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Bullet Sunday 122

Posted on Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Dave!Ever since I got over being sick, I've spent every waking minute getting caught up on work. Because of that, I don't have much for Bullet Sunday except some stuff I saw while I was confined to bed this past week...

• Guy. Just when you think that The Family Guy isn't very funny anymore, they have Peter's obscenely wealthy father-in-law invite Bill Gates to a party...

Family Guy iPod vs. Zune

"Hey Bill, would you help me program my Zune? Oh... wait... I have an iPod, LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD!"

BWAH HA HA HAAAA! It's so funny because it's true!

• Mode. In preparation for the imminent release of Depeche Mode's new album Sounds of the Universe on April 21st, I've been watching all the production videos posted at their website. In one of them, I was pleasantly surprised to see a NO ON PROP 8 sign in the background...

Depeche Mode in the Studio with a NO ON PROP 8 Sign

I guess when Depeche Mode sings "People Are People" it's more than just words in a song to them...

So we're different colours and were different creeds,
And different people have different needs.
It's obvious you hate me though I've done nothing wrong,
I've never even met you so what could I have done?
I can't understand what makes a man hate another man,
Help me understand.
People are people so why should it be,
You and I should get along so awfully?

• Mode2. In other DM news, the disturbing video for the first single, Wrong, has been released. Since MTV doesn't play music videos anymore, here it is...

• Shop. As if it wasn't enough that Depeche Mode has a new album coming out, The Pet Shop Boys are also releasing a new album, Yes, on March 23rd. A very cool video for their first single, Love, Etc., has also been released...

And, in case you missed their awesome appearance at The Brit Awards with a guest appearance by Brandon Flowers from The Killers, here's that as well...

I have no idea what Chris was thinking with that stupid pink wig, but the performance was brilliant.

• Dollies. Three episodes in, and I am still not much of a fan of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. It's surprisingly boring. About the only thing that will have me tuning in again next week is the final 15 seconds of the show, which was kind of a WTF? moment. Everything else? Boring. Or infuriating. Mostly because there's one character on the show who drives me bat-shit insane... the tech guy "Topher"...

Topher

I think what Joss was going for was a character like "Xander" from Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He was kind of geeky-nerdy, but in an entertaining and lovable way that complimented the rest of the cast. Overall a great addition to the show...

Xander

But instead what we got was a retread of "Marshall" from Alias. A "genius" who somehow manages to be a complete fucking dumbass at the same time. He acts stupid. He talks stupid. He's a whiny annoyance whose only benefit on the show is to give you somebody to want dead...

Marshall

As if that tired cliche wasn't bad enough, Whedon recycled Agent Fox Mulder from the X-Files to create Agent Paul Ballard. In order to make the character sympathetic to the audience, Ballard is a brilliant lone wolf whose obsession with the Dollhouse makes him an object of ridicule by other FBI agents. But here's the problem... the audience already knows Ballard is right and the Dollhouse exists, so the humiliation of the character is pointless. It doesn't make the character any more sympathetic, it makes the FBI out to be an agency of total morons. Ballard is obviously very good at his job, so where are the agents saying "Hey, Paul, any luck tracking down this Dollhouse thing? Anything I can do to help?" Too logical, I guess. In interviews, Tahmoh Penikett says it takes 5 or 6 episodes for the show to find its footing... I hope the show isn't cancelled before then. Because with Alan Tudyk (Wash!) set to play the rogue Dollhouse killer "Alpha," better days seem to be just around the corner. At least I hope so, because Dollhouse is sucking ass so far.

   

And now... I'm off to finish up re-reading Watchmen for the hundredth time. Because, weather permitting, I'll be seeing the movie this Friday and I want to make sure I have the source material fresh in my head.

Categories: Bullet Sunday 2009Click To It: Permalink  23 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bag

Posted on Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Dave!It's 8:00pm and I'm already in bed. Not because I'm tired, but because I kind of got used to working in bed while I was sick. It's a pretty comfy way to be on the job, that's for sure.

This morning while I was cleaning up the disaster in my bedroom that's accumulated from the past week of sloth, I found a big bag of money laying at the foot of my bed. And by "big bag" I mean a gallon-sized Ziplock plastic bag, and by "lot of money" I mean $320 in tens and twenties (which may not be a lot of money to you, but it's sure a lot of money to me).

I spent the rest of my day trying to figure out what it was doing there, and where it came from. Not that I was assuming somebody broke into my home and put it there... no... I knew it was my money. I just couldn't for the life of me remember why I would have put it in a Ziplock bag and stashed it at the foot of my bed. Did I knock over a lemonade stand? Hold up a Girl Scout selling cookies? I rarely carry much cash, preferring to put even small purchases on a credit or debit card, so what was it for?

Eventually I gave up trying to figure it out, and decided to put it in the bank. Maybe I will treat myself to something pretty with my new-found wealth later this week. And by "pretty" I mean get the oil and brakes changed on my car.

I suppose there are worse mysteries to have... like finding a big bag with a severed monkey head stashed at the foot of your bed... so I'm trying hard not to complain...

DAVETOON: Monkey Head in a Plastic Bag!

But still, it sure would be nice if I could remember stuff like this.

   

Actual

Posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Dave!Every time I turn around now-a-days, I'm hearing about horrendous crap that's going on with my friends or family. It simply. Does. Not. Stop. Whether it's from finances, health, betrayal, theft, heartbreak, or a multitude of other tragedies, something horrible always seems to be happening to somebody I care about.

Heaven only knows I've had my share of heinous shit dropping into my life lately, but it's the never-ending misery of other people that's wearing me down. It's getting to the point where I'm afraid to pick up the phone or check my email because I'm practically guaranteed bad news is on the other end.

Which begs the question... how much longer can this go on?

I know people say "things can always get worse," but surely at some point you will run out of things that can go wrong. Won't you? I only ask, because it's that faint hope that keeps me going.

But, as bad as things may be, that's not as bad as things are.

Because whenever I cruise the blogosphere or whatever "social networking" trainwreck has my attention this week, I find something far worse than the actual drama that's making life hell for many of my friends, family, and increasing numbers of other people out there.

It's the manufactured drama people create that's driving me fucking insane.

Complaining about day-to-day crap is normal and healthy. It's why many of us have blogs in the first place. But I'm going into thermonuclear meltdown over the constant need some people have to take this mundane shit and escalate the drama until everything in their life is a catastrophic world-ending event. There's just too much horrible stuff going on right now for me to care about all this artificial tragedy people dream up to make their lives interesting.

Every once in a while you just have to say "meh" and move on.

Categories: News - Politics 2009Click To It: Permalink  27 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Scrutiny

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Dave!I cannot imagine the scrutiny that somebody in the public spotlight has to endure. I don't think anybody can until it happens to them.

Which is why I am starting to develop a real sympathy for Michelle Obama. The poor woman cannot catch a break, as her every nuance is analyzed to death. Her every decision... no matter how slight... is debated and dissected for months after it happens. And usually, it's over insignificant details that she seems to catch the most flack for. The latest furor burning up the internets is that she has the audacity and poor taste to =gasp!= wear SLEEVELESS DRESSES!!

Just look at the hussy as she attends a recent presidential address...

Michelle Obama Sleeveless

Today somebody actually asked me what I thought of Michelle Obama dressing in such an undignified manner.

"Are you serious?" I replied. "So long as she has her nipples covered and isn't flashing her crotch all over town, I don't give a crap if her dress has sleeves or not!"

Because, honestly, every time I see a photo of Michelle Obama, she is the very epitome of class and good taste. She is a good-looking woman, and dresses appropriately. I think it's time for some jealous bitches to realize that we're living in the year 2009, and shut the fuck up.

At least I did.

Until I saw a photo of our First Lady deplaning Air Force One to meet with the British Minister of Foreign Affairs last week...

Michelle Obama Bad Weave

Now, I consider myself to be a pretty open-minded guy, but clearly she has made a wrong decision here.

The First Lady of The United States of America has no business wearing a bad synthetic weave like this!

Clearly this is not how this country should be represented. You're the FIRST LADY for crying out loud! Find yourself a good hairdresser and spring for the natural hair extensions!

I mean, my God, what's next? LEG WARMERS WITH SPANDEX?!?

Somebody please help her before it's too late.

Categories: News - Politics 2009Click To It: Permalink  30 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cartographic

Posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Dave!For as long as I can remember, I've been in love with maps and map-making.

Old maps, new maps, road maps, land maps, ocean maps, weather maps... any kind of map at all is a source of fascination to me. At one point I even considered a career in cartography, and did a lot of research on how maps are crafted. It never really amounted to anything, but the reward was in the learning, and my appreciation for maps grew as I studied them.

I did eventually do some map work for hire... usually presentations for land developers, graphics for realtors, and stuff like that... but most of the hundreds of maps I drew were just for fun. Like this map of Davetopia, which was one of my very first maps (original drawn on paper, but digitized years later). It was created for an online experiment called DaveWorld...

Davenia

Today when I stopped for gas my leg rubbed against the big wad of road maps I keep in my car door pocket, and they all fell to the ground. As I bent over to pick them up, it suddenly occurred to me that I haven't opened any of them in years. About a decade ago, I started using online sites like MapQuest and Google Maps when I needed directions. Now-a-days, I just turn on my iPhone.

When it comes to actually using maps, print is apparently dead to me. Once I got home, I grabbed a couple of the more useful-looking laminated maps from the pile (just in case) and threw the rest in the trash.

After dinner, I dug them back out of the garbage so I could look at them one last time before I trashed them again. It's hard to let go of something you love. As I sit here typing this, a part of me is still mourning the maps I threw out. But then I look at the dozens of map books, atlases, travel books, and cartography books on my shelf and know that I made the right decision.

Just like in cartography, life is something you should keep as uncluttered as possible.

Categories: DaveLife 2009Click To It: Permalink  23 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Watchmen

Posted on Friday, March 6th, 2009

Dave!In the epic masterwork, Watchmen, the god-like being known as Dr. Manhattan is a being who experiences his past, present, and future all at the same time. Despite his incredible power over matter, time, and space, he's nothing but a slave to an existence that has already been written. His every moment is "going through the motions" of a life that is fully predestined and known to him.

At one point in the book, Dr. Manhattan is exposed to a stream of tachyons which interrupt his all-knowing vision. Suddenly his boring walk through life is exciting again because he can't see the future. He had forgotten what it's like to not know what's going to happen.

Which pretty much explains how I felt about the film adaptation.

I had read the original graphic novel so many times that I knew every detail. I already knew the future of the story because I knew how it would all end. But the movie version of a dense story like Watchmen had to change to be film-able, so suddenly I was experiencing the excitement of not knowing. So many things were the same, but a lot of the details were different. Including the ending.

For those who haven't seen the film, I can sum it up spoiler-free like this: Watchmen is a surprisingly good film and faithful adaptation that lives up to the hype. It was a remarkable tribute to the source material on almost every level. I really enjoyed the film overall, despite two curious missteps I felt could have been easily avoided.

My spoiler-riddled review (which assumes knowledge of the original Watchmen graphic novel) follows in an extended entry.

Watchment Bloody Smile Button

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Categories: Movies 2009Click To It: Permalink  12 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Back

Posted on Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Dave!If somebody could help me with this monkey on my back, that would be great...

Monkeyback

   

   

Categories: DaveToons 2009Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 123

Posted on Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Dave!It's a very special edition of Bullet Sunday here at Blogography... focusing on the many wonders of the Emerald City itself, Seattle! Vahid came up to see Watchmen and, surprisingly, hasn't ever really played tourist here despite the fact he lives only 3 hours away. We didn't have much time, but managed to squeeze in quite a lot (fortunately he managed to get a late train back home on Sunday!).

• Pike Place Market. Probably my favorite touristy place in Seattle, it's tough to beat a trip to the Pike Place Market. There's shops and eateries for just about any taste or interest, and a good chunk of the day can be spent trying to explore it all. Since there are pictures of the famous Market Sign and flying fish everywhere, I thought I'd skip that and remind everybody that you can see delicious cheese being made at Beecher's Cheese, just across the street from the marketplace. It's a massive task that involves a lot of manual labor, but a lot of fun to watch...

A guy making cheese at Beechers Cheese

You can not only buy their famous award winning cheeses, but also eat a delicious grilled cheese sandwich or some decadent "World's Best Macaroni and Cheese" from their cafe. (Beecher's Cheese Link)

&bull Post Alley. Just south of Pike Place Market, Post Alley is home to the famous Seattle Gum Wall...

Gum Wall at Post Alley

Gum Wall at Post Alley

• Space Needle. Yeah, it's a Seattle landmark that everybody goes to when they visit, but it's still a pretty remarkable place. Since it was due to snow Saturday, we were sure to get there Friday while the skies were clear and blue...

View out the Space Needle

Seattle Panorama Photo from the Space Needle

With my fear of heights, a trip to the top is not the most pleasant of experiences, but you can't argue with the view! (Space Needle Link)

• EMP & Science Fiction Museum. The "Experience Music Project" is one of those "activity-type" museums that either succeeds or fails for the visitor depending on how dense the crowds are. If it's crowded, you may not get to "experience" much at all. But on a Friday afternoon in Winter, crowds were light, so it's good fun. The Music Lab is my favorite part, set up with stations which teach you how to play various instruments...

Entrance to the EMP

Because there's not really a lot of "museum" at the EMP, they've added on a Science Fiction Museum to make the $15 admission price a better value. It's fairly comprehensive, covering many aspects of the genre... from books to film. Speaking as a sci-fi whore, I love the place. Not only do they have one of the original Enterprise models from Stark Trek, but they've also got a number of props, including Captain Kirk's chair and some of the devices used by the characters...

Scifi

If crowds are light, I'd definitely recommend a visit to the EMP/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. (EMP-SFM Link)

• Underground Tour. Old Seattle was a mess of floods and pestilence, which is why city founders were happy to let it burn to the ground when it caught fire in 1889. They then just built a new city on top of the old, hoping the height would stop the tides from flooding the streets and causing toilets to overflow. Since the Seattle was completely destroyed, there's not a lot to see once you go underground... but it's the tour guides that make the trip interesting (above ground is beautiful, however). Seattle has a very interesting and colorful history, and the tour guides make it all very entertaining...

Seattle Underground

Seattle Underground

After the tour, you can visit a small museum which houses a collection of stuff from Seattle's history... including an original Crapper Toilet, beautifully preserved...

Porcelain Crapper Toilet

• Seattle Public Library. Much like the EMP, I think the Seattle Public Library is a hideous mess from the outside. Only when seen from above does it look even remotely beautiful. From the inside, however, it's quite nice...

Inside Seattle Public

Inside Seattle Public

Idolatry. "Everything I've ever done. Everything I ever do. Every place I've ever been. Everywhere I'm going to... It's a sin."

Bible thumper holding a sign.

• Alki. Sure enough, rain, snow, and everything in-between ("wintery mix") descended upon Seattle on Saturday morning. This made a trip to West Seattle's Alki Point a bit uncomfortable and made for a less exciting view, but it's still worth the short drive over to look back at the city center...

Alki Bird

Alki Statue of Liberty Mini Replica

View of Seattle Pano from Alki

Even better? Dustin joined us for lunch!

• Seattle Waterfront. While not as interesting as the waterfront at other cities (like San Francisco), Seattle's is still worth a visit. A few legendary businesses are located there, like Ivars Famous Clam Chowder restaurant...

Ivars Sign

And Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (home of Sylvester and Sylvia, the mummies)...

Sylvia the Mummy

There's also some nice classic neon signage to enjoy...

Crab Pot Neon

I also love the view looking back towards downtown...

Seattle Cityscape

And that was all she wrote from beautiful Seattle...

Cosmic Beanie Mural

Categories: Travel 2009Click To It: Permalink  25 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Mondays

Posted on Monday, March 9th, 2009

Dave!

Dave Missing

   

   

   

Categories: DaveLife 2009Click To It: Permalink  11 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

More

Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Dave!More is not necessarily better. I found this out the hard way when buying bread.

Wanting to eat healthier, I started buying Oroweat "Multi-Grain" bread instead of their "Country White" bread. Like all Oroweat breads, it was delicious. Then one day they didn't have Multi-Grain, so I bought their 7-Grain. It was even MORE delicious. This led me to conclude that MORE GRAINS = BETTER. So when I was at the store and saw that Oroweat makes a 12-Grain Bread, I was understandably intrigued. "That's FIVE MORE GRAINS OF DELICIOUSNESS!" I thought.

Turns out this was not the case. 12-Grain wasn't nearly as delicious as 7-Grain.

I can only guess it's because there's a grain threshold for bread where, after you achieve the perfection of seven grains, things just go downhill from there. I made a graph to explain it...

   

Oroweat Bread Grain Graph

   

The problem is that this goes against the very principles we hold dear here in the USA, where more is always better.

Which begs the question... why does Oroweat hate America?

Categories: Food 2010Click To It: Permalink  22 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Memories

Posted on Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Dave!As I get older, my sense of time seems to be slipping away, causing me to get things mixed up in my head. As an example, I regularly think of events that happened 20 years ago as having taken place in the same time frame as something that happened 5 years ago. It's as if my mind is lumping all my past experiences together. I can figure out a chronology of events if I really think about it, but the distance between their happening is totally lost.

Which makes looking at old photos a real challenge.

While at my sisters house this past weekend, I found this picture of me...

Dave with Cake
It's Betty Crocker SuperMoist... there's pudding in the mix!

Noting the skinny tie and digital watch that I'm wearing, I'm guessing this was taken in the mid 1980's. Given the location, I'm thinking it's probably 1986. And that means it was 23 years ago, which seems impossible. I remember those times as if they were yesterday but, in reality, they were an eternity ago.

Reconciling these two conflicting perspectives is enough to make my brain explode if I dwell on it long enough.

And so I try not to.

Davey in Tiger Slippers
Cute! I was totally a NAMBLA wet dream!

So far, the denial has been working out quite well for me.

Which totally explains if I show up at TequilaCon wearing a T-shirt, tighty-whiteys, and a pair of tiger slippers.

Categories: DaveLife 2009Click To It: Permalink  25 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Hoot

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Dave!Immediately after waking up at 4:30am, I put in eleven-and-a-half grueling hours of work that turned my brain all mushy. After I got home from dinner, I put in six more hours. Now my brain is beyond mushy... I am near catatonic.

Which would be great if I could get some sleep out of the deal, except I can't. Despite how exhausted I am, my body simply will not fall asleep. So instead I'm blogging at 1:00am while an owl is hooting outside my window. This is very odd, because I can't recall ever hearing any owls here before. But here he is... excited about something out there. I was going to guess that his internal clock is messed up from moving the clocks ahead for Daylight Saving Time, but then I remember that animals are smarter than we stupid-ass humans and don't have idiotic Daylight Saving Time. Lucky bastard. Why hasn't Obama abolished this stupid crap yet? WHERE'S THE CHANGE I CAN BELIEVE IN?!??

Anyway...

Thanks to help from the charming and lovely Penelope, it looks like we have a venue and plans for the London meet-up on SATURDAY, MARCH 21st... a week from tomorrow! Some people weren't sure if they could make it but, if it turns out you can, please email me and I'll get you the details (my email address is in the sidebar to the left).

Just a quick note that the date for Edinburgh has been CHANGED. While we here in the USA always have Mother's Day in May... in the UK "Mothering Sunday" is in March. And, unfortunately, it's on the 22nd when Davenburgh was planned, making it so that people had to ditch their mum in order to attend. So I changed my flights so that we could have a meet-up on TUESDAY, MARCH 24th for dinner. Hopefully this will allow more people to join in. Let me know if you can make it!

Davedon 2009

Davenburgh 2009

Wow... It is just now sinking in that I leave for the UK on Wednesday. That one sure snuck up on me.

Categories: Travel 2009Click To It: Permalink  13 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Deadly

Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2009

Dave!Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could buy a Deadly Ninja Attack Monkey to unleash upon my enemies.*

DAVETOON: Ninja Attack Monkey

   

   

*And by "enemies" I mean dumbasses ahead of me driving 10 miles under the speed limit in a 25mph zone. WTF?!?

Categories: DaveToons 2009Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Tasted

Posted on Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Dave!For the first time in months, my idiopathic angioedema (random swelling due to the release of histamines by my mast cells) dropped by for a vist, causing a massive welt to appear on the bottom of my left foot. This is annoying, but relatively harmless (as say... compared to my tongue or throat swelling up so I suffocate and die) so I just tried my best to ignore it. But then I remembered my allergist had prescribed some massively concentrated antihistamines to try, so I took three and waited to see what happened.

What happened was a miracle. Instead of taking ten hours to go away, the swelling disappeared in under two.

Which is good news, right? I should be celebrating. Except...

HOLY CRAP DO THOSE PILLS TASTE HEINOUS!!!

Imagine taking a handful of aspirin, multiplying it's horrible taste by 100, then rolling it in toxic waste. THAT'S what these pills taste like. And apparently they're quick-disolving, because they had already started melting in my mouth by the time I could get a glass of water to my lips. In very short order, my tongue was coated with a taste so foul that I very nearly had to vomit... twice.

I scarfed down pizza, cookies, Coke, garlic bread, spicy pepper hummus, and chocolate. The taste was still there. I then brushed my tongue, sprayed it with antiseptic, then gargled with mouthwash. The taste was still there. I eventually found some Altoids, and they finally managed to destroy the taste... replacing it with something not much better.

Depending on the body part affected, next time I may just let it stay swollen instead of facing the agony.

Much like the agony I feel when I see people asking questions that can easily be answered by searching Google. It happens all the time on places like Twitter, and I just don't get it. It takes the same amount of time to type out a Google query as a tweet on Twitter, so why not just Google that shit and get your answer immediately instead of bothering other people for it?

So now I've created a new Blogography page called "Google That Shit!" which I will put in a keyboard macro. Whenever I see somebody posting a question that could have been asked and answered on Google, I'll toss up a link to it. How else are they going to learn?

Some people may think this makes me an asshole, and they're absolutely right.

But that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make in order to create a better internet for everybody.

You are welcome!

Categories: Blogging 2009Click To It: Permalink  29 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 124

Posted on Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Dave!Another Bullet Sunday. Another desperate scramble to get a blog entry written so I can attack another item on my to-do list...

• ACTA. To say that I am disappointed in the Obama Administration for their draconian secrecy surrounding the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" is an understatement. I am thoroughly disgusted. So much for "transparency in government." The potential for misuse of ACTA is truly frightening, and yet nobody seems to care. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Not that I'd expect anything better from a McCain Administration, but Obama is the one who made all those transparency promises.

• United Kingdom. Tomorrow I'll be making lanyards for the meet-ups in London and Edinburgh... so time is running out to get on the list! If you're going to be in London on Saturday, March 21st or Edinburgh on Tuesday, March 24th, please email Dave Spice ASAP! (my email address is in the sidebar)...

DAVETOON: Dave Spice

• Blogiversary. The economy woes are really wrecking havoc with the plans I've got going for my kick-ass Blogiversary VI Celebration coming this April. One company raised their prices substantially mid-way through development. Another company who was working on what would have been my most favorite prize item ever disappeared off the face of the earth this past week. I was concerned when emails and phone calls stopped being returned. I was worried when the phone was disconnected. But I was freaking out when I finally made contact with a neighboring business and was told that the offices had been abandoned. The deposit I made to start the project was relatively small, so losing my money isn't my major concern. No, coming up with something new to replace it is the thing that troubles me. It's crushing to have your dreams dashed by factors outside your control.

• Postcard. Ooh! My postcard from Lynne arrived! And it's got a cool Orang Utan on it...

Malaysia Postcard

• Bailed. Am I the only one who thinks that somebody needs to be shot in the balls every time I hear the word "bailout" and "executive bonuses" in the same sentence? Seriously... shotgun to the fucking testicles (or ovaries, for the XY-challenged).

   

And now it's time to get back to work for a few hours. My time until takeoff to the United Kingdom is rushing by...

   

Ginger

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009

Dave!How is it that I know the words to songs I absolutely loathe?

I hate... fucking HATE... the song "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg. Every time I hear the stupid sentimental crap being blasted in an elevator or at a grocery store (like this morning), I want to rip my ears off with a pair of pliers. But, even worse than having to listen to it, is the fact that I somehow KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO THE SONG! How the heck did THAT happen? It makes me want to bleach my brain so I can get rid of the lyrics and replace them with something more useful... like a recipe for making toast.

Speaking of toast...

It surprised me greatly when some people didn't "get" the "Dave Spice" reference in yesterday's entry.

How soon they forget.

Singer Geri Halliwell is world-famous for being "Ginger Spice" of The Spice Girls. By far her most famous outfit from those days was her "Union Jack" mini dress and super-elevated red boots. The looks was so iconic that it pretty much became a symbol of the entire group...

The dress itself has an interesting history. Geri made it from a flag with help from her half-sister for the 1997 Brit Awards. Around a year after leaving The Spice Girls in 1999, Geri held a charity auction at Sotheby's to benefit a children's cancer charity. The Union Jack dress was the top item of the auction, bringing in $69,340. Geri hand-delivered it to the winner, Peter Morton of The Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas (where it is still displayed). When The Spice Girls reformed in 2007, rumor has it that she tried to borrow the dress back for the tour, but ended up using a newly-made glitzed-up version instead (because the old dress would have had to been altered).

Whatever... I think that Lil' Dave wears it better.

Categories: Music 2009Click To It: Permalink  17 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Cloverfield

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Dave!

Monkeyclover

   

Categories: DaveToons 2009Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Currency

Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Dave!And so I'm off to Blighty...

I should be more excited, but all my travel kind of blends together after a while, and it hasn't sunk in that this trip is actually for a week of vacation. Vacation I can't really afford right now, but vacation nevertheless.

In anticipation of the truly shitty value of the US Dollar abroad (and at home, for that matter), I decided to visit my Big Box of Funny Money. This is where I toss all the foreign currency I bring back from my travels with the intent of using it for future trips...

TT desperation.

The problem is that I never remember to take it on future trips, so it just sits there. The bigger problem is that 90% of the money I've accumulated is worthless. That's because it's antiquated money that's no longer in circulation anymore... like French Francs and German Deutschmarks. They may be nice to look at, but the only thing you can use them for is wiping your ass. Kind of like the US Dollar... except US Dollars aren't as nice to look at.

On top of the Big Box of Funny Money was a ziplock baggie containing 108 Norwegian Kroner. This was a pleasant surprise, because I thought I had spent it all last year. 108 of anything sounds like a lot, so I pulled up my Mac's Dashboard to use the Converter Widget to see how much it's worth...

Mac Widget

Holy crap! That's almost sixty bucks!! I should send that money to Karla in Oslo and tell her to buy me something pretty!

Except something didn't seem right. Either the US Dollar has rebounded spectacularly in Norway (unlikely) or my widget is off. I decided to test it by asking how much a hundred US Dollars is in US Dollars...

US Widget

D'oh!! The widget IS screwed up! Off I go to XE to see what my Kroner is really worth...

XE Real Kroner Value

WAH! SIXTEEN DOLLARS?!? That's not even enough to buy a bag of Smash.

The good news is that I found 50 British Pounds and 20 Euro. That's pretty good!

Unless the pound-notes are so old that they're not worth anything anymore. That would be just my luck.

And I'm off...

UPDATE: If you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, there is a fix for Apple's Unit Converter widget at Mac OS X Hints.

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Day One: SEA->LHR

Posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Dave!The bummer about being a US West Coaster is that a trip to Europe basically kills an entire day. I start out with a local flight to Seattle, connect to a long-haul 10-hour flight to Amsterdam, then RUN MY ASS OFF across Schiphol International Airport so I can get to my connecting London flight that starts boarding ten minutes after I land.

And here I am the next morning in Jolly Olde England.

Now, usually, that ten hour flight is nothing but the sheer agony of being crammed in a tiny seat and unable to move the entire trip... but somehow the travel gods smiled upon me and I ended up getting upgraded to World Business Class. Given the obscene amount of miles I fly each year, I'm used to getting upgraded on domestic flights, but it is a rarity on International trips (which, sadly, is where it makes the most difference).

Suddenly, a trip filled with pain, suffering, and dread becomes a different experience entirely.

And now I'm going to blog about what it's like to travel World Business Class on Northwest Airlines (soon to be Delta). From past experience, I know that there are those who will think that I am an asshole and somehow "bragging" about how awesome I am because I fly first class when "normal people" are stuck in coach. And that's fine. But I think it's important to note that flying thusly is something I could never afford, and only ever get to experience because it's free. Except it really isn't. I had to accumulate 160,000 frequent flier miles last year and spend countless weeks away from home, friends, and family to get to the point where I earn... I fucking earn... that prized upgrade seat. So people can say what they like, because everything has a price... it's just that sometimes it isn't paid entirely with money.

And besides, what else have I got to blog about?

Please forgive the positively shitty photos. They're positively shitty because they were taken with the positively shitty camera on my iPhone...

World Business Class

The first thing you notice is the legroom. Whereas the knees of my 6-foot 2-inch frame are permanently embedded into the back of the seat in front of me in coach, World Business has a freaky abundance of legroom. The above photo shows me at the edge of my seat with my legs fully extended. I can barely touch the chair ahead of me.

World Business Class

The reason for all that space? Your seat folds out into all kinds of configurations, including a bed. Yes, a bed. While not completely flat, it might as well be. Unlike the laughable "recline" position of the teeny-tiny coach seats that crush the person behind you, these seats can actually become comfortable enough to get some sleep. Good sleep.

World Business Class

Along with a seat about a billion times more comfortable than coach, you also get a little amenities kit. Inside you'll find a pen, chapstick (lip balm), switchblade comb(!), sleep mask, a toothbrush with mini toothpaste, and a pair of socks. SOCKS, BITCHES!! It all comes in a lovely zipper bag that's actually very nice. Notably absent are slippers. When I've flown World Business Class to Asia, you get slippers.

World Business Class

Before takeoff, they offer you juice or champagne, but you can ask for anything you want. After takeoff, they roll out the beverage cart and bring you a little box of assorted nuts. The nuts and your drink are refilled as often as you like. You can also go to the galley and grab from their snack basket any time you get hungry, which is crazy when you consider that they feed you constantly. Vahid gave me the book "Soon I Will Be Invincible" for my birthday, and it is freaking AWESOME (seriously, go buy it immediately). Vahid knows all kinds of cool books, yet never blogs about them. He will, however, gladly give you a long list of incredible reads if you see him in person buy him a drink or two.

Note the personal Video System (which is also available in the main cabin at a smaller size) which can map your journey, show you movies, and play music or games.

World Business Class

You are handed a menu with various upscale dishes... hardly any of them vegetarian-friendly. A full dinner and breakfast with various appetizers and snacks are served, all of them sounding just great (assuming you eat meat). As an example, one of our breakfast options was "Egg Pie Florentine with Spinach and Bacon, served with Apples and Cranberry Compote" plus your choice of breads.

World Business Class

Unlike coach food, World Business Class meals are never served in little plastic tubs. It always comes on real glass plates with real glassware and real metal cutlery. And I believe that's real butter too. But my most favorite part? You don't just get "salt and pepper" you get "Natural Sea Salt OR Natural Rock Salt" and "Freshly Ground Black Pepper OR Freshly Ground White Pepper"... YOUR CHOICE! How classy is that?!?

And there you have it. That's how the other half live (and me... on rare occasions). If you have the means (or frequent flier miles), I highly recommend it. I can't speak for other airlines, but Northwest (soon to be Delta) with it's impeccable flight attendant team, great seats, and great food, makes even the longest flights a sheer pleasure with their stellar World Business Class service. Two thumbs way up.

And now, after a fantastic morning wandering around London with flawless blue skies, it's time for dinner...

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Day Two: Cambridge/London

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2009

Dave!In many ways, returning to London is the perfect vacation for me, because I don't feel under any pressure to rush around playing tourist. I've seen most all the major attractions here on previous visits, so my days can be spent wandering at my leisure. Perhaps discovering some small shop or overlooked oddity that's uniquely London instead of standing in a queue somewhere.

But London and the surrounding countryside have so much to offer... such a massive number of things to see and do that are of historical significance or sublime beauty... that you really can't avoid playing tourist altogether. So when my friend and and fellow Hard Rock Runner, Perry, asked if I'd like to take the train up to Cambridge for a walkabout and some lunch, I jumped at the chance. Partly because I never got to explore the city on my all-too-brief previous visit... but especially because I've been wanting to visit The Fitzwilliam Museum for a decade.

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Regularly touted as being one of the finest museums in all of Europe, The Fitzwilliam has a remarkable collection of painting masterworks by artists such as Monet, Picasso, Titian, Cézanne, Renoir, and Degas... but also features a surprising number of antiques from Egypt, Asia, Rome, and Greece. But all these treasures are almost secondary to the building itself. The interior is an architectural marvel of such beautiful artistry that you could actually ignore everything it contains and still leave with your mind blown. I was disappointed that they don't allow photography inside... but I was positively gutted that they didn't have a book dedicated to the building in their gift shop. A few random postcards or a page in a book is all you get. Tragic, really.

Given that Cambridge is a University Town, there's so much more to see, so off we went. First walking past the remarkable King's College...

King's College Cambridge

Then continuing on for a walk around Trinity College, which is beautiful, but most everything is closed to tourists...

Trinity College Cambridge Grounds

Trinity College: No Tourists!

Trinity College Trinity!

Then off to St. John's College, which offers quite a lot more to tourists, including their chapel, grounds, their "Bridge of Sighs," and a statue of a particularly vicious nun, who's standing on top of some guy's back (?!?)...

Vicious Nun Statue

St. John's Chapel

St. John's Bridge of Sighs

St. John's College

After lunch and some wandering through the market and downtown shops, we boarded the train back south, where I said goodbye to Perry until tomorrow, and headed back to London.

Because meeting up with fellow frequent travelers always makes for fascinating conversations, I was lucky enough to arrange dinner with fellow road-warrior Andre, who was kind enough to journey into the city. His restaurant suggestion, The Texas Embassy, was a fantastic choice... not just because good Tex-Mex is one of my favorite meals... but because the restaurant has an interesting history to it. Texas and The British Empire have an interesting history together, so finding a fantastic Texan restaurant in the heart of London is not as odd as one might think. From there it was a short walk to the pubs of Covent Garden, where I somehow managed to resist the temptation of Jägermeister, despite it being proudly displayed with Red Bull as God intended...

Jager and Red Bull Display at The Nag's Head

And thus ended a perfect day, with Andre off to the train station for the journey home... and me preparing for Davedon tomorrow before passing out...

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Day Three: Davedon

Posted on Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Dave!It's 1:00am and I've just safely arrived back "home" at my hotel after seven hours of bloggity meet goodness.

This morning I went wandering through some London book shops, which is one of my favorite things to do in the city. Independent book stores are all but disappearing in the US as the mammoth chain stores squeeze them out of business, so it's nice to visit the many bookshops they have here. One of my favorite stores is Stanfords, which specializes in all things travel... from books to maps. I could spend hours (days?) exploring the world among the treasures they sell there.

Fortunately, I was able to resist temptation to buy a second suitcase and go bankrupt at Stanfords, because Lady Penelope and The Dutch Bitch had arrived in London! After a quick stop at my hotel room and some harrowing navigation through the construction (deconstruction) going on throughout the London Underground, we met in Sloan Square at Wine O'Clock...

Lady Penelope's Pinot

Dutchy wonders where her wine went.

After Dave from Undeleterious dropped in for a pint, we were off to Henry J. Beans for London's premiere blogger meet-up: Davedon!

Davedon Lanyard

Once at the restaurant, we were warmly greeted by Bec from Out of My Tree. Then Perry was kind enough to join us even though he was probably sick to death of me after our adventure in Cambridge yesterday.

Ireland ended up playing Wales in the Six Nations Tournament, with their first shot at a Grand Slam in 61 years. This was kind of an important event to one of my long-time blogging friends, Anthony from Anthony McG, who missed dinner so he could watch the match and cheer on his countrymen to a heart-stopping victory. Fortunately, he and his friend Paul joined us for a few victory drinks after the game, because I missed meeting him when he was in my neck of the woods.

I was too busy chatting to take photographs... fortunately, everybody else took a million pictures, so I'll link to them when they're posted. Thanks so very much to everyone who attended... meeting the people behind the blogs is what makes it all worthwhile!

UPDATE: The lovely Lady Penelope has uploaded her photos from the evening to Flickr. Below are a few photos of me from her set. To see the rest, click here...

Davedon: Dave and Penelope
Thanks to Penelope for making the dinner arrangements!

Davedon: Dave and Hello Kitty
Penelope brought me a Hello Kitty dispenser with sweets AND stickers. How cool is that?

Davedon Group
Penelope, Dave2, Dutchy, Perry, Bec, Dave (Anthony and Paul showed up later).

Davedon Bill
Let's see... there's our dinner bill, then it's pretty much just Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine, Wine,, Wine, Wine, Wine, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan, and a couple beers. Boy, all those Cosmos certainly add up! I wonder who might be responsible for that?

Davedon: Dave Pope
Apparently, Ireland is backing my dream of becoming Pope, because Anthony gave this Irish Pope Hat to me.

Continue on to the Penelope Flickr Davedon Set...

And that's all she wrote.

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Day Four: London

Posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Dave!Since tomorrow I have signed up for something new (to me) and touristy that demands my getting up at 4:00am, I decided that today I would do — — not much of anything. After brunch with Lady Penelope and The Dutch Bitch, I thought I'd just wander around in this amazing weather... perhaps visiting my favorite comic shop here, then maybe checking out The Apple Store on Regent Street (which had not yet opened when I was here in 2004, and I didn't have time to visit in 2006).

But then Anthony and Paul had raved about their visit to the Cabinet War Rooms & Churchill Museum last night, so new plans had to be made.

After a lovely brunch we wandered beautiful Covent Garden for a bit...

Covent Garden Market

Unlike in the USA where street performers are mostly shit, here in London you must be licensed to perform, so most of the things you see and hear are pretty good. Some are exceptional. Penelope tells me that Covent Garden is famous for their street performers, so anybody here actually had to audition for their spot. One who caught my notice was a lady beautifully singing opera at the Market House. What made her truly special is that her music accompaniment was provided by... a teeny tiny iPod Shuffle! How brilliant is THAT?

Opera With iPod Shuffle!

Surprisingly, street performers are not the only thing which must be licensed. How would you like to be the government agency in charge of the sex shop trade? I don't know why, but I envision the shop undergoing regular inspections by some older, official-looking bureaucratic gentleman... walking the store with a tape measure and saying things like "These dildos are not regulation length and must be removed!" and "I do not see an electronics safety seal on this vibrator!" Though that's probably just me...

Used Books and Licensed Sex Shop Sign!

As I am not much for shopping I bid the girls farewell to headed to a geekier retail experience: FORBIDDEN PLANET!!

Forbidden Planet London Store

It's the ultimate comic book shop, stuffed to the rafters with all kinds of geeky extras like manga, toys, books, games, and the like. Some of the stuff is uniquely British and, of course, all those wonderful UK television shows and movies are well-represented, making it an especially favorite place to hang out in London.

Apple Time!

Apple Store London Regent Street

Now, to be honest, I don't feel compelled to visit Apple Stores anymore. If you've seen one, you've pretty much seen them all, and the variations are not really so overwhelming that you "gotta see every last one." Even with the Regent Street London store being located in a grand old building, the interior is exactly what you'd expect. Or is it...???

When debating whether or not to stop by Oxford Circus and visit the store, I took a quick trip to the online review site, Yelp!, to see if there was anything to-die-for-drop-dead-special about the place. Eventually I ended up at the more UK-oriented equivalent, Tipped, where I saw something really disturbing... one of the reviewers there had this to say: "One more notable fact about the London Apple store. They have glass staircases. And it is rumoured that the sales associates like to stand under them when girls in skirts are going up... DIRTY!" — This kind of threw me for a loop, because that would be very different than the glass staircase at all the other Apple Stores I've been to... so I decided to check it out.

And, of course, the stupid bitch and her "notable FACT" was completely wrong. Just like every other Apple Store, the glass on the stairs is FROSTED. You can't fucking see through it at all. And, just like every other Apple Store, the staircase is completely closed off, so even if the stairs were entirely transparent... there is no way in hell that employees could stand under them and look up girl's skirts. Did this dumbass even bother to visit the Apple Store before writing her review? Because, seriously, it would take all of two seconds to verify that this "notable FACT" of hers is completely untrue. This is why you really have to take online review sites with a grain of salt, because stupid shit like this taints them for everyone and completely defeats the purpose of the site by posting WRONG information. GAH!!!

Anyway, visiting the War Rooms and Churchill Museum necessitated a ride on the Jubilee Line of the London Underground (subway), which I love because it's a newer line with some stations sporting a very cool heavy industrial look, while retaining the brilliant logo identity which is one of my all-time favorites...

Westminster Station

They just don't make identities like this anymore... clean, simple, elegant, functional, distinct, recognizable... and so beautiful. Today it would be all computer-generated gradients with swooshes and all that senselessly stupid 3-D crap that I've grown to loath. With the London Underground, everything is note-perfect. And the typeface (which you can actually purchase) is sublime. A highly readable yet unique take on a sans-serif font that is a graphic artist's dream...

Underground Typeface

A couple of blocks from the station, and here we are at the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum...

Cabinet War Rooms Museum

Turns out that Anthony and Paul did not oversell it... this museum was absolutely brilliant. Everything they said it would be and so much more. The War Rooms themselves have been preserved in the exact state they were when World War II ended. The audio guide included with your ticket purchase is all very well done, and the displays provide real insight into how the war was fought. After touring the bunker, you can then move on to the Churchill exhibit, which has to be one of the most thorough and complex museum study I've ever seen dedicated to a single individual. And its not just stuffy old displays of his crap either (though that's there too)... there's great hi-tec interactive tools that allow you to explore his life in excruciating detail. Primary of which is "The Lifeline," which is a massive electronic table that allows you to view a timeline of Churchill's life down to individual days. Even if "war museums" are not your thing, this is one attraction that's worth a visit.

The Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum is closely tied to The Imperial War Museum across The Thames so, naturally, I had to visit there as well. Or, revisit, if you will, because I had been to the museum years ago. It's quite nice (FREE!) and features exhibits dedicated to The Holocaust which are not to be missed...

Imperial War Museum Interior

Since I was already in "tourist mode," I decided to go for broke and visit the most excellent Wallace Collection so I could check and see if they have finally made a postcard of their painting The Waking of Cupid by Hughes Taraval. Unfortunately, they didn't, again... which is a shame, because it's a kind of funny and charming piece that would be the perfect postcard to send to a good friend whom I know loves this kind of stuff. Oh well, they do let you look at it online, which is nice...

The Waking of Cupid
Image © The Wallace Collection

My day now having completely flown by (THANKS A LOT ANTHONY!), all that was left to do was grab some pizza for dinner... take the tube back to my hotel... set my alarm for way too early... and try to get some sleep. Or blog... if your insomniac nature gets the best of you.

Which, apparently, mine has. As usual. Even on vacation I can't seem to get a break on sleep.

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Day Five: Stonehenge-Lacock-Bath

Posted on Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Dave!Believe it or not, I've never been to Stonehenge. It certainly seems like something I'd be dying to see... but, for reasons that escape me, I just can't get excited about a bunch of rocks, no matter how fantastic their arrangement and mysteries. Besides, I've been to the Stonehenge in my home-state of Washington and it's in much better condition. But, alas, it's one of those things that people kind of expect a traveler to have visited, so I went ahead and arranged a tour booking. Since I hate f#@%ing tour groups with the burning passion of a thousand suns, this was a kind of big deal for me... but away I went.

An interesting aside here... when you get to Stonehenge, you can't wander through the stones and go wherever you want. Instead you are confined to a roped-off area that keeps you at a fair distance from the attraction. Unless you book an "Inner Circle Tour" from a licensed agency. In that case, you get to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn and be bussed out to the site with 25 other people. These tours are very hard to get unless you book way in advance, but I got lucky on a cancelation when I had to change my trip to Edinburgh...

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

And yes, you can touch the stones. Here is what I expected to happen...

Glowing Rays on Stonehenge!

And here is what actually happened...

My hand on Stonehenge.

Meh.

Feels like a big rock.

Far more exciting was the tour stops in the towns of Lacock and Bath. Especially, Bath, which was wonderful. I've put some pretty nifty photos in an extended entry if you're interested...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
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Day Six: Davenburgh

Posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Dave!And so here I am in my favorite city on earth... Edinburgh, Scotland. Not the nicest of days to be in "The Athens of the North," because it's overcast and cold, but it's hard to complain when I'm so happy to be here.

Originally, I was to be in Edinburgh on Sunday for the meet-up, but people pointed out that this was Mother's Day in the UK so I changed it in hopes that more people could make it (far be it for me to come between somebody and their mum!). Unfortunately, weeknights are really difficult for meet-ups because everybody has to worry about work in the morning, so the head-count dwindled from five to four to three to two. Not that the number of people really matters... I'm happy to meet up with anybody I can when I travel, and was very lucky that Andy from Sharing Experiences could make it (if you're a traveler... or even if you just like to read excellent travel stories... his blog is well worth checking out, and I was even interviewed by Andy here).

We met at Bobby's Bar, named in honor of Greyfriars Bobby, a dedicated doggie who spent fourteen years guarding the grave of his deceased master (he reminds me of Hachiko, a dog who met his master at the train station every day in Tokyo, and continued to turn up each day... even after his master had died).

Since Andy is a fellow frequent-traveler, it was great to compare notes and trade travel stories (Sharing Experiences in person, as it were!), so Davenburgh was a total success...

Greyfriar Bobby's Bar

Dave and Andy at Davenburgh

Greyfriars Bobby with Andy's Davenburgh Badge

Tomorrow is supposed to be a much nicer day, so my fingers are crossed as I head off to bed.

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Day Seven: Edinburgh

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Dave!Just some random snapshots from a beautiful day in Edinburgh...

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Cross

Edinburgh Monument

Edinburgh Church

Edinburgh Architecture

Edinburgh Dome

Edinburgh Bridge

Edinburgh Statue

Edinburgh Bobby

Edinburgh Hard Rock Cafe

And that's all she wrote...

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Percocet

Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Dave!I've had kidney stones twice before. Other than the excruciating pain, they're actually kind of boring to me now. Mostly because there's nothing for you to do except stay doped up on painkillers and ride it out until it passes. In the meanwhile, life goes on as usual... albeit in a drugged-out stupor.

If only there was a way to make kidney stones exciting again!

Like to have an attack while on an airplane!

Never one to pass up on interesting experiences, this is exactly what happened on my connecting flight from Minneapolis to Seattle. After spending 40 minutes on the tarmac at MSP, I started to get this dull ache in my side. After takeoff, this turned to a sharp pain. After an hour in the air, this turned into searing jabbing pain. Apparently all that water I had been drinking to keep my kidneys clear had no effect.

But fortunately, I had Percocet-Oxycodone with me for just such an occasion. The problem was that the pain made me nauseous, so I couldn't keep the pills down. Instead, I had to writhe in silent torment in my seat (thankfully I had been upgraded to first class so I had room to move around). By the time we touched down in Seattle, I was in total agony. It was all I could do to keep from screaming as I hobbled off the plane and made my way to the taxi stand.

"Is there a good hospital around" I ask the driver while doubled over. "Yes, yes... there is a hospital in Burien" he replies. "Will it take long to get there?" I query. "IT'S ABOUT TEN MINUTES... IF YOU WANT SOMETHING CLOSER HERE IN THE AIRPORT I CAN'T HELP YOU!!" he yells. And so I'm off to Highline Medical Center in Burien with a smart-ass taxi driving asshole who screams in his phone the entire journey.

Once I get there, everything else is routine... paperwork, evaluation, paperwork, a bed in the ER, an IV line inserted, morphine inserted, anti-nausea drugs inserted, CAT scan, doctor consult, paperwork, prescription for drugs, paperwork, discharged from the ER.

Whee.

And I managed to do all that on my layover, arriving at the airport just in time to board my flight home.

Not the worst way I've spent a layover, but certainly the most unique.

Oh well. I'm home safe. Isn't that all that really matters?

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NYC2

Posted on Friday, March 27th, 2009

Dave!The New York blogger meet-up is NEXT SATURDAY! If you want to attend and haven't emailed me yet, please do so ASAP. If you have emailed, you'll be getting an email from me asking for confirmation.Once there's a head-count, we can decide on a venue and get some reservations made. We usually meet early... around 5:30pm... so we won't have to wait too long for a table, and can have time after to hit a bar and chat.

Hope to see you there!

Dave York 2

Now I wants me a real New York bagel.

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Life

Posted on Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Dave!

Dave Fuck

   

   

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Bullet Sunday 125

Posted on Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Dave!Let's see how this goes when I'm doped up on Percocet, the miracle drug...

• Drugs. I am totally fascinated how I can be in agony one minute, take a pill, then feel nothing a half-hour later. How does it do that? Well, thanks to the internet, I now know that the ingredients in Percocet both prevent the brain from getting the message that there is pain, AND prevents the pain impulses from forming in the first place. Weird. All this miraculous science, and yet they still don't have a pill to cure stupid.

• McFlurry. As I returned from Edinburgh, I saw that McDonalds had a sign up advertising their new "Cadbury Cream Egg McFlurry." Naturally, I had to try it. The end result wasn't that impressive...

Cadburymcflurry

From the looks of things, they drop in some chocolate flake (which was mostly all stuck together in mine) then squirt in some random dots of yellow goop to make the "yolk" of the egg. At times, you actually get the cream egg taste... but, for the most part, it's just vanilla ice cream with an occasional chocolate bit. A great idea that pretty much fails on execution.

• No. The release date for the Pet Shop Boys' new album, Yes, was March 23rd in the UK... nearly a full month earlier than the USA release date of April 21st. In this day and age of online music sharing, this is profoundly idiotic. Whenever I see stupid crap like this, it makes me wonder if record labels are actively trying to lose money. HELPFUL HINT TO THE RECORDING INDUSTRY: If your customers don't have a way of purchasing what they want, they do have other options... most of which don't involve you getting any money.

• Yes. Since I was in the UK on release day, I was able to buy a copy of the Deluxe 2-CD Edition of Yes from the HMV at Victoria Station...

Petshopyesetc

Yes is a fantastic album that is my favorite Pet Shop Boys releases since 1993's Very. The penultimate track, "The Way It Used To Be", is one of the best songs they've ever released (having that "melancholy yet hopeful" feel to it that the Pet Shop Boys excel at). The only misstep is the final track "Legacy" which is so awful that one has to wonder if they put it on the album as a joke. The second CD of the Deluxe version has mostly remixes, but there's also a new track called "This Used to be The Future" which features additional vocals by Phil Oakey (from the Human League), and is well worth the extra money. If you're a Pet Shop fan, this album is a must-buy. If you're not, you may still want to give it a listen, because it's a pretty amazing pop album.

• Thanks! And lastly, a big thank you to everybody who so generously gave up their valuable time to hang out with me while I was in the UK. It was fantastic to see all of you... Perry, Andre, Penelope, Dutchy, Dave, Bec, Anthony, Paul, and Andy... and hopefully we can meet up again one day soon!

Blargh. Another hour of work, then I need a nap.

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Laser

Posted on Monday, March 30th, 2009

Dave!When you think of modern Western medicine, you envision all this high-tech gadgetry and miraculous resources like they have in ER or Grey's Anatomy. And, in many ways, it's true... the toys and technology that doctor's have available to them are state-of-the-art and almost magical with the cool stuff they can do. But in so many ways doctors are fumbling around in the dark ages, and I am beyond confused as to why that should be.

When I went to the Emergency Room during my layover at Sea-Tac last Thursday, they took a CAT scan so they could see what was going on inside of me. On Friday when I made my Monday appointment, my Wenatchee doctor asked if I would have the CAT scan sent to them. Can you guess what happens when I ask?

  1. "No problem, we can transfer the scan via MediNet, a standardized network that medical institutions use to share data."
  2. "No problem, if you get me your doctor's email address I'll send it right over."
  3. "You mean like send a CD in the mail? I guess we can do that..."

The answer, of course, is "C"... and I ended up begging them to FedEx it for Saturday Delivery (using my FedEx account number) so that it would be there when I arrived today at 8:30am. Turns out they DID FedEx it, but DIDN'T send it Saturday Delivery, so the CAT scan was never there for my doctor to look at. All this effort was just a waste of time and money, because I ended up having to get X-rays anyway.

The Percocet I was given to manage my extreme pain stopped working last night around 9:30pm. By the time this morning's appointment arrived, I was in total agony. For women, I hear that having kidney stones is as painful as childbirth. For guys, you have to envision somebody kicking you in the balls as hard as they can over and over and over again...

DaveToon Kick in the Balls

Now, keeping in mind that I am doubled over in horrendous pain and barely able to keep from screaming, what do you think the nurse says to me as I am waiting for my doctor to show up...

  1. "You're obviously in a lot of pain... I'll have somebody get you some medication."
  2. "Hold on just a little while longer... the doctor will be here ASAP."
  3. "I need you to fill out this four-page booklet of stupid-ass questions such as 'Does your medical condition make you sad?' and 'If nothing can be done to improve your condition, would you be upset?'"

And, yes, the answer is "C" again. Never mind that I could barely hold a pen, she wanted me to fill out a booklet of stupid-ass questions. The thing that really kills me is that it never even occurred to her that she could read the questions out loud and write down my answers for me. When I say "I don't think I can fill it out right now," her solution is to set it in my lap and bail. Lovely.

Anyway, eventually my doctor comes in and presents me with two choices...

  1. "I can prescribe some better pain medication and get you some pills to help the stone pass naturally."
  2. "I can put you to sleep, insert a laser up your penis, make my way up to the stone, zap it into three or four pieces, then put a stint in your bladder until everything is back to normal."

Given the pain I was in, I actually considered the old "laser up your penis" trick... until I realized that it involved SHOVING A LASER UP MY PENIS... at which time I went for the pills. And that was that. The doctor's assistant came in and shot me full of drugs. The pain subsided in about 15 minutes. I got my prescriptions filled. I went back to work.

Life goes on.

Categories: DaveLife 2009Click To It: Permalink  19 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Rain

Posted on Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Dave!It's raining today, and I don't mind at all...

Rain

   

Categories: DaveToons 2009Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

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