Posted on Saturday, May 1st, 2010
Okay then... I will be doing a triple backup of my laptop most of the evening in preparation for installing a bunch of software updates I've been holding off on. Hopefully nothing will go wrong but, given my luck earlier today, I am taking no chances.
I made copies of all my files before I left work yesterday because I wanted to work at home today. But when I actually sat down to get started this morning, I discovered that a critical component... THE FRICKIN' CABLE FOR MY WORK HARD DRIVE... was missing, and so I ran into town to get it. Of course I had to wait for a train on the way. Then I got to work and realized that I didn't have a key because I had removed it when valet-parking my car in Seattle. So I had to go back home to get my key. And of course I had to wait for another train on the way back to work. Couldn't find the cable at work, so came home to find that it had been in the bottom of my backpack all along. That's a half-hour of my life I'm never getting back.
Hence the backups.
And now before I get on with all that, I have one big questions...
WHY IN THE HELL IS BBC AMERICA AIRING "STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION-???"
Seriously. Why? It's not a British show. It's barely an imitation of an American show. I think of all the awesome material from the UK that BBC America could be airing, and I just want to punch somebody in the face. There are tonnes (heh) of ways to better spend that hour of programming 5 nights a week.
I'd kill to see episodes of Nevermind The Buzzcocks or Mock The Week (even in reruns!) but instead I get a 23-year-old show I've seen dozens of times. Hell, I'd settle for being able to buy Nevermind The Buzzcocks DVDs, but I don't get to do that either because they're region-encoded. Why won't some smart person at the BBC sell their fucking shows to iTunes here in the USA so that they could make money off them? Especially if BBC America is too damn stupid to air them, and is instead airing boring old American television now.
What a bunch of bloody wankers.
Posted on Sunday, May 2nd, 2010
It's a sweet Bullet Sunday at home as I blog in-between trips!
• Fault. Just how much more hardship is Louisiana supposed to endure? Hurricanes, floods, recession, and now an oil spill? I'm sure Pat Robertson must be positively orgasmic, seeing as how he has decided to speak on behalf of God and tell everybody it's New Orleans' fault. No word from the hate-mongering old fuck on what "God" says is the cause of the flooding in Nashville. My guess would be the 700 Club's Nashville office being located in the city, but far be it for me to speak on behalf of the Almighty. I'll leave that to douchebag televangelists.
• Funneh. When President Obama delivers a standup routine at the The White House Correspondent's Dinner that was funnier than Jay Leno's bit, it has me hoping he gets his own late-night talk show in seven years...
Though I must say my favorite part was when Obama took a moment to pay some words of respect to our troops. Quite a nice change from his predecessor.
• CS5. Color me completely shocked. After I finally managed to get Adobe Creative Suite 5 downloaded, everything else was gravy. Unlike every other installation of Creative Suite, there were NO issues this time. Installation was painless. Nothing got screwed up when I uninstalled the previous version. Everything just works. This is a pleasant change from when I installed CS4 and ended up having to reformat my hard drive and start over from scratch in order to get it working. TWICE. Thank you, Adobe...
• Merged. The latest casualty of airline consolidation? Continental Airlines, which is apparently merging with United. I used to love flying Continental when they were part of the SkyTeam Alliance because they had a direct flight into Cologne, but had to drop out when they left my mileage program. Now my worry is that the ever-decreasing competition amongst airlines is going to drive up prices. Tickets are already running much higher than I'm used to, and if things go much higher I'm going to have to drastically cut back on my travel.
• Bits. In case you missed it, my "Blogography Bits" leftovers blog had my reactions to the stolen iPhone drama, and Senseless Flash Injection, and crappy blog hosting hostility, and even a comic book meme this week.
And now I'm off to eat candy for dinner. But don't judge me for that... I had candy for lunch, so it's okay.
Posted on Monday, May 3rd, 2010
I tossed and turned all night, which I assumed was anxiety from the massive pile of work that awaited me this morning. This was a bit confusing, because every morning begins with a massive pile of work. There was no reason for today to be any different from other days.
And yet it was.
I was busy with a project when the email notification came. Not wanting to be disturbed while I was in the middle of things, I ignored it. Twenty minutes later, the world came crashing down as I finally read the email from a friend who was sharing some terrible news. This seems to be happening far too frequently now-a-days, so you'd think I'd be accustomed to it. People losing their jobs. People losing their homes. People losing their health. People losing their lives.
But of course you can never get used to these kinds of things. Not really. And this time it was particularly sad.
I think I must be at the point where I hurt for friends, family, and loved-ones more than I can hurt for myself. This is both terrifying and liberating to discover, though I don't know what to do with it.
Except more tossing and turning, I'm sure.
Posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
It's only 9:00, but I'm already in bed. I feel that I've earned it seeing as how I woke up at 3:30am this morning to try and get caught up on work. The only problem is that A) I have a blog entry to write, and B) Somebody in the neighborhood is working on a construction project with hammers and power tools. As if that weren't enough, C) Today was an altogether bizarre day, which means my head is not is a place conducive to sleep.
I can break down the bizarre happenings as follows...
And now that hammering has finally stopped, so I guess it's time to try and get some sleep. Tomorrow is another very long day.
Posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
Every once in a while don't you wish you could say "screw the rules" and do something quasi-insane just to break free from the mundane confines of everyday life? Stop the world and do something a little bit crazy so you can feel alive again? Not care what anybody else thinks and do something odd and disconcerting just for the heck of it? Ignore what you're supposed to do and instead do what you want to do?
Yeah, me neither.
Well, except for today.
Today that was all I could think about. Guess it's a good thing I'm flying away for the weekend.
Posted on Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Is there such a thing as "ass etiquette?"
If not, there really should be. Especially in this day and age of escalating passenger counts and increasingly limited personal space on planes. I am getting sick and tired of having people's asses in my face when I fly. It's as if people forget that they even have a stanky old ass in back, and are perfectly happy to ram it into people without a thought. Today was the absolute worst yet, as I ended up with more asses in my face than when I attended Madi Gras, and that's saying something.
From what I can tell, there are five problem areas...
• SEAT SCOOTERS!
These are the people who don't forget they have an ass... they just think that their ass is so small that they can move it through areas that they actually can't. Picture This: there I am sitting in my aisle seat when the woman next to me by the window gets up and says "let me scoot past you here!" and then proceeds to wedge her ass into my face as she makes a futile effort to work her way past my knees. Yes, I realize that it's an exit row... but I'm 6-foot-2, and it's just not going to happen. This results in my yelling "WAIT! I'LL MOVE! I'LL MOVE!!!" like a crazy person, as I scramble to unbuckle myself and get her denim-stained butt off of me. Not cool.
SOLUTION: Just ask the person blocking you to move if you need to get out. If it's a choice between having to get up or having to get ass in the face, I'm happy to move.
• AISLE TALKERS!
These are the morons who discover somebody they know on the flight, and decide that they simply MUST have an annoyingly lengthy conversation with them or else they'll fucking DIE. Unfortunately, the person they want to talk to is nowhere near their seat, so they have to stand in the aisle to talk to them. Now, this is annoying, but I have music on my iPhone, so I can drown out their stupid shit. What I can't drown out is their ass in my face, because they turn 90-degrees in the aisle to talk. This time it was particularly egregious, because the idiot decided to do bending and flexing exercises, planting his ass square into the side of my head. SO not cool.
SOLUTION: If you simply must talk to somebody from the aisle, stand in front of them with your ass pointed at the cockpit, not in the poor bastard's face across the aisle.
• KIDDIE WRANGLERS!
It's bad enough when people have to take their hyperactive brats on a flight, but it's a hundred times worse when they decide to bend over and hold their hands as they walk them up and down the aisles to keep them occupied... thus bumping their asses into every person unfortunate enough to sit in an aisle seat. NO we don't think it's adorable... we just want you to sit the fuck down and stop rubbing your asses on us! Do not want.
SOLUTION: Drug your kid, give them a bottle of whiskey, or buy them a Nintendo to play with... don't use the cabin as a Romper Room because you don't have the imagination to keep your hellspawn occupied in their seat.
• LUGGAGE OVERLOADERS!
These are the fucking pieces of shit that ignore the 1+1 rule, and decide to drag everything they fucking own down the narrow aisle to get to their seat in the back of the plane. ONE ITEM plus ONE PERSONAL ITEM does NOT mean a one suitcase plus one laptop case plus one purse plus one makeup kit plus one shopping bag plus one luggage roller plus one Kindle carrier plus one neck pillow plus one bag of takeout from McDonalds. THAT'S NINE FUCKING THINGS YOU DUMBASS MORON!! And you know how that person manages to get all that shit down the aisle? By laboriously shuffling and dragging it down the walkway, swinging their crap and their lazy asses into every aisle seat on the way down. How can you possibly watch your ass when you're having to juggle NINE pieces of shit? Well, considering they can't even count to TWO, the odds are overwhelmingly against them. Not only uncool, but incredibly douchey.
SOLUTION: Learn to fucking count and only bring the ONE fucking carry-on-sized bag and ONE fucking personal item that you're told you can bring on! That way you can pay attention to where your shit and, more importantly, your ass is ending up.
• ASS STICKERS!
These are the worst of the worst... people who inexplicably STICK THEIR ASSES IN YOUR FACE ON PURPOSE! I know it seems unbelievable, but I assure you they exist. Because some people's asses end up on you when there is absolutely NO earthly reason for them to be there. They either get some kind of perverse sexual thrill from sticking their asses where they don't belong... or just feel like being assholes with their assholes. Whatever the reason, they simply can't seem to resist putting their ass in your face. Beyond not cool and entering the realm of the ninth circle of hell.
SOLUTION: Seek therapy and don't fly. Ever.
I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that happened to me today.
Now I should probably try to get some sleep... if I can keep from having horrible nightmares of random strangers sticking their disease-ridden asses in my face. Blergh.
Posted on Friday, May 7th, 2010
I've had several perfect days in New York City. It's not terribly difficult, because the entire world is at your feet the moment you arrive. But, in all the years I've been coming here, this is going to be the day to top.
It started with an evacuation at Times Square.
It ended with an amazing dream concert I've waited half a lifetime to see.
That concert would be a-ha's Ending on a High Note farewell tour. For better or worse, a-ha will forever be known as the "Take on Me Guys" here because they're pretty much a one-hit-wonder in the USA. Probably because most of their follow-up albums were never released here, which is a damn shame because they had some amazing music in the years that followed.
The show was, as expected, flawless. Morton Harket's stunning vocals were as good as ever as they tore through a catalog of the band's hits. Sure there were some tracks I wanted to hear that were left out, but if they had put in everything I wanted the concert would have lasted five hours.
Still, it was a brilliant performance, and made me sadder than ever that the band is breaking up...
Good bye and thanks, guys.
That's the last of my favorite 80's bands that I needed to see in concert*, so I guess my life is complete now.
Going back to the beginning, my day started in Times Square... just as they decided to evacuate it. A cooler was left at West 46th Street, and the police (wisely) decided it's better to be safe than sorry...
Things ended up being a false alarm, but it's comforting to know that the NYPD is taking no chances. I must have gotten a dozen tweets, emails, and texts from people saying things like "ARE YOU CRAZY?" and "BET YOU WISH YOU WEREN'T IN NEW YORK NOW!" or whatever. I ended up ignoring all of them because (no offense) I just don't give a crap. Travel is ALWAYS dangerous... and, yes, New York is probably more dangerous than other places I could go just this moment. But that's not going to stop me from coming back. If my options are to stop traveling to amazing places like this... or to sit in my house for the rest of my life and fret about how dangerous the world is... I'll take my chances out in the world. Because I'd rather die doing what I want to do than doing nothing at all.
Anyway, the weather was absolutely fantastic, so I scuttled my plans to visit galleries all afternoon and decided to instead just
What a great tour! Starting in the upper-left, that would be Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, The New York Times, FAO Schwartz, Apple Store Fifth Avenue, Madison Square Garden, New Yorker Hotel, Shake Shack, Flatiron Building, Central Park Carousel, Bethesda Terrace Landscape, The Loeb Boathouse, Bow Bridge, The High Line, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, and Yankee Stadium. Whew... that's a lot of New York City! And I actually walked most of that, only taking the subway four times when the walk would have killed me...
The final stop of my Gowalla Tour... the Shake Shack!
The last cool thing of my day was after I had dinner following the a-ha concert. Dozens of police cars and motorcycles lined up to zoom through Times Square. It was darn impressive, and a great way to end my evening...
And tomorrow is another day.
*Unless New Order decides to get back together and tour, in which case I have one more band to go.
Posted on Saturday, May 8th, 2010
What better way to spend my last night in New York City than to meet up with good friends for dinner? After a visit to Pinkberry... Dawg, Poppy, Robyn, and I took a look at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art then wandered around the Village for a while trying not to get blown off the sidewalks by gusting winds. I don't know if the wind was better or worse than the rain that was forecast, but it certainly made the little things... like walking... an adventure.
Eventually we all ended up at Cowgirl Hall of Fame where we met up with ETinNY for Dave York 3. It was also an opportunity to hand over ETinNY's winnings from his sponsorship of "Team Therapy In The Making" for Blogathon 2009. His prize was to name a topic for a custom DaveToon print, which was "Bad Monkey on the Empire State Building," and it turned out like this...
After dinner, we moved on to a bar for drinks before saying our goodnights. I may have flown to New York City for an a-ha concert, but getting to spend time with these fantastic people is what makes me want to stay.
Betty White on Saturday Night Live.
From the minute I heard that Betty would be hosting and it coincided with my trip, I've been trying everything I can to get tickets. I called in every favor. I wrote dozens of emails. I contacted everybody with even a hint of a possibility of helping me out with my Betty White fixation. All for not. Tickets were practically impossible for mere mortals with no connections to get. And people here in NYC had been lining up since Thursday for a chance at any extras that might be released. Betty was the ticket in town, and the huge popularity of musical guest Jay-Z assured that it would be nigh impossible...
So I made due watching it live in New York, where Betty White killed on the show. She was genius from start to finish. At first I thought the addition of Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, and Tina Fey would be to lighten the load on Betty, and have her appear in less sketches. Not so! Betty appeared in every sketch plus the cold open, plus Weekend Update, plus an SNL Short. And at every turn, she stole the show... saving mediocre sketches from themselves, and elevating them to something that was actually funny! Genius. I sure hope she gets an Emmy for this, as she's certainly earned it.
For years I've been saying that every television show should feature a guest-appearance by Betty White because "everything's better with Betty" and she has totally proven it tonight. Congratulations to Betty White... and SNL for exploiting her genius to the max.
And now I will try to come down off the high of two fantastic days in New York City so I can get some sleep.
Like that's going to happen.
Posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2010
I'm making a futile effort to update my non-functional blog on Bullet Sunday! Nothing is more fun than coming back from a long trip and finding out that your blogging software refuses to publish entries!
• Bridge! After spending Friday visiting every "Featured Gowalla Spot" in Manhattan (and one in The Bronx). I noticed that there were only three spots left to claim in NYC... The Statue of Liberty, JFK International Airport, and The Brooklyn Bridge. Since the three times I've visited Lady Liberty are enough, and I had no intention of going all the way out to JFK, that left me looking at The Brooklyn Bridge badge. I hadn't walked the bridge in over a decade because I always just take the subway to get to Brooklyn. But it was a beautiful day and I had time to kill, so away I went...
It was a fantastic walk, and left me wondering why I don't make time cross the Brooklyn Bridge every time I'm in New York City.
• Brooklyn! One of the best reasons to cross the Brooklyn Bridge is to have pizza from Grimaldi's...
Alas, it's rough to visit the place when you're alone because they don't sell individual slices. I probably would have ordered an entire pizza just because it tastes so good, but I didn't have two hours to hang around waiting for them to open. Instead I just wandered around the pretty tree-lined streets for a while before heading back to Manhattan...
• Spot! One goal I had for myself was to create a Gowalla Spot while I was in New York, but most of the good ones have long-since been taken. I didn't want to just pick some random business I'd never go to, but instead was looking for something a little more interesting. I finally found it when I saw that a metal sculpture honoring the Brooklyn Bridge creators on the centennial of the bridge's opening...
You can see the spot I founded over at Gowalla.
• Bagel! I ate two bagels every morning I was in New York City. When I wasn't eating bagels, I was eating slices of pizza. As I sit here writing this, it has suddenly occurred to me that I won't have another decent bagel or pizza slice until the next time I end up in New York, which could be months (years?) away. Now I am filled with dread at the thought of eating my next "bagel," which will probably not be from NYC and taste like rubberized crap. It's sad, really.
• Wind! Just like yesterday, gusting winds were ripping through the city which made air travel a bit problematic. My flight was delayed four times before I had even made it to Newark, which was a very bad thing because I had a tight connection in Seattle to catch my flight home. Ultimately we "made time up in the air" and so I was able to get to my connecting gate with three minutes to spare. Sometimes you just get lucky. Well, I usually don't, but most people do.
I miss New York already.
I'd try and fix my blog so I can publish this, but it's past midnight and I have an early day.
Posted on Monday, May 10th, 2010
I am writing this entry knowing full well that I won't be able to publish it (just as I haven't been able to publish my Bullet Sunday entry from yesterday). It may seem insane, but if I get out of the habit of writing every day I'd probably stop blogging altogether. I'm a creature of habit that way.
All my attempts to fix Blogography have failed. I think something got seriously screwed up when I tried to update an entry during one of my web hosting company's many, many service failures. Now the entry is "stuck" somehow, and nothing works. My only option is to delete my blog, do a fresh installation of the software, and then import all my templates, entries and comments back into the system.
It's a little scary to realize I could end up losing seven years of my online life if things go terribly wrong.
In other news, Frank Frazetta, one of my favorite artists has died. Though many people may not recognize his name, it's certain they have been exposed to his work. As one of the gods of fantasy illustration, Frazetta has churned out countless works of originality and stunning beauty for everything from posters to book covers. I first became aware of his work from the covers he created for several Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, including the "John Carter of Mars" books...
Thanks to Mr. Frazetta for helping to fuel my imagination for so many years. Though lost to us now, his work will endure.
UPDATE! Thanks to kind suggestions from one of my readers, things are up and running again! Thanks, ManBearPig... whoever (or whatever) you may be!
Posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
It should come as a shock to nobody that I'm writing up a review of the Betty White episode of Saturday Night Live which aired this past weekend. As a massive Betty fan for decades, it's an event too big to ignore. I actually wrote it as I watched from my New York City hotel room, but decided to wait on posting it until I could be sure people who recorded on their DVR had seen it.
In spoiler-free generalities, Betty exceeded my every expectation and turned in a performance so amazing that it's set a new benchmark in greatness for every guest host that comes after (I feel badly for Alec Baldwin having to follow her in this week's season finale). She was funny, timely, genuine, and showed the world exactly how it should be done.
The overwhelming praise for the show by just about everybody on the entire internet is sweet validation that her appeal is universal, and not just something fans like me are blinded to. And while I am sure there are people who didn't care for Betty ditching her innocent and naive "Golden Girl" character for a much edgier turn, I think most everybody can agree that her comedy skills are above reproach. Any time I've found somebody critical of Betty's hosting duties, they either have no knowledge of Betty or are ignorant of Saturday Night Live's history. And since I won't have any of that ugliness tarnishing Blogography, I've addressed that in my "Blogography Bits" Tumblr Blog (warning... naughty language ensues!).
For those who still haven't seen the show and live here in the USA, you might check and see if it's still available on hulu... or you can buy a butchered version from iTunes. If you live outside the USA... well, I'm sure you can get it wherever you usually get your American television shows (sorry stupid-ass network licensing is screwing that up for you!).
So... if you have watched the show and want a run-down of my thoughts, I've put that in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
You know when there's something you really want
But you know you can never have it
So you do everything you can to put it out of your head
But deep down you still want it
And the thought of it burns in your brain so you can't think
And the ache of it sits heavy in your heart so you can't feel
And the longing of it crushes your chest so you can't breathe
But there's nothing you can do to make it go away
So it consumes your every waking thought
And it envelopes your every sleeping dream
It becomes your life
But to acknowledge that would destroy you
So you tell yourself that you don't really want it after all
When you know that you really do
But you can't
So you won't
But you do
You allow yourself to hope
And every day you feel a little more lost because the hope keeps slipping away
And one day you wake up and don't know who you are because the hope has gone
And then you find yourself lost, confused, and alone
But still wanting?
I knew I should have bought that Statue of Liberty Brass Coat Rack when I was in New York.
Posted on Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Shortly after Catherine sent me a link to "The Best Thing I've Read All Year"... a smart, heartfelt, touching, and altogether righteous letter written by a mother whose son tried to commit suicide because of the not-stop persecution he faced for being gay, I read the Pope's recent remarks from Portugal.
I've pretty much said my peace on Pope Benedict XVI in a previous entry. Long story short? He's systematically destroying the Catholic Church from within, and has been unapologetically crapping over the legacy of Pope John-Paul II from the moment he ascended to the papacy.
But His Holiness has decided that he's not satisfied with being a hateful old hag in a dress and a big hat... he seems fully intent on bringing douchebaggery to the papacy at any cost... this time by saying that abortion and same-sex marriage are the "most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good."
Now, I guess I can see abortion fitting that mold within the dogma of the Catholic Church. I may not agree with it, but I understand it. But same-sex marriage... insidious?!?
insidious • in-ˈsi-dē-əs • subtle, surreptitious, cunning, crafty, treacherous, artful, sly, wily, shifty, underhanded, indirect; informal sneaky.
Pope Benedict isn't just a douchebag... he's a fucking dumbass.
Rapists, murderers, child molesters, liars, cheats, and other vile persons infesting this planet get a pass so the Pope can pronounce judgement and fully condemn two people in love wanting to get married as the "most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good."
You want to know what's insidious? A religious leader fostering fear and hatred against innocent people, thus creating an environment so horribly hostile that people would rather die than live in it.
Well fuck this shit.
The Pope doesn't get to dictate that we live in an antiquated world of intolerance and animosity. We're better than that.
Posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010
Today would have been one of my best friend's 50th birthday had he not passed away nine years ago. I try to think of what crazy thing I might have done to celebrate the occasion had he lived to see it, but I am drawing a complete blank. Probably because I don't care about a birthday party... I just want him back. People say that you miss a person less and less as time goes on, but that certainly hasn't been the case here. There are just too many reminders.
He loved Dr. Who, so any time an episode airs, he's there. He never got to see any of the "new" series that began in 2005, and so I can't help but wonder what he would think. Enjoying Dr. Who is mostly impossible for me, as it's the most frequent painful reminder that he's gone. But it's not just Dr. Who. As a fellow sci-fi geek, he was often the first person I'd turn to when some new sci-fi television show or movie debuted. The crappy Star Wars prequels were made even worse because my friend wasn't there to laugh with me over the heinousness of it all. It works both ways, I suppose. He was around to experience the sheer brilliance of The Matrix for which I am eternally thankful... but he was spared from the awful sequels which destroyed the franchise for me. Small consolation, to be sure, but when your best friend is gone, I guess you have to cling to whatever small blessings you can find.
And then there's Star Trek.
The wonderful re-imagining by J.J. Abrams last year was truly bittersweet. Yes I loved the movie. But enjoying it was impossible. Both my friend and I were massive fans. We went to at least a dozen Star Trek conventions together over the years. We met all the primary (and many not-so-primary) castmembers of "The Original Series" and "The Next Generation" series and collected their autographs. We talked about the shows for hours. Star Trek was such an hugely important diversion for the both of us that it's unthinkable that I could ever see anything even remotely Trek-related without my best friend haunting me. The sheer number of great memories I have from our wacky adventures at Trek conventions alone could fill a book. I've been so sorely tempted to share some stories from those days on my blog, but I can never bring myself to do it. It would be like giving away a part of him, and I'm entirely too selfish to do that. Memories are all I have now, and they've become like some closely-guarded secret that I never want to share. A part of me hopes I change my mind one day, because there are tales entirely too good not to share. I guess we'll see if I get less selfish in my old age. Somehow I doubt it.
Our shared sci-fi infatuation also treaded into literary diversions. We attended numerous book signings and author readings together for writers such as William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Douglas Adams, and many others. This is something for which I owe him a tremendous debt, because I'm certain I would have never attended these on my own. I look back on my life and remember such incredible moments as hearing Douglas Adams read from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or Clive Barker discussing the thinking behind his own personal favorite novel, Imajica, and wonder what memories I have that could possible replace them. There aren't any. Those moments... those shared moments... are priceless. And I owe them entirely to my friend.
If there was one area we had =zero= overlap, it would be music. His favorite musical artist was Tori Amos. I've never understood it. Even after he dragged me to one of her concerts I was left unimpressed. No doubt she is a truly gifted songwriter and performer, but her stuff just isn't for me. He, of course, had no interest in my 80's New Wave music addiction. New releases by bands like Depeche Mode and The Thompson Twins that would put me over the moon for weeks were just something for him to laugh at. I remember when Depeche Mode's Ultra was released we were in Seattle, so I picked it up. When we got back to his place, I was so excited to listen to the album that I couldn't hop in my car and drive home to listen to it... I had to listen to it now and popped it into his CD player. The minute Barrel of a Gun started thumping through the speakers, his reaction was to pick up his cat, cover her ears, and say "It's okay... it will all be over soon." Insulting my favorite band like that would have been unforgivable if it weren't so damn funny. Whenever I hear a song from Ultra I just picture his cat looking completely puzzled as my friends hands covered the side of her head. I love the memory almost more than the music.
Television, books, movies, sci-fi, comics, and all the geeky crap that went with them were an integral part of what kept us friends for so long. But they were all incidental to the one thing that brought us together... computers.
My friend ran a local computer bulletin board system (BBS) where other computer geeks could dial in with their telephone modems to send messages to each other and share information. It was a crude (very crude) precursor to equivalent services that would later become commonplace on the internet, but that was all we had. Every once in a while users from the various local BBSs would assemble in Real Life for a "Pizza Bash" where many friendships ended up forming. Including ours. Despite different platforms (I was Atari, he was Amiga) the wild computer frontier was an adventure we shared until the day he died (though it was a lot less "wild" in later years).
I don't have a single computer-related memory worth remembering that doesn't have my friend in it. Even when I didn't know who he was, and a "personal computer" was just something freaky and new at the high school library to goof around with, he was there. And, as he was six years ahead of me in school, that's quite a feat. Turns out he helped the local computer shop install/maintain/repair the school computers from time to time. And so he was there from the beginning for me (he was also there when we got to meet Kiki Stockhammer and Wil Wheaton during a NewTek Video Toaster workshop, but that's another story).
The great equalizer between us in the computer platform wars was the Macintosh. I bought a Mac so I could use Photoshop with the pricy scanner I had just purchased. I was instantly smitten, and my loyalty to Atari computers vanished overnight (an Apple Whore was born!). My friend remained a steadfast Amiga user, despite my constant pressure for him to switch.
Myst was a revolutionary (for the time) graphical adventure game released in late 1993. More than a game, it was an all-absorbing work of art. There was nothing else really like it, and it ran only on Macintosh computers with a CD-ROM. I bought the game because somebody had recommended it to me, but never actually played it until weeks later. The minute I finally started the game, I called my friend at work and told him "YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS!!" So he ditched work and came over... then spent the next ten hours hunched over the computer with me playing it until the wee hours. He bought a Mac for himself the next day. That's a bond which can't be broken.
After he had become a Mac convert, my friend dragged out this awesome Macintosh "Picasso Logo" promo-light he had gotten from a local computer shop that was tossing it out. The light was absolutely beautiful and very rare. Mac Whore that I am, I of course wanted it. I coveted that thing every single time I saw it and joked with him once about stealing it. He just laughed that laugh of his and said "Well, you can have it when I'm dead!" For years after, I would joke about plotting his demise so the light would be mine at last. "It's worth risking a manslaughter prison term, you know," I'd say...
Photo taken from RedLightRunner
For the past nine years it's been agony every time some cool new technology is released and my friend isn't here to share it with me. Mac OS X was released the day before he died. The iPod came seven months later. When the iPhone was released I was depressed for days because it was Star Trek come to life and the first call I wanted to make on it was to my friend. How can I miss him less and less over the years when technology is all about being more and more? There's always something new coming out. He's always the person I want to talk about it with (Myst is available on the iPhone now, for heavens sake!). And that never fades. It never goes away.
March 24th, 2001 I was in Seattle celebrating my birthday with my sister and friends in Seattle. The next day as I was recovering from the drunken debauchery of the previous night, I got a phone call from my mother telling me I needed to call my friend's wife. But I didn't need to call. It's one of those moments you "just know" something terrible has happened and you're about to make a call that changes everything. But I did call his wife. And it did change everything. My best friend of the past sixteen years was gone.
After the funeral, my friend's wife and mother generously invited me over to see if there was anything I wanted to have as a reminder of him. And while there was a lot of stuff of his I'd have loved to own, there wasn't a single bit of it that I wanted. No "thing" could ever take his place. No piece of "stuff" would make me miss my friend any less.
So I politely refused.
After I took the Macintosh Picasso Logo Light, of course.
The bastard would have been furious with me if I hadn't.
Happy 50th birthday, Howard. I love and miss you every day.
Posted on Saturday, May 15th, 2010
My burrito just asploded in the microwave.
It seems like a good enough reason to reevaluate my life.
And so I'm sitting here trying to type up self-analytical prose while eating my blowed-up burrito dinner and watching The Godfather:
Which would be great, because how awesome would it be to get to watch The Godfather for the first time again?
And now... dessert!
Tonight's dessert will consist of a giant spoonful of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting...
Needless to say, I'm giving me high marks on my life reevaluation.
Posted on Sunday, May 16th, 2010
It's... a righteous Bullet Sunday!
Righteous Cock! I've mostly ignored the whole Dr. George Rekers gay sex scandal because, honestly, what's the point? Yet another gay-hating public figure has been caught with his penis in a place he's advocated it doesn't belong... am I supposed to be shocked? As I've said the last couple times this has happened, I just automatically assume that anybody who would spend most of their time fighting so hard against "teh gay" is most likely a big ol' cock-loving hypocrite. Religious leaders. Politicians. Christian ministers who say homosexuality is a mental disorder to be cured. It's all the same. But I got a comment asking me to add Rekers to the list, so here he is...
Dr. George Rekers Wants Cock!
Senator Roy Ashburn Wants Cock!
Reverend Ted Haggard Wants Cock!
• Righteous Bitch! The DutchBitch now has a logo poster for
If you're going to be in the vicinity of der Netherlands that weekend, let The DutchBitch know so she can pencil you in the guest-list! There will be more good times and pooferflargen than you can shake a poofenwafel at!
• Righteous Anger! Yesterday on Facebook I updated my status with this...
"Holy crap. The only reason I would give a shit about Elena Kagan's sexuality would be if I wanted to bone her. And, since I really, really don't... why should I give a flying fuck whether she prefers sausage or taco? Why should anybody? I'm more curious about the sexuality of all these people that are constantly bringing it up... do THEY want to bone her?"
This got me an interesting message this morning, telling me that people have a right to know anything they want about the Supreme Court Justices who make the laws that govern us. That's a very good point. And so I have a few questions that need to be answered by the current Supreme Court...
How often do you masturbate?
Can you describe
your gay fantasies?
Have you ever
had anal sex?
What is the length of
your erect penis?
Got any sex fetishes
What's your favorite
Are you a spitter
or do you swallow?
Are you a spitter
or do you swallow?
Did that "pube on a
Coke" line ever work?
• Righteous Birthday! Tracy asked me to make a birthday wish for her friend Grant, who likes "Asian Bunnies." Since I owe Tracy a debt bigger than my bank account, I agreed and came up with a "Dave Bunny" drawn manga-style...
• Righteous Victory! There was a time that I valued the work of the American Civil Liberties Union for their efforts in defending the Constitutional rights of American citizens. Sure they did some crazy-ass crap that I disagreed with, but their overall mission was something I could get behind. Until they attacked my local library. I wrote about their outrageously stupid lawsuit over three years ago. To sum up... the local libraries in rural Washington State installed computers so that people without internet access can get it. Because most of these libraries are tiny little buildings with barely enough room for a computer in the first place... the library had to install filtering software so that children using the computers or kids wandering by web-surfing adults wouldn't be illegally exposed to porn or other mature subject matter...
Of course, no filtering software is perfect... sometimes the library has to manually unblock sites that have been wrongfully blocked... or try some other way to accommodate valid (i.e. non-porn) requests. It's not a perfect system, but the libraries are doing their best. But that wasn't good enough for the ACLU. Apparently they feel that people should be able to do whatever crazy shit they want on a library computer since it's funded by tax dollars. So to assure the public's much-needed access to sexytime, the ACLU sued the North Central Regional Library System. Because hey, life, liberty, and the pursuit of internet porn is what our founding fathers fought and died for, right?
Well, after years of litigation, the library finally won their case. Small libraries can keep filtering on their computers so kids don't get exposed to adult material and the library doesn't get sued for child endangerment. And even though the libraries themselves know it's not a great solution, it's a compromise they are trying their best to deal with. So congratulations to my local library! And fuck the ACLU for being total dumbasses that sue those who are just trying to help as many people as they can the best way they know how. Fuck you up your stupid, self-righteous, disgusting asses.
And now... a busy week lays ahead. Time to get to work!
Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010
Last night I got a call from an old girlfriend that I had dated briefly sometime during the Clinton years. She opened the conversation by first telling me I was a difficult guy to track down, then secondly telling me that she's getting married. This was bizarre for two reasons... 1) I am living at the same place and working at the same job and am pretty sure I have the same mobile phone number as I did back when we were dating... and 2) It makes no sense that she'd be calling a guy she dated for five minutes a decade ago to share wedding plans.
Yeah. She wants me to photograph her wedding AND design her invitations. As a friend.
I thanked her for the lovely opportunity, then explained that... 1) I'm not a professional photographer so I wouldn't be comfortable with the responsibility of documenting her wedding... and 2) I don't have time to design anything right now because my work schedule is packed for the next six months.
This was not something I had planned to blog about, but I've spent most of my day questioning the whole conversation and just don't give a crap who sees this. Because I really gotta know...
Am I the only one who thinks that this is the tackiest phone call ever?
It's like "HEY! I KNOW I HAVEN'T SPOKEN TO YOU IN TEN YEARS AND BARELY KNOW YOU AND WE'RE NOT REALLY FRIENDS... BUT I AM GOING TO ASK YOU FOR A HUGE FAVOR AS A "FRIEND" ANYWAY BECAUSE I DON'T FEEL I SHOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT I CAN GET YOU TO DO FOR FREE, HA HA HA HA HA!"
Because, honestly, I just don't get it.
As a guy, I've been taken advantage of by women all my life. But usually it's because there's a faint hope that there will be something in it for me. But in THIS case... SHE'S GETTING MARRIED!
TO A GUY THAT'S NOT ME!!!
What's in it for me this time? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I guess I'm just supposed to do all this out of the goodness of my own heart for old-time's sake? For somebody I barely remember? Really?
I guess I'm just an insensitive bastard.
One or the other.
Posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010
Thirty years ago, Mt. St. Helens erupted, spewing ash all over the Pacific Northwest. And even though there's a mountain range and 200 miles between the eruption site and where I live, we still got blasted. I remember the eruption in the news quite well. I remember scooping ash out of the yard. I remember rain making a big ol' pasty mess on the lawn. But what do I remember most of all?
The Doomsday Clock.
At the time of the ash-plosion, some wacky scientist guy went on television to warn the world that the eruption of Mt. St. Helens was a mere warm-up to other eruptions far more disastrous. Including the Yellowstone Caldera SUPERVOLCANO!
Well, they didn't actually use the term "supervolcano" back then, but the concept is the same...
Sitting under Yellowstone National Park is a mind-bogglingly massive lake of magma that's under enormous pressure. Many geologists say that it is now overdue to erupt. And once it does, there will be devastation unlike the world has seen in hundreds of thousands of years. In addition to the vast amounts of ash released, the lava dome will collapse into itself, spewing lava for hundreds of miles and initiating killer eartquakes that would ravage the Western United States. Anybody within 200 miles of the caldera would die immediately. Those within 600 miles would be suffocated to death by the ash plume.
But it gets worse.
The amount of material released into the atmosphere by a supervolcano would cause a "volcanic winter" that would affect the entire world. Scientists generously estimate that 90% of the human race would not survive it. And those that do will have an unimaginably difficult existence plagued by famine and disease. I feel "lucky" that I'm living in the kill zone, because sudden death seems the best-case scenario here.
Hence "The Doomsday Clock," because it's not a matter of if but when Yellowstone blows.
Granted, that might not be for a 100,000 years yet, but it was so much more dramatic for the wacky scientist guy on television to insinuate that it was just around the corner.
Which it could be.
Anyway... Happy anniversary Mt. St. Helens!!
Posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
This morning I was awakened by crippling leg cramps. They were so severe that even after they subsided, I was in excruciating pain. Just walking was an exercise in agony. With no other option, I took some industrial-strength pain-killers and spent most of the day in a drug-induced haze. Sure my work productivity took a hit, but there are certainly worse ways you can spend your time. Like screaming your head off because your legs are wracked with stabbing pain.
So tonight I have the unenviable task of trying to catch up with all the work I couldn't do during the day. It's difficult, because I've got a lot of television stacked up on my DVR that needs to be watched.
Alas, I only managed to find time to watch the season finale of The Middle because Betty White had a guest spot...
To the surprise of nobody, she was brilliant as usual.
This time Betty played "Mrs. Nethercott," a school librarian who has a mean streak when it comes to Brick (the Heck's youngest child), who has checked out 31 books that he hasn't returned. Mrs. Nethercott is threatening to have him held back in the 2nd Grade until he returns all of them, thus begins Brick's quest to find the books and make it to the 3rd Grade.
The show is usually pretty funny, but Betty definitely kicks it up a notch.
Now I guess I really should get back to work.
But first... PIZZA!!
Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010
You would think that I'd be indifferent to packing a suitcase by now. I pack suitcases all year long, and have been doing so for almost two decades. On top of that, I have packing down to a science, with dozens of items pre-packed and ready to go. I can get ready for a trip of most any length in minutes if I have to (it happens). But none of this matters, because whenever I have to pack a suitcase, I go into fits of dread and loathing. I hate packing.
And it doesn't matter if I'm getting ready for an awesome vacation either. Nothing can make me happy about packing.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go pack my f#@&ing suitcase...
Posted on Friday, May 21st, 2010
The Hilton SeaTac Airport charges $14.95 for internet. I guess I can post this tomorrow, because Hilton can suck it.
Today is a day where the entire internet is celebrating a movie so astoundingly brilliant... so wonderfully imaginative... so monumentally game-changing... so vastly superior to everything that came before... that it redefines what cinema entertainment means.
I am talking, of course, about MacGruber, from which I just returned.
This was the film I was most looking forward to this summer, and it did not disappoint. It was funny and action-packed from start to finish. Kudos to Will Forte and Kristen Wiig for their fantastic performances, and welcome back to comedy Val Kilmer! Of course, I like MacGruber on Saturday Night Live, so I'm probably biased.
Coincidentally, today is also the 30th anniversary of one of my favorite films of all time: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back...
I never saw the original Star Wars in an actual theater until the re-release in 1978. Instead I saw it at a drive-in with some neighbor kids. I, of course, loved the film and became obsessed with it in whatever ways were available to be obsessed with it back then. You couldn't buy VHS tapes until later, but you could buy outrageously expensive snippets on 8mm film. And then there were the books, magazines, posters, and all the other crap an 11-year-old simply must have or else they'll die.
By the time Empire was released in 1980, my Star Wars mania was at a fever pitch. The idea of seeing the sequel on opening day was too much to resist, so a friend and I got dropped off at the theater so we could wait in line for entirely too long and be among the first to see it. The time spent was, obviously, worth it. The Empire Strikes Back is easily one of the best films ever created, and holds up on all counts to this day. As a movie, that alone is remarkable... but a science fiction movie?!? Magic.
If I was obsessed with Star Wars, I became positively stupid-insane over Empire. It pushed the Star Wars envelope in all directions, and has some of the best dialogue quotes ever to hit the silver screen in ANY genre (I can only guess that this is because George Lucas didn't write or direct it... if only we were so lucky with the prequels). My imagination wasn't just captured by all the amazing things the film offered up, it was blown away never to return.
Once you here those immortal words... "Luke, I am your father" you don't have much choice but to be blown away. Screw The Sixth Sense, THIS is the ultimate twist ending in modern cinematic history.
Even though I was eventually let down by the follow-up effort, Return of the Jedi, my spirit was never dampened. Empire was simply too good to ever die. Toss in all the Ewoks, fart jokes, and other stupid crap you want, it doesn't matter. Once you've learned the ways of The Force from Yoda, there can be no turning back.
Star Wars is in your heart and mind forever.
I know it is in mine.
Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010
I don't know why, but I'd just as soon not have banjo music with my dinner...
Even so, it's pretty hard to ruin a good macaroni & cheese.
Posted on Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
Bullet Sunday from Chicago! It's a good place to be!
• Lost. When the television phenomena known as Lost debuted, I was a serious fan. I obsessed over the show and was lauding it as "genius" with each new incredible revelation and juicy mystery. It was everything I loved about television come to life. But then, somewhere in the middle of Season 2, I slowly began to realize that the the show was all smoke and mirrors with no substance whatsoever. It was nothing but mystery on top of mystery, and the writers were quickly building a house of bullshit from which the show would never escape. They just kept piling on "cool stuff" until NO resolution would ever be worth it. So I gave up the show. Every once in a while I'd tune in because people would tell me how awesome it was getting, but all I ever saw was more shit being dropped on a big box of bullshit...
And so tonight, after a lovely dinner out in the 'burbs, I got back to my hotel where the final episode of Lost was nearly over. So I decided to watch. I decided that if I liked what I saw, I'd admit I was wrong all along and go back and watch everything I missed.
Except I wasn't wrong. In my humble opinion, it was the single biggest wimpy cop-out bullshit of an ending the writers could have possibly come up with. It just validated my belief that they really didn't know what the hell they were doing, which is why they kept adding "cool shit" to distract everybody and keep the audience watching. That would have been fine, except you have to be able to really deliver at the end. And they didn't. So when I hear how show-runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse imply that they knew what was going on all along, I think they're either A) LYING, and just slapped on some lame shit that "explains" nothing and everything at the same time... or, B) THE WORST WRITERS EVER that they think THIS was a worthy end to a six-year investment of people's time. I'm not saying that every detail had to be wrapped up and explained at the end, I'm just saying that, ultimately, the end has to be a satisfying conclusion to everything leading up to it, and I didn't see that.
Whatever the case, I thank heavens I never wasted any more time with the show than I did.
And yet, if there are fans who loved the show and felt the ending was perfect... more power to you! Not everybody has to like the same things, and so congratulations on getting what you wanted out of Lost.
• Grey's. If there's one guilty pleasure of mine to be found on television that's NOT Lost, it would be Grey's Anatomy. Overall, despite some very notable set-backs and other stupidity (e.g. Dead Denny), I find it to be highly entertaining. Somehow, the writers are always managing to come up with these clever twists and interesting stories that keeps moving everything forward.
Except for the season finale last week, which was a total load of crap. What kills me is that the premise was outstanding. Genius, even. But then the writers got lazy and stupid and just decided to fill time with scene after scene of characters going into needless fits of hysteria. It was enough to make me want to bitch-slap half the cast through my television. Maybe two hours was too much time to fill... I just don't know... but by the time they finally got to the end, I was to the point where I never wanted to watch the show ever again. Not exactly the best way to wrap-up a season.
• Kinda. This afternoon I was lucky enough to have RW (of 1 Step Beyond fame) invite me out for his own recipe "Kinda Mediterranean Pizza" with him and Mrs. RW...
Just as he claimed when he published the recipe, it was fucking delicious. I think the secret must be his homemade Carrettiera Sauce, because it adds a lot of flavor while managing to keep things light and fresh (which makes me wonder how many other ways it could be used). Most definitely worth your time to make... especially since he has a step-by-step guide free for the taking.
You'd think that hanging out drinking beer and talking with friends on a beautiful Chicago day would be enough... but RW had to go and make awesome pizza too. The bastard. How can I in good conscience order out from Dominoes when I have friends over? I can't! From now on I'm going to have to go to the extra effort to buy frozen pizza and pretend like I made it! Thanks a heap, RW!
• Interview. Many thanks to Troy of Blue Goo Ate My Mom fame for giving me a heads-up to the great interview with a-ha posted over at CBC's Q Uncut. It's well worth a listen, even if you never heard of the band after Take on Me disappeared from the airwaves. They went on to a lot of great music, and the interview helps North Americans get "caught up" with all the things we missed...
Though Minor Earth Major Sky is probably my favorite a-ha album, their latest (and last) album Foot of the Mountain is exceptional, and harkens back to the sound that made them famous. Sadly, stupid-ass record labels have tied up the distribution rights so you can't buy the album in the USA unless you pay for an import, but a good (but incomplete) "singles" collection is for sale on iTunes.
And now, I suppose it's time to get some work done. What else is there to do on a Sunday night?
Posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010
How did I spend this absolutely awesome day in Chicago? A day filled with sunshine, blue skies, and unicorns running through the streets spreading laughter and magic wherever they go?
Mostly inside working.
Sure it sucks, but I did get to go to Huey's for a veggie dog, so there's that...
After I had more fun at work than I could possibly stand, a couple friends and I went out to dinner where I ate too much food I don't remember and several shots of Jägermeister that I can't remember. Then everybody wanted to go see Robin Hood at the movies but I was too wiped out so I went back to my hotel to relax.
Until I got called out for beer and pretzels.
Now I've returned to my hotel again so I can pass out from excessive alcohol and food consumption. On the way back, I stopped for a jug of milk, thinking that I had once heard it will coat your stomach and reduce the amount of alcohol your body absorbs. But then I remembered you are supposed to have the milk before you drink, so I decided to consult ASK DAVE! to see what I should do. He thought it was a good idea ("OH YEAH!") so Milk Chug it was. I wanted to know if I'd end up puking my guts out by mixing milk, Jägermeister, and beer, but ASK DAVE! just said "ASK ME LATER!" which is probably not a good thing...
I'll be sure to update this entry if I hurl up an offering to the porcelain god tonight. Heaven only knows this kind of useful information needs to be Googleable for future generations.
Posted on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
The highlight of my day was watching Jenny eat chocolate-covered bugs.
I would have totally eaten chocolate-covered bugs too, but I'm a vegetarian.*
*Honestly, if I wasn't a vegetarian, I would have been yumming those bugs right up! Crickets? Mealworms? Grasshoppers? Bring 'em on! This has absolutely nothing to do with me being afraid of insects or wimping out. Not even a little bit.** I could totally go Survivorman on some bugs!
**Okay, maybe a little bit.*** This is all about putting bugs in your mouth and chewing them up, after all.
***Or a lot. One of those two.
Posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
It was a rather nice last-day in Chicago. Weather was good. Work was good. Dinner and beer with friends was good. It's all good! So good that I almost don't want to leave.
Yet it didn't really start off that way.
This morning I woke up to the smell of... poop.
My first reaction was "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME!" Mostly because I only had one beer and two margaritas at dinner last night. And since I have never crapped myself after drinking, I am guessing it would take a heck of a lot more alcohol than one beer and two margaritas to do it. But a quick investigation showed that it wasn't me or anything in my room. It was a funky smell wafting in from somewhere else. Since there was nothing I could do about it, I plugged my nose and went back to sleep.
And now I'm packing my suitcase so I can head home tomorrow. The poopy odor seems to have dissipated, so hopefully I'll fly home odor-free.
But before I leave Chi-Town, I have to take a minute to wish the Blackhawks good luck this weekend.
I first got into hockey back when I was working in Milwaukee. A friend took me to an Admirals game, and I was hooked. The problem is that the Admirals are an American League team, so following the games is difficult. But NHL games were easy to find on television, so I started keeping up with various teams. Seattle didn't have one, so I drifted for a while until I got into the Chicago Blackhawks. Since I travel to Chicago quite a lot, and my Milwaukee Admirals were just an hour-and-a-half away, it just kind of "fit."
Being a Blackhawks fan is not always easy. They usually have some great players, but they never seem to get to the playoffs. The closest they've gotten since I started watching a decade ago was last season (when they lost in finals). There was no Stanley Cup, but a glimmer of hope emerged.
And this season? They swept the San Jose Sharks in playoffs on Sunday and will battle the Philadelphia Flyers for the Stanley Cup starting this weekend!
And goodbye Chicago. I should be seeing you again soon.
Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010
Apparently BP has used something called a "top kill" to get the oil spill under control. I hope it's true but, unfortunately, it's just too late. The damage is done. It's more than done.
If you were one of the many creatures who live in the Gulf, it's as if BP covered your home and everything in it in oil...
A part of me is sympathetic to BP for the beating they're taking. They are, after all, just a company trying to make money in a dangerous game where an accident can have dire consequences. And accidents do happen.
But, on the other hand...
Sympathy has to be reserved for those who can look back and honestly say "I did everything I possibly could to have avoided this disaster." And, in this case at least, I don't think BP did that. Since oil-rig blow-outs are so rare, it all comes down to how much money you spend on safety to fight a problem which will probably never happen. Do you spend $500,000 on an acoustic kill switch which may help in the event of a catastrophe? Or do you do what BP did and decide that the cost was too much for the potential benefits?
Well, when your actions can FUCK UP THE PLANET, I'm sorry, but you have no choice but to SPEND THE FUCKING MONEY!
As we are seeing right now, the alternative is just too horrible.
Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010
A good start to the weekend...
Posted on Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Posted on Sunday, May 30th, 2010
Home at last for Bullet Sunday! There's nothing I really want to blog about today, so I decided to take one of the "30 Days" memes going around and just blow through the whole month in one sitting...
• Guilty pleasure. Re-watching old television shows on DVD. I just finished Veronica Mars (again) and The West Wing (again), and am now starting up with Alias (holy crap that show was amazing in the first two seasons!).
• Something that inspires you. Doctors Without Borders.
• The five songs you would have with you on a desert island and why. Probably five songs that are kind of bittersweet and ironic... If You Were Here by Thompson Twins. Pictures of You by The Cure. Every Day is Like Sunday by Morrissey. The Way It Used to Be by Pet Shop Boys. I Wish I Cared by a-ha. If I could have a sixth, I'd pick Mercy In You by Depeche Mode, just because I love it.
• What you imagine paradise to be like. Maui.
• A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life. "Thank's for stopping by my blog, dear reader!"
• Earliest thing you can remember. Playing with toys at grandma's house.
• Favorite cover of your favorite song. My favorite song hasn't been covered (that I know of)... but I do like Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill as covered by Erasure.
• Someone you think would make a good president. Apple Computer's Steve Jobs. No joke.
• Five things you want to see change. 1) Miracle Whip needs to go back to the original oil-based recipe because the newer water-based recipe sucks. 2) Sarah Palin needs to shut the hell up, as she is destroying any hopeful future of women in higher politics with her never-ending stupidity. 3) If television networks and record labels aren't going to make their shit available for purchase, they need to stop whining about people stealing or trading it. 4) FOX News needs to stop claiming that their coverage is "fair and balanced" because it's just as biased as all the other crappy news networks, if not more-so. 5) Blind hatred needs to be seen as antiquated thinking and ridiculed at every oportunity.
• A dream you had this past week described in detail. I don't have dreams in the way most everybody else does.
• Favorite picture ever taken of yourself. I don't like ANY photos of me, so YOU pick. I do like photos of me where I'm with my friends though...
• Your favorite musical artist’s life story. Though I'm not a huge fan of Shania Twain, her story of fighting her way out of abject poverty to become a major star is pretty inspiring. Kind of like Dolly Parton.
• A memory that never fails to make you laugh. Just about anything from my college years.
• Best mashup you’ve ever heard. I don't generally like mash-ups because I usually have too much respect for the original music. That being said, I thought this mashup with Depeche Mode and Madonna was pretty brilliant...
• A moment, phrase, or song that has changed your life the most. My favorite phrase is a quote from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension that's pretty remarkable when you really take a minute to think about it... "No matter where you go, there you are."
• Something that you want to do within the next five years. Visit Antarctica.
• What you want to remembered for. Existing.
• A picture that makes you feel. There are many. This one of Rosa Parks is a favorite...
• A passage from a book that has touched you. The one book that has influenced me more than any other is Illusions by Richard Bach. Its every page is genius. But if I had to pick one passage from it that has touched me most, it's this one: "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they're yours." Everything is possible.
• A band that you immediately liked and the song that made you like them. Depeche Mode. Just Can't Get Enough.
• Your favorite medium of art. Oils on canvas for others, watercolors on paper for me.
• Someone you would give your life up for without question. Batman.
• Most awkward first impression you feel you’ve ever given. When meeting a blind-date once, I jokingly asked her how she felt about dating serial killers. It didn't end up being as funny as I had thought it would.
• Something you did as a child that other people remember you for. Being the most adorable baby ever...
• Something you would do if no one stopped you or if you knew you wouldn’t fail. Absolutely nothing. Doing nothing is the Holy Grail for me.
• Your definition of love. Shoelaces.
• Your definition of the meaning of life. Making the lives of others better.
• A moment you remember being completely happy in and a description of why you believe you were. What is your definition of happiness? I spent the weekend with my sister, and was totally happy most of the time. Probably because I was drunk most of the time. So I guess my definition of being happiness is being drunk.
• What you live for. New experiences. New people. New adventures.
• Ways you believe you have grown over the past thirty days. Even after looking back over my entries from the past 30 days, I have no idea. Except that every day is an opportunity to learn and grow, and I hope that I have.
Posted on Monday, May 31st, 2010
Memorial Day is a special day here in the USA which is set aside to remember those who died in military service.
Unfortunately it's also become a day of politically exploiting those who died in military service. I found this out the hard way when I opened my email this morning only to find this absurd rant about "Obama being the first American president not to lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery." Because the email had been forwarded, there were several witty comments attached... everything from "Obama prefers to spit on the graves of dead soldiers" and "This just proves Hussein Obama is a commie dictator with no respect for American values."
Whenever I get an email like this, the first thing I do is go to Google News and see what Obama is actually up to.
Turns out he's in Chicago, and attended a Memorial Day event at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery where he laid a wreath of remembrance there (after sending VP Biden to lay the traditional wreath at Arlington). He tried to give a speech, but a lightning storm made it unsafe to do so. This was sad, but he had already posted a Memorial Day video, so no harm no foul, I guess.
After confirming that President Obama was NOT, in fact, spitting on the graves of fallen American soldiers, I clicked over to Snopes to see if they had an article about him being the only American President to not lay a wreath at Arlington. Not surprisingly, Snopes did have an article.
Turns out that President H.W. Bush, President G.W. Bush, and even President Ronald Reagan... the fucking Conservative Presidential Holy Trifecta... ALL did not lay wreaths at Arlington on Memorial Day at some time or another. Hell, President H.W. Bush didn't lay a SINGLE WREATH AT ARLINGTON DURING THE ENTIRE FOUR YEARS HE WAS IN OFFICE!
Heaven only knows I am not President Obama's biggest fan, but this stupid shit drives me insane.
How is spreading lies and cheapening the memories of American soldiers who paid for our freedoms with their lives a proper show of respect on Memorial Day?
I guess all I can say to those who died in service so we can carry on with our reprehensible behavior is "thanks anyway."