, I think crack would be less addictive than Smash!, but I'd have to give crack a try to be sure. All I do know is that Karla has reached new levels of all-consuming evil to afflict me with this new candy dependency. As if Mars Delight wasn't addiction enough for one man to bear.
And speaking of crack... my old room was as small as a closet, which led me to complain about not having enough space to have a hooker over. Apparently the hotel reads my blog and felt sorry for me, because my new room is at least four times larger. Not only could I fit in a hooker now, but there's room left over for a full breakfast buffet complete with omelette station...
A pity I'm nearly out of money and can't afford a crack-whore. What I really need to find is a Smash! candy-whore. Heaven only knows I'd be willing to trade sexual favors for a bag.
And, lastly, I present Goodbye Sweden: a photographic series in five parts by
Sometimes you look out your window and it feels good to be alive...
Posted on Friday, March 28th, 2008
I had saved the two important outdoor activities I wanted to do in the hopes that the weather would improve. Which, of course, it did... while I was in Göteborg. The minute I get back to Oslo, the weather goes grey and snowy again. I'm lucky that way.
I started my day taking the T-Bahn up to the surrounding hills so I could visit the Holmenkollen ski jump. This is a famous landmark for Oslo, having been originally built in 1939, then used for the Olympic Games in 1952. It's going to be demolished any day now so they can build a new and improved jump tower for the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. I guess this means I'm lucky to see a piece of history before it's gone...
In order to go up the jump tower, you have to buy a ticket to the Holmerkollen Ski Museum (which happens to be the oldest ski museum in the world). Inside you'll find all kinds of interesting stuff about the jump tower, along with a repository of ski equipment throughout the ages. Once you work your way through it all, you find a small elevator which takes you almost to the top. The last remaining bit requires you climb stairs...
This is not so easy for somebody with a fear of heights, but I eventually made it to the top for some really sweet views of Oslo...
That part isn't so bad. It's when you look down the ski jump that your testicles retreat into your body cavity. I honestly don't know how ski jumpers do it...
I tried to get a photo that can illustrate just how frickin' steep the run is, but I failed miserably. As steep as it looks in this photo, it's far worse in real life...
After I stopped squealing like a little girl and made my way back down the tower, I headed off to Vigeland Sculpture Park. Or, as I like to call it, PERVY STATUE PARK! Sure it looks innocent enough as you go in. There's this beautiful metal gate towering over the entrance...
But the minutes you pass through, you enter another world entirely...
Now, from an artistic standpoint, the sculptures are absolutely amazing. It's not easy to form the human body into natural poses, let alone manipulate them so that they intertwine so beautifully. Some of the pieces are astounding in the way they capture the fluidity of the human body.
But that doesn't change the fact that some of them are downright pervy.
After the park I wandered around the city one last time. Along the way I visited The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, which was very cool. They find art in everything from furniture and dishware to appliances and toothbrushes. I also by the Hard Rock Cafe so I could pick up a T-shirt and a few pins...
The building kind of reminds me of the Nottingham Hard Rock, which has sadly closed. Inside, it's a fairly nice property with a good assortment of memorabilia and some nifty touches I've not seen at other Hard Rocks.
Once I was done playing tourist, it was time to head to Karla and Rich's house for some of Karla's orgasm-inducing homemade guacamole and veggie quesadillas. She was kind enough not only to invite me over for dinner, but also took me to a pub so I could meet her friends and drink scary Norwegian beer. I can't think of a better way to spend my last night in Oslo, so thanks Karla!
Time to pack my suitcase and prepare for the long journey home.
Posted on Saturday, March 29th, 2008
Back in Seattle safe and sound and kind of missing Norway already.
I'd blog about it, but I really like my viking DaveToon, so I'm just going to post that instead...
Posted on Sunday, March 30th, 2008
Where did my vacation go? A week is much too short.
I need another vacation.
• Radio. Assuming I make it back home over the mountain passes in one piece, I will be a guest host on Hilly's Snackie Radio tonight at 3:00pm (Pacific), 6:00pm (Eastern). I guess that would be midnight Oslo time, which is where my head is still at, so hopefully I won't fall asleep on the air...
• Poverty. I took a quick look at my credit card statement online. As hideously expensive as I thought the trip was, it actually ended up being much worse. Bring on the peanut butter sandwiches for a month! Eh, but it was a treat for my birthday and I had fun, so what can you do?
• Flight. Have I mentioned how much sweet it is to have a media entertainment center for those long-ass flights? Well it is. The time just flies (heh heh) by when you've got something to do. I watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age (excellent, with an amazing performance by Cate Blanchett), Michael Clayton (okay, but a little Erin Brockovich to me), Eastern Promises (good, though a little inappropriate to be watching in mixed company with the nudity and violence), Enter The Dragon (awesome! haven't seen it in a decade), Bee Movie (suck-ass BORING, I fast-forwarded through it), and and episode of The Office (always good).
• Customs. When you come back from an international trip, you have to claim your luggage for possible inspection whether you are continuing on a connecting flight or not. This doesn't really bother me, but the third degree you get from the customs officers while you wait for your luggage does. I was interviewed twice. The second time was no big deal, but the first time was ridiculous. Not only did he want to know stuff that was none of his fucking business (what does my work matter when I just told you I was traveling on vacation?), but I didn't get the impression he was even listening to my answers. Some questions were duplicates, and others were asked as I was still speaking. I fail to see the point. Do they expect that random questioning is going to cause somebody to slip up and admit they're hauling contraband?
How long were you out of the country? Six days.
Why were you in Norway? On vacation to visit a friend.
Why did you go Sweden then? To visit another fr--
What do you do for work? I'm a graphic desi--
How long were you out of the country? Since Sunday... isn't that six da--
Are you bringing back any food items? Just some candies.
And why were you in Norway? Vaca--
Bringing back any agricultural products? Just some marijuana I picked up in Amsterdam.
AH HAAAAAHHH! D'oh!
• Parking. Usually, I just park at the airport because it's really convenient to have your car waiting for you when you get back. But I found a coupon for "MasterPark" so I gave it a try. It's cheaper than the airport, they valet park your car, their shuttles run constantly, and if you call ahead they'll have your car waiting for you when the shuttle arrives. Sweet! Except I went over my one week coupon rate by 5 hours and had to pay an entire extra day for the overage. That kind of sucks, but I don't know that I can give up this kind of pampering now that I've experienced it.
Well, it's 8:00am... I suppose I should get out of bed and try to get my life back to normal. It's always rough trying to adjust to reality after vacation... even if it was only a week.
Posted on Monday, March 31st, 2008
Hmmm... I almost forgot that I have to be in Salt Lake City this weekend. I was able to change my plans to fly out Saturday instead of Sunday so I can have dinner with fellow blogger (and frequent Blogography commenter) ChillyWilly that night. If anybody in the area wants to join us, we'll probably eat at The Gateway or nearby restaurant around 5:30-6:00. My address is in the sidebar over there, so send me an email for details if you're interested.
For some reason I am having a really hard time readjusting to life after vacation. It's not that I'm unproductive or can't get back to Real Life... on the contrary, I'm tearing through my work like I'm on fire. It's just that I've got this strange displaced feeling I cannot shake. It's like I'm still on vacation and not really back home at all... any minutes now I'm expecting to wake up from this bizarre dream...
What I really need is a nice bitch-slapping to snap me out of this.
Or a billion dollars.
Because with a billion dollars I would never stop being on vacation, so there would never be a need to come back to reality.
Personal checks accepted.