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Anew

Posted on Friday, January 1st, 2010

Dave!Last year I made five new year resolutions for 2009. I accomplished them all by February 9th.

Perhaps I set my sights too low. More likely I was just trying to be realistic in my goals. But whatever the case, after I fulfilled my resolutions I pretty much coasted for eleven months. Mission accomplished! This year I'm not going to let myself off so easy. Instead of giving myself a list of fixed goals that can be checked off, I'm instead going to commit to more general goals that don't have a finish line I can cross. Things that keep me growing and learning.

Like figuring out how to make the world's best grilled cheese sandwich.

Hey, there's always room for improvement... even when you've got a spectacular recipe already under your belt.

Superior cheeses come along.

Tastier breads.

Improved grilling technology.

All you can really do is create the world's best grilled cheese sandwich for the moment and move on to the next one. Sure that's a lot of cheese, but it's the journey (endless grilled cheese sandwiches)... not the destination (heart failure from high cholesterol levels)... that's important here.

Time to cut the cheese.

   

Meeeep!

Posted on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Dave!This morning on the way to work I stopped at the mini-mart to get a bag of cheesey popcorn. As I walked in the door, a child was standing there, screaming at me while he wagged his tongue. He had some kind of plastic tube stuck to his tongue, which made this hugely amusing to him. The hellion's mother(?) was sitting at a table talking to a friend(?)... blissfully ignoring the fact that her son(?) was screaming at people. I just ignored him as I walked by, and said "how charming!" as I headed back to the chips & cracker aisle.

While I was looking for popcorn, I heard the mother(?) screaming "BRIAN! PUT THAT DOWN! and "BRIAN! STOP THAT!" Apparently, she suddenly decided to give a crap when her kid(?) started tearing up the place.

After finding the snacks I wanted, I made my way to the cash register checkout and paid for my stuff. As I turned to leave, I noticed that Brian's mother(?) and her friend(?) were both glaring at me. As I walked to the door, I heard one of them say "how charming" in a high-pitched voice... kind of like Beaker from the Muppets...

It's Beaker!

Riiiiight...

I will never understand how people failing to discipline their kids is somehow my fault. Somehow I'm the bad guy.

I suppose I could have tried asking the bitches how this works, but it seemed a lost cause.

Instead I turned to the kid and said "how embarrassing for you!"

I'm guessing he'll get that a lot in the future.

   

Bullet Sunday 164

Posted on Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Dave!It's the first Bullet Sunday of the year... and I don't have any bullets! Probably because I've done nothing but work for the past five days. Oh sure I have ideas for bullets, but I've decided to post a monkey juggling giant OREO cookies instead...

It's Bad Monkey juggling giant OREO cookies!

   

And, since it's Bullet Sunday, I guess I better take care of that too. Here's to another week...

Five Bullets

   

   

STEVE!

Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2010

Dave!ZOMFG! APPLE IS HOLDING A SPECIAL MEDIA EVENT ON JANUARY 27th!

For a Certified Apple Whore such as myself, this is the equivalent of getting a free 3-month supply of hookers with a case of Snack-Pack Chocolate Pudding on top. The question is... will His Holiness, Steve Jobs, be the one to run the event? Because that's the difference between your free hookers having all their teeth or not (admittedly, some guys find the idea of a toothless strumpet to be Prostitute Nirvana, but I assure you that I am not one of them).

Obviously, my preference would be for Mr. Jobs to descend from the heavens on a sun-beam, alight on that high pedestal upon which I place him, and unleash the new hotness that Apple has up their collective sleeves...

Steve Jobs Descends from Heaven

But, when push comes to shove, I'll reluctantly accept a Jobs substitution by Jonathan Ivy, Phil Schiller, or whatever other dentally-challenged whores they've got hanging around at Apple. In this case, it's not the messenger, it's the message that's important. Hell, Apple's new toy could be stuck in a pile of flaming dog shit and dropped on-stage by Dick Cheney riding a three-legged goat while masturbating to donkey porn... it just doesn't matter. If the "device" Apple is announcing is up to their usual awesome standards, nobody would notice.

The rumor mill is saying that the "device" is a tablet computer of some sort. Kind of like a giant iPhone... but with magical properties that have yet to be defined.

I'm putting my bets on no-smudge anti-gravity screen, nuclear battery with a 100-year charge, and a psychic brain-link interface. Pudding rack optional.

Either that, or the iToast is making its debut at last.

   

Tool

Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Dave!I'm a firm believer in using the right tool for the job. Or, if you're Tiger Woods, using a firm tool for everything.

The problem is that entirely too many people are taking a Darwinian slide towards gene pool elimination because they can't understand this simple concept. Not a day goes by that I don't read about some moron using the wrong tool for a job and then acting all surprised when things go terribly wrong. My current favorite being the guy who decided to clear a pile of leaves off his lawn by blasting a shotgun into them at point-blank range. It's a perfectly good idea... unless the leaves in question are piled on top of an industrial strength metal well cover.

Oops.

Certainly a shotgun is a lot more fun than using a rake. And I'm sure there are a lot of great uses for a shotgun that I'm simply not imaginative enough to think of. I'm just saying that, in this particular case, it's the wrong tool for the job. My microwave can boil the fuck out of a cup of water, but that doesn't mean I'm going to start smelting steel in there.

Anyway... as far as examples go, it couldn't be made much clearer than this ad I ran across this morning...

Elizabeth Hurley plastered with TOTALLY FREE DATING! JOIN NOW!

Yes, that's the incomparable Elizabeth Hurley... most beautiful woman on earth and goddess of all things good and decent in the world. Some shitty dating site saw her glorious visage after running a Google Image Search, rightfully determined that her ravishing aesthetic would be perfect for attracting lonely computer nerds, and stole her exquisite form to make a crappy (but very, very sexy) web ad.

And, while this may indeed be a good tool for the job at hand once legalities have been forgotten, it's not entirely realistic.

Elizabeth Hurley has about as much interest in helping computer nerds get a date as George Lucas has in making a decent Star Wars film after Empire Strikes Back. You'd have a better chance of getting struck by lightning while bananas spontaneously shoot out of your ass then miraculously transform into kittens in mid-air. Though, if Elizabeth Hurley's lawyers get ahold of the people who are illegally using her to endorse TOTALLY FREE DATING, the resulting prison experience would probably make the whole lightning-banana-kitten-out-your-ass scenario seem like a picnic with the cast of Sesame Street.

So... not so much the right tool for the job after all, once legalities are factored in.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to try and get some sleep while I've got Elizabeth Hurley and bananas running around in my head.

Damn.

I wonder if that TOTALLY FREE DATING site really works?

   

Cable

Posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Dave!I've had an HD-ready television for years, but haven't gotten a lot of use out of it because I can't get HD content with DirecTV. Apparently, the trees around here block the satellites or something like that. I didn't want to switch away from DirecTV, because I couldn't bear the thought of parting with my beloved TiVo.

But over the last year or so I've been freaking out while watching television because channels are starting to go widescreen HD-only. Then, to make the picture fit on older non-HD equipment, they slice off the sides of the picture. Needless to say, this sucks ass, so ultimately I decided to trade in my satellite dish for HD Cable. To get package deal pricing, I also switched over my phone and internet.

Overall, I have to say I'm impressed with the HD picture. It looks really fantastic, and most of the channels I watch are broadcast in the HD format. The phone line is okay, but kind of spotty over long calls. The internet, however, is total shit. It's blazing fast one minute, then taking EIGHT MINUTES to download a frickin' Google page the next. Contacting the really nice people at tech support has resulted in a house-call next week to investigate the problem. If they fix it, I will be a very happy camper. If they don't... well... this will not go well for anybody.

But the biggest piece of the puzzle was always going to be my new DVR. For the most part, everything I've tried blows when compared to TiVo, but the Motorola Moxi model they gave me isn't that bad. The interface is not as good as TiVo for sure, but it's speedy and gets the job done. The only problem I've found so far is that only a small number of channels are able to be programmed for recording over the internet (NONE of the HD channels are). This is an EPIC FAIL! because being able program my DVR while traveling is kind of important.

Oooh... speaking of important... do you think they have porn channels in HD??

   

Heights

Posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Dave!I do not do well with heights, and being too far above the earth bothers me more than it should. Much more. Usually, this isn't much of an issue for people like me, because you just avoid absurdly tall places. If, for example, your frisbee gets stuck on the roof, you don't grab the nearest ladder and charge on up to get it... you instead find the nearest child and pay him $2 to risk death and dismemberment by climbing up that ladder for you. Children are fearless, especially when it comes to money, so this isn't much of a challenge unless their annoying parents are hanging around.

There is one problem with this strategy, however, and that's if you are somebody who travels often.

Because travelers come to a realization very quickly: Most of the Cool Stuff is Tall.

When you arrive home from Paris, let's say, the first thing that people ask is "Ooh! Did you go up the Eiffel Tower??" From then on out, it doesn't matter what you say, because no excuse you offer is good enough...

  • "No, I most certainly did not! I loath tourist traps such as the Eiffel Tower!"
  • "No, unfortunately, the line was too long and I didn't have time."
  • "No, I heard somebody puked on the observation deck, and I was wearing new shoes."
  • "No, David Copperfield made it disappear the day I was there."
  • "No, terrorists had taken over the Eiffel Tower with a nuclear bomb in an elevator. Fortunately, a man in a red cape managed to fly the elevator into space where it exploded and released three super-powered prisoners that were trapped in an alien dimension who then tried to take over the earth (perhaps you read about it in the papers)... and they then closed the tower for repairs, darn-it anyway!" *

Any attempt to disguise the fact that you're a big baby when it comes to tall places will ultimately be rejected with something like "How could you go to Paris and not go up the Eiffel Tower? Are you stupid?" Which is why I ultimately face my fears of plummeting to my death and go up the damn tower (or building or landmark or cathedral or cliff or helicopter or whatever the hell else places devise to terrorize people).

And so I've been up the Space Needle. The Gateway Arch. The Sears Tower. Hancock Tower. The World Trade Center. The Empire State Building. Splash Mountain. The Grand Canyon. The Waimea Canyon. Bryce Canyon. The Cologne Cathedral. Petronas Towers. Tokyo Tower. Yokohama Landmark Tower. The Buckets of Death. The Stratosphere. The Sagrada Familia. The London Eye. The Tower Bridge. Olympic Tower. CN Tower. The Tower of Terror. The Capilano Suspension Bridge. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Coit Tower. Shanghai Tower. The Peak. Mary's Bridge at Neuschwanstein. St. Peter's Basilica. St Paul's Cathedral. St. Mark's Campanile. The Monument to the Discoveries. The Holmenkollen Ski Jump. The Cliffs of Santorini. AND YES, THE FUCKING EIFFEL TOWER! Just to name a few off the top of my head.

And I could tell you that they were all just bloody fantastic experiences and gave my life new meaning... but thinking back to each experience, what I probably remember most is being scared out of my freakin' mind.

And now there's a new "Tallest Building in the World" that's opened up in Dubai. So when I eventually go there (I'm guessing), I have something to look forward to...

Wheeee. I can't wait.

   

*It helps here if you've seen Superman II... KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!

   

Whine

Posted on Friday, January 8th, 2010

Dave!It never ceases to amaze me how some people get such a bug up their ass when it comes to a glass of wine.

Too many times I've sat at the table with some self-professed wine connoisseur who has felt the need to bore the ever-loving shit out of everybody with their "expertise." They'll drone on and on about fruit notes and acidity. They'll wax poetic about earthy components and bold finishes. They'll be to the verge of orgasm as they describe puckery tannins and oaky bouquet. And, if you haven't lapsed into a coma when they've run out of wine buzzwords to throw at you, they'll delve into an oration on their favorite decanting techniques. It's a never-ending cavalcade of bullshit designed to make them look smart by pointing out how stupid you are because you don't give a flying fuck what "vinosity" means.

Don't get me wrong... I have nothing against people with a passion for wine who wants to discuss its intricacies and idiosyncrasies with other people who are equally inclined. But is it really necessary to force it on the rest of us? The only thing I care about in a wine is how many glasses it's going to take for me to get drunk...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey drink entirely too much wine.

A part of me wants to fight fire with fire.

What I'll do is study the hell out of some common dinner staple... like say... CORN. I'll learn everything there is to know about corn, and the next time some pompous oenophile decides to batter everybody with the depth of their wine knowledge, I'll hit back with some assholery of my own...

Wino: What a magnificent bottle! The muted tannins are fabulous, and those cherry notes exploding in my mouth are just to die for! And is that a hint of vanilla my sensitive palate is detecting? Why, yes... it is vanilla! Vanilla mixed with a touch of currant. Such sophisticated nuances here... and when you marry that to its dense body and throaty florals on the back end... it's just heaven. Heaven in a glass I say! And don't get me started on the texture! The glossy mouthfeel reminds me of a trip to Napa I took ba--
   
Dave: HAVE YOU TASTED THIS CORN?!? UN-FUCKING BELIEVABLE CORN HERE! It's sweeter than the butter they topped it with! There's also a toothy bite that makes my mouth sing... and don't get me started on those starches. This corn has starches so crisp and inviting that I'd swear my mouth has been wrapped in silk! And the color! I haven't seen a yellow this vibrant since that limited edition crop of Heirloom corn I had back in '98! I defy you to find a sexier yellow than this corn! Your piss isn't this beautiful a shade of yellow! Now, do you think this is Quincy corn or perhaps a Japanese import? If I were a betting man... AND I AM... I'd say this is some kind of organic hybrid. Perhaps using a new iteration of hydroponics-based therapy. Because this... this is some amazing shit right here. One thing's for certain... I'm ordering a second helping of this bad boy!

Well, it's either that or I start talking about Dungeons & Dragons.

Either way, I SHALL HAVE MY REVENGE!

Wow. I could really go for an ear of corn and a glass of wine right now.

   

Gumby

Posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Dave!I am a long-time fan of Gumby. I had more than one Gumby doll when I was a kid, getting a new one when the old one had worn out from playing with him too much. I was equally a fan of Gumby's horse, Pokey. And even though I grew up, I never really outgrew the little green guy and his orange sidekick.

I have mini Gumby & Pokey dolls on my desk. I named the network printers at my office "Gumby" and "Pokey." I have a postcard of Gumby & Pokey stuck to my filing cabinet. I bought all the Bob Burden/Art adams Gumby comics. The icon for the hard disk on each of my Macs was traditionally Gumby (who moved from old computer to new computer, right up until I installed Mac OS X).

My love for all things Gumby will not die.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Gumby!

Which is why I was very sad to learn that Gumby's creator, Art Clokey, passed away yesterday.

For teaching me to use my imagination and giving me a lifetime of happy memories... rest in peace, Mr. Clokey.

If you're wanting to explore the freakishly bizarre world of Gumby, then you'll be happy to know that Hulu has a collection of cartoons available to watch for free! Prepare to get your mind blown (assuming you live in the USA, as Hulu doesn't seem to work elsewhere)...

Goodnight, Gumby!

   

Bullet Sunday 165

Posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Dave!Oh joy! I have to get up at 3:30am so I can make my flight! This will probably be a short Bullet Sunday.

• Roxxxy! Holy crap! The latest technology in sex dolls coming out of the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas is pretty mind-boggling. A company called TrueCompanion has developed "Roxxxy" a sex ROBOT who can listen, talk, respond to touch, sleep, and even have an orgasm. As if that wasn't enough, she can be customized to order and be programmed with a variety of personalities... Frigid Farrah is reserved and shy, Wild Wendy is outgoing and adventurous, Mature Martha has a matriarchal kind of caring, S&M Susan for more adventurous types, and Barely 18 who has a na├»ve personality. I hope Roxxxy isn't too smart... it would be pretty depressing if your sex robot didn't like you enough to have sex with you. TrueCompanion is also working on a male sex robot named "Rocky," so the ladies can have their own fun. Or, I suppose, you could just let Rocky and Roxxxy have perfect robot sex with each other. Since their sexual organs are probably made of steel, they're probably the only ones who can satisfy each other anyway. All I know is that I don't want a sexual companion who could theoretically turn into The Terminator and kill me. Though, come to think of it, that's no different than most of the women I've dated, so I guess it's all good...

Roxxxy The Sex Robot... I TOTALLY FAKED THAT ORGASM!!
Original photo by AFP.

• Corn! I finally got around to watching two movies about the food we eat: King Corn and Food, Inc. Both films are pretty intense and scary... showing where the food comes from, how it is made, and how it is controlled. And while neither tells the full story, the information they show does give you a lot to think about (assuming you aren't so traumatized and freaked out of your mind that you can't mentally function). Both are highly recommended, and can be watched instantly if you have a streaming account at Netflix...

King Corn and Food, Inc. Posters

Gee. Sex robots and corn. I don't know what I could possibly add to that. Told you it would be a short Bullet Sunday.

   

Gowallatastrophe

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010

Dave!And so I had an unexpected day-trip to Chicago come up. But it's not really a day-trip when it takes a day to get there and a day to get back. And, when you have to start your day at 3:30am after staying up past midnight, it feels very much like a four-day trip.

So yes, it sucks... and yes, I feel like death... and yes, I know I promised myself I'd stay home the month of January... but we don't always get what we want, do we?

But there was something to look forward to. New stamps to add to my Gowalla Passport!

Or so I thought.

Between the weak GPS in my iPhone and the shitty state of wireless service from AT&T, using Gowalla is more a frustration than a fun scavenger hunt...

No Link to Gowalla?
Yes, I can't get a 3G signal IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING CHICAGO!
And even though I get EDGE with full bars, there's NO data connection! AT&T FAIL!

And it seems like just yesterday that I was bragging that I had only had one bad experience with AT&T's wireless. It was when I was in Las Vegas calling Jenny. And now I'm in Chicago, and it's WORSE. Coverage SUCKS! My iPhone gears down from 3G to EDGE so often that you'd think Chicago didn't even have 3G. And even when you DO manage to get online, you've got a very real chance of not getting any data linkage AT ALL.

So this is what everybody has been bitching about!

Though, I am now thinking that it's not AT&T's fault. Because Jenny lives in Chicago. And the last time I had problems in Las Vegas, Jenny was in Las Vegas. And since I haven't had problems anywhere else on earth, I'm thinking that clearly the problem here... is Jenny!

Though that doesn't explain the myriad of problems I've had with my iPhone GPS lately. Like trying to check in at a Chicago Landmark, The Bean, only to find the GPS has me outside of check-in range...

GPS Map FAIL!

When clearly I am there. What do I have to do, sit on top of it? I mean, I understand that sometimes tall buildings and trees can obstruct GPS signal... BUT I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF OPEN SPACE!! WTF?!? It leaves me standing in Milennium Park wanting to scream NO! I'M HERE YOU MORON!!

Cloud Gate (The Bean)

Oh well. Tomorrow after work Jenny and I are going to go see Avatar in 3D IMAX over at Navy Pier. It's apparently so good that people are becoming depressed when they wake up the next day and find out that the world is not a beautiful as the fictional world of "Pandora" in the movie...

Alien on Pandora!

Heaven only knows I need more depression in my life!

   

Avatar

Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Dave!Ummm... yeah. If you live within a hundred miles of an IMAX theater showing Avatar in 3-D... you should go. And if you don't live within a hundred miles radius of an IMAX theater showing Avatar in 3-D... you should still go. It's just that mind-blowing an experience.

Sure the story is so predictable that you'll feel you've suddenly become psychic. And yes, the plot is so black & white that you could cut yourself with the sharp division between good & evil. And true, it's got some stuff going on that seems so forced that you'll swear a giant shoehorn is going to appear on-screen any minute.

But...

It's also the singular most immersive spectacle you're likely to see for a while.

Avatar Poster

After seeing the miraculous CGI used to create an entire world, you will believe that anything is possible. Anything...

Avatar Poster

You keep telling yourself that it's not real... that it's just a computer-generated image... but then you forget. And pretty soon you just give in to the fact that 10-foot tall blue aliens actually exist.

And that alone would be amazing.

But the 3-D pushes it to the next level. There were several times throughout the movie that my fear of heights was literally kicking in. This isn't some cheesy attempt to use 3-D for quirky effects... it's 3-D used with such subtlety and mastery that it puts you in the film. Which is why you really need to make an effort to see it in IMAX 3-D before it's gone.

Well, until the sequel comes along.

Bravo, James Cameron. This time you've created a movie that actually deserves to make billions of dollars.

   

Pat

Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Dave!So televangelist and so-called "Man of God" Pat Robertson has gone and said something bat-shit insane.

Again.

Apparently he feels that the Haitian people made a pact with the devil in order to end French colonization. He doesn't mention anything about who the Haitians made a pact with to end the United States occupation in 1934, but I'm assuming it's somebody pretty high up on the Evil Scale. Perhaps Bert from Sesame Street, myself, or Dick Cheney...

Are you evil?

Never mind that none of us existed back in 1934, when you're talking about Pat Robertson, words like "logic" and "sanity" go right out the window. This is nothing new. I put Pat at the top of the Insanity Scale back in 2006...

Are you insane?

Because here's the thing... when it comes to crazy shit, Pat Robertson is top of the heap. It doesn't get more crazy than this. He's so nuts that Wikipedia has to keep a separate page devoted to all the insanity.

Don't get me wrong, the fruitcake has the right to say whatever fucked up shit he wants to say (this being America and all), but the problem I have is that people buy into the stuff he puts out there. People actually give their hard-earned money to Pat Robertson so he can keep his crazy on the air. I understand that there are individuals out there who are just looking for a way to keep faith in their lives, and think that Pat Robertson fills this need... but how much ridiculous bullshit does it take before you go shopping for a new religious leader? Anyone? Anyone?

It's not just that Pat Robertson is a stupid, hypocritical, uncaring, opportunistic, lying piece of shit, it's that he's just plain evil. It doesn't matter if he actually believes that God is such an asshole that He would slaughter innocent children and animals who get in the way of His divine vengeance... it's that Pat is so lacking in compassion that he would actually SAY that to a devastated people. Couldn't he just say "I'm so sorry to hear about the tragedy in Haiti. It's sometimes difficult to see God's plan for us when things like this happen, but we have to trust in His wisdom. I pray that the people of Haiti let the Lord into their hearts so that He can help get them through this. God bless you all."SEE?!? That's a COMPASSIONATE and TACTFUL way to tell people that you think God hates them and it's their fault that God had to smite their asses. But Pat Robertson doesn't have a compassionate or tactful bone in his body because he's just fucking evil. Tragedy strikes, and there's Pat to pass judgement (which is supposed to be God's territory, but maybe Pat Robertson has never read The Bible to know this). Just like Nancy Grace and Ann Coulter, "Reverend" Pat is a whore who just loves to turn other people's tragedies into a money-making opportunity. It's the very definition of evil...

Compasionless

If there is any justice, Pat Robertson's god will judge him using the same compassion and logic that Pat Robertson uses to judge everybody else.

Which basically means he's fucked.

And it couldn't happen to a nicer person.

   
More crazy Pat Robertson crap on Blogography...
August 23, 2005. I try to figure out why Pat Robertson is such a fucking moron.
January 6, 2006. I tell Pat Robertson to shut the fuck up.
June 25, 2007. I surmise that it's actually Pat Robertson who is a tool of the devil.

   
And now, on a more serious note...
I've written many times about my love, admiration, and respect for Doctors Without Borders and the incredible work they do. Often going where angels fear to tread, DWB is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. They are in Haiti right now, doing everything they can to tend to the victims of the earthquake. If you can help them to help others, please visit their website and make a donation...

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

   

Idyllic

Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Dave!I am so tired that I can barely function. I have a to-do list a mile long. I have a pile of work that's so deep I won't see daylight for quite a while. I have 67 unread emails in my inbox. I have 313 unread items in my feed reader. I have nightmarish thoughts that plague me morning and night. I have so many things going wrong right now that a continuous state of mild despair is how I define "normal."

And yet I look at the tragedy unfolding in Haiti and realize that I have a pretty amazing life... idyllic even... when compared to the suffering these people are having to endure.

Perspective. It can so easily illustrate what's really important in life.

I just wish that misfortune and tragedy weren't necessary for us to realize it.

   
I've written many times about my love, admiration, and respect for Doctors Without Borders and the incredible work they do. Often going where angels fear to tread, DWB is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. They are in Haiti right now, doing everything they can to tend to the victims of the earthquake. If you can help them to help others, please visit their website and make a donation...

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

   

Mars

Posted on Friday, January 15th, 2010

Dave!Finally.

At long last.

The news I've been waiting over 25 years to hear has just been released by Disney...

BURBANK, Calif. (January 15, 2010) - Principal photography is underway in London for Walt Disney Pictures' "JOHN CARTER OF MARS." Academy Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Barsoom Series," the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter, who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants.

After I had watched Star Wars in 1977, my 11-year-old mind was ensnared by science fiction and I was desperate for more. I had read a few teen sci-fi books here and there, but the genre never really caught hold. It wasn't until Star Wars that an obsession was born. I quickly became bored with the "kids" version of science fiction and decided to see what awaited me in the adult section of the library. That's when I found A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs...

John Carter of Mars

I devoured all of the Burroughs "Barsoom" books, and used it as a spring-board to the worlds of Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, Herbert, and other science fiction giants.

But it was the John Carter of Mars books that remained my favorite (so much so that I even "became" Edgar Rice Burroughs when joining in on Kapgar's "The Lost Blogs" contest).

Sure they are relatively flimsy stories filled with outrageous coincidences and tacky dialogue, but the bizarre creatures and fantastic places that are a hallmark of the stories more than compensated. It was those things that had me dying to see John Carter movies on the big screen.

And, after numerous false starts, that day has finally come.

Here's hoping Andrew Stanton doesn't fuck up a childhood dream...

   

Preface

Posted on Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Dave!I love how ABC Television is promoting their new show The Deep End by saying "FROM THE NETWORK THAT BROUGHT YOU GREYS ANATOMY"... like that's some kind of ringing endorsement. ABC is also the network that brought us such steaming turds as Viva Laughlin and Cop Rock, as well as cancelling such brilliant shows as Pushing Daisies and Cupid (the Jeremy Piven Original... not the shitty remake). Hardly a track record that inspires confidence.

But whatever.

I should adopt this ridiculous qualification system for myself.

From now on, whenever I write a new blog post, I think I'll preface it with "FROM THE BLOGGER WHO BROUGHT YOU PENIS SALAD"...

Penis Salad

Because about the only thing more disturbing than this blog would be finding a severed penis in your salad.

Or maybe finding Lindsay Lohan's abused crotch in your chocolate pudding...

Lohan Coochie

Though right now I'd have to say NOTHING is worse than finding David Caruso on your television...

Caruso TV

Except perhaps finding your airplane in the Hudson River...

Plane in the Hudson River

Can you believe that happened a year ago? Seems like it was only yesterday.

Time sure flies when the world is in a tail-spin.

   

Bullet Sunday 166

Posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Dave!It's just another Bullet Sunday (whoa o whoaoooo). Wish it was Saturday (whoa o whoaoooo). 'Cause that's my fun day (whoa o whoaoooo). My I-don't-have-to-run day (whoa o whoaoooo). It's just another Bullet Sunday...

   
• One-Up. The latest round of one-upmanship going on is truly stellar. AT&T and Verizon are battling it out over who has the best 3G service when Sprint jumps into the fray with commercials saying "We got 4G, bitches!!" Never mind that their 4G coverage map is anemic at best, it still makes AT&T and Verizon's argument look petty and antiquated. And then there's the mobile phone battle... Nokia sues Apple for patent infringement, and so now Apple fires back with a lawsuit of its own saying "we want Nokia phone imports BANNED, bitch!" I guess where millions and millions of dollars are involved, this kind of thing is inevitable, but it all seems so stupid. Everybody shut the fuck up, put the legal fees into making your products and services better, and may the best mobile phone and network win.

   
• Golden Globes. I really, really, don't care about the Golden Globes. Though hearing that the brilliant Christoph Waltz rightly won Best Supporting actor makes me want to watch Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds all over again.

   
• Team Conan. I'm sure Jay Leno is a nice guy and I'm sure some people think he's very funny. I don't think he's funny at all, which is why I am firmly on Team Conan in the whole late-night talk show battle that's raging. But, putting funny aside, I'd still be on Team Conan after watching this clip over at Funny or Die...

So, basically, Jay let Conan hang on for five years with the promise of getting the show... then took it back when his new show tanked. One could argue that this has nothing to do with Jay, and it's all the network's fault, but the simple fact is that Conan would not be getting the boot if Jay turned down the network's offer to take the show back like he pretty much premised he would in this clip. Lame.

   
• Blogography. Today I got an email from somebody telling me that they have a photography blog they've named "Blogography" and I should hand over my domain because they are using it for business purposes. This is not the first time. A while back I got an email from somebody who was "concerned" that my blog was confusing to people because they were using "Blogography" for their blog, and I should sell my domain to them. For $50. To which I politely respond "no." As I've blogged before, I Googled "Blogography" before I bought the domain, and the word did not exist. And even though I scrapped the first year of my blog when I rebooted it in 2003, I've been using "blogography.com" continuously since I purchased it in March of 2002. With that in mind, I remain mystified as to how anybody thinks they deserve my domain more than I do.

   
• Haiti Help. I've written many times about my love, admiration, and respect for Doctors Without Borders and the incredible work they do. Often going where angels fear to tread, DWB is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. They are in Haiti right now, doing everything they can to tend to the victims of the earthquake. If you can help them to help others, please visit their website and make a donation...

Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti

   
And now I should probably get some work done. Heaven only knows there's enough of it laying around.

   

Townies

Posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010

Dave!There are people who get Martin Luther King Jr. Day off work. I am not one of those people. But I did go in an hour late to do my part. I also stopped by the mini-mart so I could pick up a bag of cheese-popcorn and a bottle of Coke.

As I was heading up to the cash register to pay for my breakfast, some guy came in and announced "HAPPY BROWN BROTHER DAY!" To which somebody else said "Maybe one day we'll get a white guy day." After nearly tripping on my own feet in disbelief as I approached the counter, I was compelled to say "EVERY DAY IS WHITE GUY DAY! Especially in this redneck town."

I guess I should stop being surprised when I hear stuff like this, but it never fails.

Probably because I'm too hopeful.

Crayons

Though I wasn't jumped in the parking lot afterwards, and I didn't get the crap beat out of me for being a smart-ass, so I guess that's something.

   
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness... only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate... only love can do that."

— Martin Luther King Jr.
   

   

Obliterate

Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Dave!Am I the only one who keeps an Anarchy List?

You know... a list of people you will personally kill until they are dead if you're ever diagnosed with six months to live... or find out that the world will explode in four weeks... or aliens invade... or some other world-devastating event? A special list that you will act upon ONLY if going to jail or getting killed won't make much of a difference? A list filled with people, companies, or even places that deserve to be obliterated for the betterment of all society? A list so nasty that you'd be willing to give up your pacifist beliefs for the sweet, sweet taste of revenge?

Yeah, I thought so.

Tonight I added a telephone survey company to my Anarchy List.

Since they're technically not "selling you something," they're not obligated to comply with the National Do Not Call Registry, and can call you whenever they want. I hate them for that, and so they must die. If I'm ever given six months to live, their entire company headquarters will be destroyed and their call center will be wiped off the face of the earth... probably by way of a stolen FIM-92 Stinger missile... or perhaps an incendiary charge strapped to a fuel truck I've borrowed. In any event, VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE!

Ahem.

If only it were this easy...

TeleShoot!

TeleShoot!

TeleShoot!

TeleShoot!

Seriously... who in the hell wants to be bothered at home for an unsolicited survey by some politician or market research company or some other stupid crap? Maybe there are people so bored that they actually live for this bullshit, but I am not one of them. Why isn't there a DO NOT CALL WITH BULLSHIT OR YOU WILL FUCKING DIE registry? I mean, it's as much for their safety as it is for my sanity.

Hmmm...

There really should be a DO NOT CALL WITH BULLSHIT OR YOU WILL FUCKING DIE registry.

Because I care. I really do.

   

Blaaaaahg

Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Dave!Having a blog can sometimes be a very, very strange thing.

Mostly because of the people who end up reading it. Well, not you, obviously, but you know... those people.

You know, the people who happen across a blog, read ONE entry, then feel that they know absolutely everything about you and have all the information they need to judge you. The people who feel that their opinion is the only one that matters, and if your opinion is contrary to theirs, then you're wrong and evil and stupid and don't deserve to live. Yes, I'm talking about those people.

Usually, I just delete the comments and emails from those people because their abuse just isn't worth it. They've already condemned you, and nothing you say or do will ever change their mind.

Oh, sure, every once in a while I get a comment that is so outrageous that I simply can't stop myself from publishing it... like the crazy-ass pageant mom who trashed me in a comment over something I never said or even hinted at. But that's rare. Most of the time I just don't bother.

Like when I wrote an entry in support of the National Equality March on Washington and got a comment telling me that I am a "condescending fuck" and "demeaning to gays" (or something like that)... for supporting gay marriage. Apparently, only gays can offer words of support and encouragement to gays or else they're just being snobby patronizing elitists. DELETE!

Or when I wrote how much I enjoyed The Holy Land Experience theme park and called it "inspirational, even if you're not a Christian"... only to get a comment telling me that "people like you" (heh) "only go there to mock Christians and ruin the park for everybody with your Godless perversions" (or something like that). Apparently, only Christians are allowed to say nice things about Christian things or else they're just being snobby patronizing elitists. DELETE!

Or when I wrote about my worries over having intestinal distress from my doctor-mandated restrictive diet and got a comment telling me that "real people suffer from intestinal problems and their lives are made worse by ignorant assholes like you who only want to make fun of them" (or someth... no, that was exactly what they said). Apparently, only people with severe intestinal disorders can joke about having diarrhea or else they're just being snobby patronizing elitists. DELETE!

Honestly. You can't make this stuff up.

Tonight while I was watching Food Network's Throwdown with Bobby Flay, the challenge was making Belgian Waffles. This reminded me of a comment I got when I wrote about my favorite thing about visiting Paris...

Waffles!

This resulted in a bizarre, profanity-laden comment from some American guy who was tired of "ugly Americans" (such as myself) insulting foreign cultures and making us all look bad.

Because I like waffles.

Well, damn. Apparently I am just a snobby patronizing elitist no matter what I do.

DELETE!

That comment still hurts, even after all these years.

Which is why I ended up healing my pain by buying a new Belgian Waffle baker from Amazon tonight. Just to be sure I didn't suffer a relapse, I also ordered some Stonewall Kitchen Waffle Mix.

Don't judge me.

Sometimesa little retail therapy is all we snobby patronizing elitists have to keep us warm at night.

   

Verizonarchy

Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Dave!Who knew I'd be adding one more thing to my Anarchy List after just one day!

Earlier this week, Verizon's internet email server suddenly stopped allowing me to send emails. I called "tech support" and was told my password was probably wrong. I doubted it, since the same password has been stored on my computer and working for the past five years, but I played along. Eventually it started working again, but I surmised it was probably a temporary problem with Verizon's SMTP server rather than anything on my end.

But whatever.

Then this morning, after sending a dozen emails just fine, Verizon stopped accepting my emails once again. First I tried using the "Automated Customer Support Agent" because the thought of calling Verizon Support made me want to slam my head in a door. He's kind of stupid-robot-plastic-looking-creepy... especially when he blinks... but I didn't want to judge "his" intelligence by appearances...

Artificial Intelligence... or Artificial Stupidity?
  

Obviously getting nowhere, I called up "tech support." I wish I would have recorded the conversation. Not just because it was incredibly stupid... but because I'm screaming like a two-year-old at the end. A much abbreviated approximation of the call went something like this...

I see that you called two days ago...
   
Yes.
   
You reset your password?
   
Yes. I had to because your SMTP server stopped accepting my emails. They said I probably has a bad password even though it is saved on my computer and has worked for the past five years.
   
If we have confirmed that the password is working, then it is a Mac problem.
   
I sincerely doubt that, but hey... whatever. What do you want me to do?
   
I'm trying to tell you that it is a Mac problem.
   
Okay.
   
If you can login to Verizon, then it is not a Verizon problem.
   
Then you are obviously insane. All logging on to the Verizon website does is verify that my password is working. It does nothing to verify that your SMTP server is working properly.
   
They are the same server.
   
A web server doesn't run SMTP services. They are two different things.
   
I'm telling you they are the same server.
   
You're telling me that a web service sending HTML pages is the exact same thing as an SMTP service relaying emails? Even though they use different protocols over different ports?
   
That is what I am telling you.
   
Then you obviously don't know what you are talking about. Can I speak to somebody that does?
   
They will have the same information I am giving you.
   
You are driving me crazy here. My account has worked fine for FIVE YEARS. I entered a new password and things worked again for a day and a half. Now you're telling me this is MY problem? Well I guess I have to cancel ANOTHER Verizon account. Thanks for nothing.

As you can see, I got better support from the "Automated Virtual Assistant."

Verizon "tech support" is apparently staffed with people who have no initiative to look past the script on their screen or investigate anything that has to do with THEM having the problem.

And here's the deal... twenty minutes later, AFTER CHANGING NOTHING, my emails were being mysteriously accepted again. So yes, this is MY fault. It is a MACINTOSH problem. It was my MACINTOSH that suddenly decided to fake an SMTP error from Verizon out of the blue. No way that Verizon's flakey SMTP server could be having problems... BECAUSE THE WEB SERVER IS WORKING. And, as you know, THE WEB SERVER AND THE SMTP SERVER ARE THE EXACT SAME THING. Which is surprising, because EVERY COMPUTER I'VE EVER SEEN has them as two separate services. Unless you consider webmail, but even then the email is undoubtedly passed off to another service to actually be sent. Yes, it is possible to run both servers on the same computer, BUT THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!

It's like saying your busted-ass toaster isn't broken because your microwave is working and they're both in the same kitchen.

Maybe I should send Verizon "tech support" a link to WikiAnswers. Or maybe EVERYBODY ELSE IS WRONG TOO! Maybe Verizon has some super-service that serves web, email, and video porn from the same app! ZOMG! THEY'RE JUST THAT SMERT!! That way when ONE fails, EVERYTHING FAILS! Genius!

Now, I realize the general population is stupid and you have to assume that they've fucked up somewhere because 99% of the time it's probably true. Or they're running Windows. But give me a break. I'm not some random idiot who doesn't know how to turn on a computer, so treating my like I'm the moron who doesn't know the difference between a website and email is only going to piss me off.

I hate Verizon. I hate them with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Nothing is ever their problem. EVER. It's always YOUR fault or your MAC'S fault. YOU'VE changed something. YOU'VE done something wrong. Which is why it's no wonder I finally cancelled Verizon DSL at home. Hey, my cable internet may slow to a craw for a few minutes at random intervals, but at least I am not having to deal with Verizon "tech support" any more.

Oh well.

In other news, I am totally hiring that "Verizon Automated Virtual Assistant" to write for my blog. That guy is GENIUS!

   

Imitator

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Dave!Imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery.

But when it's a poor imitation, it's just insulting.

I created Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey "DaveToons" back in 2002 for my Hard Rock Cafe fan site "DaveCafe" (click here for the whole story). Since that time, they've appeared on my blog regularly, and have been printed on everything from shirts and hats to playing cards and bumper stickers. Here at my home in the Wenatchee Valley, they've been all around for years because I'm often giving T-Shirts away to my friends or donating them to events and such.

So I imagine it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to rip-off my characters to sell their crap. A year or so ago, somebody told me that a coffee stand had changed "Bad Monkey" to "Naughty Monkey" and made him as the mascot for their business...

Naughty Monkey Coffee Rip-Off
Poor imitation on the left, original on the right
He's kind of been butchered here... the relocation of his nose is particularly disturbing

   
They even took the color of the shirt he was printed on!

Bad Monkey Shirt Design

The sad thing is that if the owners of the coffee stand had bothered to follow the copyright link on the shirt to my blog and emailed me, I might have given them permission to use my character and also do their artwork for them if they were nice! It's a small valley... we may even know the same people. Maybe we could have worked out a deal where they'd sell my shirts and I'd split the profits with them! I usually don't license out my art for commercial purposes... but, come on, a struggling independent local coffee company wanting to name their business after something you created? How cool is that?!?

But they didn't, and (assumably) ripped me off instead (I don't buy this as a coincidence). Then, surprise! IT'S KARMA, BITCH!

BUSINESS CLOSED, BITCH!

The reason I don't license my characters or give permission to use them for commercial purposes is simple. I don't make any money off my creations, so why should anybody else? I guess that doesn't stop people from taking them anyway. And, in this case, I guess justice was served.

At least until somebody else buys the business and re-opens it.

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Encouragement

Posted on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Dave!There's only so many times you can see acts of random aggression, belittlement, and torment before you start thinking that the extinction of the human race wouldn't be such a bad thing.

I guess it's only natural, because it's always easier to destroy something than to build something.

But is it really so damn difficult to offer up words of encouragement every once in a while?

In other news... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Brad and Angelina are splitting up!

If they can't make it in this world, what chance does anybody else have?

No chance, that's what.

UPDATE: Now rumor has it that Brad and Angelina are NOT breaking up! Yay! I can sleep tonight. And dream of a better tomorrow. A tomorrow where Brad and Angelina are happy together forever!

   

Bullet Sunday 167

Posted on Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Dave!I'm hungry and it's Bullet Sunday so I thought I'd bullet my current food obsessions!

PINK LADY APPLES!
Seriously, these things are like candy. Like Sweet-Tarts candy. Apparently they're some kind of unholy hybrid union between Golden Delicious and Lady Williams varieties that are crunchy, sour, and sweet all at the same time. They're expensive, but so totally worth it. Just. Can't. Get. Enough.

Pink Lady Apple

FROSTED FLAKES!
I am kind of going through a Frosted Flakes Renaissance. I eat these things for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, snacks, and also use them as a delicious way to exfoliate my skin. Just like Tony the Tiger says... they're grrreat!

Frosted Flakes

CHEESE TOASTWICHES!
Schwan's makes a lot of delicious frozen foods, but their Cheese Toastwiches are to die for. I've never been addicted to crack cocaine, but I'd imagine it's much like this. I frickin' DREAM about eating Cheese Toastwiches! Crispy crunchy on the outside... gooey cheesy on the inside. It's everything good in life combined into a toastable snack! Unfortunately, they are horribly unhealthy with 11g of fat, 5g of saturated fat, 20mg of cholesterol, and 490mg of sodium. Yikes. The good news is that they taste so good you won't mind that they're killing you! Helpful cooking hint: cook one cycle with the toaster set on medium-high, then WAIT 5 to 10 minutes to completely thaw, then toast another cycle (toaster setting may vary).

Cheese Toastwiches

CRAISINS!
I've never been much of a cranberry fan. Except for cranberry jelly at Thanksgiving. And cranberry juice mixed with vodka. And maybe cranberry jellybeans. But anyway... I first ate Craisins at the Hard Rock Cafe because they put them on their salads. I've been in love with them ever since. I eat them on salads. On Frosted Flakes. In cookies. Or right out of the bag. Bittersweet deliciousness.

Craisins

PRETZEL THINS!
I kept getting these on airplanes, but could never find them in the "real world." Eventually I noticed that Pepperidge Farms was making them. This means they are really expensive, but they are also delicious. I go through a couple of boxes a week, which would make me feel bad... except they're fat-free, and that's pretty good isn't it? In any event, they're a nice change from "regular" pretzels.

Pretzel Thins

   
And now I'm REALLY hungry, so I think I'll go rustle up something for dinner.

   

Mondays

Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2010

Dave!

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey swearing

   
   

   

Rover

Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Dave!I don't know when it happened, but I'm betting it was after I watched Pixar's WALL-E.

I've started to anamorphize inanimate objects.

I find myself attaching emotions and feelings to things like my iPhone and my television remote control. I dropped my iPhone a while back and have been worried that it hates me for it ever since. I spilled Orange Crush on my television remote and felt it resenting me for days. This is new for electronics, but I've done it for years with living things... which is why I can't bring myself to kill a wayward spider in my home, and instead take him outside...

Dave Spider Shoe

I just don't need that on my conscience.

Unfortunate little spider.

Anyway... today I read that the Mars Rover, "Spirit," has been stuck in sand on the red planet for the past 10 months, and now scientists have given up on ever getting him out. All they can do is try to get him to turn towards the sun so his solar panels can collect enough energy to keep him from freezing in the Martian winter. The hope is that even though he can't move, he can still be useful for scientific research if they can keep him alive.

As you can imagine, I'm pretty upset at the thought of poor little Spirit stuck and freezing up on Mars...

WALL-E Spirit Rover

As if I didn't have enough things to worry about.

I suppose asking NASA to stage a multi-billion-dollar rescue mission is out of the question?

   

iPad

Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Dave!I fully admit to being a total Apple Whore. I love Apple. I (heart) Macintosh. I worship Steve Jobs. If Jonathan Ive were to ask me to have his baby, I'd look into the necessary surgery. My MacBook Pro is more important to me than tacos. If I had to choose between losing a testicle or losing my iPhone, I'd give it some serious thought... and then say goodbye to one of my testicles. I don't just drink the Apple Kool-Aid, I have a constant supply being fed intravenously. I stop short of masturbating during a Steve Jobs keynote, but just watching him on-stage as he changes the world is enough for me to want to touch myself inappropriately.

This is not news. I've proclaimed my slutty predisposition so many times in this blog that if you were to Google Image Search "Apple Whore" I come up at #5. Literally...

Dave really IS an Apple Whore!

Well, okay, it's me as a Lil' Dave cartoon, but you get the picture.

And yet... my being an Apple Whore is not a totally unhealthy relationship because there are things I don't like about Apple and their products, and have never been afraid to say so (how else will they learn?). In this respect I have no problem being proud of my whore status.

Which brings us to Apple's latest miracle on earth... the iPad...

Apple iPad

Glorious, isn't it?

Well, kind of.

If your need of a "computer" extends to casual email and web surfing, renting an occasional video, looking at an occasional photo album, and perhaps playing a few games from time to time... well, it's great. And there's even bonus stuff like a calendar, address book, e-reader, and various cool apps you can add. This puts your "digital life" in the palm of your hand in a way that most people would absolutely love.

Myself included.

Except this device isn't really made for me... both because of what I need out of a "computer" and what Apple left out. Sure I want an iPad (I'm an Apple Whore, after all), but I certainly don't need an iPad. In all honesty, it's just an unnecessary extra piece of equipment that my MacBook Pro and iPhone already have covered (and covered much better).

That being said... this is just fantastic for its target audience.

But not flawless by any means.

I'm not going to nitpick the thing apart here with my personal wish-list for a tablet machine. That would be kind of pointless given that I need an actual "computer" and this is more of a "device with some computer functionality." I'm not who Apple built the iPad for, so complaining that it doesn't have a 500 gig hard drive and run Photoshop is just plain stupid. What I will do is list the two things that most bother me... keeping the intended user in mind.

• No iChat Camera.
This is simply unfathomable. Apple will stuff a camera in a freakin' iPod NANO... but doesn't put a camera on the iPad for video conferencing ability? And I don't want to hear about how this would adversely affect AT&T's already overburdened network... they could have easily limited it to just WiFi connections. It's insanity. I keep thinking how cool it would be to get an iPad for my grandmother and video-chat with her when I'm traveling. This device could make it so easy for her. Such a huge missed opportunity, and impossible for me to understand...

iPad Video Conference Concept

• Shitty E-Reading File Format
Newspapers and magazines are dying because they can't survive in a digital world where people expect everything to be free. Apple had a golden opportunity to address this with their iTunes book store for iPad, but then dropped the ball because they went with the shitty "ePub" file format. Sure it's great if all you want to do is shove book text to the reader like a Kindel. But forget about having any decent formatting tools. This pretty much kills any magazine, comic, or book which requires any kind of layout for proper visual presentation. It's most certainly a decision based squarely on helping book publishers create content with a format they already know, but I can only hope that Apple eventually adds an "iMagazine" reader and backs it with PDF-like control over elements for everybody else. I was hoping... praying... that Apple would come up with something that would allow indie publishers the same kind of ability for magazine sales that indie musicians have with iTunes for music sales. Alas... not. Not yet anyway. Sure there are third party apps that can do something similar, but they don't have the power and ease of iTunes distribution behind them. Heck, I'd be happy if Apple just allowed some kind of PDF conversion to run through the iTunes Store for document sales, that would be fine. But we get nothing? Sad.

If just those two things were addressed, I'd feel a lot better about pronouncing iPad a triumph. Yes it would be nice to have some other stuff... an external memory slot... removable battery... 100% DRM-free media... a GPS... multi-tasking OS... color e-ink non-glare screen... free network access for purchases... and on and on... but those can all be explained away logically for one reason or another (whether I agree with the reasoning or not). I just don't see how leaving out an iChat camera and lacking a decent publication format can be put in that same boat. I honestly feel they belong there, or else the iPad is incomplete.

In the final analysis, I just don't know. The "iMagazine" stuff could be easily added... but a camera (if it ever comes) is a second generation hardware feature that early-adopters will miss.

Still, if you're just looking for a way to handle email, surf the web, and play with apps, I admit the iPad is an attractive alternative to a netbook. The fact that Apple put so much into polish and ease of use is just icing on the cake.

But that's always the case for Apple, and why I continue to be an Apple Whore.

   

Padding

Posted on Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Dave!Reading reactions to Apple's iPad announcement yesterday has been the best entertainment I've had in ages... and I've seen Avatar in IMAX 3-D.

The thing that as become crystal clear to me as I wade through the massive amount of hatred and disappointment is this: People. Just. Don't. Get. It. Most of the computer trade and the geek culture is at a boiling point because the iPad isn't a "real computer" and they can't play Flash content, multitask apps, make a phone call, or any number of other things. But that's like complaining that your new DVD player can't make toast... it's simply not designed for that. The iPad is a digital lifestyle device that is internet-enabled. And, even though it can do many of the things people use computers for, it was never meant to be a computer.

And that's perfectly okay. As I said yesterday, the iPad isn't for me either. I've got my MacBook Pro and my iPhone which are made specifically to meet my needs.

As I also said yesterday, the things I have a problem with have to do with what the iPad IS not what it ISN'T. It IS supposed to be a communication and connectivity device. Therefore it SHOULD have an iChat front-facing camera to compete in this arena. It IS supposed to be an e-book/media reader. Therefore it SHOULD have better layout abilities in its iBook file format to accommodate magazines, comics, picture books and the like.

And maybe that's coming in iPad 2.0, I don't know. But they're glaring omissions in an otherwise beautiful device... for its intended audience. And that would be people who just want a simple, functional, easy-to-use device for handling their media and doing occasional web surfing and email. The apps, games, and extras are just a bonus to make it an even more useful a tool for its intended audience.

And beyond.

And that could potentially be many, many individuals once that "target audience" is understood to be people who aren't looking for a computer in tablet form, but something else.

I can think of lots of people who don't really want or need a computer, but would love to have a compact device just to store their photos and share them with people. And iPad makes one heck of an amazing photo album, easily able to organize thousands of photos and display them beautifully with ease...

iPad as a Photo Album

I can think of lots of people who don't really want or need a computer, but would love to be able to rent an occasional movie for an airplane trip. And iPad makes one heck of a media player... with a video rental store built right in! It's a better-looking movie viewer than any portable DVD player I've seen (and far less hassle for renting DVDs), that's for sure...

iPad as a Media Player

I can think of lots of people who don't really want or need a computer, but would love to have an easy way to look up things on the internet from time to time. And iPad makes one heck of a web browser, bringing intuitive access to the internet in a way that is natural and understandable...

iPad as a Web Browser

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The fact that iPad can do so much more above and beyond these things... all so elegantly, intuitively, and easily... is a very big deal. It's a multifunctional device which can be expanded to do amazing things with the thousands of apps that are going to run on it. So dismissing iPad as nothing more than a "giant iPod Touch" is hardly a negative. iPod Touch is too small to be truly practical for many of these things anyway. Even in cases where the portability is more desired than practicality, there are still some instances where the larger screen of the iPad would be sweet indeed... such as running the amazing Ask Dave! app SUPER-SIZED...

iPad as an Ask Dave! app

The only question is whether or not all those people for which this device would be perfect will be willing to buy one. That's a very good question, and I just don't know. Something tells me a decent number of them will.

And once the apps start coming down the pipe which expand the iPad into areas people aren't expecting? I'm guessing it's going to be perfect for a lot more people than what most everybody who is predicting failure might think.

Apple is undoubtedly counting on it.

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Sleepymonkey

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2010

Dave!Be vewy vewy quiet...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey sleeping on a couch.

   
   

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Sidewalk

Posted on Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Dave!So there I was, minding my own business as I was walking to the mini-mart, when the woman walking ahead of me unknowingly dropped her vagina on the sidewalk.

This was surprising for a number of reasons... foremost of which was her wearing a mini-skirt in the middle of winter. Granted, the weather has been getting warmer lately, but it's still cold enough that there's snow on the ground. This made the whole mini-skirt thing pretty bizarre. Though, in the woman's defense, she was wearing boots and a jacket.

Neither of which were providing warmth to her crotch, which is why her vagina apparently froze and fell off...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey finds a vagina on the sidewalk.

I was going to run up and tell her what happened, but I was too embarrassed.

Instead I carefully nudged it to the edge of the sidewalk with my foot so nobody would step in it. I figured eventually she's realize that something important had gone missing, then she'd retrace her steps to find her vagina there waiting for her.

A little colder, but no worse for wear.

   

I MEAN, SERIOUSLY! A MINI-SKIRT IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER?!?

Though I suppose it could have been her work uniform. Maybe she's required to wear a mini-skirt as part of the dress code.

I wonder what kind of profession requires a mini-skirt dress code?

   

Bullet Sunday 168

Posted on Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Dave!It's Bullet Sunday! And I'm not feeling very well. Waah!

   
• Betty! It is no secret that I love Betty White. She's a monster talent, and I've said many times that Betty White should guest-star on every television show because everything is better with Betty. I will literally watch anything that has Betty White in it, even crappy soap operas. I am a huge, huge, fan...

Betty & Dave

Given all that, I couldn't be happier that she won a well-deserved lifetime achievement award at the SAG Awards. As usual, she was 100% classy and funny as hell...

Not only should Betty White be in every television show, she should also win all the awards. Knowing that she has no plans to stop working at 88 years old is the cherry on the top of my day. Now if only she'd be cast as a vampire on the next Twilight movie, I may actually end up watching it.

   
• Flash! For those viewing my site on their iPhone, they'll be dismayed that the above video won't work because it uses Adobe Flash to play the movie. Yes, it's a bummer... but, like most every other major website on the planet, Funny or Die is working on an iPhone app to display their media content. So, while this is a temporary stumbling block, eventually there will be a solution for iPhone/iPod/iPad users that doesn't rely on the resource-sucking pile of buggy crap that's Flash. I can live with that. Next up, Hulu.

   
• Who?!? Before the Grammys, I had never heard of "Lady Antebellum" before. This isn't too surprising considering that I can't stand country music, but it is still disturbing to me, because it means I am completely out of touch with popular music...

Lady Antebellum Photo

Yes, I'm the guy watching the Grammys wishing that Taylor Swift would shut up so I can hear Stevie Nicks sing. It has nothing to do with Taylor Swift... I don't even know who she is other than she hosted SNL once. Stevie, on the other hand, is a long-time favorite whom I've followed both in Fleetwood Mac and her solo career. Meh. This is just great. I suppose it's only a matter of time before I'm yelling at kids to stay off my lawn and bitching about the price of a candy bar. When did this happen?

   
• Obama? I've made no secret of my growing disappointment with President Obama. As a politician, I knew he would end up being full of shit... but I had no idea he'd be so blatant about it. The whole lack of transparency and classified status his administration put on the ACTA bullshit has me furious. Staffing his administration with FUCKING LOBBYISTS after he made a massive display about how heinously evil it is while he was campaigning REALLY pisses me off. But my biggest problem has nothing to do with broken promises... Obama's a politician first and I expect that... no, what bothers me is the complete lack of balls from his administration. I may have hated the misguided legislation that President Bush rammed through, but I had to respect him for sticking to his agenda. But Obama is too busy trying to avoid hurting feelings than to push through anything. As if that weren't bad enough, the Democrats in office are a bunch of pussies who are too busy playing politics to do their fucking jobs. It's all so embarrassing. And while Republicans are busy playing politics of their own by publicly attacking Obama at every turn, I can't help but imagine that they are secretly ecstatic that he's proven to be so ineffectual a president.

So imagine my surprise when President Obama did one of the ballsiest things since President Clinton decided to get a Lewinsky in the Oval Office. On Friday he appeared at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore to speak... and take questions from hostile Republicans who seem to despise him and everything he does. It doesn't matter if you love Obama or hate him, it's worth a look (if you'd rather read it, there's a transcript over at Huffington Post)...

Wow. It's as if the president we elected finally realized he's actually the President of the United States of America. Next thing you know, he's going to come out and say: "For a year I've been trying to be all bipartisan and shit, but you Conservatives hate me no matter how hard I try to include you, so FUCK THAT. Starting tomorrow, health care reform is DONE. And if any of you Democrats try and fuck with me and my plan, I'll pop a cap in your ass. I'm using my majority and it's just DONE. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get to work on a list of promises I have to keep... we'll be doing this again next week."

Obama Action Figure: PISTOL!!

It used to be that I was happy to have a president who could actually form coherent sentences. Turns out that now all I want is a president I can respect. If the Q&A session with the Republicans on Friday is any indication, Obama might just start getting it.

   
And now I suppose I should get some sleep. I only worked a half-day today, so I've got a lot of ground to make up in the morning.

   

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