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Missile

Posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Dave!With apologies to Nathan Adrian and everybody else in these United States, I was not rooting for us to take the gold in the 100-meter Olympic freestyle competition. Not that I am unhappy he won... far from it... many happy congratulations to Adrian and Team USA. It's just that I had a different favorite for winning the race.

Two months before I landed in Sydney last September, James "The Missile" Magnussen had become the 100m Freestyle World Champion at the FINA competition in Shanghai. This made him a very popular fixture in the world of Australian sports, and a lot of predictions for Olympic gold were already being talked up...

James The Missile Magnussen World Champion Medal
James Magnussen World Champion 2011, Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images AsiaPac

One evening while re-packing my suitcase (in Cairns, I think?) with the television on, I caught some kind of documentary/interview with the guy, and he was everything you'd want a world champion to be... kind and generous with his words, brilliant in his skills, and extremely confident in his abilities.

But the thing that struck me most is how it was repeatedly stressed that he was the best hope for the Aussies bringing home 100m Freestyle gold, which hadn't happened since Michael Wenden won it 1968. Not even the "invincible" Ian "The Thorpedo" Thorpe could manage it in 2004.

That's when I stopped packing for a minute, and tried to fathom how a 20-year-old guy could sit there with the hopes of an entire country heaped on his shoulders and not crumble on the spot.

How does one even deal with that being in their head?

And so I wanted James Magnussen to win gold, just so the lofty expectations set for him... and by him... would be fulfilled and maybe he could have a short time without all the pressure he usually has to endure.

Unfortunately Team Australia didn't medal in the Freestyle Relay earlier and, even more unfortunately, Magnussen didn't get a gold medal in the 100m Freestyle tonight. He lost to American Nathan Adrian by one-one-hundredths of a second...

Nathan Adrian Touch

So now I was even more worried for the poor guy. He missed his dream by - literally - less time than it takes to blink an eye. Though shattered, he was taking it as well as one could expect... "It hurts. I did my best tonight and and it was not quite good enough. To lose by that amount stings but I've had a lot of great support the last few days from people from back in Australia."

I hope so.

He's young and he'll be back in 2016 at the height of his game (and with Olympic experience!), so that'll be something to look forward to...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey with Australia Flags

In the meanwhile, the press is having a field-day with tearing Magnussen down, just as Phelps before him. If I have to read one more "The Missile was a Dud" headline I'm going to scream. The guy is still a World Champion swimmer. He has a silver medal from the Olympic Games. If that makes him a dud, then the rest of the world might as well give up right now.

As for me? I'm just going to get some sleep.

   

Friends

Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Dave!"Get used to disappointment."
                                  —The Man in Black

No matter how many friends you have... no matter how large your family... no matter how hard you work to build relationships with everybody... the number of people you can actually count on when the chips are down is almost always shockingly small.

Fortunately, I am not speaking from personal experience, but am merely an observer of a situation that's driving me insane. Everybody who should be jumping in to help just... aren't... for some reason. Which means somebody is being left to twist in the wind all alone who deserves much better.

I am far too removed from things to jump in.

And yet I did so anyway, sending a small gift with a note that said "Hear you're in a tough spot. Keep your head up and don't let the bastards get you down."

Today I got a reply which was filled with heart-felt thanks... and an interesting perspective on the situation.

"When you're on the rise you're happy to have friends who can share in your success. But a part of you knows the day will come when you stop rising and start falling. What you don't know is how many of your friends will choose to share the ride back down. Those are the true friends you know you can count on no matter what. I never expected that I would end up having no true friends."

It's enough to make you want to jump out a window. But then he mentioned that he's finding new friends he didn't even know he had, which has made an otherwise horrible experience somehow liberating.

We should all be so unfortunate.

And by "unfortunate," I mean "lucky."

Because you never know when your liberation is at hand...

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Worldly

Posted on Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Dave!Watching these Games of the XXX Olympiad in London as I have been, it's been pretty easy to overestimate how much of the world I've seen. Every time a medal is won, I'm running through a list in my head and going check, check, check, as I mentally mark off all the countries I have visited.

But then I start thinking of how American television is obviously going to show mostly American competitions. And how the majority of those competitions seem to be won by the same handful of nations over and over again. Which led to me wonder exactly how much of the world's countries I've actually seen.

Turns out... not a lot...

Countries of the World I've Visited
See my map or create your own by visiting TravBuddies!

Not even a quarter of them. Even so, 22% is nothing to sneeze at, and I feel extremely lucky and fortunate that I've been able to see as much as I have. And yet... there's something discouraging about knowing how, in the grand scheme of things, I've made such a small dent in a big world.

To make myself feel better, I went back to the Olympic medal-count winners' list and checked off the countries I've visited for the top ten nations...

  1. United States ✓
  2. China ✓
  3. Korea ✓
  4. United Kingdom ✓
  5. France ✓
  6. Germany ✓
  7. Italy ✓
  8. DPR Korea
  9. Kazakhstan
  10. Russia

Sweet! 70% is totally more like it!

But how about on a list of all the medal-winning countries (so far)?

  1. South Africa
  2. New Zealand
  3. Japan ✓
  4. Cuba
  5. Netherlands ✓
  6. Hungary
  7. Poland ✓
  8. Ukraine
  9. Australia ✓
  10. Romania ✓
  11. Brazil
  12. Belarus
  13. Slovenia
  14. Georgia
  15. Lithuania
  16. Venezuela
  17. Mexico ✓
  18. Canada ✓
  19. Colombia ✓
  20. Spain ✓
  21. Czech Republic ✓
  22. Sweden ✓
  23. Denmark ✓
  24. Belgium ✓
  25. Indonesia ✓
  26. India
  27. Mongolia
  28. Norway ✓
  29. Croatia
  30. Egypt ✓
  31. Thailand ✓
  32. Taipei
  33. Slovakia
  34. Azerbaijan
  35. Greece ✓
  36. Hong Kong ✓
  37. Iran
  38. Moldova
  39. Qatar
  40. Singapore ✓
  41. Serbia
  42. Uzbekistan

Hmmm... 27 out of 52 would be 52%... not bad at all. That's putting a pretty good dent in the world!

But, so long as we're making country lists, my favorite would have to be the countries represented by pavilions at Walt Disney World's EPCOT World Showcase...

  1. Mexico ✓
  2. Norway ✓
  3. China ✓
  4. Germany ✓
  5. Italy ✓
  6. United States ✓
  7. Japan ✓
  8. Morocco
  9. France ✓
  10. United Kingdom ✓
  11. Canada ✓

91%... how awesome is that? Using this list means I've almost seen the entire World (Showcase), and can probably see all the countries in the entire World (Showcase) in my lifetime!

   
And now we return you to our regularly-scheduled Olympic broadcast.

Unless you're watching on US television, in which case NBC will return you in 12 hours or so.

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Cricket

Posted on Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Dave!Yesterday morning I went out to my car only to see a cricket perched on my rear door. Worried that he'd be leaving his cricket family and his cricket friends if he went with me to work, I tapped near him so he'd move. He didn't budge. I blew on him so that he'd jump off, but he just got irritated and turned away. So I poked him gently thinking that would do the trick, but he just took a couple steps and re-planted himself. Apparently, he was dead-set against leaving. I thought surely getting in my car and slamming the front door would convince him to bail, but no. "Okay then, little buddy, I guess you're taking a trip downtown."

The drive is only five minutes, but it seemed a lot longer because I was always checking on my passenger in my rear-view mirror. Surprisingly, he hung in there all the way to work and was still clinging to my car when I exited it. So I pulled out my iPhone to take his picture, and that's when he decided to jump off.

Of course. They always move just as you go to take a photo. Why didn't I think of that to begin with?

My guess is that he caught his cricket girlfriend cheating on him and just couldn't bear to be around her neighborhood one damn minute longer. Perhaps he thought a change of scenery would do him some good, and my car was the fastest way to get out of Dodge. No wonder he was so determined.

In any event, I hope he's happy in his new home. There's a tiny park across the street, so maybe that's where he ended up. Maybe he'll find himself a new cricket girlfriend and live happily ever after.

There are times I think I'd like to jump on a car passing through town and set sail for a change of scenery myself.

But I get bored on long car trips.

Guess I'll look at the television for a while and see where that gets me.

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Bullet Sunday 290

Posted on Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Dave!Stop your melting and embrace the heatwave... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Heat. I wasn't kidding. It was so hot today that the air conditioner couldn't keep up. Which means that even with the unit on MAX COOL and turned to COLDEST it was still like a sauna in my home all day. Even now the temperature is 100° outside... and it's 5:30 at night! Unless you live in the San Francisco Bay area, looks it's going to be another scorcher tomorrow...

Scorcher Weater Map

Not a good day to be living in the pink.

   
• Landing. As I have written before, I have a terrible tendency to attribute human qualities to inanimate objects. Especially robots. It's always been a problem but, after watching WALL-E, I'm pretty much a hopeless case for looking a little robots as something more than "just machines." I was a wreck when I heard that the Mars Rover, Spirit was stuck and couldn't move around the Martian landscape any more. All I could picture was a little robot trapped and all alone far from home...

WALL-E Spirit Rover

So, as you can well imagine, the impending "drop" of a new Mars Rover named Curiosity is making me pretty nervous. The landing procedure is scary as hell, and I'll be glued to my MacBook tonight to hear if he makes it so I'm not worrying all night...

Damn. Good luck to you, Curiosity!

UDATE: So happy to know he has landed safely and his cameras are operating! Here's hoping everything else is working properly and he can start rolling around Mars soon! WAY TO GO, NASA!

   
• Fairies. I hate television commercials. Hate them. 99% of the time they are stupid, loud, annoying, and disruptive pieces of crap that make me want to kick in my television screen. Which is why I don't usually watch live television... I record it on my DVR so I can fast-forward through them. But there are rare exceptions. Like Direct TV's series of "Football Fairies" commercials starring Deion Sanders and Eli Manning. Really smart, well-done, and funny as hell...

   

Genius. If all commercials were this entertaining, I wouldn't want to fast-forward through them. On top of that, this commercial makes me wish I could have Direct TV. I hope the agency that came up with this is getting some serious bank for their efforts.

   
• Album. The initial reviews for Linkin Park's fifth album, Living Things, weren't very positive, so I held off buying it until I had a chance to give it a listen. I was not a big fan of their previous effort, A Thousand Suns, which made me hesitant to rush out and buy something new...

Living Things by Linkin Park

And then I caught the video for BURN IT DOWN and liked what I heard...

Then I was finally compelled to buy it after previewing the tracks on iTunes Music Store. Turns out I really like it. It's kind of a return to classic Linkin Park via a new kind of 80's-influenced sound direction. If you're an LP fan scared off by the bad reviews, I recommend giving it a listen. Even though every track title is SHOUTING AT YOU IN ALL-CAPS, it's a really good album.

   
• New New 52. Last year DC Comics cancelled all of their comic books and rebooted their "Universe" to start over from scratch with the "New 52"... so named for the 52 comic titles they released at launch. Overall, I consider it to be a success. I'm still reading 18 of the titles, which is more comics than I've been reading in a long time. Eventually, some of the books were canceled due to low sales (including OMAC, which I loved) and replaced with new books. The two most interesting involve Earth-2, an old "alternate earth" concept that DC abandoned back in 1985...

Worlds Finest and Earth 2

Surprisingly, World's Finest and Earth-2 were immediately put on my "Top 10 Must-Reads" list... and World's Finest (Starring The Huntress and Power Girl) is vying for the #1 spot. It's just great comic book fun! I love the writing (by Paul Levitz), and it features two of my favorite artists, (George Peréz on the "current" story thread, and Kevin Maguire on the "flashback" story thread). If you're a fan of all those great comic team books from the 80's, before everything took a turn towards being all dark and all gritty and all confusing all the time...I highly recommend giving these two titles a look!

   
Annnnnd... it's 9:30pm and just one hour until Curiosity starts his seven-minute descent. Now I'm wondering if I can bear to listen to the broadcast...

   

PDXZS

Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2012

Dave!Going to be in Portland, Oregon this Saturday?

If so, then be sure to drop by the THRICE Fiction table at the Portland Zine Symposium from 10:00am until 5:00pm at Refuge on 116 SE Yamhill. Admission is free, and I will be there representing the magazine and selling copies of our new THRICE Fiction 2011 Black & White Annual for just $7... over half-off the $14.95 retail.

It's pretty...

THRICE Fiction B&W Annual

Copies are limited to how many I can fit in my backpack, so show up early if you want one!

Or just stop by and say "hi" to me even if you don't want one!

NOTE: I will be at the show SATURDAY ONLY! If you show up on Sunday, I won't be there. I'll be wandering aimlessly around Portland on a Voodoo Doughnut sugar high.

   

Diary

Posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Dave!Back in April, I wrote about a Kickstarter project that I desperately wanted funded...

"The holy grail for Stanley Kubrick fans (outside his movies, obviously) is a copy of a book called Full Metal Jacket Diary by Matthew Modine, who was an actor in the film. The reason it's such a big deal is twofold... 1) Not only is it a nifty personal account of working on the film, it's a photographic account of Kubrick's filmmaking process. This is unheard of access into the mind of one of the world's greatest filmmakers. 2) The book was limited to 20,000 copies and never reprinted, because Modine intended it to be a collector's item. What this means is that legions of Kubrick fans have been denied access to this important work. Until now. Maybe. A guy named Adam Rackoff is attempting to bring Full Metal Jacket Diary out as an iPad app. This nicely retains the collector value of the original book while also allowing the information to be released to anybody with access to an iPad."

I was over the moon when the project was successfully funded.

Today the app was finally released. And it doesn't suck...

Full Metal Jacket Diary App
The menu system is fantastic, and disappears when not needed.

Full Metal Jacket Diary App
The photos change as you scroll the text, which you can have author/actor Matthew Modine read to you.

Full Metal Jacket Diary App
All the amazing photos have been scanned at hi-resolution and can be zoomed in on at any time.

On the contrary, it is a stunning app. Not only do you get the entirety of the original diary book, but you get complete audio narration by author Matthew Modine. All of which means nothing if the app is bad and hard to use... but it isn't. This project was a labor of love through and through and it shows. Everything is really well thought out... and optimized for Retina Display, which means if looks fantastic.

If you have any interest in film and want some insight into the mind of a true artist of the medium... or you're a fan of Full Metal Jacket... or you're a fan of Kubrick... or you just want to see the kind of apps that iPad was made for... click here to go get a copy. It's just $14.95, and worth every penny.

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Uhh…

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Dave!

no.

   

   

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Zine

Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Dave! Since I have never even attended a "zine show" I'm a little nervous about exhibiting at the Portland Zine Symposium this weekend. Part of the problem has to do with a sentence out of the tabling guidelines...

"In order keep the Portland Zine Symposium focused on zines and to maintain the DIY spirit of the Portland Zine Symposium, at least 51% of merchandise at any table must be handmade zines and/or independently published materials."

Sure, THRICE Fiction is independently published... it's just Bob and myself... but we're hardly "Do It Yourself" when it comes to the actual production of the magazine. Digital copies are given away for free, but anything people want to physically purchase is professionally printed. So... the question becomes "Will we be welcomed with our slick printed magazines and books?" or "Will people stop by just to slap me in the face and set our table on fire?"

I honestly don't know.

So last Wednesday I went to Flickr and did a search for Portland Zine Symposium photos.

Oh crap.

It's just table after table of handmade books that looks like they were copied at Kinkos and stapled together in somebody's living room.

So now I've gone from being "a little worried" to being "a lot worried." I considered canceling, but I had already bought a non-refundable airline ticket and spent a lot of money printing a book to sell. "Oh well," I thought. "Guess I'll just show up and hope we're 'indy' enough that I don't get slapped and set on fire."

And then realized I don't want to risk getting slapped, so I decided to hand-make a zine instead (which is something Bob had suggested years ago... go figure).

This was easier said than done, as there wasn't time to hand-draw a new zine from scratch. Not knowing what else to do, I figured I'd just assemble some stuff from my blog and see how that went (which is something else Bob had suggested years ago... go figure). Ultimately I decided to make a zine filled with Bad Monkey cartoons. I figured since everybody loves monkeys, this was my best chance of not getting our table set on fire.

Then I spent the next couple nights cobbling together a zine. Then I ordered a booklet stapler and a stack-cutter. Then I printed copies (in color, because I'm That Guy). Then I spent the next couple nights saddle-stitch stapling everything together. My stack-cutter never showed up, so today I had to go bother a print shop to trim my books for me.

And so now I have a hand-made zine for our table...

Bad Monkey Comix

To make them seem more "hand-made," I worked hard to get them looking beat up and aged. All the interior pages are yellowed and textured. The cover has wear and tear marks printed on it. Then I took each copy and rubbed it on a gem cutter's cloth to add a little bit of scuff. They're as hand-made as I can get, given the time constraints I'm under...

Bad Monkey Comix Wear and Tear

Overall, the experience of making this zine sucked. And I'm still not 100% convinced that the DaveToons will even make sense out of the context of my blog. Oh well (again).

But... it definitely has me anxious to try making more zines in the future. With more time and less anxiety, it seems like this kind of thing would actually be something fun to do!

In the meanwhile, everybody cross their fingers that my first zine show doesn't end up with my getting slapped and a visit from the fire department...

   

Portlandia 1

Posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012

Dave!Portland is a real toss-up when it comes to travel. Driving there from my home is about 5 hours. Flying there is also about 5 hours... once driving to the airport, getting through security, waiting for boarding, flight time, and layovers are factored in. So what to do? Usually it comes down to money. If it's cheaper to drive, I drive. If it turns out it's cheaper to fly, I fly.

This time it was not only cheaper to fly (thanks to a rocking' airfare I found with Alaska Airlines) but I honestly didn't feel like driving for five hours.

Unfortunately my flight was at 6:00am, which means I had to get up at 3:30am. This makes for a very long day.

But a good one.

Eventually.

Because it started off terrible. After checking in with my airport hotel, I took a shuttle to the MAX light rail station. After buying my ticket I went to look at the schedule and saw a poor little moth trapped behind the glass and unable to move...

Trapped Moth

I tried tapping the glass to try and knock him loose but, even if I got him un-stuck, he'd probably just climb right back up again while trying to find a way out. I then contemplated smashing him to put the poor little guy out of his misery, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Calling the TriMet emergency line was my last option, but something told me they wouldn't rush right out to release a trapped moth. So I left the poor bugger to his fate.

From there I was off to meet Vahid and Sarah for lunch. Which was at E-San, one of the best Thai restaurants I've eaten at outside of Thailand. I had fried pineapple rice (which they serve in a hollowed-out pineapple half...

ESan Thai

It. Was. Awesome.

Then my Portland hosts decided to show off by taking me to "Salt and Straw" which is an ice cream parlor SO GOOD that Oprah has it on her "Favorite Things" list. The line ran all the way out the door, which only confirmed that Oprah knows her ice cream...

Salt And Straw

I had Almond Brittle with Salted Chocolate Ganache mixed with Sea Salt Ice Cream with a Caramel Ribbon. And, yes, you read that right... it's not "salted caramel in ice cream" it's actually SALT-FLAVORED ICE CREAM which happens to have caramel in it. Needless to say... it's pretty damn salty. But also pretty amazing. What's even more amazing than the flavors are the staff... you'd think serving all these rather pretentious and upscale flavors from a hugely popular parlor would give them attitude. But it absolutely doesn't. They are all as nice and fun as can be... happy to let you try flavors and make recommendations so that you're thrilled with your dessert. And I was.

And here's where our day takes an unbelievable turn...

Portland, Oregon is a city so filled with freedom and American spirit... THAT THEY HAVE CUTE GIRLS HANDING OUT FREE HUMMUS ON THE STREET CORNERS! Yes. You read that right. This is NOT a dream. This is NOT an imaginary story. Free. Hummus. FREE HUMMUS ON THE STREET!!

Sabra Hummus Free!

"Is this heaven?"

"No. It's Portland."

Sabra Hummus in my Hand!

Unbelievable!

And then, because only Batman can top free hummus, Vahid and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises...

The Dark Knight Rises Poster

Loved it.

Not quite as much as The Dark Knight, but it was a very good end to the Nolan-directed Batman series of films. The only negative was that I had completely figured it all out well before the ending. Anybody who religiously follows the comic books would. But... it didn't diminish my enjoyment one bit. Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (an unnamed Catwoman) totally steals the show. Bane was a much better villain choice than I gave him credit for (thanks to an amazing performance by Tom Hardy)... and Christian Bale once again ruled the cowl in a way no other Batman has ever done. Genius. Here's hoping that whomever takes over the Batman movies will do even half as good a job as Christopher Nolan.

And now... I'm pretty much dead, and tomorrow is going to be a long day.

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Portlandia 2

Posted on Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Dave!My day started exactly the way every day should start... with perfect toast.

Vahid and Sarah took me to Milo's City Cafe where, I kid you not, they have a guy whose only job is making perfect toast. He has a pair of wooden tongs that he uses to check your toast, flip your toast, and make sure your toast is toasting evenly to just the right toastiness. It's amazing, and his dedication to awesome toast is epic. He's the Toast Master! And perfect toast is what he does. Given my love of toast, I couldn't have been more impressed. I wanted quite badly to go shake his hand after breakfast was over, but I was too star struck. If only every restaurant took toast this seriously.

And then I was off to the Portland Zine Symposium...

THRICE Fiction Table

THRICE Fiction Table

Overall, it was a very nice event... though I'm still not sure that THRICE Fiction was a good fit. The majority of the stuff there was DIY hand-crafted works, and that just isn't us. But, even so, we did pretty good for the day. I originally ordered 40 copies of our new 2011 Black and White Annual, 20 for each day... even though I never expected to actually sell that many. Since I was handing out flyers to let people know that we give our magazine away for free on our website, who would spend money to buy it? But, even after telling people how to get THRICE for free, I still ended up selling 14 copies and trading 7 more. So... worth it, I think.

The only real problem with the event was the heat. It was insanely warm at the venue. At the 2:00 half-way point, I had sold 12 copies. The two remaining copies were sold by 3:30. Which means I did nothing from 3:30 to 6:00. It was just too hot in the afternoon. You could see people coming inside... wandering for a bit... then leaving while fanning themselves before ever getting to my table. Only the most dedicated zine fans stuck it out, but they were the ones least likely to buy a book, as they were after the home-grown DIY stuff.

Stuff like tiny little hand-folded, hand-draw books that a guy was selling for 50¢ each. He made me one with monkeys that he traded for a copy of Bad Monkey Comix, and I love it...

Tiny Monkey Book

And there was a lot of cool stuff at the show. One of my favorite zine tables was near me and called Everything Waffles, a monthly magazine dedicate to a guy who takes photos of himself with his cat, Waffles. Sounds boring, I know... but these aren't ordinary photos... they're costume photos that are really well done...

American Pride with Waffle
"American Pride" (with Waffles) by Justin Schwab

Genius. The guy has videos and a podcast too. How can you not be compelled to check out his website?

I ended up only booking a table for just the one day instead of two... for which I am now grateful. I don't know that I could survive a second day of non-stop sitting in 100° heat. But I am really glad I came, and seeing all the incredible creativity that people have in creating zines has me really, really interested in creating some of my own.

UPDATE: For everyone who has been asking, YES! I am happy to sell my extra copies of THRICE Fiction 2011 B&W Annual and Bad Monkey Comix. When I get home I'll find out the cheapest way to mail them, then let you know how much it costs. And, of course, I will honor the show prices for the THRICE annual ($7, which is just 5¢ more than I paid for them, so it's a pretty good deal!).

   

Bullet Sunday 291: Portlandia 3

Posted on Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Dave!Put away that razor and pull on those socks and Birkenstocks... because Bullet Sunday LIVE from Portland, Oregon starts... now...

   
• Olympic. I would have paid serious money for Bob Costas and Ryan Seacrest to shut the fuck up during the Olympic Closing Ceremonies. Seriously, nobody wants to hear your inane and unnecessary banter. People who don't already know the artist and/or song being performed, or what the British flag looks like, or when the "comedic part of the show" starts, or whatever... isn't going to give a shit, so just stop because you're pissing off the rest of us that do.

Anyway... the mix of musicians was interesting and the performances were top-notch, so I guess that's all you can really hope for. As an 80's music whore and pop music fan, seeing Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, Annie Lennox, Bond, Spice Girls(!), Queen, ELO, and Take That... all in a single event... all with a giant octopusmobile AND ERIC IDLE... was pretty great (alas, no nod to punk?).

Spice Olympics
Spicey Olympics Photo by Hassan Ammar/AP

So congratulations to London and the U.K. for delivering a big "fuck you" to Mitt Romney by being the perfect host for the games... I'm just sorry that here in the Colonies, NBC felt the need to butcher your event and slap bad commentary over everything while injecting "human interest" stories that (for the most part) were neither human nor interesting. Hopefully we'll have better luck in 2016...

Rio 2016

...but I doubt it.

   
• Rozilla. While I still find the Comedy Central Roasts entertaining, it seems like it's more washed-up celebrity than heavy hitters in comedy any more. I mean, it's Rosanne for Pete's sake...

Rosanne Roasted

The opportunity to roast her should have brought out some of the biggest names in comedy. Instead we get Carrie Fisher, Ellen Barkin(?), and Seth Green(?!?). A completely missed opportunity. The surprise appearance by Tom Arnold was (surprisingly) a good thing... and Amy Schumer keeps getting funnier, so I guess there's that. But this pale imitation of the glory days of the Friar's Club Roasts is just kind of sad. If they can't do better than this for somebody like Rosanne then they should just hang it up.

   
• Totally. And so I went to see Total Recall (the Total 2012 Remake). It wasn't bad. It had good action, good special effects, and a nice Blade Runner-esque environment that pretty much sold the future. And there were a few nods to the original film that were great (TWO WEEKS!)...

Total Recall 2012

The problem? It just wasn't any fun. On the contrary, it was essentially joyless, and I'm not sure how it ended up that way with so much going for it. Kate Beckinsale was delicious, as usual. And I thought Colin Farrell did a great job. So I dunno. Maybe the Arnold Schwarzenegger original was just too well done? Paul Verhoeven really knocked it out of the park, creating a film that totally holds up and doesn't need a remake. But it's not like that has ever stopped Hollywood.

   
• Kubert. I was very sad to learn that comic book icon Joe Kubert has died. Talk about somebody who made a mark in his field. The guy was a true artist and comic book master. I remember his Hawkman stories very well, and always enjoyed it when he popped up in unexpected places.

Hawkman

Rest in peace, Mr. Kubert.

   
• Crazy. As much as I try to ignore the freak show, Pat Robertson seems to be echoing the same bullshit that I keep hearing from other homophobic morons who are twisting The Bible to justify their hate, so here he goes...

First of all, IT'S NOT ABOUT A CHICKEN SANDWICH OR A MILKSHAKE, YOU STUPID PIECE OF SHIT. It's not even about some rich asshole's right to give money to groups which fosters an environment so horrible that gay youth are killing themselves. It's about people choosing to not support a company whose profits support such un-American ideals as DENYING EQUALITY TO EVERYONE. Why is it that hate groups like "One Million Moms" can call for all kinds of boycotts against things you don't like and that's okay, but when somebody else calls for a boycott against something you do like, they're "attacking freedom?"

Second of all, cherry-picking only those things out of The Book of Leviticus which you think supports your hateful crap makes for a laughably hypocritical and ignorant "Christian." Where is your outrage for all the other antiquated and ignored parts of The Bible which get violated every single day? Where's the righteous hate towards those wearing an article of clothing woven from two different threads, for example? Not that it matters. Here in the United States of America people don't have to live by the warped, edited, and totally biased interpretation of a religious document that's been butchered by an addle-minded old bigot with a television show. YOU live by it if you want to, that's your right. But keep in mind that it's everybody else's right to tell you to go fuck yourself and live the way they want to. Freedom. You may want to go look it up sometime.

And, thirdly, I defy... I defy an infertile woman married to an infertile man to bring forth a baby from that part of the anatomy which they concentrate on. I also defy you to comprehend that you can't categorize somebody's relationship eligibility by whether or not their body parts can make a baby. Not according to Christianity, and most certainly not according to the law. It's a very simple concept, and yet you keep avoiding it because the alternative is to come out and admit the truth... you just "hate those filthy homosexuals" and don't feel they deserve any rights because they don't live the way you want them to. Holy crap what a pathetic coward you are that you don't even have the balls to come out and say it.

So why don't you be the one to shut your mouth? People here in the 21st century are getting sick and tired of religion being used as an excuse for intolerance and hatred. This country is starting to move past your tired old message of bigotry and exclusion. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion, and this country was based on that ideal. If you can't handle that, feel free to get the fuck out of the USA and go start a country of your own. That way, I won't have to keep seeing your stupid America-hating, freedom-defiling, equality-bashing ass pop up any time you say something new and crazy. Which, apparently, is constantly.

   
• EXTREME! Dude! SHARK WEEK STARTS TODAY!!

Shark Extreme Melon

I wish I knew who created this beyond-awesome fruit carving, because they totally deserve recognition for crafting the most shark extreme watermelon ever. The gummi-fish are a nice touch.

   
And now? Seacrest out.

At last.

   

Kathi

Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2012

Dave!After hearing that KOMO 4 News co-anchor Kathi Goertzen died after a long battle with brain tumors, I tried to think back to a time before the news had her in it.

I couldn't do it.

Tonight when I got home from the airport, I found out why. I didn't start watching the local news with any seriousness until Mt. St. Helens erupted on May 18th, 1980. After that I was glued to the television, wondering if lava was going to start rolling down my street. Coincidentally, this is when Kathi Goertzen joined KOMO 4 News. I probably skipped around all the local channels at first, but it was Kathi that I liked best, and I've been a KOMO 4 fan ever since...

Kathi Goertzen

Which has not been easy, because I positively loathe Ken Schram, a commentator on KOMO 4 whom I've wanted to punch in the face more times than I can count (he became a nationally infamous douchebag when he compared breast-feeding to public urination).

But thanks to Kathi Goertzen, her co-anchor Dan Lewis, and the coolest weatherman ever, Steve Pool, I've stuck with KOMO 4 through good times and bad...

Over the years, I got a sense of just how amazing Kathi Goertzen could be. Not only was she astoundingly talented and professional at her job, but she was a genuinely good person. She worked tirelessly to support her community and the many charities which touched her heart. She even started a foundation to help others who were diagnosed with brain tumors. Kathi was much-loved by a lot of people, and I can't fathom anybody watching her on television who didn't come to love her as well.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so very much to Kathi Goertzen for her courage and dedication. As somebody who can't remember what the news was like before she came along, I'm greatly saddened by her passing, and my thoughts go out to her family, friends, and co-workers at KOMO. Rest in peace, and good night.

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R&R

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Dave!Yesterday I returned home only to find that the air conditioner stopped working while I was in Portland. A day later and it's still not working. Which means I'm typing this in 94° heat. Which wouldn't bother me so much if I were lounging by a pool or getting ready to swim in the ocean... but at home? Teh suck.

So continue at your own risk, because I may be suffering from heatstroke and unable to form coherent sentences. Guess that's as good excuse as any to talk about politics.

And so this happened...

Romney and Ryan
Bwah! Ha! Ha! We're rich and white... how can we lose? — Photo by Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo - EPA/Landov

   
If you're into the news, Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is being hailed as a "bold choice."

Which could be true, if all you're wanting to do is make a bold statement. But, if you are actually wanting to win the presidency, I'd be more likely to hail it as a "crazy choice." But wait wait wait... before anybody starts stepping up to defend Ryan and call me nasty names... I am talking about perception here. I fully admit that I don't know much about Ryan yet (other than he voted for massive government spending under Bush, then changed his mind and now hates government spending under Obama) so I'm not going to comment on what he's about until I actually know what he's about.

Fortunately, internet memes popped up almost immediately after the announcement, so it should be easy to get a handle on Ryan's politics...

Hey girl, you look so cute when you're losing your reproductive rights.

Hey girl, I'm sorry to hear you were impregnated by a rapist. Better luck next time.

Hey girl, you know what makes me swoon? Tax cuts for millionaires... and puppy breath.

Giving more money to the rich didn't work. So, we need to give more money to the rich.

Hey girl, I hope you're middle class because I really want to screw you.

Hey girl, the only Social Security you need is having me as your arm candy.

Hey girl, I voted against equal pay for women. But you don't need to keep warn when you have me.

Hey girl, you don't really need cancer screenings, do you?

Hey girl, I'm pro-life. But not necessarily yours.

Hey girl, happy 85th birthday. Hope your kids are good at changing bedpans, that nursing home ain't paying for itself.

Hey girl, I know I'm only 42, but my ideas on women's rights are over 400 years old.

Oh dear.

Yeah, I know that the conservative-leaning crowd have the same kind of thing for President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, et al... but they are usually humorous commentary on known quantities or old gossip (Obama is a secret Muslim!). But this? This is commentary of a different kind. Issues like the economy are a toss-up because they're such a big mess that, deep down, everybody knows there's no magical fix, and it doesn't matter whether the candidate is Republican or Democrat. Politicians are politicians on both sides of the fence, and Americans are used to getting screwed over by politicians. We are conditioned to expect that we will get screwed over by politicians. So whatever, because it's all the same.

But start telling women how Paul Ryan is going to take away their birth control and right to choose? Tell seniors that Paul Ryan is going to take away their medicare and social security? Tell gays that Paul Ryan is going to take away (even more) of their rights? Tell the middle class that Paul Ryan is going to take away affordable health care? Tell the poor that Paul Ryan is going to take away the programs they need to survive so he can give tax breaks to the wealthy? Oog. Nothing mobilizes voters faster than telling them that a politician is going to take something away that matters to them. Just ask the gun lobby when they told everybody that Obama was going to take away their guns.

Ryan's problem (which is now Romney's problem) is that he's quickly emerging as the guy who is going to take away that thing you like. This is going to be exploited by every single political opponent the Republican presidential ticket has, because it's just too easy. This is not some esoteric thing that people can't really wrap their heads around (like the budget)... this is real.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it. - Abraham Lincoln.

When it comes to politics, perception becoming reality is nothing new.

Now we get to see if Paul Ryan is a strong enough politician to shift the perception people have to create the reality he wants. In the end, that's all that ever seems to matter any more.

   

Luxurious

Posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Dave!Given the horrible wildfires burning near Cle Elum (just an hour away from me), I loathe to complain about something so relatively petty... but holy crap does coming home to a 94° home suck ass. Since the air conditioner broke, evenings are just miserable, and trying to sleep in this heat is nigh impossible. But at least I still have a home to come home to. Dozens of people in Kittitas County are not so lucky. I try to remember this and be grateful... but it's just sewww hawwwt!

Which once again makes me realize just how badly I take for granted all the wonderful luxuries I am privileged to live with.

Like air conditioning.

And a place to sleep.

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Cone

Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Dave!I have air conditioning again.

This is, of course, fantastic. There's nothing quite like coming home to a cool house on a hot day.

The only down-side being that I no longer have an excuse to eat chocolate ice cream cones for dinner...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Eating Ice Cream

Except the excuse that I have a strange disease I picked up while traveling abroad which requires me to eat chocolate ice cream cones for dinner or else I'll die.

Yeah. That.

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Unplanned

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2012

Dave!This morning I had grandiose plans to wake up early, unpack my suitcase (from four days ago), and do some chores that have been piling up over the last several weeks. Instead I read a really cool book about the Batman movies and ended up being 20 minutes late to work.

Sometimes things just don't go as planned.

Which is okay... except I'm going to be working all weekend, so my luggage and list of chores is going to be put off until next week. Heaven forbid I should get up early on a weekend to take care of stuff before a Toxic Biological Event starts growing in my suitcase...

Bad Monkey Suitcase Trouble

And speaking of Toxic Biological Events...

What in the hell is happening over at Taco Bell? These new Cantina Bell items look fantastic and they have vegetarian options...

Cantina Bell Menu

I haven't been this excited for shitty Mexican fast-food since Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes debuted!

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Week-End

Posted on Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Dave!And, just like that, Shark Week is over.

I have to say that this year was pretty amazing. Discovery Channel pulled out all the stops for Shark Week's 25th Anniversary, giving us six new shows about the world's most elegant and fascinating killing machines. The only disappointment was the inexplicable choice for this year's host... Philip DeFranco?!? I mean, yeah, he's a funny guy and really popular on YouTube... but hardly the star caliber deserving of Shark Week! I mean, IT'S SHARK WEEK for crying out loud!

Shark Week 2012

You know who would make an awesome host for Shark Week? George Clooney. Clooney would totally rock Shark Week, and give it the EXTREME clout it needs to be one of the year's premiere television events.

Maybe next year.

And maybe next year Discovery will come up with an iPad app that has more content than advertising. Because while I liked having extra info while watching Shark Week programming, and think the potential here is monster, the app was mostly chum to lure you into watching a bunch of shitty ads. So not EXTREME.

Looking forward to 2013!

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Bullet Sunday 292

Posted on Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Dave!Get over your post-Olympic depression... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Sexytime. Remember the good old days when a teacher would sleep with one of their students? Well, technically, those weren't the "good old days"... but now it's looking like they could be. Because a teacher in Texas has been convicted for having a FIVE-WAY GANG BANG with four of her students at the same time ON VIDEO. Plus a fifth student separately (I guess he was late to the party?)...

Hot for Teacher

At least the students were at the age of consent this time. Though the truly shitty part is that the woman is married... with three kids. Which makes her eligible for the grand trifecta of Teacher of the Year, Wife of the Year, and Mother of the Year. I don't pretend to know anything about her marriage or her life (apparently her husband was also into the group thang), so it's not really my place to judge her for the things she's done. But holy crap. Age of consent or not, parents should be able to trust that their kids aren't going to get invited to a gang-bang by their school teachers. Military husbands should be able to leave for their service and trust that their wives aren't going to cheat on them with a bunch of teenagers in their own home. Kids should be able to trust that their mom isn't going drag them into the media spotlight by having a sex video where she's sport-fucking a high school football team. If you want to do this kind of crazy shit, more power to you. But don't make it a contest of how many lives you can ruin along the way... stay single and go fuck the Dallas Cowboys or something. Otherwise you're just making choices to intentionally hurt people you should be caring about... and that makes you selfish garbage. I am so sick and tired of hearing about kids having to live through this this crap. If you can't fully commit to having a spouse and family... don't get married and have kids! And if you do it anyway, then at least have the decency to stick by your choices instead of dragging your innocent kids into your shit.

   
• Douche. There are some actors I love so much that I am compelled to watch absolutely everything they do no matter how bad it is. Morgan Freeman comes to mind. I don't care how crappy the film, you can count on him to be absolutely brilliant in it, thus making the movie worth your suffering. Of course, the opposite is also true. There are actors I loathe so much that I avoid absolutely everything they do. And at the top of that list would be Shia LaBeouf, who has to be one of the shittiest actors on the planet...

Boofin'
Photo take from a douchetastic interview over at Details Magazine

I mean, this guy played a huge part in fucking up an unfuckable movie franchise for The Transformers! How do you fuck up a movie about giant robots fighting evil giant robots? You hand it over to Michael Bay and put Shia LeBeouff in it, that's how! And how do you fuck up the Indiana Jones movies, one of the most beloved franchises in cinematic history? You have George Lucas write it and put Shia LeBeouff in it, that's how! Everything he touches turns to absolute crap. And, as if that weren't enough, he's a colossal d-bag as well... screwing other guy's girlfriends, trashing the people and studios that gave him work, and squaring off with security guards who kick you out of Walgreen's for smoking. He probably thinks that antics like this make him some kind of "Hollywood bad boy," when it actually just makes him a total dick.

Which is why it makes total sense that he is swearing off big-budget films forever, and is just going to do little indie films which have artistic "vision." First up? He's making a porn flick called Nymphomaniac with Lars VonTrier. Because making a sex video is totally visionary. Well, whatever. Anything that makes it easier to avoid seeing this complete douchebag's shitty acting in another film is something I approve of.

   
• Closure. I am always gutted with a Hard Rock Cafe closes that I didn't get to visit. And the worst closings are those that keep me from collecting a complete set of country visits. Like Aspen, the only Hard Rock in the USA I didn't get to visit. Or Oasis, the only Hard Rock in the UK I didn't get to visit. And now... Narita, the only Hard Rock in Japan I didn't get to visit. It really blows that Hard Rock Corporate doesn't warn fans when a cafe is going to close so they have some time to see the property before it's gone forever. If I had known that Narita was going down, I would have found a way to get there, even if it meant selling a kidney so I could afford it. Stupid Hard Rock Cafe hobby.

   
• Patrik. A Swedish movie was suggested to me called Patrik, Age 1.5, and I finally got around to watching on Netflix Streaming. It's the story of a gay couple who set out to adopt a baby they think is 1.5 years-old... but is actually a 15 year-old homophobic delinquent. Hilarity ensues...

Well, maybe not "hilarity," but it is a pretty funny movie. And kind of touching. And a little sad. But ultimately uplifting. Thanks again to my blog readers who keep digging up these fantastic obscure films for me to watch.

   
• Deadly. And so this happened...

Avitable Dead Celeb Book

When I first heard that Avitable had turned the "Interviews with Dead Celebrities" feature of his blog into a book, the first thought that came to mind was... I'll bet it wasn't entirely written by Adam. I'll bet that those "15 brand new, never-before-published interviews" were farmed out to some out-of-work writer... or outsourced to India... or copied off the internet or something. No way did he actually fabricate all new interviews with dead people just for a book. And look at that cover! It's a dead giveaway! Avitable is drawn wearing PANTS! Avitable never wears pants. Well, okay... he wears pants when he's out in public... but it's always short pants. This book is obviously a fraud and not entirely by Adam at all. And since I had already read all the real interviews on his blog, I was just going to take a pass. Who wants imitation Avitable? Not me. But then... then something incredible happened. I was reading the book blurb and saw this...

Written Entirely by Avitable

HOLY CRAP! The interviews were written ENTIRELY BY AVITABLE!! No ghost writers... no outsourcing... no plagiarism... the guy actually wrote every single interview himself! At first I didn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. Nay, I WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT! But there it was... staring me right in the face. The interviews were indeed written entirely by Avitable. He didn't even have any help or anything. So I was compelled to read the book. Partly because Adam is a friend... but mostly because I could read it for FREE with my Amazon Prime membership. And, yep, he may be wearing pants now, but it's still Avitable. If you enjoy the "Interview with Dead Celebrities" on his blog, then you'll probably enjoy this, seeing as how there's new content and all. Consequently, if you hate his Dead Celebrity interviews, you will really hate this book. You will be so outraged by this book that you'll want to buy a copy just so you can burn it. Except you can't, because it's only available electronically for Kindle. So you would have to buy the book, download it to your Kindle, then burn your Kindle. Which is kind of pointless, even if you've got the money to burn, because it will only encourage Avitable to write a sequel. In any event, you can buy a digital Kindle copy for $2.99 (or borrow it FREE with your Amazon Prime membership) by clicking this link over to Amazon.

   
Annnnd... back to work.

   

Legitimately

Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2012

Dave!So let me get this straight. A young girl who gets pregnant because she was raped at... oh, let's say NINE YEARS OLD... cannot be considered to have been "legitimately raped" because rape victims are somehow incapable of getting pregnant? Wow. And here I was thinking that a little girl of NINE YEARS OLD wouldn't even understand what "CONSENSUAL RAPE SEX" means considering she's UNDER THE AGE OF CONSENT.

Who could possibly come up with the phrase "Legitimate rape" while spouting such absurd bullshit? Oh... it's this guy... Representative Todd Akin from the great state of Missouri...

Todd Akin FAIL!

I contemplated writing a long-ass blog entry which attempts to explore Akin's religious convictions concerning the sanctity of life... you know, make a real effort to understand him and such. It would be an interesting topic for a blog entry, because my personal beliefs on the sanctity of life and how abortion fits into those beliefs is a difficult and controversial topic... even when it's just me discussing my views with myself.

But I keep running into a road block whenever I try to reconcile how somebody can use the phrase "legitimate rape" when talking about women who have been violated and victimized. I jump from there... directly to a conclusion of WHAT A PIECE OF SHIT!... and just can't go any further.

People like this are abhorrent to me.

And he can recant his idiocy and apologize for "misspeaking" all he wants, but it's not going to change the fact that he honestly feels that there's science which justifies forcing his personal beliefs on other people... even when it's all a load of crap.

I wonder what the political trigger will be that finally pushes women too far. Will it be defunding family planning centers? Will it be eliminating women's health services? Will it be outlawing abortion? Will it be outlawing birth control? Or will it be a bunch of old men telling them that THEY will be the ones to determine if a woman has been raped or not?

I honestly don't know.

But with each passing day I fully expect women to start marching in the streets in response to how they're being treated by those who are elected to "represent" them...

Suffrage Movement

Again.

   
UPDATE: And, to the surprise of absolutely nobody, crazy-ass Pat Robertson has come out to support Akin...


"So he made a dumb remark! SO DO WE ALL!" — You more than most, Pat. You more than most."

It's astounding how these stupid assholes keep missing the point completely. The phrase "legitimate rape" is just an indicator of Akin's underlaying belief in "magic vaginas" that can reject sperm when a woman is a victim of a sexual attack. This is a belief that is categorically false, and the kind of thing that a FUCKING RAPIST would say to justify their actions. THIS is why Akin is a douchebag that is unfit to hold public office. Categorically STUPID people have no business representing anybody.

Being a woman-bashing sexist piece of shit that uses the phrase "legitimate rape" (even when "misspeaking") to describe such an act of terror and extreme violence is just the cherry on top of your ignorance sundae.

   

Cantina

Posted on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Dave!I finally made it to Taco Bell to try their new "Cantina Bell" menu... which is supposed to be a "gourmet" selection of Mexican dishes.

My expectations were understandably low. This is, after all, Taco Bell.

I ordered the Veggie Cantina Salad with a side of guacamole and chips. The salad consisted of a bed of warm cilantro rice topped with black beans, lettuce, guacamole, roasted corn & pepper salsa, pico de gallo, and a cilantro dressing.

All I can say is bravo, Taco Bell... bravo...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Claps

The salad was excellent. All the ingredients were tasty, fresh, and of good quality. The guacamole was creamy and had good flavor. I loved the roasted corn & pepper salsa. The beans and cilantro rice were cooked to perfection. The dressing had a nice "tang" to it and tied everything together nicely. I would have liked to have had a little cheese sprinkled on top, but it wasn't a deal-breaker.

I can't wait to try the Cantina Veggie Burrito, which takes all the salad ingredients and wraps them in a flour tortilla that looks to be toasted. I'm betting it's even better than the salad...

Taco Bell Cantina Burrito
This photo (taken from Cantina Bell) shows dead chicken in the burrito, which I'd skip.

   
Cantina Bell Menu
Any one of the three sides (guac, salsa, pico de gallo) with chips and a Pepsi can be added for just $2!

   
The recipes for all this great stuff are courtesy of Lorena Garcia. Not only is she a famous chef who comes up with good recipes... she's totally hot and is a contestant on the current season of Top Chef Masters as well...

Lorena Garcia

   
I can honestly say that my Cantina Bell meal at Taco Bell... YES, TACO BELL!... was as good as I've had at some finer Mexican restaurants, even though you're eating it with a plastic spork from a crappy plastic bowl. I will absolutely be eating at "Cantina Bell" again, and hope that the menu sticks around for a while.

Or forever.

If you need a quick meal and feel like some pretty good Mexican fare, give it a shot!

   

Spanky

Posted on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Dave!Spanky is a name I've given to a cat that hangs out around the complex where I live. Nobody knows where she comes from or who owns her, but she's always hanging around. She's a very friendly cat, so everybody is always happy to see her. Some of us have kitty treats on-hand in case we run into her. I keep treats in my car, because often times she'll follow me as I head to work in the morning... or greet me when I come home.

But the thing about Spanky is that she's kinda become lethargic and unmotivated. Sometimes she'll be walking across the parking lot to see me, but plops down for a nap half-way there. It's like she's pretending he just got shot or something. The first time it happened I went running up to him to see if she was hurt. She wasn't. She just decided she didn't want to walk any more, and the middle of the parking lot was as good a place as any to drop for a rest.

Most mornings I stop to pet her for a minute, only to get a scornful "That's all I'm going to get, mutherfucker?" look of derision when I walk away.

This morning she actually meowed at me as I turned to go, which was new. She used to follow me if she wanted more petting. I can only guess she gets no attention at home, which is why she's always around our complex. And now that Spanky's accustomed to all the attention she gets here, she complains when she doesn't get as much attention as she would like.

Much like bloggers who are upset that commenting and reader interaction are at an all-time low. Their readers are spending their time Facebooking and Tweeting instead of commenting, which has convinced more than a few bloggers to hang it up (or drastically cut back). And that's fine. I get it. Despite having more traffic at Blogography than I've ever had, I don't get more than a handful of comments any more either. But that's not excuse enough for me to close-up shop. Because, as much as I've enjoyed interacting with my readers and finding new friends through blogging, I've always blogged for myself first. Blogging is an outlet for being creative and keeping track of stuff that happens in my life, and I'm not going to give that up just because I'm not getting as much comment attention as I would like.

But, just like Spanky, I fully admit that I have become a bit lethargic and unmotivated.

I put in 18 hours at work yesterday. And that was after having worked the entire weekend. This morning I had to get up at 4:00am for more work. It's quickly getting to the point where I don't even know anything else. Work is all I have right now.

And that's okay. I'm really not complaining about it. Better than being out of work, certainly... and it's not going to be this way forever. But coming home and trying to find something to blog about after you've been doing nothing you can blog about is not easy.

It's getting harder all the time.

And I'm not sure what to do about it.

Maybe I'll just drop down and take a nap in the parking lot while I wait for people to come along and feed me treats while they rub my belly. It seems to work out okay for Spanky.

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Outbreak

Posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Dave!Sometimes sensationalistic headlines are justified.

EBOLA VIRUS KILLS EVERYONE IN ITS PATH: HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Ebola!

   

It's both horrifying and fascinating to me that something like this exists. I just spent the past two hours going down the Wikipedia rabbit hole over all the crazy crap that can kill us humans horribly... and it's all stuff that we can't even see (well, without a microscope anyways).

We are such astoundingly fragile creatures. We really are.

I've never felt more alive.

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Tracer

Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2012

Dave!Apple sued Samsung because Samsung copied the iPhone.

Samsung claimed that they totally didn't copy the iPhone... even though it was kind of obvious that they did. But, then again, Samsung copies most everything from Apple. There are even blogs dedicated to showing all the stuff they copy.

Today the jury dropped their verdict, which supports Apple's claims and totally called Samsung out for being fucking tracers...


A bit of genius from Chasing Amy

And now all the hand-wringing has started because Samsung is crying that this verdict will stifle innovation. That companies won't make smartphones anymore because they'll worry about being sued by Apple. That consumer choice will be limited in the US because only Apple will be making phones.

Which is all a load of crap. Anybody can make a smartphone... just stop fucking tracing over Apple!

Instead, why not make your own damn smartphone design? Like the Nokia did with their Windows Lumia phone...

Nokia Lumia

Looks nothing like Apple. Nobody's going to confuse that with an iPhone.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S...

Nokia Lumia

Just admit it, Samsung. You're a fucking tracer!

And, because I just can't stop myself...

Such an awesome movie.

   

Rusty

Posted on Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Dave!A lazy weekend on the other side of the mountains.

Golf at Newcastle is a beautiful course overlooking Lake Washington... with Seattle, Mercer Island, and Bellevue off in the distance. And, while I'm not much of a golfer, they have an 18-hole natural grass putting course that's perfect for a group of friends to hang out and have some fun while enjoying the stunning views...

The Golf Course at Newcastle

Calcutta Grill at Newcastle

Golf Course at Newcastle

The Rusty Putter Course

The Rusty Putter Course

The Golf Course at Newcastle

Sunset at The Golf Course at Newcastle

A perfect day, really.

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Bullet Sunday 293

Posted on Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Dave!Enjoy the final dog days of Summer... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Astronaut. I'd like to take a minute to chime in with the rest of the internet to say "thank you" to American hero and space explorer Neil Armstrong. His service to his country and pioneering spirt have been an inspiration to the USA and the world...

Neil Armstrong Footprint

As the first human to step foot on the moon, he's left a mark in history the likes of which few will ever accomplish. Rest in peace, Mr. Armstrong.

   
• FaceTime. And to the tin-foil-hat brigade who still believes that the moon landing was a hoax and decides to carpet-bomb my blog with stupid-ass comments I will only end up deleting... you deserve a punch in the face from Buzz Aldrin...

Now go look at these new 2012 photos of the Apollo Moon Landing Site and marvel at the things we mere humans can accomplish.

   
• Isaac. And so Hurricane Isaac is going to be attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Which has resulted in Monday's festivities being canceled as a precaution. Which means Ann Romney, who was scheduled to speak on Monday, has been rescheduled to Tuesday. I'm kind of bummed about this, because my anticipation is running high. Not because I give a shit about anything Ann Romney has to say ("We've given all you people need to know!")... but because I am banking on a SURPRISE GUEST APPEARANCE by Rafalca, her dancing Olympian pony! I'm a huge fan...

Rafalca the Dancing Horse!
Photo by doe awesome photographer at Reuters

   
• Wrath. Still no word from self-proclaimed "Man of God" and total bat-shit insane televangelist Pat Robertson on how God is endorsing President Obama by sending a hurricane to the Republican convention. I mean, I can only assume that this will be what he says, since he's attributed every other "act of God" to some kind of crazy wrath-inspired divine intervention...

It's Crazy Pat!
And now God is telling me that you should send me money!

Guess I shouldn't hold my breath though.

   
• Wrathja Vu. And speaking of zany wrath-inspired divine intervention... I hear that there were earthquakes striking Southern California this afternoon. I can't even guess what God's reason for this will be. Though I'm sure Pat will let us know...

It's Crazy Pat Again!
And now God is telling me that you should send me mo- mo-... oops I crapped my pants!

You're as nuts as ever, you crazy old bastard, you!

   
Another weekend bites the dust...

   

Belly

Posted on Monday, August 27th, 2012

Dave!Tonight I had a craving for a cheese & potato chip sandwich. And since I didn't have any cheese, potato chips, or bread (not to mention toilet paper), I decided to go to the grocery store. Something I most definitely did not want to do, but at least it wouldn't be crowded at 8:30 at night.

As usual, I found tons of other crap to buy... meaning a $10 run to the store ended up costing me $60... but whatever. I had my ingredients for a cheese & potato chip sandwich, so I drove back home.

Where I almost ran over Spanky the cat.

As I mentioned last week, she likes to plop down in the middle of the parking lot for no reason. But I always assumed she went home at night (wherever that is). Now I know she doesn't. Spanky totally hangs around the complex in the evenings too.

This is a very bad situation, because the cat is the exact same color as the pavement and very difficult to see after the sun goes down. I was practically on top of her before I realized she was even there. And she never bothered to move. I eventually had to back up and drive around her.

After grabbing my bags of groceries I went over to tell her that she needs to move so she doesn't get run over, but she was having none of it...

Spanky on the Pavement
Spanky did not like the flash from my iPhone... nor does she like to have her picture taken.

And then she started rolling around in an attempt to get a belly rub...

Spanky on the Pavement
Cat aerobics. On the pavement. In the middle of a parking lot. At night.

And since it is impossible to resist giving a belly rub to a cat, I had to drop all my groceries and give her one.

And now I know I'll be losing even more sleep because I'll be worrying about Spanky getting run over. Some of the people living in this complex are not the best drivers.

Stupid kitty. =sniff=

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Acceptance

Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Dave!

Lil' Dave Staring at the Ceiling

   

So... no appearance by Rafalca at the Republican National Convention then?

   

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Sucks

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Dave!Well this sucks...

Vaccuum Cleaner

   

   

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Seated

Posted on Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Dave!One shitty wank-fest of a political convention down, one to go.

I just hope that the Democrats don't end up with Clint Eastwood acting like he dropped acid before talking to a chair on their last day. How nuts was that? I mean, I know the Republicans felt they had to do something to top Sarah Palin, but this?

Though, I have to admit, President Obama's response was frickin' hilarious...

Obama Says: This Seat's Taken

   
But his real response will come five days later at the next shitty wank-fest of a political convention.

I sure wish that the people who schedule these things would give me at least a month between events. It would be nice to recover a few sanity points before jumping straight into the next one.

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Lunar

Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2012

Dave!Full Moon...

Bad Monkey and a Full Moon

   

   

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