As of today, I have become a single-issue voter.
Since it doesn't seem to matter which political party gets into office, and Republicans and Democrats have been equally guilty of caving to lobbyists and fucking up this country... I just don't give a shit anymore. This tends to lead me to vote based on social issues rather than the Big Political Issues that are decided by People With Money instead of politicians.
Because if we're going to charge ahead into wars so the 1% can profit from the carnage... if we're going to continue to subsidize industries that destroy the environment... if we're always going to pass laws that stack the deck against the little guy so the big guys can keep their wealth and power... does it really fucking matter if it's a conservative or a liberal making the decision? Why should I care?
Newsflash... I don't.
I haven't for a long time.
And so I've made my election decisions based solely on the issues that politicians can actually change. Any time a candidate is fighting for personal liberties, equality, fairness, and keeping the government the fuck out of our bedrooms, vaginas, and private lives... they get my vote. Which is why Mitt Romney wasn't even on my radar during the last presidential election. President Obama was the least worst candidate on crap that presidents are actually a factor in changing. Sure he totally fucked us on "government transparency," but the People With Money were never going to let ordinary citizens see how the government really works anyway... so whatever. But Obama has pushed forward on issues like marriage equality, which is all he can truly change anyway, so there you have it.
And now we come to the one issue that makes me a single-issue voter from here on out.
Daylight Saving Time.
Any politician... ANY politician... who makes a campaign promise to eradicate Daylight Saving Time gets my vote. Republican... Democrat... Libertarian... Independent... Communist... whatever... that's how I'm casting my ballot.
I can't stand Hillary Clinton. But if Hillary Clinton runs with the promise of dropping Daylight Saving Time and her challenger does not... CLINTON 2016!
I can't stand Mitt Romney. But if Mitt Romney runs again with the promise of dropping Daylight Saving Time and his challenger does not... ROMNEY 2016!
Hell, if mental midget with an IQ of a butter dish Louie Gohmert decides to stop obsessing over gay men long enough to make a run for president in 2016 with a promise to abolish Daylight Saving Time... GOHMERT 2016!
Sure he's dumber than a box of rocks, but it's not like this would be the first time we've had a person so pervasively, astoundingly, unyieldingly ignorant in the White House. But we survived then and we can survive again... we'll just be doing it without having to dick with our clocks twice a year.
And speaking of pervasively, astoundingly, unyieldingly ignorant potential candidates... if he vows to get rid of Daylight Saving Time? TRUMP 2016!
Because the madness simply has to end.
Eliminate it... or split the difference... or even make Daylight Saving Time become Standard Time... I don't fucking give a shit... just stop this antiquated, nonsensical, idiotic crap once and for all...
RICK "PIECE OF SHIT" SANTORUM 2016???
Could be. Could be. All it takes is one campaign promise... you disgusting, unAmerican, homophobic, dumbfuck... and my vote is yours!
Halloween may be over, but the terror is just beginning... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Frozen. While my hockey heart will forever belong to the Blackhawks, my love of Boston Red Sox baseball spills over to the Bruins from time to time. Halloween was one of those times...
Dressing up as characters from Frozen to visit sick kids? That's pretty great. GO BOSTON!
• Corn! Okay... this took me completely by surprise...
Now that's a cat that likes corn!
• Rock. Oh... so that's what it takes for Saturday Night Live to be entertaining again! Chris Rock and Prince! As a huge fan of Chris Rock, I knew he'd blow in like a hurricane and ride the bleeding edge. He did not disappoint. With an opening monologue that was so brilliantly dead on that he should be arrested for assault, Rock tore through gun control, Christmas commercialization, Jesus, 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombing, and Ebola like his life depended on it. Yeah, it was uncomfortable in spots, but it was exactly what it needed to be... enlightening and damn funny.
Now we just need to wait for FOX "News" to shit all over his performance like they do anything that they can spin into an attack on 'Murica. Then again, is there anything they can't spin into an attack on 'Murica?
As for Prince... he decided to skip the whole "two-song performance" tradition and combined his time for a single blistering medley of his latest tracks. I do not envy having to be the band who has to follow that next week.
• Bianco. How Christina Bianco can keep all those voices straight in her head is a mystery... but the result is pretty amazing...
What... no P!nk?
• Galactic. I was sorry to hear of the tragedy that overcame SpaceShip Two earlier this week. Forging into unknown territory is always a dangerous but worthwhile endeavor...
My thoughts are with the friends and family of co-pilot Michael Alsbury.
• OK! Yet another masterpiece from OK Go! This time they took their famous one-shot video concept to all new heights by using drones to shoot it. As if that weren't enough, the song is pretty awesome to boot...
Every time the band releases a new video, I wonder how they're possibly going to top it, and here's my answer. What's next? OK Go in space?
Click. Click. Click. Until next week then...
And so the undisputed master of super-hero movies... Marvel Comics... held an event last week to announce their upcoming plans for "Phase Three" of their Cinematic Universe.
Nothing too unexpected.
Though the absence of a Hulk film still has me reeling. Marvel finally managed to do the character right in The Avengers... so give us Planet Hulk!
Anyway... random thoughts on the proceedings...
Captain America: Civil War
Marvel-lovers around the globe went ape-shit when Robert Downey Jr. said that Iron Man would be appearing in the next Captain American film. Being a massive fan of how the Marvel Cinematic Universe is so well connected by exactly this kind of thing, I was one of them. At first. But then I heard that the story would be following Marvel's "Civil War" event and I was given pause. "Civil War" was a major comic book event which pitted hero against hero because of the "Super Hero Registration Act" that would force super-heroes to register with the government and be under direct government supervision. As a crusader for freedom, Captain America objected... whereas Iron Man supported the idea. Chaos (and a lot of fight scenes) ensued. Personally, I was not a fan of the storyline. Especially since it resulted in Captain America's death (don't worry, he got better). The movie version can't exactly follow the comic book version for a number of reasons, so who knows how the film will retread the material... but it doesn't seem like a very interesting prospect for a movie. I'd rather have a super-villain fight. And yet... the first two Captain America films were absolute genius, so I'm trying to trust that Cap 3 will follow suit.
When building their universe, Marvel has wisely been taking things one step at a time. They wanted to add a space-fantasy aspect, so they unleashed Guardians of the Galaxy. Now they want to show the mystic side of Marvel, so they put the Scarlet Witch into Avengers 2 and fast-tracked Doctor Strange, which is a character ripe with possibilities. Stephen Strange is a brain surgeon and asshole who only cares about money and maintaining his selfish lifestyle. Then one day his hands are crushed in a car accident and he loses it all. Desperate to reclaim his ruined career, Strange wanders the world looking for a cure. His search leads him to the Himalayas where he ends up studying magic and ultimately leaves his selfish ways behind to become the Sorcerer Supreme... earth's ultimate protector against mystical evil. The film is being helmed by Scott Derrickson who, despite his shitty The Day the Earth Stood Still remake, is a capable director. Rumor has it that Benedict Cumberbatch is in final talks to take the title role. Further rumor has it that the story will be taken from the amazing Into Shamballa graphic novel (pretty much the definitive take on Dr. Strange). All rumors considered, this movie has amazing potential. If Marvel can keep the story moving and deliver some jaw-dropping visuals to keep things interesting... it just might be another comic film breakthrough.
Guardians of the Galaxy 2
The first Guardians of the Galaxy film sounded like it was going to be Marvel's first misfire. It's an esoteric, little-known property with bizarre characters. There's a talking cartoon for heavens sake! How in the hell is that going to be successful? Well, thanks to an amazing story that hit all the right notes... a flawless cast... some incredible special effects... and James Gunn's capable direction... it didn't just "work," it completely killed at the box office. Easily my favorite movie of 2014 (so far), there's no reason to expect that the sequel is going to be anything but amazing. Marvel knows exactly where they have to go in order to keep the momentum going... and getting James Gunn back was step one.
Thor has been a bit of a dark horse in the holy trilogy of comic book heroes that anchored Phase One and Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's a terrific concept for a super-hero, yet far removed from Captain America and Iron Man... two characters that even non-comic-book fans can easily grasp. But then Kenneth Branagh's first Thor film proved that a great character is a great character so long as you have an interesting story to make him great. It didn't hurt that Loki was along for the ride... one of Marvel's most iconic villains. Sure the second film stumbled a bit, but it was still terrific entertainment. Thor 3 will undoubtedly be more of the same... but on a much larger scale. In Norse mythology Ragnarök is pretty much the end of the world, and results in the death of a number of major gods, including Thor. In the comics, it's not quite so dire, but still a major, major event. If Marvel can pull out all the stops and create a story as huge, impactful, and worthy of the title, it should be a heck of a ride.
Finally. Finally. It's unbelievable to me that Black Panther wasn't made into a film before there was a "Marvel Cinematic Universe." He's a fantastic super-hero with a terrific origin that will translate easily to a movie. And yet... nope. In all seriousness, Black Panther has potential to be Marvel's equivalent to DC's Batman movies (he's always seemed more "Batman" to me than Daredevil ever was). Ruler of the African nation of Wakanda, King T'Challa uses his access to advanced technology and mystical artifacts (not to mention his massive wealth) to battle enemies of his homeland... and the world... both solo and as an Avenger. As if that wasn't enough, Marvel nabbed Chadwick Boseman for the role (he was seriously fantastic in 42). This movie is a no-brainer. All Marvel has to do is think Nolan's "Batman," but focus on all the things that makes Black Panther truly unique in the world of super-heroes. Piece of cake, really.
Of all the movie announcements that Marvel dropped at their event, Captain Marvel was both a surprise... and not a surprise. The surprise being that A) Captain Marvel (NOT DC's "Shazam") is kinda a fringe character. B) They're going with the current female version of the character. and C) The first female-lead film from Marvel isn't starring Black Widow. The non-surprise being that Marvel wants female competition for DC's Wonder Woman movie that is scheduled to drop in 2017 and, power-wise, their best shot is probably Ms. Marvel (Captain Marvel to be). I'm going to be honest here... I'm pissed that Scarlett Johansson wasn't given her shot at a solo movie. I mean, come on! Fair is fair, and she's paid her dues in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, and Captain America 2! When's it gonna be her time?!? Anyway... Carol Danvers has one of the most complex stories of any super-hero in existence, all of which is undoubtedly going to be massively streamlined for the movie. This is probably a good thing, because the title "Captain Marvel" has been used by so many people in the comics that even comic book nerds can't keep it straight. If Marvel is smart, Captain Marvel is going to fall out of the second Guardians of the Galaxy film, which would be a perfect fit. My guess being that DC is going to screw up Wonder Woman so badly that it won't matter she has infinitely better name recognition... Captain Marvel will be the film to beat in the battle of super-heroine box-office.
Like most Marvel properties, how much I like the Inhumans will solely depend on which version of the characters end up on the screen. If past precedent is any indication, Marvel is going to take all the best bits and pieces from the comics, mix them up with something new, and create something utterly amazing. And when it comes to potential for "amazing," you could do much worse than the Inhumans. A secret society of super-powered humanoids living on the moon ruled by a royal family of heroes led by Black Bolt, a man who can unleash ultimate destruction by uttering a single word from his mouth... and Medusa, a woman with living hair? Yeah. Sign me up. All I can hope is that Marvel will take this opportunity to go a little... weird... on us. By this point, they'll have done the mainstream heroes thing to death. We'll be ready for something new and different.
Avengers: Infinity War (Parts 1 & 2)
And it all leads to this. I can't even speculate where Marvel will go in the battle of Thanos vs. The Universe. If I had to wager, I'd say that they'll be closing out Phase Three in 2019 with the biggest event in super-hero movie history. Every hero who has ever been in every Marvel film will join the fray... Avengers, Guardians, Inhumans, Asgardians, whatever... they're all here. Perhaps Marvel will even drop in appearances of their television and Netflix properties. And why not? These films are going to make billions upon billions of dollars. All Marvel has to do is exceed expectations with the spectacle of it all. Is there any doubt they'll do exactly that?
Can't wait for 2016.
Though getting Avengers2: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man in 2015 will make the wait a little easier...
There is no outcome for the midterm elections that doesn't result in something more fucked-up than what we already have.
I voted anyway.
Here's hoping we waste even more money on elections in 2016 so we can end up with something even more fucked-up than the fucked-up we just voted on.
Holy shit is this country depressing during election time.
I posted here yesterday. Isn't that enough for you people?
Crowdsourced funding for movie projects has been hit-or-miss. On one hand, you've got major movie projects like Veronica Mars raising millions... not necessarily to pay for the film (that's pocket change for Warner Bros.), but instead to demonstrate to movie studios that fans want to see it. On the other hand, you've got indie movie-makers who haven't a prayer of breaking into the Big Studio System for funding, so they appeal to strangers to get the money they need. Most of the time, these projects are unrealistic or just plain shit but, every once in a while, something... interesting... comes along that show everybody what crowdsourcing is meant for.
And, heaven help us, this time around it's Nazi's from the dark side of the moon on dinosaurs...
Um... yeah... where do I sign up for that action?
Over at the movie's IndieGoGo page, that's where...
Films like this just don't get made anymore unless the fans step up and pitch in.
And I, for one, welcome our new Moon Nazi overlords.
I watch all new televisions shows hoping that they'll be terrible because I don't have time to watch anymore shows. Usually, this isn't much of a challenge because the vast majority of TV shows suck.
Every once in a while there are surprises though. Jane the Virgin was probably the biggest this season. I tuned in with all the negativity I could muster, but ended up finding it hugely entertaining. Which is the complete opposite of last year when I tuned into Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. expecting to love it, but instead ended up hating every minute.
Some shows I don't even bother with, but this is rare. Since you just never know, I tend to give every show a shot.
One series I won't be tuning in for, however, is the latest Katherine Heigl latest effort: State of Affairs. I haven't liked her in anything she's done since Roswell, and this TV series looks to be the biggest steamer yet (despite having Alfre Woodard in it... WTF?!?). It doesn't help that she's an ungrateful shit... but the idea of Heigl playing a "head CIA analyst" is just beyond my ability to suspend disbelief for (right up there with Denise Richards playing nuclear physicist Dr. Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader in the crappy Star Wars prequels).
And so... what am I looking forward to checking out? Glad you asked!
12 Monkeys (SyFy • January 16, 2015). SyFy's take on the fantastic film looks somewhat intriguing...
This was the movie that completely changed my mind about Brad Pitt as an actor and cemented my appreciation for Bruce Willis... will the television series do their performances justice? Time will tell.
Agent Carter (ABC • January 6, 2015). Here's hoping that everything Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets wrong, this limited series gets right...
Having Hayley Atwell return in the lead role is the perfect start... but I thought the same thing about Clark Gregg. Having an amazing actor anchoring a show doesn't mean anything if you put them in stupid stories and surround them with crappy characters. Fingers crossed.
Ascension (SyFy • December 15, 2014). The premise of a bunch of people secretly being launched into deep space back in the 1960's is intriguing all by itself... but the trailers hint at a lot more to the show than that...
Weird! But in a good way! Maybe.
The Astronaut Wives Club (ABC • Spring 2015) Based on the book that chronicled the true-life stories of the wives of American astronauts, this show was moved from Fall 2014 to Spring 2015, which is pretty worrisome. Even so, I'm looking forward to checking it out.
Battle Creek (CBS • 2015). I'm not holding my breath, but when Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan comes up with a new show, I'll at least give it a shot...
Don't know how I feel about the casting, but we could be in for an unexpected treat here.
Better Call Saul (AMC • February, 2015). And speaking of Breaking Bad and Vince Gilligan... this spin-off takes us back to the universe we know and love, and plenty of surprises are promised...
Hopefully they'll be good surprises.
Dig (USA • March 15, 2015). Jason Isaacs, one of the best actors on earth has a new television series...
Everything about this show looks fantastic. Which, of course, means nothing. But I'm hopeful.
The Expanse (SyFy • 2015). Hard SciFi doesn't translate too well to the screen... big or small... but the idea of seeing Leviathan Wakes brought to life is just too tempting to resist).
Public Morals (TNT • 2015) As a big fan of Edward Burns, I'll definitely be tuning in...
Not a fan of period cop dramas, so I don't know if I'll keep tuning in, however.
Shades of Blue (NBC • 2015) When you have Barry Levinson directing Jennifer Lopez as a mother and dirty undercover FBI agent, I'm interested. The fact that there's no show previews out there is worrisome, but I liked Out of Sight, so we'll see.
The Slap (NBC • 2015) I was imagining a bad translation of an Australian drama series... until I saw the cast. Peter Sarsgaard? Uma Thurman? Zachary Quinto ? Brian Cox? Um, yeah. See you there.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (NBC • Spring 2015) Tina Fey is involved. That's all I need to know.
Wayward Pines (FOX • 2015) Obviously inspired by Twin Peaks, this looks crappy in a way that only M. Night Shyamalan can manage (it's his show, after all). And yet...
Argh. Too much TV. If even half of those shows are any good, I'm screwed... there's no way I can keep up with so many shows when my plate is already full.
As I get older, I seem to be developing a resistance to cold, which is something I've never had before. I've always been a total weenie in the cold, which is why I've never been much for wintertime activities. Yet lately, despite falling temperatures, I've been leaving the jacket at home and wearing short-sleeve shirts every day and loving it.
It was good while it lasted.
Tonight when I left work at 6:30 I was assaulted by bitter cold that had me seriously regretting my wardrobe choice.
I either need to start wearing a jacket... or stop working late.
Time to take responsibility for all your terrible decisions... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Wall. The Wall Street Journal has some fantastic photos showing scenes from Berlin "then and now" in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall...
Photo from The Wall Street Journal
There's not many shots... well worth your time to visit, which you can do by clicking here. As if that weren't enough, they also have a fantastic interactive timeline of events leading to The Wall being torn down.
• Bats. I have loved bats for as long as I can remember, and my heart always goes out to these misunderstood creatures. All too often they're seen as disease-bearing bloodsuckers instead of the beneficial animals they are. Which is why this story of a bat hospital on Bored Panda makes me so happy...
Photo by Tolga Bat Hospital
Photo by Caters News Agency
Cutest babies ever. How anybody could hate on something so adorable is beyond me.
• DST. IT'LL BE THE DEATH OF ALL OF US!
It's true. It's all true..
• Trek! My inner Star Trek geek loves stuff like this...
More of a Star Wars person? No worries... I got you covered.
• Cooks. I've watched this amazing opening credits sequence all the way through to the end twice (WARNING: NSFW in spots)...
It may be a parody. It may be for a show that doesn't even exist. And yet it's still vastly more entertaining than most sitcoms on the air today. If you've already seen it... have you read the "behind the scenes" article that talks about what went into making it?
• Murder! What happens when Shonda Rhimes says "You think that SCANDAL is messed up? Well get a load if THIS!" And then unleashes Viola Davis and How to Get Away with Murder...
The show is all kinds of freaky soap opera /slash/ legal drama goodness, and is quickly becoming one of my new favorites this season. The thing that makes me appreciate Ms. Rhime's shows is that they're so well thought out. Unlike crappy series like Lost that introduced twists and turns with no fucking clue how to tie everything together, Shonda's writers have their shit together. Everything happens for a reason and they know exactly where they're going with each new turn. Refreshing!
Any time I need a reason to keep blogging when most everybody else has quit, all I have to do is look at my visitor stats. For reasons completely unknown, people keep reading. Yes, the death of Google Reader had a big impact on my visitor counts... but the number of "unique visitors" stopping by keeps inching upward.
In short? Lot's of people visit here.
The bulk of my traffic has always come from Google searches but, in the past, those people never stuck around much. They'd get what they came for and move on. Now-a-days, however, a surprising number of people do stick around and keep reading. I'm not exactly sure why. Most of the time it's via tag links. Somebody arrives because a search led them here, they like (or hate?) what I have to say, then click through so they can read more posts on the same topic. And those topics can generally be ranked into a "Top 5" like this...
The first four categories are not that shocking. They encompass 75% of what I blog about (the remainder being day-to-day "DaveLife" crap).
The last one, however, is a bit surprising because I don't often write about politics. And yet, when I do, it usually ends up getting linked to from... somewhere... whether it's somebody agreeing or disagreeing. Writing about Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum, for example, always result in linkbait because I'm so passionate about loathing the asshole, and people who also loathe him just love to share. That being said, posts that Conservatives could latch onto are the ones that seem to get the most attention. For example...
All the Right Wing love is nice, but I don't think I'll be signing up for the Tea Party just yet.
Guess I should send out a big "thank you" to Google for keeping people reading my bullshit.
Though I suppose having nearly 12 years of content to search through plays a part as well. When you've been blogging as long as I have, you've pretty much discussed just about everything there is.
Well, except Taylor Lautner. There are some topics beneath even me.
For those men and women who are serving or have served (like my Mom and Dad!)... thank you!
If only the politicians who risk your lives when there's a job to be done would take better care of you once the job is over.
Big Hero 6 is a movie well worth a look.
And, if you're a fan of the film like me, I'd recommend checking out the art book. Disney usually does a great job on these, but this is above and beyond...
If ever there was a reason to celebrate Disney buying out Marvel Comics, this would be it. Hopefully this isn't the last animation collaboration we'll see.
After a month (plus) with my iPhone 6 (not plus) I don't have much to say.
Do I like it? Oh yes. In fact, there are many things I love about it. Starting with Apple Pay, which is pretty much the bomb (when and where you can use it, that is).
There are, of course, things I'm not thrilled about as well. Mostly minor stuff that's not worth mentioning.
And one big thing that is. Which would be that it's too dang big!
The size of the 5s was perfect. It fit really well in my hand. It was super easy to operate one-handed. Typing on it was a joy.
The size of the 6 is oafish, clutzy, and difficult to mange... even with two hands... even with Apple's "Reachability" feature (double-touching the home button will drop the screen down in reach of your thumb). I can't even fathom how much worse the 6+ would be.
Apparently nobody else can either. The 6 is outselling the 6+ three-to-one. Or perhaps six-to-one, depending on who you want to believe.
I just hope this means Apple will give us an option to go down a size with the iPhone 7.
I just worked 17 hours.
If you will forgive me for not blogging today, that would be great because I'm incredibly tired.
Happy trails to you.
Back in the olden days there was an activity called blogging. This was where people wanting to share their experiences, knowledge, and observations would create a website and, using a content management system, would post such experiences, knowledge, and observations for all the world to see.
Blogging was not always easy. Especially if you were a blogger that blogged every day. Because, unless you're an astronaut or Hugh Hefner, eventually you run out of blog-worthy things to blog about.
In order to generate ideas for blog content, bloggers started developing quizzes, challenges, questionnaires, and all kinds of other idea-generating material to blog about. Not everybody appreciated memes... many people downright abhorred them... but when it's 11:55pm and you're desperate for something to blog about, memes could be your best friend.
One of the most popular meme generators on the internet back in the day was The Friday 5. Every Friday they would post five questions for you to answer in a blog post, which was an easy way to get it over with and move on to your weekend. Unfortunately The Friday Five was eventually discontinued, and there were many sad pandas across the blogosphere.
And so I decided to do something about it.
I created a new Friday meme generator and called it FridayQ.
It ran a little over a year from June 4th, 2004 until I got tired of doing it and shut it down on July 22, 2005.
For years after it died, the FridayQ lived on as hand-coded pages here at Blogography. I never deleted them because I had a lot of blog posts that referenced FridayQ and I didn't want to go back and have to change 52+ entries. Alas, when I converted my blog to WordPress back in February all the FridayQ pages were lost and, for reasons unknown, were never backed up. After 8 years, 6 months, and 22 days, the FridayQ was finally dead for good.
Yesterday I was updating the web code for my blog stats and noticed that somebody was trying to reach FridayQ. This got me curious as to how many other searches it was getting, so I checked. Turns out there were dozens of them throughout the year. Mostly from my own blog, but there were other surviving blogs out there still linking to the site as well.
Maybe I should look into restoring FridayQ then?
And so this morning I did just that.
I visited the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to see what I could recover. None of the graphics were there, but all of the pages had been saved. Sure, the archives were out of date by a few months, but that was an easy fix. All I had to do was go through my Blogography archives and copy the original questions. Easy.
But what about the missing graphics?
Time to pull all my old hard drives out of storage.
Surprisingly, every drive I tried actually worked. And I found a backup of the FridayQ images on my fifth drive...
Good thing I'm a packrat who doesn't throw old tech away, huh?
I uploaded the pages to Blogography, updated all the links, and voilà... FridayQ is served!
You can visit them for yourself by clicking here.
If you want to read all my crazy answers, you can check out my "meme" archive for 2004 and 2005. They're solid gold, people. Solid gold.
And now I just need to decide what to do with this box of old hard drives. They're probably not going to stay working forever. Hell, half of them require a FireWire port which doesn't even exist anymore (thankfully I have a FireWire to Thunderbolt converter!). Two of them are SCSI drives that would require pulling one of my old Macs with a SCSI interface out of storage to read. Hmmm... perhaps I should back them up to the cloud or transfer them to modern hard drives or something? They're all ridiculously small by today's storage standards... I could probably fit all of them on a single terabyte external drive no problem.
Blergh. One more thing added to my list that I don't have time for.
Like blogging every day. =sigh=
Put down that shot of Jägermeister... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Foundation! Literary sci-fi nerds around the world (myself included) had a simultaneous orgasm when it was announced that Jonathan Nolan would be adapting Isaac Asimov's seminal work, the Foundation trilogy for HBO...
Foundation's Hari Seldon by Michael Whelan
My fear is, of course, that Foundation will get completely screwed up like Edgar Rice Burrough's A Princess of Mars did... but Nolan seems to be a serious fan, so here's hoping.
• Ash! As if a Foundation TV series isn't enough, it was announced that Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell will be bringing The Evil Dead back as a Starz television series in 2015!
Kind of amazing that a cult property like The Evil Dead would be getting resurrected like this, but I'll take it.
• Salmon. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight came up with a mind-bogglingly cool set of guest-appearances for one of their latest bits...
Now that's pretty epic.
• Lighthouses. Stunning.
• Attack! While I was in Africa, I was always joking about how great it would be to see some kind of unbelievable animal attack scenario... like leopards attacking an elephant... or a herd of impala attacking a lion... or whatever. Little did I know...
Holy cats! I would have put my money on the lions. Way to go there Tantor!
• Ass. A couple months ago Marvel Comics unleashed a shit-storm of controversy when they got famous Italian artist Milo Manara to create an alternate artist collector cover for the Spider-Woman relaunch. I was blissfully unaware of the controversy until I saw a link to an article at Elle magazine where somebody was commenting that she looked like a porn star. I remarked at the time that this was pretty ironic given how Elle Photoshops their models to within an inch of their lives to look like porn stars. And, in many ways, their work was far dangerous because young girls looking at the Spider-Woman cover would immediately know it wasn't real... whereas with Elle they're presented with women that look real and whose beauty is obtainable but, in reality, are not.
Fast-forward to today, and one of my friends sent me this link...
So apparently Maddox is blogging again. Kinda. I don't always agree with him, but I think his take on Spider-Woman #1's alternate cover is pretty dead-on. Especially considering that kids today don't give a crap about comics, and most of the people reading them are adults that grew up with them.
And now... back to my impending hangover, already in progress.
David Sedaris is my favorite living author.
Not just because his wry humor, observational wit, and charming self-deprecation is about the funniest stuff I've ever read... it's because David Sedaris is an exceptional writer. His prose is so flawlessly constructed... so beautifully realized... so wonderfully clever... you don't just read it, you let it wash over your senses like a warm bath from which you never want to leave.
And, as good as an adventure as reading his work may be... it's not even the best way to experience it. Having David Sedaris read his writings to you adds an entirely new load of genius to an already brilliant work. Which is why I always buy the book and the audiobook of everything he releases...
I also try to attend his readings, so I can listen to him live and in person, which is about the best entertainment ever. Sadly, it's never easy with my crazy schedule, and I've only heard him speak once before. But there was no way I was going to miss this event given that it was a mere two-hour drive away.
Especially since I finally got to meet him up-close-and-personal to get his autograph... complete with a bloody tomahawk...
Benaroya Hall, which is truly a lovely space with fantastic acoustics, was completely sold out for the event...
I couldn't have had a better seat. Right on the first level in the second balcony...
Mr. Sedaris was, as expected, completely worth the trip.
Smart, witty, charming... and utterly brilliant in every way... it was an evening I'll not soon forget.
Oh yeah... earlier in the day I also went to go see Big Hero 6 again. Such a great film. And this time I saw it in a pretty great theater. Not for screen size or anything... but for comfort...
The iPic Theater in Redmond is more comfortable than my bed. It doesn't help that people are waiting on you hand and foot. Want a beer and some Junior Mints? Your wish is their command...
Sure it's expensive... but "expensive" means that people won't waste the money to bring their bratty kids along so you won't have to listen to their bullshit. My first time seeing Big Hero 6 was pretty much ruined by kids who would rather be playing video games than stuck in a theater for 105 minutes being quiet. Not this time, baby.
Oh... and I stuck around for the post-credit sequence of the film, which was kinda nice.
Almost as nice as my Big Hero 6 Funko POP! Baymax figure that finally arrived...
I got the "Amazon Exclusive" so he glows in the dark.
Just like a playtime pal should.
The drive home from the coast was surprisingly sedate.
Meaning nobody did anything to piss me off so badly that my road rage escalated to the point where I was wanting to kill people.
Always a plus for somebody trying to stay out of prison.
Which is everybody, I guess.
If I had to pick a single defining attribute of Buddhism, it would be patience.
As you might imagine, patience is a very rare commodity in a world where everything is moving at 100 miles per hour and the mantra for modern living seems to be "Keep up or get left behind." How do you practice patience in such an environment?
The easy answer is that you do not.
Instead you go balls-out like everybody else and try your best to retain enough perspective that you are able to stay sane.
The not-so-easy answer is that you be patient...
I do try. But often fail miserably. Probably because I cannot abide discourteous behavior and the world is filled with assholes. I don't have patience for assholes.
Which is totally my fault, of course.
I'll have to try not letting that keep me from trying again.
Because apparently I'm the one asshole I can find patience for.
Is it just me, or is Ms. Brown M&M a total bitch?
And an accessory to murder?
Because every time this commercial pops up, I am greatly disturbed...
Seriously, holy shit...
Somebody at M&M's is in desperate need of therapy.
I am not a fan of snow. Never have been, if the truth be known.
Which means that the first real snowfall of the season is always met with a sense of dread and despair that's akin to a case of scorching diarrhea. Or perhaps a punch in the face.
And today was the day.
Because my office is in a cave, I didn't know about it until a considerable amount of the white stuff had already fallen. The sky had been fairly clear and sunny when I left for work this morning, so I don't even know where it came from...
So now I'm booking flights to Seattle for my final two trips of the year, as the idea of driving over the mountain passes in this crap makes me want to stick my head in a microwave... which is undoubtedly less painful.
Guess I should find some gloves. I must own twenty pair, but they never seem to present themselves until winter is over. It's as if they don't like the snow either, and go into hiding.
Can't say that I blame them.
If I could, I'd be hiding right now myself.
Even a small victory is worth celebrating.
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!
Be true to your school... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Blocked! Now this... this... is probably the funniest thing I've seen all week...
Oh I'll just bet. Being lambasted with tons of shitty ads is totally the experience I'm looking for.
Courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks and their bizarre need to capitalize "ad blocker" as a proper noun.
• Oh Canada! And so our lovely neighbors to the north decided to help out with the U.S. national anthem when the microphone failed at a Toronto hockey game...
Amazing. If I had to return the favor it would go something like this...
Our home and native land!
Yada yada yada glowing hearts!
Yada glorious and free!
La la la. Yada yada yada.
Huh. Guess I should look into those lyrics.
• Schadenfreude! When you have to resort to lies and hatred to make your argument, you've failed before you've even started. Well, the "National Organization from Marriage" never had anything but lies and hatred to make their arguments against marriage equality, so the fact that they've collapsed into a pile of debt comes as no surprise. Their constant stream of bigoted bullshit is on the wrong side of history and was doomed to fail. Seriously couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of assholes.
• Crispy! Chris Christie is a piece of shit. A literal piece of shit. Somebody should scrape him off the sidewalk and flush him down the toilet. Never mind that 93% of his constituents support him signing a bill that would reduce the utter torture that poor pigs have to endure before being slaughtered, he's going to take a pass because he might run for president some day, and the wishes of people in Iowa are more important than his own state. THIS is politics in the United States of America...
U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S... oh whatever.
• Miss? Few things can beat the creamy goodness of a hot cup of Swiss Miss on a cold day. As I was making me some today, I was surprised to see that there was no image of an actual Swiss Miss on the box...
Bizarre. I always thought there was. I tried Googling for some photos of old packaging to see if I was remembering seeing her sometime in my youth, but came up empty. The closest I could find was some retro packaging from 2012 which had a freaky puppet-looking thing on it... but no Swiss hottie like I was expecting...
Maybe I'm imagining her. Perhaps I was thinking of Betty Crocker or the Land O Lakes Indian Maiden? I dunno. I hope it's not Little Debbie that's in my head.
• Bulet Sunday Reading List! Stuff to think about...
And... I'm just shootin' blanks now. Until next Sunday...
This weekend I ran across a video for one of Depeche Mode's most beloved songs, Just Can't Get Enough. As is typical with YouTube, the videos are stacked up like potato chips and you find that you can't watch just one. Before I knew it, I had blown through dozens of versions of Just Can't Get Enough from their live shows over the decades. Turns out that they've played it a lot.
Not surprisingly, the band had changed it up a bit over the years...
Here is the video that started my journey. They look like they're 10 years old here. The original song is a bit tinny, but this is the only way I knew it for nearly a decade (from 1982)...
Now, in the above video, Alan Wilder has taken the place of Vince Clark, which means there are even earlier versions where he was still with the band (from 1981)...
I'm glad that the official video for the song has Vince performing the track. He wrote the thing after all. Just an FYI, this is the only DM music video he appears in (also from 1981)...
Jumping back ahead to 1982 and the post-Vince Clark period, this version of the song has Dave Gahan with a bit different ending than what I've heard before...
Then we come to what many consider to be the "classic era" of Depeche Mode. People Are People gets released and the entire world starts to take notice (from 1984)...
Of the many, many versions of Just Can't Get Enough I've heard over the years, my hands-down favorite is the live version from my favorite Depeche Mode album of all time... 101 (from 1988)...
A little harder on the synth, but not so much that it's a radical change from the original.
Alan Wilder left the band in 1995. The band was never quite the same. Nor were live performances of Just Can't Get Enough (from 1998)...
Not a lot changed in the years that followed (from 2006)...
Which leads us to last year's show (from 2013)...
This actually sounds like a step back towards the original, where the synth is a bit more brassy than deep.
And... out of the 200+ versions of the song I found on YouTube, that's a pretty good representation of the song's evolution.
I hope to hear it at many more Depeche Mode concerts in the years to come.
A great deal of my day was spent rolling my eyes into the back of my head.
The rest of the day was pretty much this...
Good thing it's taco night.
This guy unleashes a lot of wisdom in a short amount of time. It's an enlightened take on current events... that was recorded two months ago (some explicit language ensues)...
Thanks so my Facebook friends for introducing me to Prince Ea's YouTube channel. I can't stop watching.
I am working on Thanksgiving Day.
Your faux outrage is most appreciated!
Time to be thankful you're not a turkey...
Annnnnd... just bought all my clothes for 2015.
For the past four years I shop for clothing only on Black Friday online sales so I can purchase stuff I ordinarily could not afford (Lucky Brand, Banana Republic, etc.) or to get double the amount of stuff I would normally get (American Eagle, iTunes Cards, etc.). Amazing how putting aside $50 a month nets $600 that has buying power of $1000 to $1200 this one time of year.
Unlike the many, many people who profess to despise Black Friday as a blight on the holiday season and humanity in general... I am happy to publicly embrace this celebration of consumerism gone amuck. Not because I have some vendetta against the holidays (or whatever), but because I like to save piles of money.
Not that I would ever step foot in an actual store today.
I prefer the relative safety of my web browser to the madness of full-contact shopping...
Black Friday is also the time that I cash in all the pocket change I save up the rest of the year (so I have even more cash to spend on deals). It always adds up to a lot more than I'd expect...
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO DOLLARS AND SIXTY-SEVEN CENTS?! How do I accumulate that much coinage?
Fair warning... CoinStar does not accept foreign monies (or penis salad buttons) as legal tender...
Annnnnd... now that I've spent all my money, I suppose it's time to get back to work.
So I can earn money for next year.
It's a viscious circle, yo.
I don't believe The United States of America was created as a "Christian Nation" and never have. Our founding fathers made sure religious freedoms were built into the DNA of this country and were careful not to single out any one religion as "official" in our founding documents. This alone is all the evidence you need, but there is a lot of historical context to back it up (including the Treaty of Tripoli which spells it out in no uncertain terms).
No... in the only sense I have ever considered this to be a "Christian Nation" is that 77% of the population identifies as Christian.
But now I'm starting to think that at least 28%... and probably many, many more... of those identifying as "Christian" are full of shit.
Because if we truly were a "Christian Nation" as a matter of demographic, city governments would not keep making it illegal to feed the homeless. They would not do such a thing because Christians would not stand for it. Christians live by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, and feeding the hungry is the very definition of what Jesus was all about...Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." — John 6:35 (NIV)
Yes, Jesus is talking about spiritual hunger here, but look at the metaphor he's using! And he backs that shit up with one of his most famous miracles...
As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. — Matthew 14:15-21(NIV)
And so, obviously, any true Christian considers feeding the hungry to be a major tenant of their faith. Because that's who Jesus is.
Currently 33 American cities make it illegal to feed the homeless.
And they aren't playing. Earlier this month a 90-year-old manin Ft. Lauderdale was again arrested for his efforts in feeding the homeless. Sure there's public outrage... but not 77% public outrage calling for the resignation of city government and their bullshit excuses for creating such fucked-up laws (to "prevent government-run anti-homelessness programs from being diluted" — bitch, please).
And I don't get it. Where are the Christians in this "Christian Nation" of ours?
By their inaction, they're supporting those politicians who make it illegal to feed the homeless, I guess. Perhaps they think Jesus was the kind of savior who was worried about diluting government-sponsored programs or something.
But, setting Jesus aside for a minute, SINCE WHEN DOES A PERSON HAVE TO BE CHRISTIAN TO SUPPORT FEEDING THE HUNGRY?!?
77% of the population? Fuck that. Where are 100% of the population when stupid shit like this happens?
By their inaction, apparently 23% of them think this is a problem for the Christians to deal with instead of considering it to be a problem for humanity.
As for me?
MY faith forbids me from giving money to the homeless because they may use that money to purchase something harmful to themselves or others. But I buy food for the homeless whenever I am able. I see somebody who says they're hungry and I buy them something from a nearby market. Or take them to a nearby restaurant and pay for their meal. Or buy enough food when I'm dining out so that I can set aside part of it for them. And I don't give a crap if the city I'm in has some kind of stupid, unjust law in effect that forbids me from doing so. I may not be a Christian but, like the example set by Jesus, I don't particularly care about consequences when answering to a higher calling.
Because? Strut the Rooster...
Seriously? Getting arrested for feeding the hungry?
What the bloody fuck has this country come to?
I don't care if you believe this nation was founded on Christian principles or not. Right now I'm more concerned with us having any principles at all.
God bless America?
If this is what we've come to, I sincerely doubt it.
...and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. — Isaiah 58:10
Don't go all Cyber Monday just yet... because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Bats! The Tolga Bat Hospital posted some amazing photos of young bats experiencing the rain for the first time this week...
Adorable. Oh how I love bats! Much love to Tolga Bat Hospital for posting such fantastic shots. They do good work.
• War! Unless you've been spending the past few days dead for tax reasons, you're undoubtedly aware that the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released. If you weren't aware, you can watch the thing here.
And then the fan trailers came. First up is this brilliant (literally!) nod to director JJ Abrams' love of lens flare (in his Star Trek movies)...
Nice! Next up... the very funny George Lucas' Special Edition...
What? No fart jokes? And, lastly, heeeeeeere's LEGO...
Genius. I have to say... this trailer had a good Star Wars feel to it. Which is something I can't say about the horrendously shitty prequel trilogy. Just over a year to wait... sigh.
• Space! I really don't have the words for just how amazing this it...
Wow. Star Wars Shmar Wors. More information on this jaw-dropping short film can be found at creator Erik Wernquist's site.
• Sugar! If this Brita commercial is accurate, it's kind of scary. I probably drink double this amount of soda in a year...
Why oh why are all the things that are bad for us so darn tasty?
• Lap! Came across a photo while backing up my image library and was pretty shocked at how big laptops used to be...
Even harder to believe that boat anchor has only a fraction of the computational power that an iPhone has. Probably a fraction of the screen resolution as well. Might have an iPhone beat on battery life though.
• Arthur! A story about a stray dog who became part of a team attempting to complete a 430-mile race through the Amazon is probably my favorite story on the interwebs this week...
So great. I get a lump in my throat every time I read it. If you want to see Arthur arriving at his new home in Sweden, here's the link.
And... I should probably go to bed seeing as how I have to get up early for work tomorrow.