No need to put on pants, because a PANTS-FREE Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Angel. If you skip past everything else on this page... if you read just one of my links this Bullet Sunday... the story of Ruth Coker Burks should be it...
Photo by Brian Chilson & The Arkansas Times
What an amazing, amazing human being.
• Vegetarian? IT'S PEOPLE! VEGGIE DOGS ARE PEOPLE! DELICIOUS, DELICIOUS PEOPLE!
Guess I like people after all!
• Sexual Chocolate! And speaking of hot dogs... Chicago's famous Wiener's Circle restaurant dressed up as Coming To America's "McDowell's" for Halloween!
Photo by Mina Bloom
Epic. And now I've got to see that movie again.
If you haven't heard of Weiner's Circle before, they're famous for char dogs and the abusive staff...
Intrigued? A visit to their fan site is in order... which is probably safer than visiting in person.
• Chew! And now you know why I hate gum-smacking whores, cereal commercials, and any other time somebody CAN'T EAT AT A RESPECTABLE DECIBEL LEVEL! It's because I'm a frickin' genius!
• Yay? The World's Largest Fast-Food Chain Is Going Antibiotic-Free—and Not Just for Chicken? Way to go Subway! Almost makes up for the fact that you KNEW Jared Fogle was a child-raping psychopath yet did NOTHING because he sold a lot of your shitty sandwiches. Oh... wait a second... no it doesn't. You're a horrendous company and I will never buy another one of your fucking sandwiches ever again. I don't care if they're made of rainbows and you're give them away.
And now for something entirely different... I bid you adieu!
Started coming down with a cold on Saturday.
Downed massive amounts of vitamin C to head it off.
Felt way better on Sunday... no runny nose, no aches and pains, no coughing. Just a little bit of sinus pressure.
Then today I had to drive over the mountain passes and back for work. This caused my sinuses to compress. Now I've got a massive sinus headache that Will. Not. Stop.
The good news is that I finally managed to donate my car to the veterans. Since they couldn't pick it up over in Redneckistan, I drove it over to the big, scary city of Seattle. I was going to take a sentimental final photo of my Saturn... but I fucking hated that car so much that I didn't feel like it.
If you want to see what it looked like, here's a photo of the piece of shit being towed after the transmission blew out a couple years ago...
I bought the Saturn SC2 in 1999 after my previous car was completely destroyed by a runaway railroad truck. It slipped out of gear, tore across the street, then plowed into my car so hard it was totaled. Because I was working non-stop, I didn't have time to go car shopping. I kept putting it off and putting it off until finally the railroad's insurance was going to cut off my rental.
That's when I saw a television commercial about how you could order a great new car from Saturn's website without stepping foot in a showroom. And it was made in America! SWEET!
And so I did.
Several weeks later I was in New York when I got a call that my car had arrived at the dealership in Seattle. So instead of flying home to Redneckistan, I ditched out at Seattle and the Saturn people picked me up from the airport. They were very nice, but they forced me to go through a crazy "orientation class" before they'd let me drive it home which was a bit unnerving.
And it was that drive home where I first realized that I did not care for the car.
It had a fucking horrendously huge turning radius. I made more three-point turns in the first month of owning it than I did in the entire lifetime of owning my previous car. It also had really poor design choices... in everything from the sun visors to the window controls. As if that wasn't enough, it never felt really comfortable to drive. Long distance, it was awesome. But for in-city stop-and-go driving it was miserable.
I had 30 days to return it.
And I gave that some serious thought.
But I was so busy with work that I just ended up keeping it.
For sixteen years.
Eventually I came to tolerate it, though stuff was always going wrong (after the warranty expired, of course). In addition to the afore-mentioned transmission failure, the dome light was flakey as hell. Rarely worked. The driver-side door was a piece of shit that never wanted to stay open. The emissions system was such a mess that I had the service light going on and off for the past seven years... despite spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars at the dealership to have it fixed. And don't get me started on all the interior shit that broke over the years... driver-side arm rest... center console... rear console... passenger-side oh-shit handle... sun visor clip... the list goes on and on. It's as if Saturn used the cheapest plastic they could find on everything.
It didn't even have 100,000 miles and 15 years on it when I finally decided to be rid of the damn thing, but it felt as though it was 40 years old with 900,000.
As if that weren't enough suffering, I ended up having to spend $100 on a battery so it would start and I could get it over to Seattle in the first place.
No wonder Saturn went out of business back in 2009.
Instead of selling the thing and making my problems somebody else's problems, I decided to donate it to Cars Helping Veterans and see if they could make some use of it for a good cause.
You know... I would never presume to tell a parent what they should or should not allow their child to read.
Even the stupid parents. It's their kid... they should get to decide that. But it is quite another matter for said parent to decide FOR ALL OTHER KIDS what should or should not be read.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is absolutely fascinating reading, and there is much to be learned from her story (I can't wait for the movie!). There is NOTHING in the book that could even remotely be considered "pornography." Especially for a 15 year old kid who lives in the Real World. And yet, some bored woman in Tennessee with a bug up her vagina is wanting to have it banned...
Well fuck her.
Let other parents decide for themselves if it's appropriate reading for THEIR OWN DAMN KIDS. I am so sick and tired of ignorant dumbasses constantly pushing for society to be lowered to their level of idiocy.
Stay in your ignorance bubble if you want... just leave the rest of us out of your dumbfuckery.
If you want to know more about the woman whom the book in question is written about, here's the Wikipedia page for Henrietta Lacks. And if that's not enough... I can't recommend The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks highly enough.
Fascinating, fascinating stuff.
I loathe most all politicians.
Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part I find them to be arrogant assholes who have zero interest in actually representing the people they have been elected to represent. There's always an agenda... usually dictated by lobbyist money... and their only goal is re-election.
Which is why seeing somebody actually try to buck the system is so heartwarming.
Against my better judgement, I like this new Prime Minister of Canada...
If only the USA had anybody in our presidential race that even pretended to give this much of a shit.
As a Certified Apple Whore, I was pretty much obligated to purchase the new version of Apple TV. Could not be helped, really. Is it worth the money for the upgrade? Let's find out...
The original Apple TV was a hot mess of a product. Dubbed "iTV" it had a hard drive for local storage, but I don't know that it ever used it because the unit required you to stream video from a computer. Eventually it was upgraded with additional functionality (namely, you could buy media from the iTunes Store) but it was such a klutzy product that I never really used it.
Then came the second generation. This Apple TV was a fraction of the size of iTV, jet-black in color, and much more capable. With no local hard drive, your only option was to stream content, which is pretty much what it was meant to do all along. This implementation was a huge improvement, but still pretty crappy. The menu GUI is awful. It always seemed under-powered, and dropouts or full-on crashes were common. Apple upgraded bits and pieces for the third generation model which, I'm guessing, helped with more reliable streaming... but I never bothered because it was pretty much the same damn thing.
And here we are at Generation Four...
The new unit looks much the same as the previous version, but is noticeably taller. Everything else about it, however, is a very different animal.
First of all, I had the crap shocked out of me when I plugged in the new unit to my television and had the television automatically turn on and change the input to Apple TV. This is thanks to HDMI-CEC which is an extension to the HDMI cable standard that allows you to control HDMI devices in a smarter way.
If you have a television, a cable box, and a stereo receiver, you end up juggling three remote controls just to watch the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory. Yes, many remotes now-a-days can be programmed to control multiple devices, but that'e exactly how it happens... you are controlling three different devices separately. With HDMI-CEC, however, you don't. Assuming all your components are CEC capable, they talk to each other and control each other. Turn the volume up on your TV and it will pass the info to your stereo receiver. Change channels on your TV and it will pass the info to your cable box. And so on. The system isn't without its hiccups, but it's a fantastic technology in theory (and mostly in practice).
The upshot of all this? Your CEC-capable TV automatically switches inputs when you turn on your Apple TV and you can control television volume with the Apple TV remote. Nice.
Setting up Apple TV couldn't be easier if you have a modern iOS device. You just wave your iPhone (or whatever) over your Apple TV when it asks and your Apple ID and iTunes account info is transferred automatically over Bluetooth. Pretty spiffy, right?
Unless your WiFi router is set up to restrict access via specific MAC addresses like mine. Usually, this is an easy fix... you just look at a sticker on the peripheral you want to grant access to your wireless network, type it into your router's "allowed" table, and you're golden. Except Apple doesn't put this information on their precious Apple TV. Which would be fine because you can get the MAC address from the Apple TV's system menu. EXCEPT YOU CAN'T ACCESS THIS MENU UNTIL THE APPLE TV IS SET UP. BUT YOU CAN'T SET UP THE APPLE TV UNTIL YOU HAVE INTERNET ACCESS! This is categorically stupid. I had to disable access control on my router to set up Apple TV so I could get the MAC address to set up access control. HELPFUL HINT TO APPLE: put the fucking MAC address on the damn Apple TV next time... like you used to do.
It's during this setup that you get exposed to Apple's new remote control. It's plastic and metal, not awesome solid aluminum tooling like previous generations, but it has a nifty "swipe pad" at the top. This allows you to swipe to select menu items and, more importantly, swipe to enter keyboard data like user id and password. While definitely a better option than having to click click click to pick letters off an on-screen keyboard, it's not perfect. I had no problem swiping left to right, for example, but rarely am I able to swipe up and down and get it to register the first time. Annoying. But only half as annoying as the fact that I couldn't get the iPhone Apple Remote App to work with the latest Apple TV.
Okay... so you've set up your Apple TV. Now what? Well, the first thing you'll notice is that Apple has a minimal number of "stations" showing... whereas the previous generation had a shitload of them... whether you wanted them or not. Don't use Hulu? TOUGH SHIT! HERE IT IS! But the latest Apple TV nicely avoids the unnecessary clutter by turning all the "stations" into apps. Want to look at YouTube videos? Grab the app. Want to view NetFlix content? Grab the app. But that's not all... apps are for more than just "stations"... you can download full-blown actual apps, like games, and run them right on your television. This is a pretty powerful upgrade, and I wonder how many people will drop gaming consoles if the content for Apple TV really takes off.
And speaking of upgrades... Heeeeere's Siri!
Using voice commands with Apple TV is pretty great. Click the "listen" button and tell the thing what you want. "Show me John Goodman movies" works exactly as expected. Better than expected, actually, because Siri searches not just the iTunes Store, but your apps as well! And here's where Apple TV really shines... it gives precedence to cheaper options first. If the movie you want to watch is available on your Netflix subscription AND on the iTunes Store... the Netflix option is first up because you've already paid for it. That's a pretty bold move for Apple, since most companies would put their own product ahead of everybody else.
Siri is most welcome to Apple TV because the interface, while less cluttered, is still pretty shitty to navigate... even with Apple's new swipe remote. The problem is that there's no API for Siri, so most apps can't use that feature. YouTube, for example, would benefit greatly from Siri interaction... except it can't. Not yet anyway. Another problem with Siri is that Apple TV Siri is limited to only Apple TV functionality. Unlike iPhone Siri, which can answer questions or do internet searches, for example. HomeKit functionality, surprise surprise, is missing.
AirPlay is, not surprisingly, fully supported. which means you can stream content from your iPhone or computer (assuming they have that capability).
All Apple TVs comes with a spacious 2 GB of memory, but there are two models when it comes to the amount of storage (via flash memory)... 32GB or 64GB. I have no plans for downloading a ton of apps, so 32GB was the choice for me.
When it comes to hardware features, the fourth generation Apple TV comes up short compared to older versions. First of all, it's HDMI only... including for sound, because Apple TV no longer has an optical audio out jack. In addition, the only service port is the USB-C port. Luckily, a USB-C to USB cable is included in case you don't have one. There's an ethernet jack, which is nice if your WiFi isn't reliable, but kind of a waste otherwise.
Performance is much improved in the latest iteration of the product thanks to the Apple A8 chip upgrade. Menus are smoother (and prettier)... streaming feels more reliable... and response time is better.
Overall, I'm quite pleased with my new Apple TV. Well worth the price of admission... especially if you have a lot of content purchased from the iTunes Store. I wish that it was smarter about voice interaction though. Having to press the button on the remote to activate Siri seems old-fashioned when you've got devices like Amazon's Alexa that's always listening. Furthermore, Siri should be a hell of a lot smarter. Right now it's a drastically dumb-downed version from what I'm used to on my iPhone, which makes no sense. I mean, come on... at least give Siri access to my music library! Also lacking in the "no sense" department? No support for 4K video(!) and no iPhone remote support.
Maybe next time.
Which I'm guessing will be 2017. A little late to the party.
What just happened?
Last night I was sleeping with just a sheet on my bed... tonight suddenly I've got three blankets and a comforter going on. Shouldn't this have been more of a progression? Add one blanket for a week or two... then another... then another? Alas, no. The weather has gone from pleasantly brisk to full-on cold overnight.
Errr... well... overday, I guess.
Not a big fan of Winter. Missing Fall already.
Kinda wish we could go from Fall to Spring and skip over winter.
Like last year. We didn't even get snow last year.
Thanks, global warming!
And so Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live tonight.
This has been a gig mired in controversy... with Trump being a big ol' racist and all. There's been calls for boycotts against the show, boycotts agains SNL advertisers, and boycotts against NBC. And it's all perfectly understandable. Bonus screen time for a racist presidential candidate is just not cool, and I totally sympathize with the sentiment of a boycott.
But there was no way I was going to miss another appearance by Larry David as Bernie Sanders in the cold open...
And it was awesome, as expected. As for the rest of the show?
Painfully bad and unfunny.
And Trump sucked. Sucked hard. S-U-C-K-E-D.
And something tells me that he's a better actor and comedian than he would be a president.
Time to lock and load, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Crazy. Michele Bachmann Wants To Convert Jews to Christianity ASAP.
Because of course she does.
First Michele Bachmann came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then Michele Bachmann came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Muslim.
Then Michele Bachmann came for the Hindus, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Hindu.
Then Michele Bachmann came for me— and there was no one left to speak for me.
• Bond. The cutest thing you've seen all week!
Oh how I hope that Daniel Craig has a change of heart and gives us another Bond film.
• Latter. "For God so loved (some of) the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him (gays and children of gays excepted) should not perish, but have everlasting life (or not)." — You'd think a group that once fled persecution would be more accepting, yet here we are.
• Serious? Is there anything Aziz Ansari can't do?
Taste the fat, indeed.
• Horrific. Woman attacked diner at Applebee's for speaking a foreign language. — What a piece of shit. What a vile, worthless, disgusting, pile of shit! I sincerely hope this ignorant asshole gets put in prison for a long, long, time. This kind of absurd xenophobia is what happens when you have assholes like Donald Trump painting foreigners as bad people.
• Televised. Tonight's episode of Limitless just pushed the series to my favorite show on television. The Ferris Bueller parody was unexpected but flawlessly implemented.
Love. This. Show. If you're not watching it, you probably should be.
And... that's it for bullets today.
Today something was supposed to happen but it didn't happen and so now I'm beginning to wonder if it's ever going to happen when I very much need it to happen.
Because I'm pessimistic that way.
Not due to a personality trait... but due to past experience, which has conditioned me to expect the absolute worst case scenario any time my fate is in the hands of others.
Which is another way of saying shit happens.
That much you can always count on.
That thing that I needed to have happen yesterday which didn't happen yesterday when it was supposed to happen?
Which I'm convinced happened due to either coincidence or error, and not because it was supposed to.
After months of stress from waiting...
I just don't know what to do with myself now that it's over.
Get drunk, I guess.
That seems to be my answer for everything though.
As I've mentioned many times over the years (and have as #76 in my 100 Things About Me list), I love carpentry. There's something about being able to take a stack of wood and turn it into something functional, beautiful, or useful that appeals to me.
And now that it's time for my mid-life crisis to begin, I've finally decided to do something about it.
But where to begin?
Probably with some woodworking tools.
I decided to start with a drill so I can make holes and put screws in them. That seems like an important thing to be doing when it comes to wood, doesn't it?
I own an electric drill of course, I'm a civilized person after all, but it's a crappy 7.5 volt bargain basement brand that barely has the torque needed to drive a screw into a stick of butter. And that simply will not do. Nope, if I'm going to be screwing, I want to be able to drive my screw so hard and deep that my wood will cry out for mercy as it's impaled by a force so overwhelming that it cannot be denied.
So off I went to the local home improvement store, The Home Depot.
Which is an exciting experience for two reasons...
So there I am in an entire aisle devoted to drills trying to look like I know exactly what I'm looking for. An entire aisle!
At the far end of the aisle are massive drills that take two hands and a certificate from your doctor stating that you are fit enough to use them. Needless to say, I won't be going that far. I stay safely at the near end of the aisle where sanity prevails. I want to drill holes in a piece of wood... not rip a hole in the fabric of space-time.
So then... questions...
Or the only question that really matters...
My new drill is a pretty red one!
Oh... and that thing I didn't know existed but found out I cannot live without?
ROLL O' RAGS!!!
Let the impaling begin.
On the morning of August 30th, 1997, I was getting ready for a trip to Orlando. I needed some background noise to distract me from a neighbor with a leaf blower, so I turned on the television while I packed my suitcase. The news was breaking that Princess Diana of Wales had been in a car accident in Paris and her status was unknown.
This was both shocking and sad, as I had long been an admirer of Diana. She could have easily just hopped into the role of princess and coasted through a life of luxury... but she did not do that. Instead she used her status and celebrity to do some good in the world. She championed many causes, but I will most remember her as a voice of reason and compassion during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While most people in the world were shunning AIDS victims and turning a blind eye to the entire crisis... Diana was speaking out, educating people, and advocating for those affected. She visited AIDS patients and made the world see them as people.
I flew into Seattle where every television was covering the accident. Nobody knew how Diana was doing, and the story kept changing. I boarded my flight to Orlando not knowing if she was dead or alive. As this was a time before in-flight internet, I spent the next six hours wondering if she was okay.
Once I had landed in Orlando and checked into my hotel, I immediately turned on the television only to learn that Diana had died.
The next day I was at work when somebody suggested going to Walt Disney World's EPCOT for lunch. It was surprising how much we were all affected by Diana's passing, and it seemed like spending a couple of hours away from it all might be the ticket.
EPCOT, for those not in the know, is a theme park which has something called "World Showcase" where Disney has created microcosm of various places in the world, with pavilions for Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. The idea is that visiting the EPCOT version of a country gives you a taste of what it's like to visit the real country. It's touristy crap, of course... but surprisingly well done and a lot of fun.
After having lunch in Paris, we wandered into the United Kingdom pavilion and saw something surprising.
Loads and loads of flowers, all in tribute to Princess Diana.
It was a recreation of the tons of flowers left at Buckingham Palace in the UK... inside a recreation of the UK.
And that's when it hit me.
To create an air of authenticity, Disney hires people from the actual countries to work at EPCOT's fake countries. Which means all the people working in the UK pavilion were British nationals having to put on smiles and act happy for their guests when their nation was in mourning half a world away.
Far from home, the only countrymen they had to lean on were each other.
Which is why today as I watched the horrific events in Paris unfold, my thoughts were not just with the people of Paris and France... but with the French natives at EPCOT'S France Pavilion. And, by extension, French natives around the world who are abroad as tragedy strikes.
You are far from home, but you are not alone, as the world mourns with you and your beautiful city of Paris...
First Beirut, now Paris. A part of me wonders if the violence which permeates this world will ever end.
I have to believe that it will. It has to.
This world we've built is not sustainable.
After declaring Apple's iTunes the worst piece of software I have ever used in the entire history of computing, Apple Mail seems to be working overtime to make me rethink my decision.
Mail is just awful. It's a flakey, bug-ridden pile of crap that keeps getting worse and worse. As if that wasn't enough, Apple keep stripping features from the program that could help. First they took away the ability to choose which SMTP server you want to use for outgoing email on the fly. This means you can't force Mail to use a different server when it's shitty SMTP handling fails unless you change your account information.
Then today I noticed that Apple also stripped the ability to stop a process in the Activity Monitor. So now when Mail gets stuck downloading emails from an IMAP server... which happens all the fucking time... there is literally nothing you can do to solve the problem except quit Mail, use webmail to try and figure out which email that Mail is having trouble with, delete said email, restart Mail, then keep repeating the process over and over and over and over and over and over again until you are finally rid of the email causing the problem. If you can ever figure it out at all.
Oh how I fucking hate... HATE... shitty Apple Mail.
Yet, if you're wanting to sync accounts and have interoperability with you iPhone and iPad, "shitty" is what you're forced to use.
Apple has billions upon billions of dollars. Why in the bloody hell can't they invest a little of that money to get this crap fixed? Too easy? Or they just don't give a flying fuck because they've got billions of dollars?
Either way, I don't think it's too much to ask that Apple's email program isn't fucking bullshit.
Drop it like it's hot, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Aziz. One of my favorite comedians to come along in ages is Aziz Ansari. If you aren't watching his new show Master of None on Netflix, you are totally missing out. Recently Aziz was interviewed by The New York Times and it is well worth a read.
Apple iPad Pro available in a few days.
Apple Pencil for iPad Pro available in 3 to 4 weeks.
Return Period for iPad is 2 weeks.
Huh. Guess I'm waiting 3 to 4 weeks to order my iPad Pro, since the only reason I want one is for the Pencil... and making sure I like the pencil is the only reason I'm actually getting one.
• Review. A nice look at the latest issue of Thrice Fiction by New Pages is right here!
A lot of hard work goes into every issue, and it's always nice when we're appreciated for it. If you want to take a look at everybody's favorite fiction magazine for FREE, here's your link!
• Interrupted. This Vine of a man telling a woman to put down her book during a Trump ralley is the best thing I've seen all week...
She is having none of it! Interesting to note that the book she's reading is Claudia Rankine's Citizen, which could be said to be addressing just this kind of thing!
• Jessica This looks epic... and very faithful to the comic book. If Jessica Jones is even half as good as Daredevil, we're in for a treat...
One. More. Week.
And now is the time on Blogography where we dance!
"One Million Moms" is an action group created by "The American Family Association"... an organization dedicated to bringing "traditional moral values" back to the media. At first blush, this is not such a bad idea... over-sexualization of the media has reached epic proportions, inundating young kids with sexual content and adult situations at earlier and earlier ages. And while I think it's the job of parents to regulate what their kids are exposed to... not society... I certainly sympathize with the struggle to do so, and think advocating for media being more careful about what gets dumped on children 24/7 is not a bad thing.
Unfortunately the people at the AFA's soccer mom offshoot, "One Million Moms," are a bunch of bigoted, racist, homophobic assholes, and one of their more popular activities is ruthlessly persecuting gays via campaigns of hatred anytime homosexuality is portrayed as "normal" or seen in a positive light.
An example... they called for a boycott of JC Penney because they dared to have Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson: "Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families. By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JC Penney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years."
What the fuck?
You'd think JC Penney had aired an ad where Ellen was eating out her wife Portia de Rossi while spread-eagle on top of JC Penney Home bed linens or something.
But, no... One Million Moms just hated the idea that JC Penney would dare to allow a homosexual to be on television. Not that a kid would ever know that Ellen was gay from watching one of her ads...
No. The only damage done to kids by this commercial is when their parents make a big fucking deal over it for no damn reason at all.
You'd think as more and more people point out what fucking assholes they are, that One Million Moms would have mellowed a bit over the years.
Not a chance.
If anything, they've only become even bigger homophobic assholes.
Earlier this month One Million Moms went ape-shit because American Girl magazine had a story that featured an 11-year-old girl... along with her two dads. They condemned the story as "sin" and called for a boycott of the publication just because families like this exist.
Like I said, fucking assholes.
But the family in question has a fantastic response...
One Million Moms can go suck a bag of dicks. How dare they attack a family which is built around providing a loving home to kids in foster care? What have they done to help foster kids?
Instead all they've done is make it so that kids lucky enough to have two dads that love them (not to mention a home to live in) are looked down upon by zombified homophobes.
Congratulations, assholes. Way to protect kids.
Guess your mission only applies to the right kids.
Want to know if you're doing good in the world? Having One Million Bigoted Douchebags calling for people to boycott you is a pretty good sign.
We needs it.
"ALL LIVES MATTER" "Awesome, there's these Syrian refugees who need help—" "NOPE"— ¡Gabe! Ortíz (@TUSK81) November 16, 2015
But some of us more than others.
Meanwhile, there are people are making a difference. One of my favorite stories is about an American mom working at a camp in Greece who noticed the difficult time refugees were having juggling their babies as they attempted to find a new life for themselves. A problem that's easy to solve... with the right equipment. And so she started a movement to provide baby carriers to refugees, and the story is heartwarming...
Photos by Patrice Poltzer at TODAY
if only we had a seasonally appropriate story about middle eastern people seeking refuge being turned away by the heartless— Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 16, 2015
If only indeed.
Winter is coming.
And the reason I know this is because snow landed on the hills this week, albeit briefly. After that, it all turned to rain. Relentless rain that has made the last couple days really miserable. Particularly while driving, because water is pooling on the roads and highways. You'll be driving along when all of a sudden you're hydroplaning across the pavement and hoping you don't hit anything. And it doesn't seem to matter how slow you go. I've been driving 35mph in a 60mph zone and still have to worry.
Last night I had to make yet another run to Home Depot and couldn't get home after because a bad accident was blocking the highway back to my place. Since I was hungry, I decided to pull into a burger drive-in and wait it out. While I was waiting for my order, four police cars, two ambulances, and three firetrucks showed up...
The lady who handed me my veggie burger said that this was the third accident in two days at that same intersection.
Apparently there's a leaving curve there, even though the road itself is straight.
And what's going to happen when the snow gets here?
And so the first trailer for Zoolander 2 has dropped.
I am more excited for this film than I have any right to be...
Mugatu is one of my favorite movie villains in the history of cinema. SO glad they brought him back for the sequel.
That trailer is so hot right now.
Speaking of things I'm looking forward to...
Jessica Jones is premiering on Netflix this Saturday... and new X-Files is coming next January from FOX, for which the poster has just been released...
And lest we forget... Marvel's Luke Cage and Iron Fist are also on-deck for 2016 from Netflix.
Not to mention Daredevil Season Two!
Definitely a good time to be alive. Television-wise.
The terrorists have fucking won. They're getting EXACTLY what they want, and nobody even seems care. Because of their actions, our citizens going full-on bigoted paranoid racist AGAINST OUR OWN COUNTRYMEN!
This was put into vivid relief when a story broke about how a Philadelphia pizza shop owner and his friend were pulled aside from boarding their flight because some fellow passengers complained they were "uncomfortable" having to fly with two people speaking Arabic.
This is unbelievably fucking horrific.
Yet it's getting to be oh so typical.
When we've all turned against each other, what's there left for terrorists to do? Nothing. Far more effective to have us destroy ourselves than bomb something.
Helpful hint to bigoted pieces of shit traveling this holiday season... if you want to be able to dictate who gets to fly with you, CHARTER YOUR OWN FUCKING AIRPLANE!
Don't dream it's over...
...because a Very Special All-Random-Questions Bullet Sunday starts... now...
And now? Jonesin' for more Jessica Jones!
Get your travel on, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• United? My chosen airline, Alaska Air, can't get me to Portland, Maine. Usually, this is not a problem... I just fly into Boston and spend an hour-and-a-half driving up. But winters in New England can be unpredictably harsh, and I wanted to get as close as I could to my destination. Delta's total flying time was absurdly long and the cost insanely high. United was much more reasonable on both counts, so I decided to go that route... despite having no status with the airline. It was a huge mistake. I haven't been this miserable flying in a long time. And they lost my luggage.
• Seated. The only GOOD thing to happen this flight? There was an empty spot next door, so my OREOs had a seat all their own...
Better than getting crushed in a seat-back pocket, that's for sure.
• Rent. Still don't understand how rental car companies think that giving you any car other than the one you reserved is "an upgrade." It's not. If the car you receive is a completely different size, that's a DOWNgrade. And I don't care if you're not charging me for it... this is still not the car I was expecting.
• Hotel. My favorite lodging chain, hands-down, is W hotels. Amazing properties that are usually out of reach for my budget... but an amazing surprise when I can swing it. If I can't get into the W, I look for another Starwood property I like... Aloft hotels. They're sorta like a budget version of W, and always nice. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of them around. Which means I'm usually compromising. My favorite compromises of the moment? Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn. I've been pleasantly surprised by both chains, and started patronizing them faithfully after "regular" Hiltons took a massive price hike. Right now I'm in the Hilton Garden Inn Portland Jetport, and will be moving to another Garden Inn tomorrow when I reach Auburn. After that, I'm not sure where I'll be... but I am pretty sure of what hotel I'll be staying in. When you travel a lot, that kind of consistency is gold.
• Water. Okay... it's gold most of the time. Perhaps not tonight. The first thing I do after I've tossed my luggage in the shower is to remove my shoes (helpful hint: tossing your luggage on a bed is a potential bedbug hazard that's best avoided). Unfortunately, I didn't notice that the refrigerator was leaking a huge pool of water on the floor, and walked into it with my one pair of socks. Since I have no idea when I'll see my luggage, I'm now stuck with wet socks that have been streaked with brown goo. Good times. Good times.
• Lost. And since I don't have any idea when I'll be getting my bag, tomorrow morning I'll have to rearrange my schedule and head to... THE MALL... =shudder=. Fortunately The Maine Mall has an Eddie Bauer... the only place I seem to be able to consistently find Tall Sizes off the rack. Their clothes are constructed okay, but the styles they have seem to have taken a nose-dive in the past couple years. Hopefully I can find something I'm happy with, because I really don't need any more unhappiness coming my way this trip.
And... back to Maine... and sleep.
Today my work took me to Auburn, Maine. A pleasant city that's about an hour north of Portland and one half of the "twin cities" of Auburn & Lewiston.
As I mentioned yesterday, my hotel of choice in the area is the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch. And the river in question being watched? The Androscoggin River, which divides Auburn and Lewiston.
Or so I would guess.
In the many times I've stayed at the Riverwatch, I've never had a room with a view of the river so I can actually watch it.
But this time I asked at the desk if they could hook me up. Since tourist season is dead, dead, dead this time of year, it wasn't a problem...
Not quite the awesome view I was expecting.
I'm guessing that it's a lot more interesting in the Summer.
Anyway... work is a long, drawn out affair that will last well into tomorrow. Lucky for me, I was able to escape for a short dinner break. That isn't always possible, so it's kind of nice when it happens. Must be time for She Doesn't Like Guthries!
Guthries is probably my favorite place to eat in the region, and I have no idea how that's even possible. There is no kitchen. Just a couple panini presses and a small stove behind the bar... and yet they turn out these amazing meals. Their Sweet Potato Burrito is my favorite, but everything I've ever eaten here has been fresh and delicious. Magic?
As if that wasn't enough magic, United called and told me that they found my luggage. Unfortunately, since I have no idea where I'll be tomorrow, I can't tell them where to deliver it. Hopefully I'll be able to swing by the airport and pick it up myself... but I have an extra pair of underwear and socks if it turns out I can't.
My bag being found is a huge load off my mind because one of my favorite shirts in existence is inside. And it's not like I can just order another Jarrod Saltalamacchia Boston Red Sox T-shirt seeing as how he's no longer with the team.
And now... back to work.