For all those who wrote me emails or sent me texts or even called me... wondering what the heck happened that I had disappeared off my blog... thanks!
The explanation is both simple and complex. But let's start with what it is not going on...
I'm not sick.
I'm not dead.
I'm not on the lam.
I have not been abducted by aliens.
I have not given up blogging.
Here is what is going on...
As mentioned previously, the security I have on Blogography has been keeping me from posting. I can't disable the security, because I keep getting hacked (apparently having 15 years of Google-indexed entries makes you a desirable target). It has something to do with switching internet when I moved house, but in order to post now I have to log in to my blog, turn off the security, log out of my blog, log back into my blog, restart blogging services, post my entry, log out of my blog, then log back in so I can turn security back on.
It's quite an ordeal, and I really don't have time for it.
So I took to posting a week's worth of entries all at once in an effort to deal with it all.
That worked for five months.
And then it didn't.
No matter how many hoops I ran through, I couldn't get to the point where I could post. Not that this stopped me from writing entries. On the contrary, I was still writing every day like I always do...
I just couldn't do anything with them because I could never find the time to fix my blog.
I finally backed up the database, uninstalled everything, reinstalled everything, then restored everything. And it seems to be working.
Which leaves me in a quandary. Do I just flood post a month's worth of entries as if nothing ever happened? Or do I chalk up the month of June as a loss and start up fresh? Who wants to back-read a whole month of the stupid crap that I post? Is this stuff even relevant after all this time?
My inclination is to summarize my month tomorrow on the 3rd. Then resume posting on the 4th... exactly one month from when I stopped. Then I can swipe some old material I wrote... refresh stuff that's no longer relevant... and get back to all new musings that my legions of Blogography fans demand!
As much as I loathe the idea of there being a month-long chunk of missing entries in over a decade of daily posting, I think this is the best way to move on.
Hope you enjoyed your vacation from me.
Worried about missing out on a whole month of Dave's life? Well don't be, because an all new SPECIAL CATCH-UP EDITION of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• MY HEALTH. The bill for my first eye surgery arrived. Thank heavens my deductible is so huge... I was worried I wouldn't find anything to do with these piles of cash I've got laying around. The good news is that my eye seems to be doing okay now. The only remaining damage is a bump from where the anesthesia was injected into my eyelid. Hopefully it will disappear in time.
• MY DIET. I've inexplicably become a milk drinker again. I haven't had a glass in years, but recently had one with a slice of chocolate cake and fell in love with the stuff. I no longer have to worry about my milk expiring... which is cool because even though non-fat lasts forever, I was regularly having to throw it out.
• MY DISCOVERY. Laughing Cow cheese has never been a favorite even though I love spreadable cheeses. But recently they came out with an Asiago-flavored version that's just fantastic. I eat the stuff piled on Ritz Crackers constantly...
Laughing Cow Spicy Pepper Jack is worth a taste as well.
• MY SHOPPING. For much of my life, I've not been an antique fan. Why by old stuff when you can get brand new stuff that's cooler? My view has softened since renovating my guest room, so now I actually stop by antique shops from time to time. Which lead to my paying $28 for this cookie jar...
...and let me tell you why. 1) The bear looks like Ted! 2) Whomever made this didn't fire it properly, so it's sagging on one side and it looks like he's falling over drunk . 3) The lid is also misshapened, so it doesn't really fit the jar. 4) They misspelled "cookie" as "cookey" which is frickin' adorable. 5) It looks awesome next to my gelato machine! How many more reasons did I need? I was forced to buy it! Antiques FTW!
• MY SCHEDULE. My cats have turned me into a morning person. I now do my grocery shopping at 7am?...
Oh well. The nice thing is that the store is a ghost town that time of day.
• MY CATS. They're still adorable. Still wonderful. And I still love having them around. Such amazing animals...
Don't know how I managed without them.
• MY DISAPPOINTMENT. I skipped seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in the theater but finally caught the "Ultimate Edition" on digital. My thoughts are below, but beware of SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War (yes, you read that right)...
At the end of Captain America: Civil War where Bucky and Cap have beat down Iron Man and are walking away, Tony Stark says "That shield doesn't belong to you! My father made it!" and it's just crushing because of Robert Downey Jr.'s performance. You can feel that Tony is trying to stay proud in the face of defeat, but his heart is breaking on two levels, so there's a tremor in his voice. At that moment... when you are made to feel in the middle of a funny book film... you know that Marvel has completely figured it out. They put the humanity into their cinematic characters in a way that transcends the genre.
Which is why watching Batman v Superman was such a horrendous fucking ordeal. Zack Snyder thinks that taking everything dark and brooding is what adds character to the characters, but he's missing the target so badly as to be... comical. Heaping artificial drama on characters again and again and again just distracts from whatever humanity they might have. It buries it. He has zero sense of what makes a comic book movie reach past the funny books, and that's a huge problem for DC. Their movies are just dark, boring, artificial piles of shit that don't make you *feel* anything. It's the disaster-porn school of filmmaking and people are tired of it. They've seen it all before. Many, many times.
Between DC and Marvel, the one who has the most potential and the easiest road to completely slaying the genre is DC Comics. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are the most beloved and recognizable super-heroes in existence. Everything else pales by comparison. And yet by hiring a hack like Zack Snyder to helm their films... somebody who could give a fuck about the source material and changes things just because he can... somebody who doesn't want to bring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to the screen, but his "vision" of them... it doesn't matter. You go to a film called Superman v Batman expecting to see Superman and Batman... but they're not there. It's just Zack Snyder shit piled on something that vaguely resembles them.
I hated this movie even worse than Man of Steel, if that's even possible. Add another F- to my "Y2K Super-Hero Comic Book Renaissance" scorecard
• MY ENTERTAINMENT. Was thrilled beyond all reason that Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's Jupiter's Legacy: Volume 2 has finally, at long last, been started up...
This is my favorite comic book series in a long, long time. Apparently they are already working up a movie... here's hoping they get somebody better than Zack Snyder to helm it.
And... that's all the catch-up bullets we have today.
There is no way I could come up with a Fourth of July post better than the one I came up with last year.
And this year it's more appropriately Murican than ever, so I'm just going to dump it all here again.
Celebrate safely, my fellow Americans!
Truth! Justice! Captain America!
You're a Wonder, Wonder Woman!
REAGAN, bitches! Trickle-Down America!
Jessiqa Pace... Land That I Love
Too... Much... America...
I Pledge Allegiance to America...
'MURICA! from USA News First!
Fuck the Pepsi Challenge... take The America Challenge!
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, COMMIES! And God Bless Holly Fisher
American Jesus (the ONLY Jesus)... Artist Unknown
America... One Nation Under God by McNaughton
BOSTON RED SOX AMERICA!... by Matt West, Boston Herald
AMERICA PIE TASTES LIKE FREEDOM by Max Faulkner, DFW.com
Stephen T. Colbert... The Spirit of America
"American Pride" (with Waffles the Cat) by Justin Schwab
Jordan Carver... God Bless America
So. Much. America.
I. Am. Tired.
While my blog was broked, I wrote two entries addressing terrorism and violence and I'm tired.
Tired of what keeps happening. Even more tired of the certainty that it's going to happen again.
When it came to Orlando, this is what I wrote to my friends on Facebook...
I am so horribly selfish in times of crisis. Every time I try to grapple with the evils that men can do and the horrific cost that comes with it, I can only think of how crushed I would be if it were one of my friends that were taken from me. You mean everything to me, I love you, and I can't imagine my life without you. And then I remember that there are people right now facing exactly this, and my heart goes out to them. It's tough not to be blinded by hatred for those who make this world such a horrible place, but the love of my friends gets me through. If that's true for you too, I thought you should know what you mean to me. I don't say how much I love you often enough. None of us do.
Then, before I could even catch my breath, I was writing a blog post about Istanbul...
The terrorist attack on Istanbul's airport hit me hard... all the senseless violence hits me hard... but this one in particular was difficult for me to take. Back in 2007 I was flying out of Istanbul and was pulled aside for secondary screening at the airport. This is nothing new... I'm taken aside for secondary screening all the time. But this time I had horror stories of Turkish prisons filling my head, so it was a little different. There I was, being taken to a small dark room by three guys in uniform, all the while wondering if somebody had snuck something into my bag or if I was going to end up in jail for some reason. But it turns out to have been no big deal... all they did was pat me down and check my shoes. The room was more for my benefit than theirs, as I think they just wanted to spare me any embarrassment from public scrutiny (which was actually kind of considerate). The door was open the entire time, they were really nice and apologetic about the entire ordeal, and it took less than 5 minutes. I've had a lot worse from American security screenings.
And now I can't help but wonder if these three guys who were just showing up to do their job were injured or killed when the bombs went off.
I'm just so tired.
The first time I visited New York City in 1995, you know the first landmark I visited? Not the Statue of Liberty. Not the Empire State Building. Not the Twin Towers. Not The Met. Not any of those things. My top priority in NYC was to visit TekServe. There was no Apple Store back then. If you were into Mac, this was it.
And now they are closing. Very sad news for tech geeks everywhere.
And so there I was with an Alaska Air credit burning a hole in my pocket (because it was expiring soon) and nowhere to go. Rather than lose it, I decided to make a quick trip... somewhere... and get away for a bit.
But where? I dunno.
At least I didn't until Book of Love... an 80's band that was on my bucket list to see live... announced they were playing a gig in New Orleans at The House of Blues...
As if I ever need an excuse to visit one of my favorite cities on earth. My flight was booked the minute tickets went on sale.
The good news is that Alaska Airlines now has direct flights to New Orleans out of Seattle. The bad news is that I have to leave home at 4:00am to make the 5:40 flight to Seattle to take it...
The good news is that once I got to Seattle, Russell Wilson was onboard!
While I was in the air half-way to New Orleans, I got an email from The House of Blues asking if I wanted to upgrade from General Admission to VIP with reserved seating and club perks. The cost? $25. Considering my airline ticket was $520 and my hotel is $160 a night, that seemed like quite a bargain, so I jumped on it.
After a perfectly uneventful journey, I dropped my crap off at the hotel and headed off to my favorite restaurant in the city... Carmo! Their vegetarian Rico open-face sandwich is a taste of heaven on earth. Pair it with their banquette bread, and it's the meal of my dreams...
I was absolutely exhausted after dinner, having gotten no sleep the night before, so rather than head out for some bar-hopping, I decided to go to bed.
At least that was the plan.
First problem was that the toilet kept making noise. A seal must have been broken or something, because water was running out by the gallon. Even with the bathroom door closed I could hear it. The water running was annoying enough that I had to MacGyver a solution to make the noise stop...
That should have been the end of it.
But, of course, it wasn't.
Something... some thing was in my room with me. I don't know if it were paranormal activity or what, but an odd, shifting mass was dancing in my peripheral vision as I laid in bed. I kept looking in different places to make sure it wasn't my eyes playing tricks on me, but it appeared consistently in the same spot no matter what I did, so I chalked it up to ghosts. Or whatever. Unfortunately, it didn't appear in-camera even though I could still see it in the corner of my eye behind my iPhone...
Eventually it went away... or dissipated... or vanished... or whatever. But it was not forgotten. I was so pumped at the paranormal activity that I could not get to sleep and decided to go out.
Where I proceeded to drink way too much while staying out way too late.
After staying out until midnight last night, you'd think that I would have slept in until noon.
Except this is one of my favorite cities on earth, and I was having none of it. I can sleep when I'm dead.
So I woke up at 7:00am so I could have Bananas Foster French Toast at Restaurant Stanley...
So much cool stuff is always showing up in French Quarter windows... MAKE IT SO, KYLO REN!
Despite the smell of urine, I like an early morning meander to Latrobe Park. A little peace and quiet in the city before heading back to the hotel so I can shower. Again...
Since I flew 8 hours to get to New Orleans, I reached out to a work colleague in Houston to see if they'd fly the 1-1/2 hours to meet me. This would save me a trip later in the year. Turns out they drove instead of flew, so it was 5 hours for them. I still won.
Because I upgraded to the VIP package for the concert tonight, I had to go buy new shoes to fit the dress code...
Then I decided to have a late lunch and not stop drinking until the show at 8:00. I had been craving falafel for ages, so I ate at Attiki...
And drank at Attiki. A great beer called Hoegaarden...
And then drank up and down Bourbon Street until it was time to drink at The House of Blues exclusive "Foundation Room" before the concert. The place is kind of a cross between a gay porn set and a Buddhist retreat...
And now? It's time to get on with the show...
...which I will wrap up tomorrow when my brain is back in my head.
The Book of Love concert last night was pretty darn great... even though, technically, it was only half the band. Ted and Susan were there, Lauren and Jade were not. This was problematic on some tracks... like Alice Everyday... where Lauren sings a fairly critical part of the song. But it was filled by audience participation, which was actually kind of nice.
Song selection was pretty much what you'd expect. Boy was there...
And their biggest hit, I touch Roses, was there for an encore as well.
All in all, a pretty great show, and one more 80's band I've seen live that I can scratch off my bucket list.
After dinner I went to Coop's Place for an amazing veggie burger and some Jägermeister, which is a pretty good way to end a day in New Orleans, I think.
And when it comes to starting a day in New Orleans, it doesn't get much better than beignets at Cafe du Monde...
Which is how I started my day at 6:30am.
From there I spent my time wandering around The Quarter until I had to check out of my hotel. After checking out of my hotel, I spent my time wandering around The Quarter drinking...
And then... it was over.
I picked up my backpack at the hotel... hopped a ride to the airport... climbed into my First Class seat upgrade... then proceeded to keep drinking until landing in Seattle.
Where I somehow managed to find my flight home.
Where my cats were glad to see me.
Lose not your faith in Blogography, fair human! Because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Broked. As if it weren't painfully apparent, my blog wasn't as fixed as I had thought it was. I honestly don't know what to do about it short of a complete re-install, and I ain't got time for that. But anyway...
• Book. As a massive fan of the original cartoon, I anticipated hating The Jungle Book live-action remake. Well, I watched in on the plane ride home and loved it. Just incredible stuff. Where did they find the kid who played Mowgli? Amazing young actor. The fact that they got Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo is just icing on the cake...
It's my understanding this was filmed in "real" 3D and is not a converted 2D movie. Looks like I have another 3D Blu-Ray to add to my shopping list.
• Umbrella. Before I got on the plane, I wandered through the French Quarter yesterday and had to hide under some trees in Jackson Square when a downpour started. That's when I saw a group of ladies caught in the rain who were squealing. A guy passing by handed them his umbrella. After several rounds of thank you's, this happened...
"Oh we gonna have to keep you now!"
"Sorry ma'am... Im already taken."
"Well I can see why. God bless you young man!"
And off he went into the rain without his umbrella. Then this...
"He was just like Batman!"
If I wasn't in New Orleans, one of my favorite places on earth, that would have made my day.
• Wrong. Kim Davis Asks Court to Dismiss Marriage License Appeal. Looks like somebody doesn't want to go down on the wrong side of history as a hateful bigot that refused to do her job. Well, I have news for you... that's ALL you're going to be remembered for as long as people remember who you are you pathetic farce. You'd think that this would serve as warning for other bigots out there, but I think we all know that's not true.
• Sodium. A friend of a friend closed his restaurant last December. Recently when he was asked if he would share some of his favorite recipes and he did. Then somebody asked him how in the heck he made his burgers taste so good. His answer? Butter and salt. Saturate the buns in butter before grilling them. Just before flipping, salt and pepper the patty (his restaurant had a touch of garlic powder in the mix) then flip and add more salt. Sodium nightmare? Yes. But restaurants don't have to post Nutrition Facts, so that's how he made his burgers taste great. And so I gave it a try with my Boca Burger patties. *AMAZING* The abundance of butter and salt totally takes them to the next level. High blood pressure, here I come!
• Doloris. When you're watching every episode of The West Wing for the hundredth time and you've JUST gotten over the fact that Mrs. Landingham died... only to have her pop up in a flashback in the episode Bartlett for America. Gets me every time. Boy do I miss this show.
And I'm outta bullets.
Who doesn't love cookies? My favorite cookies are freshly-baked oatmeal-raisin cookies. Which is a pity, because I so rarely have the time to bake and they don't make any oatmeal-raisin cookies you can buy in the store that I will eat. So what cookies that you can buy in the store do I like? Glad you asked...
And that's cookies for you.
If you're like me, once you were out on your own, you just grabbed whichever toothpaste was cheapest and damn the consequences. I continued doing that for years. Until I got a free sample of The Good Stuff and had my life turned around. Then I became a bit of a toothpaste connoisseur and started trying every brand I could find. Here's the results...
Everybody maintain healthy dental hygiene, now!
OH YEAH!Is there anything more magical than Kool-Aid? You dump a little bit of powder and a cup of sugar into a container... fill it with 2 quarts of water... and BOOM! Out pops a colorful explosion of delicious flavor in drinkable form! Here's my favorites...
INSERT QUARTER, PLAYER ONE!
When I was in High School I played a stupid amount of video games. Both at home and the arcade. And while they improved greatly from their humble beginnings, when I think of "arcade games" my mind always goes back to that era. Here are the games that make me feel that way...
Arcade wishes and 8-Bit dreams!
As I mentioned yesterday, I was a huge video game whore when I was a kid. I'm not going to lie... I still am, but only for Nintendo and LEGO. The difference being that when I was a kid I didn't do anything but play video games... whereas now I have things like "responsibilities" that keep getting in the way. Doesn't keep me from loving video games though. Here's a list of consoles that I love most of all...
HONORABLE MENTION: ColecoVision.
This is a gaming system that rarely appears on people's lists of favorite game consoles. Yes it was underpowered. Yes it had one of the shittiest controllers ever. But it brought home a lot of great arcade games that Atari or Intellivision couldn't match... including the best home-port of Donkey Kong, my all-time favorite arcade title. I spent a huge chunk of my childhood playing ColecoVision, and am more than a little disappointed that it's forgotten by modern gamers.