Posted on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
Happy Canada Day to our lovely neighbors to the north! I know you must be feeling a little neglected because we haven't liberated you yet, but no worries... once we've finished up in Iraq and Palin is elected in 2012, we'll be sure to get right on that!
If you want to read my Canada-related travel journal, here you go!
Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
Posted on Friday, July 3rd, 2009
As I was driving home, I saw a sticker that said "Miami" in the back window of a car I passed. This got me thinking of CSI: Miami and how much I loathe that show because David Caruso is one of the Worst Actors on the Planet (Shia LaBeouf hasn't stolen the title from him... yet). I then got to thinking how the ultimate torture would be to watch an episode of Inside The Actor's Studio where James Lipton did a retrospective of all the shit that David Caruso has squeezed out in his career. This got me to thinking about a totally forgettable movie he did after leaving NYPD Blue with the actress from Mad About You. Except I couldn't remember her name. All I could come up with was "Linda Hunt" except she was Shadout Mapes in the movie version of Dune.
Things like this drive me crazy.
Eventually I got stopped at a train crossing. This gave me an opportunity to pull out my iPhone, call up the Internet Movie Database, and find out that it was HELEN Hunt who had the grave misfortune of starring with David Caruso in Kiss of Death...
I don't know that I will ever get used to having such unprecedented constant access to the massive store of information on the internet.
A part of me thinks it's a bad thing. Eventually I would have remembered Helen Hunt on my own. But the internet has made me lazy and impatient, so I took the easy way out. And my memory is probably suffering because of it. What does this mean for future generations? They won't know of a time when people didn't have constant access to the internet... hell, they'll probably have a connection implanted in their brain or something. Or whatever passes for a brain once they're all shriveled from lack of use. Why bother remembering anything except how to breathe when the internet does it for you?
I'm surprised that I remembered to blog today.
Not that anybody would have noticed. The blogosphere has been eerily quiet lately.
Posted on Saturday, July 4th, 2009
Posted on Sunday, July 5th, 2009
Ooh! I almost forgot about Bullet Sunday!
Meh. It's a holiday weekend. I'm empty and can't find any bullets to shoot. I'll try to reload before next Sunday.
Posted on Monday, July 6th, 2009
Duran Duran is one of the few of my favorite 80's bands that I haven't seen live. So when my sister told me they'd be playing at Marymoor Park on Independence Day weekend, it was an opportunity too good to pass up (even if you do get gouged by TicketMeister). It was particularly decent of her to go, because she's not the big Duran Duran fan that I am.
Now, for whatever reason, I was not expecting much out of the concert. Perhaps it's because Duran Duran's sound always seems so polished that I just assumed it all came from the studio.
I could not have been more wrong.
Simon Le Bon and company tore through 19 of their biggest hits in one of the best live performances I have ever seen. They over-delivered with a flawless set that gave the crowd exactly what they wanted to hear. It made me curse all the times I passed at seeing them in concert before, and has me looking forward to the next time they come to town.
Ooh... and I shot my very first video on my new iPhone! Sound is kind of blown out (I don't think the iPhone microphone expects the audio source to be so loud) but the quality is still pretty good video-wise. Unfortunately, they compress the hell out of things when you upload it to Mobile.Me or YouTube. Doesn't look too horrible if you play it small though...
All in all, a pretty fantastic weekend.
I've gone through the set-list song-by-song in an extended entry, if you're so inclined.
UPDATE: The YouTube version has finished processing, so I swapped it for the QuickTime version since people were having problems with it. Also, there are a number of much better iPhone videos posted to YouTube of the concert.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2009
Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
I travel a lot.
Now, "a lot" is relative, and there are people who travel even more than I do... but I definitely get around. Last year it was to the tune of 138,000 miles flown. This year I'm already within spitting distance of frequent flier Platinum status, and the year is only half over.
My point is, when it comes to airplane-related incidents, I've just about seen it all. I've been on a plane where a fire broke out. I've seen a drunken asshole have to be restrained and eventually removed. I've been in an uncontrolled landing. I've been through a bird strike. And a lightning storm. Twice. I've been stuck on the tarmac. I've been stranded, rerouted, and rejected. The list goes on and on.
Of course I've had my luggage lost. And damaged.
Once my luggage was lost as I was flying to a meeting in San Frncisco. The airline kept promising me that the luggage would turn up, and told me not to buy any new clothes because mine were on the way. Finally, after a dozen phone calls over two days with no suitcase, I explained that I had to buy a new suit for my meeting. And since the airline made me wait so long, there was no time for alterations... I had to find a suit off the rack that would fit. And the only one I could find was a $1100 Calvin Klein.
Naturally, the airline categorically refused to pay for that large of an expense... even though it was entirely their fault. It was their fault they lost my luggage. It was their fault they lied about getting it to me. It was their fault they made me wait until it was too late to alter a cheaper suit. It took months of negotiation before I came to a settlement that covered only half my expenses, but the airlines were such assholes about the whole ordeal that I felt lucky to get that much.
So when I see this really cool video by Dave Carroll making the rounds on the internet, I can sympathize...
Of course, we don't know United's side of things here... but this seems so typical that I don't doubt the guy's story one bit. There were witnesses as to the abusive handling, and he did try to report it before the plane even took off, so it's not like United can claim it was "normal wear and tear." They fucked up. They should have to pay for it.
And so now they are.
With a public relations nightmare that's only going to get worse as this thing goes viral (and it will, because the video is so well done that people are going to want to watch it, even if they choose to ignore the message).
So sad that it always seems to have to come to this, but that's modern customer service for you.
UPDATE: And that didn't take long... apparently NOW United Airlines is interested in doing the right thing. But you just know that there are lots of people out there who aren't going to get a fair shake because they don't have the talent Dave Carroll does to make a video. Sad, really.
Posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2009
My finger, which became deformed when its tendons were snapped several weeks back, has straightened out pretty good now. I've been faithfully wearing a splint to keep it flat, and it seems to be paying off. I doubt my digit will ever be as flexible as it used to be, but at least it looks quasi-normal.
Or will look quasi-normal once I can take my splint off in six more weeks.
In the meanwhile, I get to keep wearing this massive bundle of steel and Velcro...
To be honest, I barely notice it anymore. Even when typing, my brain has re-mapped the letters I typed with it to other fingers, so it's not a big deal. About the only time it bothers me is when I go to wash my hands and have to go to the hassle of taking it off and putting it back on again.
The problem is that other people notice it.
Usually, it's just to ask "What did you do to your finger?"But sometimes it's worse. Like today after work when I went to pay for my groceries at Safeway and the cashier jumped back once she grabbed the money out of my hand. Apparently, she thought my splint was a bug. It's been a while since I've worked retail, but I don't recall people ever handing over insects with their money, so I'm guessing this is a new thing.
So now I'm self conscious about my splint... trying to hide it from people and using my left hand when I have to interact with them. Since I'm right-handed, this leads to even more embarrassing situations so I guess I just can't win. But it beats people thinking that I have a bug infestation problem, so what can you do?
NOTE: I was going to draw a DaveToon here where a giant cockroach is peeking over Lil' Dave's shoulder, but I freak out when I see creepy insects. The idea of Googling pictures of roaches, cutting one out in Photoshop, then compositing it with a DaveToon is enough to make me want to pass out. So instead, I put an ice cream cone back there...
Just picture the ice cream as a cockroach, and everything will be fine.
Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2009
The first two comic books I ever bought were Green Lantern #121 and The Flash #277. I ended up liking Green Lantern best because his stories were cosmic in scope and seemed more imaginative. Whatever Hal Jordan could dream up, his magical ring could make a reality... what could be cooler than that?
How about a Green Lantern movie?
Last August there was an announcement that a GL movie was going to enter production. I was excited. Now there's news floating around that my hetero-man-crush Ryan Reynolds has beat out Justin Timberlake and Bradley Cooper for the role. Now I'm estatic. I can only hope that they REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL and come up with a decent story. A Green Lantern film should be EPIC. He should battle bad-ass villains like Sinestro and Star Sapphire... not lame-ass regular-people villains that shouldn't even be a challenge. There should be aliens and space battles. There definitely should be Abin Sur and the Guardians... DON'T FUCK WITH GREEN LANTERN'S ORIGIN, OTHERWISE IT ISN'T GREEN LANTERN!!
The massive box office from the Batman and Iron Man movies should prove that you can remain faithful to the source material and still have a successful film. Hopefully the people behind Green Lantern understand that...
In other news... final dates have been set for Davelanta 3 (August 1st) and Daveorado (August 22nd)...
The Daveil went down to Georgia...
A run to the Rocky Mountains...
If you haven't already contacted me and would like to meet up with some cool bloggers in Atlanta or Denver, just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll let you know when we have details!
Posted on Saturday, July 11th, 2009
Today I was supposed to work, but couldn't make it because I awoke with a splitting headache which made me so ill that I was fighting the urge to vomit all morning. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I had to make severe changes in my diet at the request of my doctor, and it's been wrecking havoc with my system.
So, in-between dry-heaves, I set about sorting through twenty years of memories that have been stacked up in boxes. It mostly photos, post cards, travel souvenirs, and maps... but occasionally I run into other cool stuff. Like money. I found $46 in US bills scattered amongst the crap I've collected. Not to mention what probably amounts to hundreds of dollars in expired foreign currency.
My main goal is to track down any loose negatives that might be hiding so I can get them scanned. Otherwise, I'll miss the opportunity to see such gems as these (which were scanned in my last batch)...
Clockwise... That's me in a tux at my good friend's wedding. Me in Hawaii circa 1986. Me at the top of Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur) circa 2000. And me being all business-casual in Tokyo circa 1990.
Rummaging through crap for hours wasn't doing my headache any good, but it's all worth it because every once in a while, I run across something like this...
That's me and my sister, circa 1987. If I remember correctly, we had finished off all the alcohol in the apartment except Yukon Jack Whiskey and some kind of Bailey's Irish Cream knock-off. Not knowing what else to do, we mixed them together and did shots.
Googling this horrific concoction, I now know this drink actually has a name... it's called a "Yukon Jackoff."
That sounds about right.
And so I made it half-way through my memories today and was very happy to learn that most of them are actually worth remembering.
That's kind of a nice thing to have happen on a Saturday, isn't it?
Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2009
In news that surprises even me, my head hasn't totally exploded. That makes Bullet Sunday a bit easier...
• Eventful. In catching up with my mail, I discovered that I was invited to a kind of important event. It's one of those things where I have no idea how my name ever got on the guest list, and am certain that if I showed up that they would realize they made a terrible mistake and kick me out immediately. Fortunately, I won't have to risk having my ego crushed... I can't attend because I'm already scheduled for something else that weekend. Probably just as well. I couldn't really blog about it, so what's the point?
• Phooey. Speaking of pointless... Hong Kong Phooey as a live-action movie? Seriously?!? Nobody could come up with anything better to film than this? I'd say that Hollywood is now officially out of ideas.
• Characters. Speaking of Hollywood, it's kind of odd how small it really is. After a while you notice how the same actors keep popping up over and over again in shows and movies. Two of my favorites are Tim Guinee (from Strange World) and Margaret Colin (from Now and Again). They're everywhere...
It's shocking that these two have never managed to do a project together. They appear in so many things that I suppose it's inevitable... probably as a Lifetime Television movie or something. Even so, I'd watch that.
• Shock. Speaking of shocking... how is it that I am still discovering 80's music? Groups like Blancmange and China Crisis completely escaped my notice back in the day, and I have no idea how. Oh well. It's kind of cool to be finding them now, because it's music that's all new to me...
• Battles. Speaking of new... I know that all the LEGO video games are made for kids, but I still like them. LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman, and LEGO Indiana Jones are all basically the same game with different scenery, but they're still a lot of fun to play. Now LEGO has entered the Real Time Strategy game genre with LEGO Battles for Nintendo DS. It's a drastically simplified version of RTS games like Warcraft and Starcraft, but still has enough going on to be entertaining...
The characters change depending on whether you're playing Castle, Pirates, or Space scenarios, but it's basically the same game over and over. Using builders to stock supplies so you can build soldiers to defeat enemies. It gets repetitive but still manages to keep me wanting to move forward to see what's going to happen next. About the only thing that I'd change would be to smarten up the AI that drives the characters. All too often they take wrong turns and get stuck, which means a big chunk of your time is spent herding LEGO mini-figures around. This gets to be really frustrating after a while, and it's so prevalent a problem that it's shocking nobody in development fixed it. Oh well. Until the totally awesome Warlords II FINALLY comes out for DS, I guess this is about as good as it gets.
And now I suppose I should go to bed... seeing as how it's midnight and I have to be up in five hours.
I am not fond of Mondays.
Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009
I was recently forced into a conversation with an old acquaintance. And when I say "forced" I don't mean that there was a gun at my head... it's just that it was a conversation neither one of us wanted to be having. We were never on the best of terms, but have always been civil those rare times we run into each other. When it comes down to it, we simply have no interests in common, no reason to be friends, and there's nothing wrong with that on either side.
Anyway... the topic of the conversation was a mutual friend who has gotten into some serious trouble lately. It's all a sad situation brought on by a number of converging factors that I won't go into... but suffice to say the poor bastard has been assaulted on all fronts, and is not dealing with it well.
As I sat there listening to the long list of terrible things going on with a friend I no longer recognize, I couldn't help but wonder where my breaking point is. What would have to happen in my life to make me toss everything out the window? How much crap would it take to send me over the edge?
I honestly don't know, but I'll bet it's not as much as I'd like to think it is.
And I'm okay with that, but only because I have to be.
Once my old acquaintance was done updating me on all the latest horror stories in our mutual friend's life, there was an uncomfortably long pause... as if he was waiting for me to come up with a solution to fix everything. But instead I just said "Yeah, that's too bad." and "I hope everything works out." Not because I don't care or don't want to help, but because I honestly don't know how. These problems are so far outside my ability to grasp that I can only guess alien abduction, voodoo, super-powers gained from a nuclear accident, and one million dollars would be required to solve them.
As I sat there in silence with the phone glued to my ear, wishing I was an extra-terrestrial witch-doctor super-hero millionaire, I realized that our combined helplessness finally gave us something in common...
"I could stop by for dinner in-between my next two trips if you want."
"Thanks, but you don't have to do that."
"No... I think I will. Besides, a new Hard Rock Cafe just opened up in town, and I've been looking for an excuse to visit."
"Oh. Okay. We should go then."
Nothing like mutual helplessness and despair to bring people together.
Why isn't this world a much closer place?
Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
Tonight as I was waiting for my computer backup to process, I started going through my webfeeds to clear out any dead blogs I might be subscribed to. There were a lot more than I thought there would be... twenty-seven to be exact. The fact that these people have (apparently) given up on their blogs and moved on with their lives is not surprising. Most blogs don't last more than a year, and those that do seem to suffer burn-out as they pass year two. Even hitting that magical third year hump isn't the guarantee it once was. With social networks like Twitter and FaceBook becoming more and more of a time-sucking vortex, people seem to be blogging less and less.
What is surprising is how most people have chosen (presumably) to end their blog.
They just disappear one day and don't come back.
Thirteen of the blogs I deleted have a last entry which gives no indication that the author was even considering quitting. On the contrary, eight of them were making promises for future posts... like "I'll post pictures when I get back"... and "I'll write more about that later." Of course, those days never came. I can only assume that they were killed in a tragic accident or somehow ended up with amnesia and forgot they even have a blog.
Six of the blogs just kind of petered out. They posted less and less until all they were posting is random updates weeks (or even months) apart saying something like "I'm still alive" or "Haven't had time for blogging recently" or "Wow, I'm neglecting this blog lately, but I promise to start writing again soon!" Of course, they rarely do.
Five of the blogs mentioned something about "taking a break" or "going on hiatus." That's all well and good, but if it's been longer than six months, I'm just going to consider it a permanent hiatus.
Two of the blogs went private.
Only one blog... one... posted "It would seem I'm not blogging here anymore, so I guess I'll be shutting this site down soon." It's refreshing to have somebody actually come out and say it rather than leave you hanging and wondering if they're dead or alive. No promises. No dragging it out for a slow, painful death. Just a decision to stop blogging one day, and a note to let people know about it.
When I eventually pack it in, I hope that's the way I'll go. It only seems polite, really.
Posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2009
My air conditioner came with a remote control. That's pretty sweet, because you don't have to get up to turn it off and on. You can stay safely on the couch and not have to risk getting eaten by a Carpet Shark or accidentally getting any exercise.
The problem is that the air conditioner makes an ear-splitting BEEP (shriek?!?) every time you turn it off or on. It has to be about the stupidest thing ever. I mean, it would be different if the air conditioner was totally silent and you couldn't hear when it was on... BUT IT'S AN AIR-CONDITIONER!!! Short of a smoke alarm, it's about the loudest damn appliance you can buy. Until now. It's as if the manufacturer said "I'm tired of smoke alarms stealing our thunder as loudest appliance ever... we can do better!" And they have! I swear that asinine shriek is louder than the test button on any smoke alarm.
And I just don't get it. Having a loud BEEP go off every time you mess with an air conditioner is about as senseless as trying to find intelligence in an Ann Coulter book. Yet here we are, with me living in fear that turning on the air conditioner will result in the neighbors calling the fire department.
A fire department which would probably be happy to allow my home go up in flames once they found out I'm not a Harry Potter fan.
Every time a new Harry Potter movie comes out, it's always the same. A never-ending stream of "Have you seen Harry Potter yet?!?"
I've already written about my social inadequacies from not being a Harry Potter fan, but now the fervor has reached all new heights. There are no more Harry Potter books in the pipeline, so new films are all that's left for people to obsess over. This has resulted in an unprecedented level of disdain from Potter-Heads every time I have to explain that I don't like Harry Potter and have no desire to see any of the movies. The shock, disbelief, disgust, and sheer terror that's unloaded on me has never been more blatant.
I'm still waiting for a Harry Potter edition of CliffsNotes so I can at least pretend to fit into society again.
Posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009
To see all of the Lil' Dave Mac vs. Lil' Wayne PC ads, click here!
Posted on Saturday, July 18th, 2009
As I sit here staring at a blank screen, I realize that I've done absolutely nothing blog-worthy today. I worked for four hours, then spent my afternoon and evening doing all those little things that I never seem to have time to do. Before I know it, it's 11:00pm and the day has gone. My first instinct is to call Bad Robert because just five minutes on the phone with him would give me enough material to blog about for an entire week. But he has a job which requires getting up at an insanely early hour and is most certainly already in bed.
Blogging can be so bloody difficult sometimes.
With no Bad Robert to help me, I now turn to my How to Blog the Blogography Way flowchart to see what I should do next...
Ah, here we go then...
Well that wasn't so difficult after all.
Posted on Sunday, July 19th, 2009
I didn't get any sleep last night, so this will undoubtably be a barely coherent edition of Bullet Sunday...
• Discriminated. Everybody is discriminated against at some point. And some people definitely get it worse than others. And while I'm sure progress is being made every day, every once in a while I hear something so outrageous that it makes me question if we've not reached a point where that progress is running backwards. Today was one of those days, because I received an email from a friend who filled me in on his recent bout with discrimination. It's all at once disgusting and disappointing, made even more so because he has no recourse. I have faith that eventually the human race can live together without prejudice. We have to, or we perish. But that day keeps getting further and further away to me, and I can't help but feel overwhelming sadness because of it.
• Bear TV. I want this...
Awww... It's a television that you can snuggle with after you're done watching him!
• Disc. In the continuing effort to convert my analogue life into digital 1's and 0's, I've been having all my old photo negatives and paper pictures scanned. I'm probably 80% there. The problem is that it's going to be a long road to reaching 100%. Some media, in particular 110 Black & White negatives and Kodak's infamously crappy Disc Film, are really expensive to have done right...
I don't know why I ever bought into the technology. Probably because the camera was so small and easy to load. Unfortunately, those conveniences necessitated tiny negatives which produced crappy photos. I only used the stupid thing for less than two years, but they were two very important years... Thus my junior year of high school: Disc. My first trip to New Orleans: Disc. My senior year of high school: Disc. Fortunately my parents bought me a 35mm Canon A-1 for graduation so I was set after that. But right now... my past belongs to Disc. Will digital be forever?
• Pushed. When I read about a movie that features super-powered psychics battling it out in Hong Kong... well... it's not like I can pass that up. I didn't even bother to look at the reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, I just add it to my NetFlix queue and watched it when the DVD arrived. Only to discover that it's one of the stupidest, most needlessly incoherent and incomprehensible messes I've ever seen. The entire film was nothing more than a set up for a sequel, but it sucked so horrendously bad that there probably isn't going to be a sequel. That leaves us with a half-finished disaster that's sometimes pretty to look at, but has paper-thin characters and a patchwork story that ends up being a pale imitation of Scanners. When the hell are filmmakers going to understand that you make the best movie you can... THEN worry about a sequel? The sad thing here is that the concept is so cool. But this piece of EPIC FAIL! will undoubtedly kill any hope of a great film of this kind being made for quite a while.
And that will have to be it for this edition of Bullet Sunday... I don't think I can make it through two nights in a row without sleep.
Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2009
Today is the 40th anniversary of people walking on the Moon!
Or, if you're part of the tin-foil hat brigade, the 40th anniversary of when NASA faked the Moon landing.
In any event, I think that we should take a moment to remember all the monkey astronauts and other animals that risked or gave their lives as test subjects so that we could get to this point...
If you're interested, Wikipedia has a great article about Monkeys in Space.
And if you want to watch a fantastic film about what was happening behind the scenes of the Apollo moon landing back here on earth, I highly, highly recommend watching The Dish. This film is about the Australian crew responsible for receiving the moon landing transmissions broadcast to earth when the USA had rotated away from the moon. It's touching, funny, and a really good story. Two thumbs up and five stars from me!
Posted on Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
Today I paid $6.49 for a bag filled with two cups of slivered almonds. The shock still hasn't worn off, because that's nearly $16 per pound. By shopping online, I could get the exact same thing for $6 per pound. This sounds like an incredible bargain, except shipping and handling charges end up being about $10 which means I'm right back where I started. Things like this drive me insane when I think about it, so I am very careful to turn off my brain when I go to the grocery store. Apparently everybody else is doing the same thing, which is why everybody is wandering around in a zombie-like haze.
This is a good plan, assuming you turn your brain back ON when you get to the parking lot.
Today I found out that most people do not do this, resulting in zombie drivers...
This was made clear to me as I watched two cars gunning towards the exit at the same time... each completely ignoring the lanes painted on the pavement. It was quite distressing because I was in the proper lane to exit the parking lot, which meant I had cars coming at me from both sides.
The first car arrived on my right. The driver was apparently very impatient, because they honked their horn at me while I was looking to make sure no traffic was coming. This caused me to become instantly enraged for two reasons... 1) It was unnecessary and rude. 2) I WASN'T THE ONE WHO WAS IGNORING THE TRAFFIC LANES!
I reached for my gun, but then remembered that I subscribe to Buddhist precepts which forbid me from owning one, so there was no gun to be found.
So instead I ignored the asshole and exited the parking lot. Which was just as the second car arrived on my left. This caused another round of honking as two cars... both ignoring the traffic lanes... attempted to exit at the same time. To make matters worse, a car arrived wanting to enter the parking lot, but couldn't get in because the two cars were blocking her. I didn't stick around to see how it all worked out. For all I know, they are all still there honking at each other.
It is getting to the point where I hate... hate... to drive anywhere because it's wall-to-wall dumbasses everywhere you go. Everybody seems to have their brain turned off, and so it's just not fun (or even safe) anymore.
So you can imagine how thrilled I am to be making the three-hour drive to Spokane tomorrow.
Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
Every time I make the three-hour drive to Spokane, it seems longer and longer. It may only take three hours but it feels like ten. Luckily, I've got the best pizza on earth waiting for me when I arrive, so it's almost worth the agony.
Anyway, I've already had my delicious pizza and visited The Comic Book Shop, so now I'm needing to turn in early tonight. I'd just like to mention one more thing before I go, because you can WIN FABULOUS PRIZES if you help out...
This Saturday, I will be participating in Blogathon 2009 over at Therapy in the Making along with these fine people here:
We'll be raising money for my absolute favorite charity: Doctor's Without Borders. I've mentioned this wonderful organization many times here at Blogography, and this is what I had to say about them when I was asked if I had any real-life heroes...
There are many amazing heroes throughout history, but if forced to pick just one, I'd have to say anybody who is a part of the Doctors Without Borders group. These amazing people boldly go where angels fear to tread to offer medical assistance to people who otherwise wouldn't get any. A quote from their site... "Médecins Sans Frontières (also known as Doctors Without Borders or MSF) delivers emergency aid to victims of armed conflict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters, and to others who lack health care due to social or geographical isolation." How amazing is that?
These incredibly brave medical professionals have absolutely no political, military, or religious agenda. It's a truly international organization which is fully impartial in any conflict, and is committed to providing care where it is needed, regardless of who is needing it.
That's right, after Blogathon is over, everybody who sponsored us will be put in a drawing for prizes! I will be including some stuff from the Artificial Duck Store, including a grand prize package which include hats, cards, buttons, and a rare opportunity to own a CUSTOM Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey print!
Here's all you have to do to sponsor us and be entered in the drawing...
And that's it! You can donate however much you like... even $10 will help a truly worthwhile organization bring medical aid to people who really need it. And rest assured that your money will go to where it's supposed to, because you'll be giving directly to Doctors Without Borders... we don't make you go through any third parties to send your donation.
And that's it! I am looking forward to participating on Saturday, so please sponsor us if you have a few bucks to spare!
Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
I'm not at BlogHer in Illinois. I'm not at Comic-Con in Caifornia. I'm working in Washington State.
This sucks twelve shades of Sunday, because I would gladly be at either event than stuck here.
The good news is that it really takes the pressure off having to write something for Blogography. After all, with the tons of news, blogs, and tweets coming out of Chicago and San Diego... who would notice if I put up something that sucks? Maybe I should just press my ass to my webcam and post that. Except I really don't want to get ass-prints on my laptop screen since I just cleaned it yesterday. I also worry about being flexible enough to webcam my ass without hurting my back, so I'd probably end up having to hire a stunt-ass anyway. Which begs the question... where exactly would one hire a stunt-ass? It's not like they advertise in the Yellow Pages (well, they might in L.A., but certainly not in my neck of the woods).
And now I'm just tired. Tired of driving. Tired of working. Tired of staring at a computer screen.
But not tired of playing Lego Batman on the Wii.
Which is probably a lot more fun than stupid BlogHer or dumb Comic-Con anyways!
At least that's what I'm telling myself...
Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2009
Just a reminder that I will be joining in for the 2009 Blogathon over at Therapy in the Making on Saturday...
If you'd like to sponsor us as we raise money for Doctors Without Borders AND be entered in a drawing to win some nice prizes, here's all you have to do...
Doctors Without Borders is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. This is a truly amazing group of very brave and dedicated people, and Wikipedia has a good overview of the incredible things they do to make this world a better place.
See you over at Colin's blog!
Posted on Saturday, July 25th, 2009
Since I am a pretty crappy writer, I came up with the brillaint idea of drawing a new DaveToon every 30 minutes for my two 2-hour shifts. This didn't seem like a big deal, because they only take ten to fifteen minutes to draw once I come up with an idea. And when I'm writing for Blogography, the ideas for the toons just pop in my head as I sit down to blog...
But sitting down cold with no ideas and trying to come up with a new DaveToon every half hour?
It's a lot more difficult than it sounded.
Each and every time I was in a full-blown panic as I rushed to finish before the posting deadline. But it was all worth it because Doctors Without Borders is an amazing organization. And just because Blogathon 2009 is nearly over doesn't mean you can't still donate to support the great work they do for people all over the world...
If you missed Blogathon, I'm re-running all eight of the DaveToons I made...
The rest are in an extended entry. Be sure to check them out after the jump!→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, July 26th, 2009
I keep hearing loud explosions... like fireworks... except when I look out my hotel room window I don't see anything. It's very disconcerting. It would be just my luck that Spokane is experiencing a terrorist attack or something.
That would be a Bullet Sunday first.
• Past. For those who didn't believe me during Blogathon, yes, I did have long hair at one time (and this wasn't even the longest it ever got, because it was well past my shoulders at one point)...
• Present. With your help, we Blogathoners over at Therapy in the Making raised $585 for Doctors Without Borders! Thanks so much to all of you who supported us and cheered us on! We even got a shout-out on the front page of the Blogathon site because Colin and I were wearing ridiculous things on our head to get people to donate! Who's the pretty pretty princess blogger now...
• Future. And here are the next three months of my life...
And though I have a lot of other bullets I could add, I have to finish up some work before getting up very, very early in the morning. Hopefully I can get a couple hours sleep in-between.
UPDATE: It was fireworks after all. After Googling That Shit, I found out it was the "Royal Fireworks Concert" at the Lilac Bowl. I had a pretty good view from my hotel balcony...
Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2009
Ooh! I'm not here today! I'm guest-blogging over at the lovely Lady Penelope's blog!
Errr... or I guess I'm there tomorrow. Which is today here in the USA with the time change. I think.
What?!? Where am I again?
Oog. I is confused. Just click here...
And now I'm off to pack for PART TWO of my four back-to-back-to-back-to-back trips...
Posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Imagine that there's somebody whose work you so admire that they inspire you every day. Imagine that what this artist creates fills you with such joy that your life is better because of it. Imagine that this visionary is one of your greatest personal heroes and you obsess over everything they've released.
Now imagine that this person has decided to make a rare public appearance to discuss these works which have been an inspiration to you for your entire adult life... and you have an opportunity to see them do so live and in person.
That's exactly what happened to me when I found out that animation legend Hayao Miyazaki would be speaking in Los Angeles today.
Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. You just don't pass up an opportunity to attend a lecture with the man responsible for My Neighbor Totoro...
Blogging buddy Howard (from the Web Pen Blog) and I attended the event, and it was an amazing, incredible, wonderful night.
Too many times the best days of our lives go by unnoticed and are only realized upon reflection.
I know this was one of the best days of my life.
To read more about Hayao Miyazaki, here's a Wikipedia entry.
But to really understand him, just go watch his films.
Posted on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
I am back home for seven hours before I have to turn around and leave again. That's just enough time to pack a fresh suitcase, print my travel documents, grab dinner, and get a couple hours of sleep.
I've had it worse.
The only problem is that my internet is all flakey, so I have to spend my final hours of freedom disconnected from the world. I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. On one hand, I'm so far behind on reading blogs and responding to email that I may now never get caught up. On the other hand, I can sit down and watch My Neighbor Totoro for the millionth time. I'm still riding on my high from seeing Miyazaki-san last night, and want to take a look at the film while his comments are still fresh in my head. Fortunately, it's a movie I never get tired of watching, and I discover something new every time I watch it.
Besides, I love NekoBasu (CatBus)...
Traveling via flying NekoBasu would be a lot more fun than the three airplanes I'm taking tomorrow.
Posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2009
Just back from L.A., and now I am off to Atlanta. Via Dallas. Where I met up with a friend and got to see the brand new Hard Rock Cafe that opened up downtown (just across from Hooters!). The opening of a new cafe in Dallas is bittersweet. On one hand, they have a cafe again after two-and-a-half years. On the other hand, it could never live up to the sheer awesomeness of the original Hard Rock Cafe Dallas which was closed and eventually demolished.
This is a darn shame, because the original property was mind-blowing amazing. Seriously, you have no idea. To get an idea, click here to take a tour.
Anyway, the cafe itself is nice, but fairly unimpressive so far as Hard Rocks go. The exterior is just plain sad...
One can only hope that they hang a giant guitar sign outside one day soon to make it look at least a little bit like a Hard Rock Cafe. Because right now it's just so boring. It looks like a parking garage... which is what I think it is.
The interior design follows the new "L.A. Club Chic" look that they put into the Yankee Stadium property. It's not bad, but it doesn't feel very "Hard Rock" to me. It seems way too polished and trendy instead of classic and inviting. Still, it's not like I can blame HRC Corporate for trying a new look in the hopes that it will interest locals. They need new blood and new traffic in order to keep their doors open, and catering only to tourists in the current economy is disastrous...
After dinner, I rushed South so I could ride up Reunion Tower and see the city at dusk...
Except it's closed for renovations.
Which is a genius thing to do in the middle of summer when all the tourists are here. Not.
Oh well. Now I'm off to bed so I can try and get a little bit of sleep before leaving again early tomorrow.
Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2009
And so now I'm in Atlanta where it's hot and wet, but not in a good way.
Despite eating a very early dinner so I could get caught up with my life, I still have 44 unread emails. Even though I just spent two hours mucking around in my in-box. Such a severe lack of progress (I'm only down 34 from 78 I started with) is really depressing. What's even more depressing is that four of the emails were all related to a rather shocking incident that a friend of mine was involved in. Everybody was all "Holy crap, have you heard this juicy bit of news?" And even though I had heard it, it still seemed so wildly out of character and impossible that I decided to do something unprecedented...
I called the person directly and asked what the hell had happened.
Turned out that none of the information in the emails was true, and my friend was in complete shock over hearing what they had supposedly done. Apparently it was all a case of somebody hearing something and passing it along to somebody else who then passed it along to somebody else until suddenly idle gossip had become fact.
Even though it really wasn't.
Modern day communication is very, very scary that way.
Eventually my friend (the one accused of all the insanity) wrote an email of their own that they sent out to their entire address book. It was very smart, clever, and funny... even going so far as to include photographic evidence to refute the crazy accusations. As if that wasn't enough, there was a list of people with phone numbers so that anybody who didn't believe them could call witnesses who were actually there to refute the stuff people were saying.
But the best part was at the very end...
"Even though this rumor turned out to be false, I'm sure everything else that's being said about me is 100% true."
But of course.
I'm sure it's the same for everybody.