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DaveCock

Posted on Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Dave!Once again, I am not here today. I am over at Karl's blog Secondhand Tryptophan where I am guest-posting for his annual "Summer of Love" event.

Because I start traveling this week, I decided to do something special since I won't have time to do anymore guest posting for a while. Heck, I'm still trying to figure out how I am going to find time to write in my own blog. Maybe I should have started my own "Summer of Love" and got Karl to post for me! A pity I'm just not that smart.

In any event, what I am doing today is posting a naked photo of myself over there. It's something I would never do on my own blog, but Karl said "there are no rules" and "you have carte blanche," so I figured "what the heck?"

I'm sure Naked Dave will raise a few questions, which I am happy to answer below...

DAVETOON: I Blogged So Karl Didn't Have To!

Yes that's really me naked.

The photo was taken back in 2001.

It was taken by my then-girlfriend who decided to goof around with my digital camera.

I have no idea why I kept the image, except that it's a pretty darn fine picture, if I do say so myself.

This is not the only naked picture of me on the internet. Somewhere out there, somebody has posted a photo of my bare ass. And no, I'm not telling you where it is (though it's totally worth tracking it down because, let's face it, I've got a totally hot ass).

No, I can't send you a high-res version, because Hilly has gone and trademarked DaveCock. From my Twitter Feed...

Twitter chat where Hilly trademakrs DaveCock!

No, she didn't trademark DaveBalls, so my testicles still belong to me.

For the time being, anyway.

UPDATE: With so many blogs going under, I've decided to archive my guest-entry just in case it disappears over at Karl's.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Blogging 2008Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tomato!

Posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Dave!

Cartoon Tomato

   

I say tomato and you say tomato...

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  26 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Money

Posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Dave!Before there were blogs, there were online journals, of which I had two. They were hand-coded in html and difficult to update, but they did keep my readers (all four of them) updated as to my travels and happenings. Then tools came along to make online journals easier to update and they were re-branded "blogs," but it was all the same to me. I'd start a blog, get bored, kill the blog, start a new blog. Eventually i decided to make a real effort at "the blogging thing" and Blogography was born. It was killed 6 months later.

But then better blogging tools came along and Blogography was reborn. Five years later, it's still here.

I honestly don't know why. It should have died off years ago.

I'm guessing it has to do with the "blogging community" that's given me so much. New friends. An extended family. Many good times. Some bad times. And a lot of laughs. I'm guessing it's the same for a lot of bloggers. You keep going because you can't imagine not going on and leaving the community behind.

But then money had to come along and fuck up everything.

Advertising. Merchandising. Revenue sharing. Commissions. Free merchandise. Travel. Book deals. Speaking engagements. Sponsorships. Conferences. Professional bloggers. And a myriad of other things that have made blogging as big a business as anything else out there.

Most of the time, this money is pretty insignificant. Maybe a blogger puts Google Ads on their blog and makes a bit of cash so they can pay their hosting costs and perhaps buy a pizza each month... and that's fine. I've said many times that ads don't bother me. So long as a blog is worth reading, I honestly don't care if they try to make a few bucks. Plaster you blog with ads, it doesn't make any difference to me because I don't visit for the ads and can easily ignore them.

And yet, there's a tipping point.

That point at which the dollars are no longer insignificant and a blogger realizes that there's money to be made.

And wherever money gets involved, drama is sure to follow.

This is not to say that money has to be involved for there to be drama. It doesn't. Drama can be motivated by a number of factors, and I'd guess most of them have nothing to do with dollars. But it's the money-drama that's the most interesting... because nobody involved will admit that it's about the money!

Once you've breached that tipping point, you can claim all you want that you're blogging for the love of it all, but it's a load of crap and everybody knows it. At that point it's all about building readership and leveraging that readership for a monetary pay-off. It's the holy grail that oh so many bloggers aspire to and, once they have it, will do most anything to protect. After all, once you've made serious bank from blogging, how could you lower yourself to go back and do it for free?

And that's where the trouble begins, because things inevitably turn nasty. Sometimes, because a money-blogger thinks that the best defense is a good offense, they'll mount an attack on other bloggers to "defend their blogosphere territory." Other times, a money-blogger realizes that nothing elevates readership better than controversy, and so they'll invent drama where there is none (or escalate drama that's already there) to snag readers. However the money-drama occurs, the money-blogger can't ignore it because battle-lines are being drawn and losing territory means losing revenue.

Not that they'll admit to it.

You'll never see a money-blogger say "There is a blogger that has come to my attention who is clever and fresh and writes about the same subject matter I do. If their readership keeps growing, I fear that they may start cutting into my revenue, and this simply cannot be allowed. I've got a book coming out and am a paid speaker at MoneyBlogger 2008, so my only option here is to attack them now while I still have the power to protect my brand. So when I say that this blogger is a talentless hack who steals ideas from other people and is a stupid doo-doo head, I hope that you will act like the mindless minions you are and join me in destroying them. Oh... and did I mention that they are a godless communist who likes to kick puppies and perform abortions in their spare time?"

Then the entertainment really begins, because the money-blogger being attacked will mobilize their readers for an offensive. Other bloggers will weigh in on the drama with their own opinions to build alliances. Still other bloggers will wait for the drama to die down... then stir it up again so they can create all new drama with themselves at the center of it... all in the desperate hope of snagging a few more readers so they can cash in and be a money-blogger too.

On the surface, it's a pretty battle filled with righteous indignation and the best of intentions. Underneath it all, there's the money.

No matter how strongly they pretend otherwise.

Most of the time I'm able to comfortably skip past the money-drama and ignore it. In rare events, this is not possible, though I try not to drag my own blog into the fray except in broad strokes (like now!), preferring to comment elsewhere.

And this is where I finally bring this entry full-circle by saying how the money-drama relates to me.

It doesn't.

Except that's not what some people think, and therein lies the problem.

People see that I sell crap at the Artificial Duck Co. Store and think I'm raking in the big money.

Which is laughable on so many levels. Last year the store lost me over $1200. Obviously I don't run it to make money, I run it because my readers like having the stuff. I like having the stuff. I sell the hats for $12. The hats cost me $12. I sell the T-shirts for $8.50. The T-shirts cost me $7.50. I sell the Playing Cards for as little as $2.50 (for an eight-pack). The Playing Cards cost me $3.00. No big money is being made. The $1 from the shirt goes to a fund to help my sister pay for medical expenses she has from kicking the shit out of cancer a second time (sorry for the massive profit margin on the shirts there, but I love my sister quite a lot).

I don't make money off of Blogography and, for the foreseeable future, that's not going to change. That's not why I blog. There's some very, very cool new merchandise in the pipe for Blogiversary 6, but it will be sold at my cost as it always has been. Even though I parted ways with my publishers (yes, both of them!) I still plan on releasing the first of my books next year (even if I have to self-publish). I think we all know that's not going to be a money-maker... but I worked hard on it, think people might like to read it, and so I'm going to make it available to them as cheaply as I possibly can. I'm far more interested in Blogography readers being able to afford my stuff than trying to wring money out of them.

But no matter how transparent I try to be as a blogger, I know that there will be those who don't believe me. There's always going to be a small group of people who are convinced that every time I say I like a product, some company has their hand up my ass and is paying me to say it. There's always going to be people who simply cannot accept that I'm not making huge bank from T-shirts and hats. It's human nature, and I certainly don't begrudge them for believing whatever they want to believe.

Except when they go telling it to other people as if it were fact.

In which case they can go fuck themselves. Twice now I've seen my name and my blog dragged into some outrageous shit because some money-blogger is trying to create drama and make a name for themselves. Which is monumentally stupid when you consider that I'm not in this for the money. More importantly, I'm not competition! You think I'm worried about losing advertisers from advertisements I don't have? There's no benefit in my engaging in your drama other than to spell out how monumentally stupid you are for assuming I would care.

So be a douchebag money-blogger wannabe and stir up all the shit you want, if you're so inclined.

I'll still be here not giving a flying fuck.

Categories: Blogging 2008Click To It: Permalink  61 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fourthitude

Posted on Friday, July 4th, 2008

Dave!Don't anybody go lighting their house on fire tonight...


DAVETOON: Bad Monkey and Lil' Dave playing with sparklers while fireworks go off in the night sky... Happy Independence Day, USA!

   

   

Categories: DaveToons 2008Click To It: Permalink  20 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Wedded

Posted on Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Dave!Much happiness to you both!


DAVETOON: Atomic Bombshell and JordaNinja Married Today!

   

   

Categories: DaveToons 2008Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 88

Posted on Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Dave! It's Bullet Sunday, and I'm not even supposed to be here!

&bull Pear Mint. Whenever I travel to foreign lands, I stock up on awesome chips and candies that I can't get back home. Most of the time it's stuff I know... other times, it's bizarre crap I dare myself to try... and still other times it's stuff that sounds too good to pass up. Like these pear mint drops I got while I was visiting Göran in Sweden that I just now found in a secret pocket of my backpack. I like pear. I like mint. So they must be super awesome together, right?

Pearmintdrops

WRONG! OMG! It's like the great tastes cancel out each other out and make death! The taste is horrible... HORRIBLE!! It's been an entire day since I sucked on one of those craptastic bastards, but the nasty taste still lingers! Pears have been ruined for me. RUINED I SAY!!

• Wanted Much? This week I went to see the movie Wanted. Based on the Mark Millar comic of the same name, I didn't know quite what to expect. I was not a huge fan of the comic (a nicely illustrated book by J.G. Jones that consisted of a mediocre plot overwhelmed by juvenile shock-value), but was curious to know how they were going to adapt it. Turns out they didn't adapt the comic. The entire premise has changed (no more super-vilains!) and most all the characters have been radically altered. The result? I actually enjoyed the movie more than the book. Much more. The story of a secret society of assassins with super-human skills was almost too good to be true... kind of like a kick-ass, high-octane blending of Fight Club and The Matrix. In addition to some awesome special effects, it also features Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman...

Angelina Jolie from Wanted.
Angelina kills people with hotness!

Morgan Freeman in Wanted.
A pretty badass role for Mr. Freeman!

Rumor has it that they are already working on a Wanted sequel, which is sweet. But please, please, please don't flush such excellent potential down the toilet like they did with the shitty Matrix sequels.

• Guest Poster. In the past month I've received eight requests to do guest-posts on other people's blog. This is kind of cool, because it's always a lot of fun to break away and do something "same-but-different" somewhere else. Unfortunately, I am already worried about finding time to post in my own blog over the next several months, so guest-posting for somebody else is impossible. I wonder if anybody would notice if I came up with ONE guest post that I could use over and over again? Usually I work hard to come up with something unique that fits the blog I'm writing for... that's what makes it fun... but re-posting is looking to be more and more appealing as more and more bloggers decide they want to take a break from their blog.

• Gee Eight. Tomorrow begins this year's G8 summit, which is being held in Japan. Just like every other time our Beloved Leader leaves the country, Americans will be holding their breath in anticipation over what he might say to embarrass us this time. Will he invent a new word? Will he say something utterly insane? Will he accidentally declare war on Canada? Or will he just ramble on incomprehensibly? I'm not speculating... I'm just going to sit back and be surprised. I suppose it's too late to sneak a copy of my latest Dumbasses book into his bedside table...

How To Avoid Saying Stupid Shit for Dumbasses Book

• Interface. Many moons ago, I took some contract jobs for application interface design. It's a very challenging field to work in because, in addition to being a designer, you have to have a very good understanding as to how people use their computers. Most graphic designers make horrible interface designers because they're more interested in making things pretty than functional. I ended up doing some nice work and enjoyed the jobs, but found interface design to be too time consuming to make a career out of it... I spent way too much time agonizing over the details. But I'm always fascinated with the work and still take jobs from time to time, so I try to keep up with what's happening. A couple months ago I noticed that the C4[1] Indie Mac Developer Conference had videos of the event online, and made a note to watch them when I had a chance. This morning I finally finished the last one, which was a great talk given by Cabel Sasser of Panic. This company makes two of the best applications for the Mac, Transmit (an FTP tool) and Coda (a website development tool), both of which I love and use often. Sasser spoke mostly about designing Coda's interface, and it was a fascinating insight as to the thought process that goes into software development. It was also very frustrating, because at least one of the decisions they ended up making is downright tragic.

Here is how Apple's web browser, Safari, handles multiple pages in the same document window by using tabs. It's not a perfect implementation (the tabs point DOWN and aren't connected to the page?!?) but it is very obvious which tab has been activated. Here, there is simply no mistaking that the "Blogography" page is what you're looking at, because that's the tab in the foreground...

Tabbed windows in Safari

And here's how Coda handles tabs...

Tabbed windows in Coda.

Pretty much the same thing, right? The "Opener.html" page is obviously what you're looking at, because it's the tab in the foreground.

EXCEPT IT'S NOT!!! In this case, it's the "Closer.html" tab that's activated. Coda goes entirely opposite from how people are used to seeing tabs, and makes the activated tab RECESSED! I have been using Coda regularly for almost a year and still get confused as to which document I'm in because of this hideous choice of interface design. It's inexplicably bad. It's SO bad that I actually wrote to Panic and begged them to fix it. They wrote back a nice note, but haven't done anything about it yet.

So when I'm watching Sasser's C4[1] video, and listening to him pour his heart out about how much he agonizes over the details to make the best user interface possible... I can relate, but my mind boggles. At one point, a programmer in the audience brings up the tabbed windows and my heart skipped a beat, but it was only to discuss how Apple hasn't standardized tabs, so everybody's tabs are going to look different. And that's the root of the problem... Apple needs to standardize things so we don't end up with confusing interfaces in the software we use. In the meanwhile, I continue to hope that Panic will revisit their solution soon so I can stop making costly mistakes when using their product. Nothing sucks worse than editing code for 20 minutes and then realizing you've been editing the wrong document.

And thus ends another edition of Bullet Sunday. Time for lunch!

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2008Click To It: Permalink  20 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Rocket

Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2008

Dave!WTF?? It's happened to me AGAIN?!? Seriously, do these fuckers not know how to take inventory?


I'd like a veggie burger! Sorry, we're out of veggie burgers.

Are you sure (gun to head). Uhhh... yes?

Silence.

Blam (shoots off hat off waiter)

Johnny Rockets sucks ass!

Somebody needs to die.

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  34 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Melt

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Dave!I'm so tired that my brain has melted. Zombie time.


DAVETOON: Zombie Davewalker

   

Categories: DaveToons 2008Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Live

Posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Dave!I went to see LIVE tonight at Marymoor Park! It was pretty sweet, because they're a great live band (hence the name).


Rockin Out

   

Lucky for me, I don't have to drag my ass out of bed tomorrow morning for work. I can actually sleep in.

Which would be nice if I wasn't a total insomniac who will undoubtedly go to bed at midnight and be up at 3:30am.

I wish I had an off switch.

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

iPhone2

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Dave!This morning I saw that the "unofficial-official" update for iPhone 2.0 had been released. Not being the patient type, I went ahead and installed it.

It's pretty much everything I had hoped for... and more. Not so much for the basic functionality, which is largely unchanged, but for the stunning applications that are now available. Much like a drug habit, the ability to purchase games and other apps right on your iPhone is highly addictive. I've spent nearly $100 on loads of crap without even realizing it. And I can only imagine that even more amazing stuff is on the way, which is very bad news for my finances.

Here is just a sampling of some of the interesting stuff I got...

By far the best game I bought was Motion-X Poker Dice. It's so beautifully crafted that everybody I've shown it to wants an iPhone just to have it! You roll the dice by shaking your iPhone, at which point the dice click and clatter until you stop shaking. You have three rolls to get a better hand than the dealer. This would get boring kind of quickly, so there are unlock-able playing boards, dice sets, and prize gems for reaching certain goals. You can also just roll five dice to play games like Yatzee and Zilch on the go, which is a nice bonus. An instant classic I can't stop playing!

Screen Snapshot

Another very, VERY interesting game is Trism, which uses all the amazing iPhone features at the same time to ensnare you in a puzzler that boggles the mind. I could post a screenshot, but to truly appreciate how cool it is, you need to actually SEE it in action...

On of the most beautiful games is Apple's Texas Hold'em, which utilizes video capture to create an immersive card-playing experience. Turn your iPhone 90-degrees, and you switch to an overview mode. Overall, the game is pretty darn sweet, but I sure wish it had more options (in single-player you always play against 8 computer opponents, which makes each hand a little longer than I'd like, and I wish I could change to less players). The most impressive aspect is that you can also play against REAL PEOPLE via wireless if they also have the game!

Screen Snapshot

In addition to games, there are also some helpful utilities. The one I was most excited about was something called "Jade" which allows you to automatically enhance the murky, crappy photos that the built-in iPhone camera takes. It doesn't always work, but most of the time the app does improve your images by making them brighter. It seems to be a very handy thing to have, as you can see by the samples here...

Jade Comparison Snapshot

Jade Comparison Snapshot

Jade Comparison Snapshot

Cool huh? Well I thought so too... until I realized that every photo which Jade processes is reduced from 1600x1200 pixels to 640x480 pixels, which sucks ass! NOWHERE on the iTunes sales page does it tell you that Jade shrinks your photos, and that pisses me off. Why can't I keep the original size so I get the best image quality? Who knows. STUPID!

Anyway, I got a lot of other cool stuff, but you kind of get the idea here.

In summary, iPhone is a killer development platform for software. Sure not all the apps are as good as they could be, but I'm sure as time goes on and programmers get accustomed to the tools and what they can do, we'll see better and better stuff. It makes me love my iPhone even more than I already did, which is a LOT.

And then...

Tomorrow Apple released the new generation Apple iPhone 3G.

To be honest, I am not sure I want one. The only feature I covet on the latest model is built-in GPS. This was a horrible, glaring oversight from the first model that still gets my blood boiling. If my current iPhone had GPS... AS IT SHOULD HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!... there would be no reason for me to upgrade. Sure the 3G speeds of the internet access would be nice... but they are charging too much for it. I would be perfectly happy sticking with my 2.5G speed at the current rate plan if I could.

So will I buy one?

I don't know. Sure I'd like to have it, but the monthly increase on my wireless bill doesn't make me at all happy.

But it DOES have GPS, which I want pretty bad.

Decisions, decisions...

Categories: Apple Stuff 2008Click To It: Permalink  23 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Georgia

Posted on Friday, July 11th, 2008

Dave!After an exhausting week of work in Seattle, I'm home.

For a couple days, anyway.

Soon I'll be off to Georgia for more work, culminating in Davelanta 2 next Saturday. I was supposed to fly out Wednesday, but (surprise!) my airline schedule was changed (again!), so now I have to fly out Tuesday for an overnight layover at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (fun!). Just when I think travel can't get any worse, somehow it does.

In the meanwhile, I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Those Pop-Tarts I bought aren't going to eat themselves.

DAVETOON: Davelanta 2 Poster!

"The Dave-Devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for friends and a meal.
He was in a bind 'cos he hadn't dined, and he was needing some pudding to steal."

Mmmmmm... pudding!

If you're going to be in the city, let me know if you want to join us, and I'll get you the details.

And now for a handful of sleeping pills and (hopefully) some sleep...

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Immobile

Posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Dave!As of July 1st, it is illegal in Washington State to talk on your mobile phone or send/read text messages while driving.

This doesn't bother me one bit. I am perfectly capable of driving and talking on the phone at the same time, but many people aren't. Because of this, something had to be done, because people incapable of driving and talking at the same time are probably incapable of realizing they shouldn't do it. Naturally, I'm a little upset that I can't make calls on the road anymore, but it's a small price to pay if it's going to stop idiots from killing people. Besides, all I have to do is buy a hands-free adapter for my iPhone, and I'll be able to make calls again, so it's really not a big deal.

Except...

Yesterday as I was driving back home over the mountain pass, I got stuck behind a car going 10 miles per hour under the speed limit and driving erratically from time to time. This is typical of some idiots I've seen who have trouble talking on their mobile phone while driving, so I was understandably pissed that some dumbass was breaking a law that I have to follow.

Eventually, a passing lane appeared, and I noticed that the woman driving was not talking on her mobile phone.

She was eating.

And by "eating" I actually mean "dining" because it's not like she had a burger in her hand and was chomping away. The woman had a plate of food on top of her dashboard and was EATING WITH A FORK!! For all I know, she had a knife in her other hand and was driving with her knees.

All of which, apparently, is perfectly legal.

So where is the law to protect us from stupid bitches like this?!?

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  30 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 89

Posted on Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Dave!It's a mini edition of Bullet Sunday after a very long week.

• Sick & Tired. I am so exhausted from work this week that I'm becoming physically ill. So many things need to be done before I leave again... yet there simply isn't enough time to do them, and too many little details are slipping through the cracks. I haven't picked up my mail in so long that the post office probably thinks I'm dead. I have dry cleaning that has been sitting at the cleaners for months. My friends never see me, and I'm sure many of them are starting to question whether I even exist. If it weren't for this blog, even I would question whether or not I exist. And yet there's three more months of this left to go. It's times like this I question whether I'll be able to survive it.

• Re-Scheduled. I've lost track of the number of times my various travel itineraries have been changed over the past three months, but it just keeps getting uglier. Rumor has it that things will get much worse after labor day, as airlines scramble to cancel as many flights as possible to slash operating costs. I'm already having to fly out a day early for an overnight layover on three trips... now I've found out that I'm going to have to have an overnight layover on two more coming back. Just how much worse can it get? I'm afraid to even speculate. From what I can tell, the days of being able to schedule back-to-back trips on airlines are quickly disappearing. This is going to cause serious problems for me, and I can't even begin to think about how I'm going to deal with it. Maybe if I don't think about it, the problem will just go away? I can dream.

• Laughably Unfunny. I overheard somebody being told that not only was it possible for them to complete their work assignment on time... it was "impossibly possible." The guy on the receiving end didn't bat an eye and replied "In that case, I'll get it to you as quickly as impossible," which made his supervisor very happy... probably because he was just stupid enough not to over-think it: "See what happens when you put your mind on something?" ON?!? I can only guess his mind was on drugs.

• Mobile Maybe. Apple's $100-per-year ".Mac" service sounds like a dream come true. It's an online place to synchronize your address book, web browser bookmarks, email, calendar, and there's even room left over for file storage. No matter which of your computers you are using, you can rest easy that all your information is up-to-date, because everything is coordinated online by the ".Mac" server. At least that's how it's suppose to be. Unfortunately, reality is very different from the fantasy they sell you. The file storage is unbearably slow and freezes your computer (rendering it useless)... the syncing has NEVER worked properly... email is faulty and unreliable... basically, ".Mac" is a steaming pile of shit. Apple knows it's a steaming pile of shit, so they've introduced a replacement now called "MobileMe" which is a better, bigger, faster version of ".Mac"...

MobileMe graphic showing a Mac and an iPhone syncing through a cloud.

Yeah, still a steaming pile of shit! In fact, I'd go so far as to say that "MobileMe" is the biggest disaster I've ever seen from Apple. Not only does it not work... AT ALL... because Apple's servers are overloaded most of the time, but in those rare instances that it can connect to the server, IT STILL DOESN'T WORK! The entire service, from top to bottom, is plagued with troubles. I could go on for pages about the problems (which would only make me more angry than I already am), so let me give you just one example of how bad it is: When you enter your "MobileMe" identity into your iPhone, the last character is truncated. It took me HOURS to realize that my connection problems were because the last character of my login was being removed. I finally worked around this by adding an extra character to my identity (which was then truncated), but WHAT THE FUCK?!?? Did anybody bother to beta test this crap? Anybody?

• Mobile Misery. Okay, I just can't let this go... did I mention that I am PAYING for the MobileMe service? Perhaps these problems would be excusable if it were provided free, BUT I AM PAYING FOR THIS SHIT!! I am certain that Google Mail (a free service) has a shitload more people using it than are using "MobileMe," and yet how often does it go down? Now that I think of it... Google Mail has never crapped out on me. This is absolutely pathetic on Apple's part, and I hope that they have a plan for compensating their users for this bullshit. Assuming I ever get it to work in the first place, of course. Man, I never thought I'd find myself longing for the "horrible old .Mac days."

And on that perky note, I'd better get back to work...

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2008Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Shipper

Posted on Monday, July 14th, 2008

Dave!Blaaaaaaarrrrrrrgh!

It's 11:00pm and I just finished the last of the orders I can fill from the Artificial Duck Co. Store. Basically, if your order doesn't have playing cards, it will ship tomorrow (that's 106 orders total). If your order does have playing cards... hopefully they will arrive when I get back from Atlanta so I can ship all remaining orders then. If the playing cards aren't waiting for me when I get back, they'll have to ship when I return from San Diego. So... barring any catastrophe (e.g. the plane carrying my cards crashes into the Pacific Ocean) all orders will have shipped by the end of the month!

Thanks so much to Artificial Duck Co. customers for your patience.

I had no idea that when I decided to make my own playing cards that it would be such a big frickin' deal. I foolishly assumed that the three months I spent drawing them would be the hard part. How wrong I was. I've now gone through three different companies and have experienced every conceivable problem... twice... since I placed my first order for them BACK IN FEBRUARY!!!

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey whistles on the Two of Hearts Card

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey in love on the Five of Hearts Card

Given the total disaster I've had trying to get my playing cards manufactured, you can understand why I'm already getting merchandise ideas together for my Blogiversary VI celebration next April. Two of the items are just killer, and I hope they work out because I want them pretty bad (even though they'll probably bankrupt me to have them made).

And now it's time to pack my suitcase.

I sure hope I can get even a few hours sleep tonight.

Categories: DaveToons 2008Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Failure

Posted on Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Dave!Running out of new ways to say FAIL!

After my three previous failed attempts of getting a Streamliner Burger from Johnny Rockets, I played the odds and figured that my luck was bound to change. They can't ALL be out of soy burgers ALL the time? And this is a TUESDAY when they must surely have gotten their supplies in for the week.

So I take a very expensive taxi ride from my hotel to the Southcenter Mall's Johnny Rockets for dinner. I sit at the counter and wait to have my order taken. I order my usual vegetarian-safe Streamliner Burger with no grilled onions and no mustard. Then grit my teeth as I hear my waiter say...

"Hey, are we still out of Boca Burgers?

It was all I could do to stop myself from seriously jumping over the counter and choking the shit out of everybody with a Johnny Rocket's apron on.

But, much to my shock and delight, the answer was "yeah, we got Boca!"

Score!

A short while later my burger arrives and I start chowing down on it. But something's not right... it tastes... off. At first I tell myself that the lettuce must be funny and keep eating. But then, as I am half-way through, something falls out of my burger. And it looks like a piece of mushroom. WTF? That's when I pull the bun off and see that it's not brown like a Boca Burger usually is, but kind of a yellowish color. Oh shit.

IT'S NOT A 100% SOY BOCA BURGER AS THEIR MENU STATES, BUT SOME KIND OF RICE & GRAIN MUSHROOM BURGER!

Badburger

And have I mentioned that I AM FUCKING ALLERGIC TO MUSHROOMS??!

Even if I could eat mushrooms, the burger was pretty gross. My best guess is that it's a GardenBurger "Savory Mushroom" patty... or something like it.

Fortunately, the amount was not enough to kill me, but it was definitely enough to make my throat swell up and cause me to have some serious gastrointestinal distress for the rest of the evening. So much for going to a movie tonight. FUCKERS!

I just don't get it. I have gone to Johnny Rockets and been denied a Streamliner Burger in San Francisco (twice), Santa Monica, Seattle University Village (twice), Seattle Pike Place Market, Seattle Pacific Place, Miami Aventura Mall, and Kent Station. And now Johnny Rockets Seattle Southcenter tries to kill me with an unannounced mushroom burger substitution. Why the fuck do they even offer a soy burger if the person in charge of inventory can't be bothered to keep it in stock or confirm they received the correct item? Who the fuck puts an item on their menu that you can only successfully order 50% of the time?

Johnny Rockets. The very definition of EPIC FAIL...

Epic Fail in the dictionary: George W. Bush and Johnny Rockets.

What's funny is that the waiter seemed completely unconcerned when I told him about the problem. He credited me the amount of the burger (still making me pay for the fries and a Coke), but that was it. As far as I know, he didn't even bother to follow-up with the kitchen staff to tell them they had the wrong burgers. And, as always, no offer whatsoever of any restitution... no free burger coupon for my next visit... nothing. I didn't even get a "hope you don't die."

The real shame here is that my favorite food on earth is a Johnny Rockets Streamliner Burger with no grilled onions and no mustard. And I'm not joking when I say that I would eat them morning, noon, and night if I could. It would be easy to say "I'm never eating at Johnny Rockets ever again," but I just can't do it. I will continue to eat at their restaurants knowing full-well that I'm setting myself up for disappointment and possible death by doing so.

In the meanwhile, I am waiting for somebody... anybody... to explain to me why it's so impossible to keep a FROZEN item in stock. It's not going to spoil... IT'S FUCKING FROZEN! It's not going to go to waste if you over-order... IT'S FUCKING FROZEN! It's easy to make sure you never run out of something... BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING FROZEN!! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT IT'S FUCKING FROZEN?!? I am flabbergasted beyond all reason as to why this is such a huge problem. It make no sense at all... and yet it's consistently fucked up no matter which Johnny Rockets location I try.

What's beyond EPIC FAIL?!?

Categories: Food 2008Click To It: Permalink  57 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Sunset

Posted on Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Dave!After a relatively uneventful trip, here I am in rural Georgia!

The great thing about being here is that the people are so incredibly nice. I had dinner at a Taco Bell and felt like I had acquired a new family. I shopped at the Piggly Wiggly and found a new best friend. I checked into my hotel and it was like being a guest at somebody's home.*

Everywhere I go, people are wicked-friendly, like being sweet to total strangers is built into their DNA.

Work runs all hours of the day and night, which is a bummer, but I'm used to it.

Tonight at the "magic hour" I was blessed with a fantastic sight... a flawless sunset and moon rise at exact opposite horizons. You look one direction and there's the sun glowing blood-orange across a painted sky...

Sunset Drawing

You look 180-degrees opposite, and there's the full moon glowing softly above the horizon...

Moonrise Drawing

Sweet!

After the sun has totally set, the back-roads I drive back and forth remind me of that old Atari 2600 video game, Night Driver. I totally sucked at that game, and crashed ten times a minute, but loved it anyway. Fortunately, I have better luck in a real car on real roads. Probably because I don't have bricks of crap being thrown at me every two seconds...

Video Capture Screen of Night Driver Video Game
NOTE: In the real game you would never have a car, tree, and house showing at the same time...
that would cause your Atari 2600 graphics chip to explode and your console to melt.

 

Alrighty then... back to work. And maybe a can of Red Bull.

 

 

* If that somebody's home was filled with thirty people all running around screaming and yelling day and night while each smoked a pack of cigarettes every hour.

My "non-smoking" room is directly above a smoking room, which means that the smoke drifts up and makes my room smell like cigarettes and burning hair. As if that weren't bad enough, my room is at the end of a cull-de-sac where everybody who got a non-smoking rooms likes to hang out and blaze up, thus filling my room with more cigarette smoke. Add to that the running, yelling, screaming, and singing at 1:30am, and it's my best hotel experience ever!

I guess it's a good thing I'm working and won't get to sleep anyways.

Though I'm thinking I'll be needing a nicotine patch when I check out.

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Glasses

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Dave!I had to change hotels.

Between the crazy bastards in neighboring rooms and the cigarette smoke that was pouring in non-stop, I didn't have much choice. I had been awake from 4:00am Pacific time Wednesday to 1:00pm Eastern time Thursday... 29 hours... and simply had to get some sleep. That was never going to happen at my first hotel, so I moved to a different one with a crowd that's a bit more reserved.

For the most part.

There are still people driving into the parking lot at 10:00pm with their country music blasting so loud that the windows are shaking... and a mother standing on the balcony screaming at her kids in the swimming pool... but now it's 11:00pm and everything is blissfully quiet (I can't even hear the forest of cicadas outside!).

But none of that is important right now.

What's important is how hot I don't look in glasses.

For comparison, let's start with a photo of me taken last week while I was iChatting with my friend Meagan as I got ready for work in the morning. You can break it down however you like but, damn, I am totally hot here...

Dave looking hot!

Which is not to say I always look fantastically hot. Unlike Sizzle, I do take bad pictures, and have a tendency to look constipated half the time. Especially when Meagan snaps me in mid-sentence...

Dave looking constipated and still hot.

But whenever I put on a pair of glasses, my hotness evaporates. After 29 hours in contact lenses, I decided to give my eyes a rest, and was horrified when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror...

Dave looking totally un-hot.

Not only do I look eerily un-hot, I give off kind of a sexual predator vibe.

At work today, I had to wear protective glasses, and didn't fare any better. I look like a homicidal maniac...

Dave looking totally un-hot.

Most people look kind of hot-cool in sunglasses. I don't. I look kind of pervy-scary...

Un-Hot Dave

Last night I thought my glasses curse had finally been broken.

I went to the local SUPER WAL-MART to get a replacement charger for my iPhone (mine got busted in my suitcase) and saw a massive display for Hannah Montana school supplies that included a FREE pair of Hannah Montana 3-D glasses for the upcoming broadcast of her "Best of Both Worlds Tour" movie. Thinking I had finally found glasses that wouldn't destroy my hotness, I grabbed a pair...

Dave rocking a pair of Hannah Montana 3-D glasses hotness!

Not bad. Not bad at all.

And I must say that the world is looking quite a bit better when seen through Hannah Montana glasses.

Which is why I wish I had them when I was on my way back from work today.

I was driving by a pasture where some cows were shading themselves under some trees. Thinking I could use a mental break, I decided to stop for a minute. You have a whole different appreciation for cows when you don't see them as food, and I find them to be gentle, soulful animals that are fun to be around.

But as I walked up to the fence, the cows were indifferent to me. One cow even turned away from me... kind of a bovine snub, if you will. I was okay with it because I was wearing my pervy-scary sunglasses and could hardly blame the cow for not wanting to look at me, but it didn't end there.

That's when the cow lifted its tail and proceeded to dump ten gallons of urine in my direction.

What a bitch!

I didn't get peed on, but it sure put a damper on my wanting to commune with nature today.

It also made me hungry for a steak for some reason.

Tomorrow I get to head back to the big city of Atlanta where, hopefully, I'll have better email access so I can get caught up on work back home. My new hotel doesn't allow you to send email (some kind of anti-spammer effort?) and webmail seems to be broken.

Unfortunately, my Hannah Montana glasses have been no help at all.

But I am looking 3-D hot, and that's something.

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  36 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Fight!

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 2008

Dave!Today while I was dining at some nameless chain restaurant, a fight broke out. Since I was eating a late lunch, there were only a couple other customers there to hear it. This is a shame because the battle which ensued was truly epic and deserved of a much larger audience. Apparently some guy had done some gal wrong, and she was not going to let him get away unscathed.

Attacks were vicious, covering everything from looks and personal hygiene to family and relationships. From what I could tell, the woman had not actually had sex with the guy she was screaming at, but that didn't stop her from laying down a laundry list of perceived sexual inadequacies she felt he should know about.

This was the last straw for the guy, who called her a whore and then provided her with a series sex acts she would gladly perform for the bargain price of $5.

One of the restaurant staff who was cowering on the sidelines with his co-workers took the opportunity to yell "YOU NEED TO TAKE THIS OUTSIDE NOW OR WE'RE CALLING THE POLICE!"

At which point the man and woman stopped fighting with each other and started yelling obscenities at the staff.

They then resumed fighting and left.

Together.

In the same car.

   

Which is kind of a shame, because I had $5 burning a hole in my pocket.

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  27 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Davelanta2

Posted on Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Dave!My day did not get off to a very good start.

Two kids prank-called me at 3:30am and tried again before I had my phone put on "do-not-disturb." They were staying here at the hotel, because nobody at the switchboard let a call through. Where the heck are their parents? Because this was my ONE SHOT at getting some decent sleep, and it was completely destroyed. Tomorrow I have to be up a an insane hour for my flight back home, so my only hope of catching up on my rest is if I can sleep on the plane (which is unlikely).

Things got a lot better once I met up with Beth (who makes all the awesome hats in the Artificial Duck Store) and Kevin. We ate lunch at the very cool (and delicious) "Savage Pizza" located at "Little Five Points." The quirky neighborhood is most famous for The Vortex, because it's got a very cool entrance...

The Vortex Skull and Wild Eyes Entrance

From there we went to Atlanta's terrific High Museum...

High Museum of Art Atlanta

They have a lot of incredible artwork there, but the main reason I wanted to go was to see "The Funeral of Atala," a very moving painting by Girodet that's based on a reinterpretation of "Romeo and Juliet" in Chateaubriand's popular 1801 novel, Atala. The image depicts Chactas, a Natchez Indian mourning and burying his love Atala after she commits suicide because she feared breaking the vow of chastity she made to her mother. It's an absolutely beautiful and powerful work of art...

Funeral of Atala Painting

Funeral of Atala

Funeral of Atala

There are many other interesting pieces, like these two which I have renamed "For The Win!" and "Purple Cow Dressed as a Lion Eating a Taco"...

High Art showing a strange little man with arms up, and an odd lion.

After the museum, Beth and Kevin took me to an Atlanta institution... The Varisty (a massive drive-in restaurant)... so I could experience a delicious Frosted Orange drink. We sat in the "schoolhouse room" where everybody sits at those little desks they give you in elementary school. I had to steal this photo from Kevin, because my iPhone camera decided to stop working for some reason...

Dave and Beth drinking frosted oranges at The Varsity.

From there it was time for Davelanta at the Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta. Probably the most obscenely loud Hard Rock property I have ever been to. The music was way, way too loud, but we had a great time anyway. Here's me with Beth and Kevin...

Dave, Kevin, and Beth

Then Mentally Rehearsed showed up...

Dave and Mentally Rehearsed

Then Coal Miner's Granddaughter...

Davelanta Coal Miner's Granddaughter

And then Geeky Tai-Tai and Mr. Geeky Tai-Tai, Mike...

Davelanta Geeky Tai-Tai

Despite nearly going deaf, we all had a great time, and decided to move across the street to a quieter venue so we could more easily talk.

And there was Key Lime Pie.

For what started out as kind of a crappy day, it sure ended well!

   

Bullet Sunday 90

Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Dave!I survived my trip back from Atlanta. And, though I am happy to be home, a part of me kind of wishes I hadn't left. Anyway... welcome to a special FAIL! edition of Bullet Sunday!

• Sleep FAIL! No matter how hard I try or how many pills I take, sleep still seems to elude me. This wouldn't be a big deal, except it makes getting through the day on 3-4 hours sleep incredibly difficult. My change from Eastern to Pacific time isn't helping matters.

• iPhone FAIL! Just before Davelanta was due to begin, Beth and Kevin took me to the Atlanta institution known as "The Varsity," (the largest drive-in restaurant in the world) so I could have a yummy frosty orange beverage. It was then I noticed that the camera on my iPhone no longer worked. In fact, NO photo related app on my iPhone worked (including both installed and 2nd party apps). After several restarts and reinstalls, it still doesn't work. I didn't have plans to upgrade to the iPhone 3G, but it looks like I might not have a choice.

• Spam FAIL! The latest trend in comment spam? Copying somebody else's previously approved comment and working your website links into the text. This way, your comment looks legitimate, because it actually pertains to the blog entry. Of course, since I read every one of my comments and manually approve them, I know immediately if it's a spam-infused duplicate. BANNED! DELETE! All of the IP addresses of the commenters are coming from India, but link to US websites, which means this kind of lame behavior is somebody's job?! Lovely.

• Survey FAIL! How interesting. The smokey first hotel that I was staying at in Georgia sent me an email asking me to take a survey on my visit. As there was no "EPIC FAIL" option, I decided to take a pass. Since the place was totally packed whenever I drove by, the problem obviously isn't with the hotel, but with me.

• Twitter FAIL! I've drastically cut my usage of Twitter over the past couple weeks, because I'm tired of disappointment. The API which my Twitter apps use to read/update (both on my iPhone and at home) has been broken a lot (what else is new?) making it more frustrating than fun. About the only thing that seems to be getting through on a regular basis are the tired old "I UPDATED MY BLOG" messages, which are often posted two and three times a day. Hopefully Twitter gets this all sorted out before I drop the service completely.

Alrighty then... time to futilely attempt to get some sleep in my 100-degree bedroom. Maybe I'll get lucky and pass out from the heat?

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2008Click To It: Permalink  14 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

SoCal

Posted on Monday, July 21st, 2008

Dave!Later this week I will be taking off for Southern California to experience Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego. Believe it or not, I've never been before, so I am really looking forward to it. The entire convention is sold-out for all four days but, fortunately, I bought my tickets and made my hotel reservations way early, so I think I'm good to go!

The only problem is trying to figure out which events I want to attend. Sure there are some things I'd like to see... but there's nothing so life-altering happening that I absolutely have to do it. With that in mind, I think I'll just play it by ear and wander around until something looks interesting to me.

I take that back... there is, of course ONE event that is positively unmissable, and that would be Dave Diego on Saturday night!

DAVETOON: Poster for Dave Diego on July 26th!

w00t!

If you will be in the vicinity of San Diego and like to drop by to eat, drink, and chat with a swell group of bloggers... please email me at dave@blogography.com ASAP so we can make reservations for dinner and get you a name badge!

And now for two more days of torture before good times begin...

   

Powerless

Posted on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Dave!I am not comfortable wearing glasses (or skin-tight leather pants, which I'll save that for another time).

But when I'm working 20-hour days, my eyes start rebelling against my contact lenses, giving me no choice but to wear my stupid glasses or walk around bumping into things. Either way, I'm not at my best.

Not that I care all that much, because there was a power outage, and all my clocks are blinking "12:00" (noon or midnight... I'm not sure) which is a slightly bigger problem.

Though not quite as insurmountable as the 262 entries awaiting me in my feed-reader tonight.

Sigh. One day left...

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  10 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cases

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Dave!Today was a very bad day.

I'd go into detail, but reliving it all for the sake of this blog would probably have me sticking my head in a microwave and pressing "defrost." Suffice to say that I had entirely too much to do, and most all of it went wrong at some point or another. I am not a very emotional person, but I was so overrun with despair that the idea of breaking down and crying seemed like one of the best options available to me. I dunno. Maybe it's because I'm suffering from exhaustion or something.

In an effort to salvage what's left of the day, I've decided to make a list of all the good things that happened.

  • My Spaced DVD set arrived. A truly great British television series that I've been waiting forever to come out on DVD here in the US. I (heart) Simon Pegg!
  • I got an email from Jenny which had the best possible news in it.
  • The Blogography Playing Cards arrived. They are not everything I was hoping for (the printing could be better and they were cut a little off-center on the face-side) but they're still pretty cool, and have a nice finish that will make them fun to play with. I can finally ship all the remaining Artificial Duck orders when I get back next week!
  • I didn't explode.
  • I'm on my way to San Diego.

I guess another piece of good news is that I finally know what 1000 decks of cards in one place look like. I've got cases and cases and cases stacked in every corner of my home...

Case of Blogography Playing Cards!

Cases of Blogography Playing Cards!

Time to pack...

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  18 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Comic-Con: Day One

Posted on Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Dave!And here I am in beautiful San Diego for Comic-Con 2008!

Having been to various fan conventions in the past, I thought I was prepared for the big event. I was so wrong. This is a convention unlike any other, and it's unreal just how bizarre an experience it is.

There are a lot of other people writing about what's happening here... and taking better photos than I can... so I'll just skip a recap and jot down some random stuff...

  • Oversold. There's simply no other way to say it... the event is drastically oversold. Today was a Thursday, and it was so packed on the show floor that you could barely move to get anywhere. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like tomorrow. Or... shudder... Saturday.
  • Undersold. My one goal for Comic-Con is to walk away with as little stuff as possible. I'm not buying anything... I'm not grabbing any free crap. I just don't have the room back home to store it. At least that's the plan. I am terrified that I'll find a piece of $3000 original comic book art that I can't live without.
  • Lines. I am constantly amazed to see what people stand in line for. They stand in line to get a ticket to stand in another line to buy a limited edition toy (which they probably turn around and sell on eBay). They stand in line to get autographs. They stand in line to meet minor celebrities. They absolutely stand in line to get even a glimpse of major celebrities. And they'll stand in line again for all the celebrities in-between. Call me jaded, but there's only a handful of people I'd stand in line to meet, and only one of those (Simon Pegg) is here at Comic-Con.
  • Captain. I was minding my own business, looking at some crap on a dealer's table when all of a sudden a line formed around me. Not knowing exactly what's going on, a guy comes up to me and says "the books are $35.00. Looking around in a desperate attempt to figure out what the hell I've gotten myself into, I see CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS FROM TORCHWOOD (actor John Barrowman). Apparently I've just started a line to get a signed copy of his new autobiography Anything Goes. I like the guy on Torchwood okay, but that's all I really need to know. I'm not paying $35 for an autobiography about him. The guy selling books looks dumbfounded when I say "no thanks," wave goodbye to Captain Jack, then leave.
  • Fame. The people I most want to see at Comic-Con are people who don't really have lines to meet them. This makes me happy and sad at the same time.
  • Shanower. One of my all-time favorite artists, Eric Shanower, is at the show. His current series, Age of Bronze, is a beautiful re-telling of the Trojan War. But my favorite work he's ever done was as illustrator to Moebius' really cool series The Elsewhere Prince. I've read the comics so many times that they're falling apart, and I was hoping against hope that the series has finally been collected in a trade paperback but, alas, it hasn't been. What a shame.
  • Peterson. Another comic book creator I admire is Brandon Peterson. He's done quite a lot of mainstream stuff (like X-Men), but the book of his I most enjoyed was called Arcanum. It was a solely creator-owned work, which meant every issue was a labor of love, and it showed. Sadly, it was cancelled after only 8 issues... but he did manage to wrap it up before it was killed off, and I've always been grateful for that. I might just have to break my rule and buy one of his art books, because I love his stuff.
  • Watchmen. The undercurrent here at the Con is all about the upcoming Watchmen film. Probably spurred on by the appearance of Night Owl's very cool ship at the Warner booth. There is simply no way that any movie can capture the brilliance of the original comic book series, but the trailer makes it look like it will be an interesting project in its own right... just different.
  • Disappointment. One of the things that shocks me is how unprepared the vendors are. LEGO had a cool limited-edition Indiana Jones set that was completely sold out before I even got to their booth... AND THIS IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE SHOW!! WTF?!? And this is not a unique situation. Everywhere I go the cool stuff has already sold out or been given all away. There's really no excuse for this to happen during the first few hours of the first day of Comic-Con. They should make enough shit to at least get them through the first frickin' day, or not even bother.
  • Costumes. There are not as many costumed people wandering around as I had thought... and most of the costumes are lame (a random guy drew two holes on his neck with a red Sharpie marker and said "I'm a vampire!"). Some costumes, however, are amazing. The amount of money, time, and energy people put into these things boggles the mind. Sure it's kind of crazy, but you have to appreciate the dedication it takes to create a really good costume.

Wonder Dave

Tomorrow I'll probably attend a few sessions and take a more thorough run through the exhibitor hall. There's just entirely too much crap there to see it all in one day. FTW!

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Comic-Con: Day Two

Posted on Friday, July 25th, 2008

Dave!Yeah, everybody who had bets against me restraining myself from buying crap so totally won.

I could have lied and said I didn't buy anything, but Vahid photo-documented everything.

First I stopped at Chris Sanders' booth to pick up his sketchbook and Kiskaloo collection. If I could be anybody at ComicCon... it would be this guy. I first caught notice of his work when I was studying Disney animation (where he was an animator for films like Beauty and The Beast and co-creator of my all-time favorite Disney character, Stitch, from Lilo and Stitch). His last project, American Dog (which he was slated to direct at Disney), was stupidly taken away from him after the Pixar merger and is now called Bolt. This is a tragedy of epic proportions, because now we'll never know what brilliance he could have unleashed with that film. Now he's at Dreamworks, and I can't wait to see what they let him do. In the meanwhile, we get his sheer genius in comic book form...

Kiskaloo Book Cover

Next I went to get Brandon Peterson to get his latest sketchbook. As I said yesterday, he's one of my favorite artists in comics, and I was thrilled to finally meet him as he autographed my copy...

Brandon Peterson

From there, I went to meet my long-time idol, Sergio Aragones (of MAD Magazine and Groo fame). What a tremendous honor that was...

Sergio Aragones

I start to walk away with my autographed copy of "Life of Groo / Death of Groo" hardcover, and =BAM!= There's Scott Shaw! Yet another legend in the comics and animation business!

Scott Shaw!

Then it was time to find Eric Shanower, who I've long idolized for his artistic style. I've collected most everything he's ever done, and his influence on my personal art is incalculable. I've met quite a few important and famous people over the course of my travels, but I can honestly say this was the first time I have ever been "star-struck." In talking with Eric, I think he was a little taken back about how much I knew of him and his career, but it made for a great conversation...

Eric Shanower

Lastly was another comic book great, Stan Sakai, who is the creator of another amazing book: Usagi Yojimbo. Though I have long been a fan of Japanese art and culture, Stan's fantastic historical references opened up a whole new world of interest in Japanese history, which I've long been grateful for. Cool bonus... he did a sketch in my book of Usagi himself...

Stan Sakai

All in all, a pretty amazing day for me. And I didn't even mention how I got to sit in on a panel with Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, and Nathan Fillion...

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Dave Diego

Posted on Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Dave!I spent the morning at Comic-Con, which was even more insane than yesterday... something I would have never thought possible. The crowds were just obscene. Fortunately, I was concentrating on visiting original comic art vendors today, which was probably the least offensive (crowd-wise) of the entire show floor.

If only I had several thousand dollars burning a hole in my pocket, I could have actually afforded to buy something!

Yesterday I focused on all the positive and wonderful things about Comic-Con, this time I wanted to list some of my gripes about Comic-Con. For those who don't care about the show and are sick of reading about it, I've put it all in an extended entry.

But even better than drooling over amazing works of art all morning was attending Dave Diego this evening! Fun times were had by all, and it was great to finally meet some new faces behind the names from blogs I enjoy...

It was mother-daughter day, starting with Juli and SJ...

Julie and SJ

And Motley and Winter...

Motley and Winter

I was thrilled that Amandarin and Adam were able to make it, because she is here to actually work at Comic-Con...

Amanda and Adam

At first Vahid was immune to Hilly's considerable charms...

Vahid and Hilly

But there's only so long you can hold out against Hilly, and Vahid was soon smitten...

Vahid with his head on Hilly's bosom

Which was a good thing, because Hilly required assisted in getting decked out in Blogography Flair...

Vahid attempting to attach button flair on Hilly's lanyard

Cutest couple of the evening award went to Jester and Uncle Monkey Boy...

Jester and Uncle Monkey Boy

Also finally got to meet Othurme, along with new Jester Friends Daniel, Richard, and Paul...

Othurme, Paul, and The Gays

Karl and Bret were also there... but they always seemed to be making out (TequilaCon-Speak for "out having a smoke") on those rare occasions I had my camera out, so I had to steal this photo from SJ...

Bret and Karl

After drinks, dinner, talk, and drinks, we called it a night so disrespectable people could get home at a respectable hour. We're classy like that.

Tomorrow I'm going to take in the last hours of Comic-Con 2008 and see if I can meet up with some friends while I'm in town. Not a bad way to spend a Bullet Sunday.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Comic-Con: Day Four

Posted on Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Dave!Bullet Sunday will be postponed until tomorrow when we have another edition of "Bullet Sunday on Monday."

As I type this, I am eating Pinkberry which, I've been told on more than one occasion, you either love or hate.

I don't really agree with that, because I don't have such strong feelings about frozen yogurt. Even Pinkberry. To me it's just "different" and I can take it or leave it. It's not like we're talking about chocolate pudding here. Besides, the stuff is just a knock-off of Red Mango, which I first had in Seoul, South Korea, years before the "sweet-tart fro-yo" fad hit the USA (though I understand that Red Mango shops are starting to pop up here now too).

Anyway, Pinkberry is kind of difficult for me, because it tastes better with fruit instead of chocolate toppings. This goes against everything I believe in when it comes to desserts, but oh well. I'm kind of enamored with strawberry and mango right now...

Pinkberry Strawberry

After changing hotels and having lunch with Vahid, it was time to bid him adieu so I could go back to Comic-Con for a while. The crowds, while still a little crazy, were much more manageable today. My main goal was to look through the magazine and silver-age comic tables to search for some issues I'm missing in my collection. I got away very cheap because, while I found just about everything I was looking for, I decided not to buy anything over $20, which left me only one thing to buy.

I came dangerously close to spending $2750.00 on a piece of original artwork that I really, really, wanted... but, alas, with the $20 Rule in effect, I had to take a pass. This was tough considering the original asking price was $3500.00 (and it was totally worth it).

I will now spend the rest of my life regretting my decision not to buy.

All while being secretly thankful I didn't.

Dinner tonight was with a friend over in Coronado, and totally excellent.

Except the bill, which was substantial.

I'm generally not the type of person who likes spending outrageous amounts of money at a restaurant, but sometimes it's nice to treat yourself to something extravagant. On rare occasions it's okay to live above your means. Every once in a while it's good to spend money you don't have on something that makes your life a little sweeter.

Shit. I totally should have bought that original art page, shouldn't I?

Categories: Food 2008, Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 91

Posted on Monday, July 28th, 2008

Dave!Since yesterday I was threatened with death if I didn't put down my computer, there was no time for bullets. Thus we have Bullet Sunday on Monday today!

Just a few odds and ends from my Comic-Con experience...

• Costumed. Why is it that every time I see news coverage on TV, magazines, or in the paper that they always show most everybody at Comic-Con in crazy costumes? In reality, only a small percentage of attendees actually dress up. I guess that it's more fun to portray Comic-Con as some kind of freak show, but even that's way harsh. Why is it cool to dress up in costumes for Halloween, but not cool any other time?

• Television. The big shows represented at Comic-Con are ones like Lost, Heroes, and Chuck. All of which are shows that I positively loathe. I'd even go so far as to say I hate them. Lost started off incredible, but quickly spun into redundant idiocy. Heroes was always pointless and stupid because you've got all these super-powered people who rarely actually use their super-powers. And Chuck, which started out clever and interesting, dropped to rock-bottom because the lead character is a whiny, bumbling bitch in every frakin' episode and I just got tired of it. I want new geek television shows.

• Batman. Yes, I've seen Dark Knight twice now (and will see it again this coming weekend). I don't know what I can say that's any different from most everybody else... it's a brilliant, brilliant film, and I totally loved it. Not only is it one of the best comic book super-hero films ever made, it's one of the best films ever made period. Each performance was a revelation, particularly Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, and this movie deserves some serious Oscar love in every applicable category.

• Watchmen. I am seriously stoked for this film, even though I know better. It can never measure up to the book... but, when taken on its own merits, it's looking like a terrific piece of genre entertainment. March 6th cannot come soon enough.

And that's going to have to be it. I threw my back out, and the pills I took are starting to kick in. For some nice Dave Diego recaps, here are some by Snackiepoo and Winter and SJ, and Karl, and Motley.

Categories: Movies 2008Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Coinage

Posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Dave!I will be the first to admit that this blog is mostly frivolous crap.

But every once in a while I surprise myself by writing something worthwhile. Every once in a while I manage to actually say something.

Like this bit from last year called "Flexible for Money"...

"When you were a kid, do you remember when you dropped a coin that rolled under the table how you didn't even think about what to do... you simply threw yourself to the ground and went crawling after your money? It didn't matter if it was just a nickel or even a penny, you chased after that shit.
   
And now, as you grow older, do you notice how the value of the dropped coin you're willing to chase after keeps getting bigger and bigger? At one point you stopped crawling after pennies because, after all, it was just a penny. Soon after, nickels weren't worth bending over for. In no time at all, dimes are more trouble than they're worth. With age comes the realization that the time, effort, and energy required to retrieve dropped money requires careful calculation. Is the quarter that just fell out of your pocket worth the risk of straining your back while bending over to pick it up? What can you get with a quarter now-a-days anyway?
   
Today I dropped a dollar bill while pulling my iPod out of my pocket. As I stood there watching my money gently tumbling down the sidewalk in the breeze, it then occurred to me that I must be an old man now because I had no desire to go after it. Then suddenly, in a desperate bid to reclaim my childhood, I went chasing after my dollar. Just as I bent over to pick it up, my $180 Oakley sunglasses (one of those ridiculously expensive purchases you try not to regret) fell out of my jacket pocket and got a nice scratch on the lens. Standing there with a dollar in one hand and my ruined sunglasses in the other, I threw the dollar bill into the air and walked away having learned a valuable lesson.
   
Sometimes you've just got to tell your inner-child to go fuck themselves."

Now that's pretty smart stuff.

But did I learn anything from it?

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey staring at a coin on the ground.

No.

No I did not.

Because last night as I was unloading my suitcase from the trunk of my car, I dropped a couple coins on the pavement. A quarter and a nickel I think. It doesn't really matter what they were. The point is that I bent over to pick up the coins with my free hand while I was holding onto my suitcase full of heavy signed books from Comic-Con in the other.

And proceeded to throw my back out pretty bad.

So bad that I had to drug up to go to sleep... then drug up again this morning to get through my work day.

And now I lay here in agony, waiting for my pills to kick in so (hopefully) I can get some sleep.

And I never did actually pick up my dropped coins. When I left for work this morning they were still there. But when I came back tonight, they were gone.

Apparently somebody younger and more flexible thought they were worth the risk.

Getting old kind of sucks.

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  29 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

State

Posted on Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Dave!Filled fifty-eight orders tonight. Given the sorry state of my back, I'm quite happy about that.

Speaking of my back, it didn't give me very much trouble today thanks to the healing power of hard drugs. The unfortunate side-effect being that I spent most of my time wandering around dazed and confused. Which is nothing new, of course. It's just that usually this state of being is preceded by several shots of Jagermeister.

It's the drugs I blame for my driving to Costco to get pudding cups and a bag of chips this afternoon... and somehow leaving with $160 worth of crap that will barely fit in my home. The good news is that I won't be running out of Tootsie Pops or Uncrustables Sandwiches any time soon.

In happier news, I've updated the Dave Events page to include Dave Diego and added those upcoming events I have dates for...

Davecago Poster   Dave Louis Poster

Dave Lake City Poster   Davestin Poster

There are some other cities I'll be hitting in the upcoming months, but I don't have a finalized schedule to post anything just yet.

Time for sleeping pills and slumber's blissful embrace...

Categories: Travel 2008Click To It: Permalink  16 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cornea

Posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Dave!As if having my back all jacked up wasn't bad enough.

Yesterday I went to the eye doctor for an exam so I could get new eyeglasses and order some new contact lenses. While I was there, I was asked if I wanted to try some new "dual" lenses which have close-range "reading glasses" built-in. I thought that sounded kind of handy, so I agreed. It was my understanding that these were lenses you wear overnight.

Turns out this is not the case.

I woke up at 4:30am with stabbing pain in my right eye. Realizing that the lenses had adhered to my eyeballs, I ran to the bathroom and started saturating the lenses with saline solution with the hope that they would detach. But it didn't really work out and, by the time I finally managed to slide them off my eyeball, the lenses took a couple of layers off my cornea.

Unbelievable pain.

And I've had kidney stones.

The good news is that suddenly my back pain didn't matter so much.

The bad news is that I spent the next five hours crying my eyes out and taking huge amounts of ibuprofen. The worse news is that most of my day was spent screaming and wanting to gouge my eyes out with a spoon. Eventually things started feeling better, but "better" is a relative term. Right now I am still in great discomfort, but at least I can look at a computer screen for more than five minutes without dying. The eye heals fairly quickly, so I'm hopeful tomorrow will be much better.

In the meanwhile, I am way, way behind on email and blogs.

I don't even want to know what tomorrow brings.

Categories: DaveLife 2008Click To It: Permalink  39 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

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