Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Join the fight against AIDS. Educate yourself.
Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
I do not envy those whose job it is to come up with the ad campaigns for new mobile smart phones. No matter how cool a phone you have to work with, you're fighting a battle with a huge disadvantage... it's not an iPhone. Apple came out of nowhere to totally own the market, and everybody is desperately trying to catch up. The simple truth is that unless a phone is developed that gives the user an orgasm every time it rings, Apple isn't going anywhere (talk about the ultimate ringtone!). But still the contenders try.
The latest iPhone wannabe is the T-Mobile MyTouch. It offers a few new nifty features but there's nothing terribly compelling to put it in a class above the iPhone. So what do the marketers do? Push the personalization features... like the life-changing ability to customize the wallpaper behind the app icons and placing widgets (like a clock!) on the desktop. They also tout being able to skin your MyTouch with whatever you want, which is kind of pathetic considering you can skin just about anything you can think of at the SkinIt site, including the iPhone...
But even worse than touting unique "features" that aren't really unique is their ad campaign. They have famous and quasi-famous people tell stories about how they made their MyTouch "100% mine." What's so laughable is that it's just a retread of Apple's old "What's on my PowerBook" ads...
Except the Apple ads side-stepped the famous people coming across as pompous assholes by setting them on the same level as "ordinary people" (like the priest with Todd Rundgren above). This made the ads rather charming, because everybody could relate. MyTouch decided not to bother with "charming" and goes flat-out pretentious. My favorite print ad has "international explorer" Josh Bernstein say "I love that I can customize my MyTouch skin with my own photos. I'm thinking I'll start with one from Egypt... or maybe Papua, New Guinea. Tough call." Wow... that is a tough call. But when compared to the "ordinary" person having to make the really tough call as to whether they pay their medical bills or buy food... errrr... not so much.
But it gets better! The ads on the official MyTouch site goes BEYOND pretentious to downright scary...
Don't ask me how anybody watches these celebrities talk about the crazy-ass shit they do with their MyTouch and says "Wow! I've got to get me one of those!" But apparently such relational logic didn't enter into the equation when T-Mobile was planning out their ads, so there you have it.
Not that it makes any difference.
No mobile phone could ever hope to compete with iPhone for one reason and one reason only... the free Ask Dave! app is currently only available for iPhone...
Maybe one day somebody will port the app over to other mobile phones but, until then, we'll just have to wait for the ringtone orgasm.
What I find amusing is that Verizon finally gave up on trying to market iPhone alternatives and has turned to attacking AT&T's shitty service and bad 3G coverage. It's all well and good, but until Verizon can sell an iPhone to run on their superior network, AT&T still ends up with the advantage because they've got what people want...
"Want better coverage? There's a map for that!"
And right now what I want is some sleep!
Posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
I've been working non-stop for two weeks and then been traveling non-stop for two days. I think I'm dead. All I need now is a voodoo doctor to resurrect me and it's zombie time...
Unfortunately, I couldn't connect with a flight home this evening, so I'm spending the night in Seattle.
I'll look for the voodoo doctor in the morning.
Posted on Friday, December 4th, 2009
Home at last. And so very, very tired.
In other news, I'll be a VERY SPECIAL GUEST on an ALL NEW EPISODE of Jestertunes Radio THIS COMING MONDAY, DECEMBER 7th! The show starts at 4:30pm Hawaiian, 5:30pm Alaskan, 6:30pm Pacific, 7:30pm Mountain, 8:30 Central, and 9:30 Eastern times here in the Americas. If you're outside of those time zones, you can find your local time at the World Clock Converter...
Bookmark the TalkShoe site now so you can join us! I have no earthly idea what we'll be talking about, but good times are always assured on The Jester Show!
Except for that time I had a kidney stone attack on-air. That wasn't a good time at all. Any show that involves you being rushed to the hospital is about as far removed from a good time as a show can get. Well, for me anyway.
So tune in on Monday and see what horrible new tragedy will befall me on-air!
UPDATE: Jester's comment reminds me that I should probably mention that The Jester Show is R-Rated. It's probably X-Rated. If you are a sensitive individual who doesn't appreciate foul language, explicit talk, and adult situations, then it's probably best that you NOT tune in. Wow. Now that I think about it, maybe it's best if I don't tune in either. I'll do the show with potholders pressed against my ears while saying "LA LA LA LA LA LA!"
Posted on Saturday, December 5th, 2009
There's something to be said for kicking back on the couch, watching television, and eating junk food until your pants no longer fit on a Saturday night while you get some work done...
The good news is that I'm catching up with all the television I've missed over the past month-and-a-half.
The bad news is that I spilled ketchup down the front of my shirt 20 minutes ago and have been too lazy to get up and clean it off before it stains. I'm pretty sure the shirt is a goner now.
Or is that good news? Now that the pressure is off, I can spill whatever I like on my shirt and it doesn't matter.
Eating is so much more fun when you don't have to care about the consequences.
Posted on Sunday, December 6th, 2009
Home for Bullet Sunday! Home for an entire month! Of course, now that I've said that, I'm sure I'll end up flying out somewhere tomorrow.
• Holidays. I got an email from Laurel reminding me that the deadline for sending holiday cards to the troops via the Red Cross's "Holiday Mail for Heroes" program is MONDAY. That's TOMORROW if you're reading this on Sunday... TODAY if you're reading on Monday. If you'd like to make a serviceman or servicewoman's day when they're far from home, here's your opportunity...
Also... just a quick reminder that one of my favorite organizations, AnySoldier.com is a great way to show your appreciation for the troops any time of year. If you'd like to know what kind of stuff to send, I've written about that here.
• Woodie. Many congratulations to one of my favorite bands, Matt & Kim, on winning a Best Video Woodie for their awesome Lessons Learned video. I've written about my love for all things Matt & Kim here, and you can watch their video below...
• Killer. The question "what's your favorite app for the iPhone" is something I get quite often. Right now the honest truth would be Undercroft. But apps come and go and, once I've finished playing Undercroft, I'm sure some other toy will take its place. But once you remove the distractions, a few apps remain which I find indispensable. For travel, I wouldn't want to live without Flight Update Pro. For photos, I can't imagine not having ShakeItPhoto. And, of course, there's always the most important app ever created, Ask Dave!
But if I were forced to choose just one killer app I can't live without, it would be Jaadu VNC that gets my vote. For those unfamiliar, Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a remote access system that allows you to control a computer over the internet. It's always somewhat problematic because of the screen update lag, but it works. And, thanks to Jaadu VNC, it works beautifully on my iPhone...
This is full-screen view, but you can also zoom in with auto-panning.
In fact, it works better than the VNC clients for my MacBook, and I often-times end up using Jaadu to do things that go sideways with other clients. Being able to access my work computer from practically anywhere is a game-changer. There's nothing quite like being able to handle a work emergency while standing in line at Splash Mountain. Jaadu makes this kind of thing easy. But the app has some other tricks up its sleeve as well... such as being able to switch to a numeric keypad or even a media remote...
It costs something like $25, but the value it provides is priceless if you're away from your computer but need access to it.
• Copter. I am reeeeeally looking forward to seeing James Cameron's new film, Avatar. The preview images and video footage look amazing. And since it's James Cameron (Terminator, Aliens, Titanic) you just know it's going to be something special. What I find curious is the dual-fan helicopters featured in the material...
They instantly reminded me of the dual-fan helicopters from Disney/Pixar's brilliant animated film The Incredibles...
Very cool! And further proof that The Incredibles was operating at a level far above your typical cartoon feature. The design on it was...well... incredible. And it only makes me want to watch the movie all over again.
And that's a wrap. I really should get back to work now...
Posted on Monday, December 7th, 2009
It's Pearl Harbor Day!
Last year I made my second trip to the USS Arizona Memorial. It's about as beautiful a tribute to those who lost their lives as you can imagine...
Thanks to all of you who gave so much.
And thanks to Jester for having me as a guest on his show tonight. Here's links to the things that came up...
Posted on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
As I am likely to do most evenings, I have the television turned on as background noise so I can focus on my work. Tonight my ears pricked up when I heard "Gran Canaria" mentioned, because it's a location very high on my list of places to visit. Partly because it's a part of Spain and I've loved all my previous visits to the country. Partly because it is supposed to be a very beautiful island. But mostly because it's a Hard Rock Cafe location that I haven't been to yet.
At least it was.
Out of habit when I hear the name of a Hard Rock location I'm lacking, I check to see if the property there is still open. It turns out that Gran Canaria isn't. It was closed back in October.
I guess I should have gone to Gran Canaria instead of Mallorca back in January. Of course, had I done that, then it would have been Mallorca that closed (because I am just that lucky). To add insult to injury, I found out that the beautiful Hard Rock Cafe in Montreal (along with the nifty Skydome location in Toronto) had closed back in September. Oh well, at least I had visited those locations.
Sure I can still visit Gran Canaria one of these days, but it's not the same without having a cafe to check off my list. People can laugh at me all they want, but it's thanks to my Hard Rock Cafe addiction that I've visited several places around the world which I never would have seen otherwise. Fantastic cities like Warsaw, Poland... Fukuoka, Japan... Reykjavik, Iceland... Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia... or even Gatlinburg, Tennessee... and many, many more. It was checking cafes off a list that made me want to go there. The fact that I always find loads of amazing stuff to see and do in addition to a cafe visit is just icing on the cake.
Will somebody please give me a million dollars and unlimited airline miles so I can visit all the Hard Rocks before any more of them close down? That would be great, thanks!
Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Yesterday I finally bought new tires for my car. I couldn't really afford the $500, but it had to be done because I was sliding all over the frosty roads each morning. Sure I could have gotten away with cheaper, but I was unhappy with my previous $380 tires and wanted to be sure I got something that has better traction in the wet. So I went for the best-reviewed all-weather tires I could get, just to be sure my money would be well-spent. My thinking is that you can't put a price on safety, and my first impressions have all been good, so I guess I made the right choice.
Not only that, but new tires are so shiny and pretty!
If only I had a shiny-pretty new car to put them on.
And speaking of shiny-pretty cars...
I was looking through some of my old pictures this evening, trying to find an image I wanted to use for work, when I ran across my photos from a visit to Rome in the year 2000. It was taken on the day of "The Feast of the Immaculate Conception" when the streets were crowded with people waiting for a glimpse of The Pope on his way to put flowers at the statue of The Virgin Mary.
I didn't know what was happening. I thought maybe the Backstreet Boys were in town or something. It wasn't until he actually went past that I figured it out.
I was shooting blind with my camera raised above my head, and this is what came of it...
That's His Holiness John-Paul II there in the red cape and white beanie. Sure it's blurry, but given the surge of the crowd, I'm surprised that anything turned out at all. It's a nice memory, but it only reinforces my desire to one day become the Supreme Pontiff...
I'm probably going to need to get a haircut first.
Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009
My blog dropped off the face of the internet, again, this evening. I only just now managed to access it with five whole minutes left before midnight. That doesn't give me much time to blog about my day, but it was rather boring so perhaps it's a blessing in disguise. I attacked the work that's been piling up with the ferocity of a piranha, but barely managed to make a dent. If only I could spend a solid amount of time on any one given project, I might accomplish something... but it just doesn't ever seem to work out that way. Sometimes failure is the only possible outcome, which wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't grown so accustomed to it.
I'll try to do something more exciting tomorrow.
My toenails need clipping, so there's always that to look forward to...
Posted on Friday, December 11th, 2009
About six years ago I wrote a short sci-fi story called "Ageless" for a friend's birthday that had kind of a Twilight Zone style twist at the end. The story was about a scientist who created a device which would tell you with absolute certainty the age at which a person would die. He used his invention to become world-famous and very wealthy because people were lining up to know about how much longer they had to live. That way, they could take crazy risks, live life to its fullest, and blow all their money before their "death year" rather than save it for a rainy day that would never come. A sub-plot involving an evil life insurance company's plot to steal the device was also in there somewhere.
At the end of the story, the scientist finally decided to use the device on himself and discovered that he was already in his "death year" at age 32, and would most certainly die before his 33rd birthday just six months away. He flew into a total panic, and spent every day obsessing over how and when he would die. Finally, after only two weeks of being driven insane by the thought of his impending death, he committed suicide.
The big "twist" came the following day when a newspaper story announced that a cure for aging had been discovered. People could drink the "Fountain of Youth" drug and live forever. Hence, they would remain the same age until they died from unnatural circumstances. Had the scientist not become death-obsessed and killed himself, he would have indeed died at age 32... but hundreds of years in the future.
It wasn't the greatest story... and the plot had probably already been done before somewhere... but that wasn't the point. It was fun to write, and made a great birthday present for my friend (as the scientist in the story was given his name).
Every year since then, my friend calls to remind me that his birthday is coming up, apparently in a bid to get me to write him another story. Today was the day he called, and I had to once again tell him that I didn't feel I had any stories left to tell.
After I hung up the phone, I suddenly realized why that is.
It's because I write in this blog every day. All my stories end up here.
So happy birthday!
Posted on Saturday, December 12th, 2009
In-between work projects, I've been trying to clear out the clutter... both physical and mental. My latest project has been to go through my massive store of books and get rid of all the outdated texts that are taking up space. I started with old computer manuals and then went on to web reference books for HTML, CSS, PHP, RUBY. From there I jumped to old software books for everything from Lightwave 3D to Photoshop. After that I went on to my travel books collection, which I can never bring myself to throw out.
And found something rather surprising.
Back in the year 2000, I was really starting to put some effort into seeing the world. I would use any excuse to leave the country, whether it was for a week in Japan on a work assignment... or just an overnight to Copenhagen so I could attend a birthday party. I'd go anywhere for anything just to say I'd been there.
I had always been collecting travel guides to dream about the places I could go, but now I was actually going, and my guidebook obsession went into overdrive. It's easy to find cheap travel books, because when a new revision comes out the old revision is put on half-price (or less). And I was buying them by the handfuls. Not only to places I'd already been so I could re-live my time there... but also to places I had no intention of ever going, just to see what it would be like to go there. Soon I was buying so many books that I could never read them all, and decided to stop. Partly because they were just piling up and collecting dust, but mostly since you can get all that information on the internet now.
As I was vacuuming off my collection I noticed that, with two exceptions, I've been to all the places in the dozens of guides I bought. The two books that are left are "Eyewitness Travel Guides Peru" and "Frommer's Australia 2001."
Add India, Amalfi, and Cambodia... and my top-5 dream destinations guide is complete.
All it ever seems to take anymore is time and money to make dreams come true. After re-stacking my travel books back on the shelf, I found myself wishing I had more of both.
Posted on Sunday, December 13th, 2009
It's time for yet another Bullet Sunday from the freezing cold Pacific Northwest!
• Come One Come All... If there's one thing I've learned over the past six years and eight months I've been writing in this iteration of Blogography, it's that you can never underestimate just how big the assholes are on the internet. And putting yourself out there with a blog is like setting out a giant welcome mat for them to drop by and stink up the place. Thank heavens for the delete key.
• I Wasn't Nervous Until Now... Downloadable content for Xbox 360 just keeps getting weirder and weirder. The latest genius from the Live Marketplace? "Don't B Nervous Talking 2 Girls"...
Yikes. Now I really AM nervous talking to girls!
The good news is that I was able to buy a pet monkey for Pooferflargen, my Xbox Avatar!
He's not a very smart monkey, but he does know how to dance.
• A Cafe By Any Other Name... This weekend I started poking around the code for DaveCafe, my Hard Rock Cafe fan site. I had redesigned the thing ages ago, but never had time to actually do anything with it. Yesterday while I was waiting for my work computer to run a backup, I decided to take a look. The data is mostly missing, and some of the templates are incomplete, but it's sorta kinda working in non-stupid web browsers. Surprisingly, there's only a couple of gap spacing errors in Internet Explorer 6, which is shocking as hell. Usually that pile of shit browser has a lot bigger problems...
Internet Explorer 7 and 8 are pretty shitty too, but they at least seem to be able to render my sites okay. Usually, I would spend the next two hours trying to find out what in the hell IE6 doesn't like, but I don't have time. A big part of me doesn't want to give a crap, but 8% of my visitors are inexplicably still using IE6. Probably because their workplace forces them to or they don't understand they have a problem. So what to do? My solution is to totally ignore the issue. If somebody using a 9-year-old browser expects modern websites to render properly, there's nothing I really can do. Except perhaps this.
I've been warned that a severe winter storm warning has been issued for tomorrow afternoon, which is sure to make my Monday even more buckets of fun than usual. I wonder if I can just forget all about it when I go to bed tonight and be pleasantly surprised?
I need better drugs.
Posted on Monday, December 14th, 2009
And so... James Cameron's Avatar is dropping in theaters this Friday, and I am near the point of desperation to go see it. The problem is that I positively loathe to go to the movies anymore. People have reached new heights of rudeness, and it's just not as fun as it used to be. I spend most of my time filled with rage because people are getting calls on their mobile phones, lighting up the entire theater by texting, talking in loud voices and making noise, kicking the seats in front of them, and being all-around assholes. Why should I pay $7.50 for a ticket and $6.00 for a Coke to be subjected to that?
Maybe I should publish a new addition to my growing family of "Dumbasses" books so I can pass them out whenever I go to the movies?
Though the odds of anybody too rude to already know theater etiquette actually taking time to read it are slim.
So maybe I do what I usually do, and wait for the Blu-Ray to be released.
But then I look at this poster popping up everywhere...
...and I really, really want to go.
Here's hoping that if I do go I won't end up killing anybody.
Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
The winter storm that was promised yesterday finally arrived this morning. It didn't end up being as bad as forecast, but I still had to scrape 5-inches of snow off my car when it was time to go home tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to taper off to "Wintry Mix," which is not as fun as it sounds. The rain/snow combo piles on the streets and makes driving a nasty business. It's all too easy to get trapped by the slush accumulation and find yourself being pulled off the road. When that happens your brakes are practically useless, so your only option is to hold onto your balls, enjoy the slide, and hope you don't end up in a wreck. I'll take snow over "Wintry Mix" any day...
And right now I'll gladly take sleep over insomnia, but I have about as much a chance of that as I do controlling the weather.
If only I had an off-switch, my life would be so much easier.
Posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
I wrote a long political rant over the past 20 minutes, but deleted it because it was just too easy. President Obama and the Democrats are fucking things up at every turn, nobody can get their shit together, and everybody is acting so surprised. Well, almost everybody.
Democrats are surprised because nothing is really changing and they were delirious with hope that it actually would.
Republicans are surprised because nothing is really changing and they were scared shitless that it actually would.
I, on the other hand, am surprised that people are surprised that nothing is really changing. It's politics as usual in our Nation's capitol... only the players have changed. Personal agendas and personal politics still rule. Lobbyists and money still make the decisions. And it's the citizens, as usual, who are worse off because of it.
Sadly, that's just the way our system works. The only difference from one politician to the next is degrees. And since people are more interested in fighting than coming up with solutions, we end up with the government we deserve.
I remain... unsurprised.
Posted on Thursday, December 17th, 2009
As I type this, Twitter is down. I don't have a lot of time to spend on Twitter, but I feel incredibly disconnected when I go to see what's happening there and can't get through. Amazingly, you don't even get a Fail-Whale anymore... just a blank white screen.
If I could Twitter right now, I'd undoubtedly tweet my surprise that the stunningly beautiful Audrey Tautou just showed up on my television in an advertisement for Chanel No. 5. A little internet research reveals that the spot was directed by the incomparable Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who had previously worked with Tautou on two of my favorite films: Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (known as Amélie in English-speaking countries) and Un long dimanche de fiançailles (known as A Very Long Engagement here).
I don't usually post random videos, but this commercial is too beautiful to not be seen...
Or heard. We're also treated to Billie Holiday for a soundtrack.
Everything Jeunet touches is surreal and magical. Even a commercial for perfume. And now all I want to do is watch Amélie and A Very Long Engagement back-to-back. Even though it's 10:30 at night and I have a ton of work to do and I'd be up until 2:00am.
Another time, I guess.
Interestingly enough, Jeunet has a new film that debuted in France back in October called Micmacs à tire-larigot...
I can't wait to see it, even though it sounds like it is very different from his previous two films.
But sometimes different is good.
Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009
It's a blue bleu blu bloo kind of day.
Blue is my favorite color. I don't find it depressing like some people claim, but I do find it calming. Blue skies, blue water, and blue ice all make me happy. I am disappointed that there's not more blue foods to eat.
Yesterday I brought up Jean-Pierre Jeunet after seeing his Chanel No. 5 commercial. This resulted in all kinds of discussion about French cinema and eventually came 'round to another brilliant French writer/director... Luc Besson. His body of work is such genius that it is difficult for me to decide on a favorite. The Fifth Element? Genius! Leon? Genius! Nikita? Genius! It goes on and on. But it's one of his earliest works that I love most... Le Grand Bleu. Now, here in the USA, the film was retitled The Big Blue and butchered to the point of incomprehension. First they lost the achingly beautiful score by Eric Sera. Then they chopped it to pieces. Then they slapped on a stupid happy ending on it that destroyed the entire point of the film. HOWEVER, if you ignore the shitty US version, the original film is... as one would expect... genius. On the surface, it's a film about free-diving competition. Going deeper, the film is so much more. And while I'm willing to accept that it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea... I think humans would have a much better understanding of living if it was.
Assuming you can ignore the misstep in casting Rosanna Arquette as the love interest.
What surprises me... but not really... is reading all the reviews on NetFlix from the many people who liked the butchered American crap, but hated the restored "Director's Cut" with a passion usually reserved for serial killers (Dexter not withstanding). Apparently, if a story doesn't move at a break-neck pace and gets all tied up with a happy ending, Americans just don't "get" it. Not that this is a bad thing... it just speaks volumes as to the cultural differences that make this world such a fascinating place.
Remember the good ol' days when you bought a fucking DVD. You took it back to your fucking house. Then you put it in the fucking DVD player. Then you pressed the fucking "play" button. THEN YOU WATCHED THE FUCKING MOVIE? Now-a-days? Not so much. Now there's Blu-Ray. Sure it has amazing picture and fantastic sound... but you pay a price for it. You pay with time.
This morning my copy of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds arrived on Blu-Ray, and I spent my entire day dying to run home and watch it. Finally, 5:00 arrived and I rush home to find... that it wouldn't play. Thanks to the idiotic copy protection bullshit that plagues the Blu-Ray format, I had to upgrade my P.O.S. player to accommodate whatever new "protection" crap Macrovision has dreamed up. It took 50 minutes. So I wait. Then, because the player has to boot up like a computer to decode all the copy protection shit, I wait. Then, because everything takes forever with a Blu-Ray player, I press the button to open the drawer, and I wait. Then I put in the disc, and I wait. Then I press the "play" button, and I wait. Then you have to wait for the disc to load... the menus to load... the button presses to be acknowledged... it's waiting on top of waiting on top of waiting to see if the disc will even play. It sucks. Hard.
What good is the superior picture and sound if you can't play the disc? How much of a wait is worth it? I struggle with these questions every time I go to play a Blu-Ray disc. Bigger, more expensive, slower... is progress?
Because nothing blue could be complete without Bloo!
Posted on Saturday, December 19th, 2009
Odd. I nearly forgot to blog today. So here I am in bed with midnight quickly approaching and nothing to write about. Unfortunately I was sketching all day for work, which isn't something conducive to blog fodder. I need to find a new career which involves explosives and super-models... now there's a blog entry!
The one ray of sunshine in my day was finding out that I don't have to appear for jury duty on Monday (but have to call back again on Tuesday). Yes, I was called to serve AGAIN. This pisses me off more and more each time, because I'm called in constantly, yet there are people I know who have only been called once or twice in their entire lifetime. Heck, I've been called FOUR TIMES in the six years I've had this blog... September 2003, February 2006, May 2008, and now in December 2009 (and at least three times before that). And each time I have to somehow find a way of clearing two weeks off my schedule, which is absurd given that I have a hard time scheduling more than a solid week of VACATION at a time. If I do end up being called in, it will take every bit of restraint I have not to stand up and scream "FUCK YOU, YOUR HONOR... WHERE'S MY JUSTICE?!??"
Except I think you can go to prison for that.
And in prison you don't have access to either explosives or super-models.
Posted on Sunday, December 20th, 2009
It's Bullet Sunday on the second-shortest day of the year!
• Weekly. I know it's not a special number or anything... but I've done A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-TWO of these things? Holy crap, WHY? Surely I have better things to do on a Sunday? Okay, I probably don't... but I really should.
• Sadly. Brittany Murphy died today. I know that she was made fun of quite a lot... they even had a parody of her on SNL... but I liked Brittany. She had a character type she was good at playing, and she played it very well. I loved her as "Tai" in Clueless. I really loved her as "Luanne" in King of the Hill.
I find it sad that she wasn't appreciated a little more as an actress while she was alive. She had some great roles. And yet the only press she could get recently was rumor-mongering about her getting fired from a movie. And few people seem to remember that she was also a singer who had a hit single with Paul Oakenfold...
Of course, much of the stuff I've heard from Oakenfold sounds exactly the same, but I think she did okay with her part.
I wish she would have stuck around and done more. Rest in peace.
• Slowly. Why won't this douchebag just die already? Slowly. In an agony equal to that which he has inflicted on an unwilling populace. I know I'm only furthering his cause here, but holy shit! Exactly how much of this joke can we be expected to take? When Chelsea Lately christened the wanker and his equally ridiculous wife "Herpes Simplex One" and "Herpes Simplex Two" I thought it was a funny gag. But Chelsea totally nailed it. They never go away. They just keep hanging around and infecting people with their stupid antics. And now he's got an album coming out?
It's incomprehensible how anybody could still be giving a shit about morons like this.
• Barely. It didn't snow today like it was supposed to. In fact, I think it drizzled rained more than it snowed, and there was barely any precipitation at all. I think that New England took it all instead. While I'm sorry for everybody who's having to shovel their way out this afternoon, I am grateful it's not me this time.
Annnnnnnd... I'm spent.
Posted on Monday, December 21st, 2009
Ooh! It's the shortest day of the year!
Finally. I'm tired of spending my free time in darkness, and it only gets better from here.
Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
I'm not much into social network gaming because I just can't find the time to keep up with them. But then along comes Gowalla, which is a location-based travel game. Now that's something I can get into! Basically, people use their GPS-enabled iPhone to create locations which other people can then "check-in" to and get a stamp on their virtual passport (apparently other mobile phones, like Droid, are in the pipeline soon). If that were the end of it, Gowalla wouldn't be much of a game. But there's more.
In addition to collecting passport stamps, you're also looking for achievement pins and collectible icons.
The pins are added automatically when you do things like complete a pre-existing trip... or check-in to a certain number of locations... or do some other task, like visiting 10 different coffee shops or something.
The icons are a little different. Some are permanently awarded for visiting specific places, like Powell's Books in Portland, The Space Needle in Seattle, or The White House in DC...
Others are found at random. You can drop these items somewhere so somebody else can trade their items with them... or you can put them in your Vault, where they will be stuck forever...
Unfortunately, once you drop an item somewhere, it's pretty much GONE until you find another one. It's not like the Pokemon Pokedex which keeps track of the items you've found. Sure you can put it in your Vault, but then you can't trade for other items. This seems to be a disappointing flaw, but I guess that's what makes some icons more rare than others.
Locations are created by Gowalla users. If you create a spot then drop an item there, you get credited as the spot's "founder." You can create all kinds of spots for all kinds of locations. As an example, here's a church, museum, and a grocery store...
It was fun wandering around town so I could create spots and drop items for fellow Gowalla users to collect and trade. Kind of like geocaching taken to the next level, I suppose. Though it's a quasi-virtual level which is still fun, but lacking the tactile thrill of uncovering a treasure.
In any event, if you have an iPhone and like to wander, it might be worth checking out...
NOTE: Gowalla abandoned its users (plus all the work we did) and closed up shop in 2011.
Posted on Thursday, December 24th, 2009
To all those who celebrate...
Posted on Friday, December 25th, 2009
All I did today was eat.
Seriously, that's it... there's nothing else to report.
Posted on Saturday, December 26th, 2009
I worked most of the day, trying to solve a very perplexing assignment in every way I could think of. By the time dinner rolled around, I was mentally exhausted and looking for a diversion. While cleaning off a bookshelf, I happened across my DVD copy of Death on the Nile... the movie version of the brilliant Agatha Christie novel of the same name (albeit with a number of characters having been changed or eliminated). It's one of those movies I can watch a hundred times and still enjoy it, so my diversion had been found...
Equal in brilliance to the story is the cast.
Peter Ustinov! David Niven! Mia Farrow! George Kennedy! Angela Lansbury! Maggie Smith! Jack Warden! And a crazy-ass BETTE DAVIS! But that's not all, it also had MANIMAL in it!
Manimal is one of those shows that I vaguely remember enjoying the heck out of during my youth. It featured a guy who could turn into animals to solve mysteries and fight crime and stuff. He had his pick of any animal under the sun, but always ended up changing into a black panther for some reason. Probably to save money on special effects.
Those were heady days for cheesy TV, because Manimal ran at the same time as another sweet program from my youth... Automan! Though what I remember most about that show was that the character drove a Lamborghini that could make 90-degree turns at high speeds, and had a sidekick named "Cursor" that could build stuff out of thin air. Sure it was pretty much a rip-off of TRON, but it gave me something to watch after my homework was done.
Speaking of TRON, am I the only one who's excited about the long-awaited sequel, TRON Legacy, finally hitting theaters in 2010?
Of course, it's DECEMBER 17th, 2010... which kind of sucks. Especially when all we have to hold us over until then is this.
Oh well, something to look forward to, I guess.
Posted on Sunday, December 27th, 2009
w00t! It's the last Bullet Sunday of 2009!
• TQ 2010. The moment we've all been waiting for has come. Jenny has announced the venue for TequilaCon 2010...
I am sooooo looking forward to another awesome TequilaCon event!
• Kindle 2. I bought my mother a "Kindle 2" electronic book from Amazon. I was waiting on Barnes & Noble's "Nook" because it looked a little niftier in pictures, but the reviews were less than stellar so I went back to the Kindle. The device itself is pretty sweet, and a lot easier read from than I had expected. Sure it would be nice if the "e-ink" display had whiter whites for better contrast with the "type" but if you have decent light, it's not bad at all. Bumping up the type size seems to help. In any event, my mother likes it quite a lot, which is all that really matters...
You can buy new books directly from Kindle easy enough (assuming you have a 3G signal... shopping over EDGE is painfully slow). The good news is that new e-books are released at the same time as the hardcover, but cheaper. As an example, the latest James Patterson release "I, Alex Cross" retails for $27.99, can be bought on Amazon for $18.33 (including tax & shipping), or delivered to your Kindle instantly for $10.79 (including tax). But the best news is that you can get free sample chapters of most books to decide if you want to buy them or not, which makes shopping for Kindle more like shopping at a book store. Overall, I'm impressed. Like most electronic devices, I wish Apple would overhaul the user interface to something more intuitive, but it's all good.
• Totino's. I left work at 3:00 because I was tired and hungry and couldn't stand the thought of sitting at my desk one more minute. Despite a rumbling tummy, nothing really sounded good... EXCEPT A CHEAP-ASS 99¢ PIZZA FROM TOTINO'S!
So few foods can give you 46% of your daily fat content, 36% of your saturated fat, 6% of your cholesterol, 24% of you carbs, and a whopping 56% of your daily cholesterol requirements... all in one convenient box! Genius!
Annnd... I'm spent. Assuming I don't die from my poor nutritional choices in food, I suppose I'll be back tomorrow.
Posted on Monday, December 28th, 2009
Look, as somebody who travels frequently, I am all for rules and regulations that will actually give me a better chance of not exploding in-air from a terrorist attack. But this ever-escalating dog-and-pony show in the name of "safety" only serves to punish the innocent and has really got to stop...
When it comes to airline security, we've got to pull up before it's too late.
Posted on Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
Every year I tell myself that I'm going to take a blog vacation the week between Christmas and New Years, and every year I forget about it. Instead, I just slog through the blogging lull with lame crap that I'd just as soon forget because it's always the exact same thing: I'm working my guts out and don't have the time or energy to write about anything when most everybody is avoiding blogs anyway.
Especially today, when I came home early from work because I was sick. It feels like food poisoning, but I don't know of anything I could have eaten that would have poisoned me. All I've had is a Carnation Instant Breakfast drink, a handful of Tim's Cascade Potato Chips, a can of Coke, and some Uncle Ben's Brown & Wild Rice. Perhaps it's not food poisoning and I've got radiation poisoning or swine flu or something.
Anyway... since tomorrow I will be looking back at all things 2009 here on Blogography, I thought that today I'd take a look ahead. Here's just a few things I'm looking forward to in 2010...
• Whatever Apple Is Cooking Up Next. Whether it's the much-rumored iSlate tablet computer... or something completely different... there always seems to be something really cool just around the corner for an Apple Whore like me.
&bull The iPhone Being Unchained from AT&T: If Apple has any sense at all, they won't renew their exclusivity with the bad service poster-boy that has become AT&T. To be honest, I can recall one... just one... problem with their service when trying to make a call to another iPhone user in Las Vegas this year. Other than that, I've had no worse service than I've had with Verizon. But competition would be a good thing, and I can only hope iPhone service will get even a little bit cheaper because of it.
• Blog Parties: There are two blogger events I cannot miss each year: TequilaCon and Avitaween. The venue for TequilaCon 2010 was just announced as Vancouver on April 24th, and I'm already counting the days.
• Iron Man 2. One of my favorite movies of 2008 was Iron Man and I'm hoping that the sequel is just as good.
• Movie Magic. In addition to Iron Man 2, we also get Tron Legacy, Toy Story 3, Arrested Development: The Film, and the massive casting coupe that is The Expendables, starring Sylvester Stalone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, and the late Brittany Murphy. Good times.
• Invincible. I'm kind of falling out of touch with comic books lately, but one I never miss is Robert Kirkman's Invincible. This year "The Viltrumite War" which has been anticipated for nearly 70 issues, finally begins. I have no doubt that it will be the comic event of the year.
• Re-Reading Calvin and Hobbes. Every time I see The Complete Calvin and Hobbes sitting on my bookshelf, I have to resist the urge to read it. I haven't read it since it was released in 2005, and am trying my best to forget as much about the strip as I can so it will feel new again. But I could never forget the magic. 2010 is the year.
• Someplace New. Every year I set a goal to travel to someplace I've never been before... this year is no different. I have no idea where I'll end up, but that's the best part.
• The Flying Car. Because, seriously, isn't it about time?
• Another Year of Blogography. Yeah, I know. Blogs are dying all over the place, people are writing in their blogs less and less, and new kids on the block like Twitter are taking over. But how can I give this up?
A new year is just a day away...
Posted on Thursday, December 31st, 2009
It's the easiest blog post of the year, when I get to re-visit all my entries for the past 365 days and see just how pointless and futile my life really is! Much like last year, a lot of my time was spent traveling. I racked up 164,000 air miles on seven airlines. Unlike last year, I had only minimal flight delays and cancellations, which was a pleasant surprise.
And now the traditional random Blogography snippets of crap from the year that was 2009...
• Admitted I have a Twitter addiction.
• Goofed around at SeaWorld with mah Hilly-Sue in San Diego, where we rode the Buckets of Death, learned to BELIEVE, and joined the cult of Shamu the whale...
Seriously, how cute are we in this photo?
• Was traumatized when Ms. Sizzle and I were sexually assaulted by Etta James at her Seattle concert.
• Was nearly brought to tears at the Nazi Documentation Museum in Cologne, Germany.
• Traveled to the beautiful island of Mallorca in Spain to visit the new Hard Rock Cafe there and see the sights...
• Said goodbye to a friend and learned what is really important...
• Spent a weekend goofing off in Seattle with my BFF Vahid.
• Re-lived my life as one of the Spice Girls...
• Had an absolute blast meeting up with friends in Davedon...
• Back to my favorite city on earth... Davenburgh!
• Had the worst airport layover in the history of airport layovers.
• More blogger meet awesomeness at Dave York...
Dawg and Poppy with B.E. Earl.
Robin, Libragirl, B.E. Earl, Me, and Cissa!
• Tried my hand at some inappropriate Broadway reviews.
• Reveled in the glory that is TequilaCon Santa Fe...
• Expressed my disappointment with the current state of Cracker Jack prizes.
• Explained a problem with my MASSIVE NOZZLE.
• Gave a behind-the-scenes look at the Blogography Show when Whall was a guest...
• Took a trip to Savannah, Georgia and visited the magnificent Bonaventure Cemetery.
• Started up the Lil' Dave and Lil' Wayne MAC VS. PC cartoons...
• Attended the spectacular ConFab blogger event in Lexington, Kentucky.
• Debuted Baby Dave and Naughty Monkey for a guest-post on Anissa's blog...
• Took a look at my wild-and-crazy days of youth...
• Revealed the secret of How to Blog the Blogography Way.
• Joined in on Blogathon 2009 where I live-blogged new DaveToons every half-hour to benefit Doctors Without Borders.
• Ah, the wonder of exploring the biggest rock in the world and the joy of attending Davelanta3...
• Explained the Love Equality Formula and said NOH8 the best way I know how...
• Had the adventure of a lifetime when I guest-posted at Puntabulous...
• Gave evidence as to why I was the most adorable baby ever.
• Another fantastic blogger meet, this time at Daveorado...
• Got to see my favorite band ever, Depeche Mode, in Salt Lake City with WarpedGirl 16 and Marty from Banal Leakage!
• Hit Las Vegas with the TequilaCon Planning Posse for event planning, debauchery, and ELVIS...
• Got to see one of my favorite bands, the Pet Shop Boys, at their Seattle concert.
• Explored my virtual career path...
•Just one word: pooferflargen.
• And then there was the life-altering experience of attending Bitchsterdam...
• Finally got to see the adorable spawn of The Bombshell and The Ninja in SoCal.
• Could there possibly be anything better than three days at Disney World with mah Hilly-Sue?
• I dunno. But swimming with dolphins with Robyn and Rachel comes close...
• And so does a wild night at Avitaween and non-stop pussy...
• Went Hard Rock Cafe hopping in Washington DC and Baltimore.
• Back to Atlanta for time with friends and Freestylin' Coke.
• Not a lot, really. I did write this massive blog entry though.
And that was 2009. Everybody have a safe and happy New Year as we head into 2010, and thanks for reading!