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The United States of July

Posted on Thursday, July 1st, 2021

Dave!And... just like that... the year is half over.

And on a frickin' Thursday of all days. After having 2020 pass so slowly thanks to a COVID-mandated hallscape, we're back to time flying by again, I guess?

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T-G-I-F

Posted on Friday, July 2nd, 2021

Dave!Today I heard somebody say "Thank God it's Friday" and it struck me weird because I haven't heard anybody use that phrase in like... forever.

And then it suddenly occurred to me why I haven't heard it.

It died around the time that ABC Television used it to promote their Friday night programming block from 1998-2000...

Constant exposure on ABC TV played it out, so people stopped saying it. But don't tell that to ABC, because they brought it back to promote their programming block... twice... once in 2003-2005 and again in 2018-2019.

Id' say "Thank God that's over," but I think we know ABC will be bringing it back again. Apparently they just can't help themselves.

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Caturday 216

Posted on Saturday, July 3rd, 2021

Dave!When I first bought my cat grass, it started turning brown almost immediately. So instead of spraying it with a little water as instructed, I started dumping water on it by the gallons. That stopped the brown from getting worse... but had the side-effect of causing the grass to grow quite long. The cats didn't seem to mind. They'd happily lay in it and roll around in it. Which is exactly what I bought it for in the first place...

Now that it's too hot out and the cats don't like to go out, I should probably just let the grass die... but I'm genuinely curious to know how long I can keep it alive. Then, when it starts getting cooler at the end of August maybe I can order more and better know how to take care of it this time around?

Worth a shot.

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Bullet Sunday 720

Posted on Sunday, July 4th, 2021

Dave!Happy 4th, my fellow Americans! Please let the sun go down on me, because the heat is just beyond comfortable right now... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Old is New! HEADLINE: Charlize Theron Says Old Guard Sequel Script Complete, Filming to Begin Early Next Year. My favorite movie of 2020, by a wide margin, was The Old Guard, and I've been dying for a sequel... and here it comes! My hope is that Charlize can also get a sequel to Atomic Blonde happening, because that remains another favorite.

   
• Comedy! This is the funniest joke I've heard in a minute...

@steev_letts

Circa 2017 at the Comedy Mix (RIP). ##standupcomedy ##gaycomedy ##lgbtcomedy ##pride ##jokes ##gayjokes ##comedy ##breastfeeding #boobies

♬ original sound - Steev_Letts

This is the third or fourth comedian I've never heard of popping up on TikTok and making me an instant fan.

   
• Fast! Look, I'm the last person who is going to say that the Fast & Furious movies are anything akin to high art... sometimes the acting is downright atrocious. But that's not why I love these films. That's not why ANYBODY loves these films. We love them because they are outrageously entertaining. Though I maintain that the pinnacle of F&F movies was Fast Five, which is about as good as a popcorn movie gets. And now this. I think I love them even more!

   
• No Tomorrow! I am more than a little salty over wasting my life watching the embarrassing Amazon Prime Original The Tomorrow War starring Chris Pratt. Sublimely stupid with logic gaps big enough for a semi-truck to pass through, I was rolling my eyes through most of it. And then comes Ryan with his hilarious "Pitch Meeting" take and it's perfect...

Honestly... Ryan is so dead-on in these things that he should be paid to read Hollywood scripts so he can point out all the stupid shit to people before they film it.

   
• Apple Quality! A big thank you for Apple completely fucking up Finder Search in MacOS. Find a file you need and click on it? Another file opens. Search for a file you KNOW exists? MacOS can't find it. Search for a part of a name of a file? MacOS doesn't return it in search if it's part of a bigger filename. Completely fucking useless. And, yes, I HAVE REBUILT MY SPOTLIGHT DATABASE ABOUT SIX TIMES NOW... IT DOESN'T WORK!!!

   
• All Good Things! On the opposite side of the Apple spectrum... Steve Jobs is a personal hero of mine. This short article illustrates why: Steve Jobs in Kyoto.

   
And I guess I'm done with bullets since I have no more Sunday left and the sun is, in fact, going down.

   

Icicle Balls, Part One

Posted on Monday, July 5th, 2021

Dave!I was supposed to be out of a job, but then ended up not out of a job, so this week of vacation I had scheduled for myself has been weirdly un-vacation-like. I work in the mornings, then try to get together with friends in the afternoons to partake in all the big-time Summer Fun.

This afternoon was spent floating down the Icicle River into the Wenatchee River. It's a relaxing, lazy 3-1/4 mile journey with beautiful scenery and beer-soaked memories...

Me floating down the river.

Me floating down the river.

Now, as you might expect from something with "Icicle" in the name... the water is cold. As in COLD-COLD. It's all snow melt and since snow is cold the water is icy. Like an icicle. Hence the name. When you first flop down into your tube, there's a definite shock as your balls do their best to retreat into your body cavity for warmth. Fortunately, after a few minutes, you're completely numb and not feeling much of anything.

The sun beating down on you also helps... as I discovered later this evening...

My legs looking beet-red.

Guess I didn't apply enough sun screen?

Oh well. It was a lovely float, and I even got to see deer and duckies!

A deer on the side of the river.

Duckies in the river.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Except now I have to go back to work. ON VACATION.

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Icicle Balls, Part Two

Posted on Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Dave!I honestly didn't think I would end up floating the river again today given all the work that's piled up... but I finally said "What the heck" and went along anyways. I am supposed to be on vacation, after all.

And the weather was just absurdly gorgeous.

Which has resulted in my getting some nice color on me so I don't look so much like a ghost. The only problem is that it makes my molten metal scars really, really noticeable...

White splotches on my tan hand.

But, hey, chicks dig scars, and I can say that I got them fighting a T-1000 Terminator! So I guess it’s all good?

Anyway... back on the river again, which I swear has dropped a foot from yesterday...

Me floating the river.

The deer was back. Or probably it was a different deer...

A deer munching on some greenery.

One of my favorite parts of stopping along the river for a break is running into people who bring their dogs along...

A puppy in a life vest at my feet.

These little puppers were almost more lifejacket than dog!

Two puppies in life vests.

And now? Time to collapse into a puddle of sunshine. Hope y'all are having a good Summer!

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Paramount Minus

Posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Dave!Instead of cable, I subscribe to a lot of streaming services. I pay money to streaming services in order to watch the content that they offer. And with all of them I get what I pay for. All of them except one. Paramount+ rarely... rarely... allows me to watch the content I pay for.

Old shows will NEVER stream. Want to watch an old season of Ink Master or a Comedy Central Roast? Tough shit. It will not happen. Not on my GoogleTV. Not on my AppleTV. Not on my iPhone. Not on my iPad. Not on my Mac. Nowhere. You either get a spinning wheel that never ends... or you get told to disable cookie blocking and other stupid shit that I don't have on in the first place.

Newer shows will sometimes stream. Sometimes. Not always... but sometimes. Can't stream a single fucking minute of Drag Race All Stars for some reason... but the last episode of Magnum P.I. streams fine. It makes no sense. And when you complain to Paramount+??? They don't give a fuck. They have their money, so why should they? They blame my AppleTV. They blame my internet. They blame my Mac. I've reset my AppleTV so many times that I'm surprised it still works because that's what they tell you to do. Nothing ever works. Paramout+ blames EVERYTHING EXCEPT THEMSELVES because that would mean they have to do something.

It doesn't matter that EVERY OTHER FUCKING SERVICE I SUBSCRIBE TO WORKS WITHOUT INCIDENT... with Paramount+, it's my fault somehow.

Look. I want to pay for the shows I watch. I want to support the actors and directors and writers and networks which are producing the shows and movies I want to see. But Paramount+ has some kind of stupid tracking or protection or other stupid shit which prevents me from paying for what I want to see. As usual, PAYING CUSTOMERS get 100% fucked in an attempt to punish pirates... who are only ever minorly inconvenienced, because they are always smarter and always a step ahead.

Well, lesson learned. Since Paramount+ won’t lift a fucking finger to give me what I’m paying for, I guess I ask for my money back and just don’t watch their shit anymore. I’ll just keep buying series I want to watch directly from iTunes (Like Magnum P.I.) and fuck the rest. There’s plenty of other content out there to occupy my time, and I’m not going to keep jumping through hoops or begging Paramount+ to actually give me what I’m paying for when it never works.

   

Over The Mountains. Again.

Posted on Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Dave!This was supposed to be a week of vacation, but work kind of snowballed until it got to the point where I was only partly on vacation. But this afternoon I am off until Saturday, and a night with friends over the mountains is just what I want to do with my time off. It's exactly what I want to do with my time off.

Time to start up a game of Fibbage...

What's amazing is that I could probably actually listen to the Fibbage 3 theme song for ten hours straight!

   

Black Widow

Posted on Friday, July 9th, 2021

Dave!After being delayed over a year... Black Widow is finally here!

Well, I say "over a year" but it's actually more like eleven years because I've been waiting for a solo movie ever since the character first appeared in Iron Man 2 back in May of 2010. Instead she appeared in just about every other character's movie without getting her own. At least until now.

No, I did not go to a theater to watch it. I paid $30 to watch it at home, which is something I was thrilled to do. I would never step foot in a movie theater ever again if it was the option. Partly because I've got a great big-screen TV and sound-system at home... but mostly because I hate sitting in a theater with a bunch of selfish, inconsiderate assholes who feel the need to light up the theater with their cell phones, talk, and exist while I'm trying to concentrate on the movie. And, yes, I will undoubtedly buy the film on iTunes when it's released as well. Though it sure would be nice if Premiere Access customers got a bit of a discount on it! I love Marvel Studios movies, watch them over and over again, so I buy them.

As a non-spoilery review, about all I can say is that I liked it quite a lot. Don't know that I'd go so far as to say I loved it, because Natasha did get a little short-changed in her own film... but it was darn entertaining and continues Marvel's unfathomable streak of awesome movies...

Since Black Widow is... well... dead... in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (thanks to Avengers: Infinity War), they pretty much had no choice but to go back in time. Conveniently, there's a period after Captain America: Civil War where some of the characters are on the run for violating the Sokovia Accords, and that's when Black Widow is set. The story, in a nutshell, is that Natasha has to confront her past which is having a scary relevance to what's happening in her present (which is our past). Along the way we meet her former "family" of spies, including her father (David Harbor), mother (Rachel Weisz), and sister (Florence Pugh). All of whom are likely not done in the MCU.

So... yeah. Kudos to Marvel for not only finally giving Black Widow a film of her own... but for investing enough money to make it really cool as well.

I already watched the movie once. I am going to watch it again right now and live-blog it as I go. You can read that (along with other thoughts) in a spoiler-filled extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Caturday 217

Posted on Saturday, July 10th, 2021

Dave!I am too tired to blog.

But it's not like I have a choice, do I? Fortunately, it's Caturday.

That look you get when you cough while your cat was napping...

The reason your video game controller is always covered in cat hair might have something to do with your cat's addiction to video games...

My owners are so disappointed in me.

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Bullet Sunday 721

Posted on Sunday, July 11th, 2021

Dave!The temperatures may still be high, but the odds of me missing a post full of bullet problems is low... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Monster Problem! My favorite Disney cartoon movie is Lilo & Stitch. My favorite Pixar cartoon movie is Monsters Inc.. When they came out with a television series following Lilo & Stitch, (and a couple of Stitch movie sequels) I was cautiously hopeful. It ended up being really good. They came up with a terrific premise and it worked great. So when it was announced that a cartoon series based on Monsters, Inc. was coming to Disney+ called Monsters at Work. I was optimistic...

The assorted monsters from Monsters at Work by Pixar

It's not terrible. But it doesn't really work either. When it came time for a sequel to Monsters Inc., Pixar went backwards to Mike & Sully's college days. It seemed a wise choice to me because the entire premise of the original movie was resolved. There was no place to go. And it turns out I was right. I thought perhaps they would expand on the world-building of a city filled with monsters because it was so cool... but they aren't really doing that, instead focusing on the operations of Monsters Inc. now that they are making kids laugh instead of scaring them. It's boring. Oh well. Sully is one of my favorite cartoon characters of all time, so at least I get to see more of him.

   
• Papa John Problem! This is likely the funniest thing I've seen all week...

@bluecollarwineguy

##pizza ##papajohns ##jimmyjohns ##vans ##GossipGirlHere ##mixup ##skate ##food ##fypシ ##foryou ##nocaptionneeded ##foryoupage

♬ original sound - Connor

   
• Night Nurse Problem! But this comes close...

@tiffanyharrell22

Night shift nurses and prostitutes do work with genitals all night 🤣 ##nurselife ##bethedifference ##nursetok ##laughteristherapy ##mysisterskeeper

♬ Oh No - Kreepa

   
• Train Problem! Why it's probably a good thing I don't have kids... because I would actually encourage this behavior...

@logedoge111

##thomasthetankengine ##thomas##train ##screwthesepeople ##seeya ##moveouttathaway

♬ original sound - logedoge111

   
• macOS Problem! I finally got around to installing the latest beta of Apple's upcoming version of macOS... MONTEREY. It's more of the same more than it's not more of the same, but there's some things going on that are going to make it a worthwhile upgrade (eventually) I think.

That being said, there's some things that are inexplicably shitty as well. Many of them can hopefully be fixed up in subsequent releases (local servers cannot connect and internet access is horrific, even though my internet on other computers and on my iPhone and iPad are great), or fine-tuned (Apple's privacy setting for Safari is just glitchy as hell, with Google oftentimes just outright refusing to even load). But others? The other shitty things? Seem to be by design (the new way tabs are handled in Safari are fantastic at first blush... but then the horrors start settling in as you really start to use them). But it gets worse... some of the compelling new features (LiveText, for one) won't work on Intel-based Macs at all, which is monumentally shitty. And the icing on the cake? Monterey breaks existing apps (like Nord VPN).

My advice? Do not install this shit. It should have never gotten wide-release beta in this pathetic shape.

   
• Big Mac Problem! Yeah... how DID she know this?!?

@cbethanderson

A true story for the over-30 crowd.

♬ BETTER.EVERY.DAY - Shaun Ward

   
• Fan Problem! And lastly I'd like to leave you with this heartworking story...

@jayandsharon

I don’t usually post serious vids but hope this inspires others ❤️ ##CheapTok ##TrueStory

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) - Danilo Stankovic

   
Isn't that enough problems for your Sunday?

   

Helsinki Inception is Helception

Posted on Monday, July 12th, 2021

Dave!You know how you don't hear about something for an awfully long time... then all of a sudden it's popping up everywhere and it freaks you out a little bit because it feels like some kind of conspiracy or something?

My most recent experience with this is Helsinki.

I don't think I remember hearing about the city since I was there eight years ago. It just doesn't come up that often here in these United States for some reason. But then a Facebook friend posted a about a trip he took there a while back, and now it's everywhere. From an architectural show which looked at some structures there I saw on Saturday... to a mention about the Hard Rock Cafe there this morning... I keep seeing Helsinki pop up over and over again. And I'm like, what is the universe trying to tell me?

That I should go back? Because despite loving my short time there, I don't know that I had ever considered returning when there are so many other places I'm dying to visit.

But now I'm like... maybe?

I regret not having taken a ferry or cruise or some kind of boat to some of the hundreds (thousands?) of islands off the coast, so perhaps this is an invitation?

Or maybe I'm supposed to move there?

Who knows? The universe can be annoyingly vague sometimes.

Most times.

Stupid universe.

   

How Can Life Have a Happy Ending?

Posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Dave!On December 23rd, 2015 I was more tired than I had ever been.

My mother was declining ever faster into dementia and taking care of her was becoming a full-time job. A full-time job that I was trying to balance with my actual full-time job. I had bought a house where I could better take care of her, and was mired in month two of renovating it so that it was safe for her to live in. Christmas was coming in two days. The new mattresses I ordered were being delivered, but were running late. There were a million things that all needed doing and I was struggling to juggle everything.

Then I got a call from the nursing home that my grandmother didn't have much time left.

She had been slipping away little by little all week and I had increased my visits from twice a week... to daily... to multiple times a day once she stopped eating over the weekend. At that point there was nothing I could do except make sure that she wasn't suffering, so that's what I did. She meant the world to me, and I was grateful that I was in a position where I could look out for her. When I stopped by on my way to work that morning she was resting comfortably thanks to the morphine that was being regularly administered. I thought it was going to be a day just like the day before.

And it was.

Until it wasn't.

After I got the call I dropped everything and ran to the nursing home. There I met with the hospice nurse who said that the staff should have explained that she was in her last stages, yes, but it could be hours yet before she passed. She assured me that it was safe for me to go back to work and that she would call if grandma started to pass.

After work I checked in on mom. Then ran back to check on grandma. Then continued going back and forth. Once mom had settled in for the night, I turned on all the security cameras and decided I'd spend the night at the nursing home and keep tabs on mom remotely.

I was all alone.

As I had been all along.

Nobody would be helping me keep watch. Nobody ever helped. Nobody wanted to be there at the end. Not even me. Because watching somebody you love die is tough. But there was no way I'd be leaving her alone. She would never have left me alone.

So it was just me holding my grandmother's hand and talking to her as she lay slowly fading away.

Earlier that month a friend had known I was struggling and forwarded me an article from Esquire titled The Friend. It's about a guy who's young wife was dying from cancer and how a friend moved in for two years to help him take care of his wife and two daughters. It was a beautiful and touching story that was meant to bring me comfort. But all I could think about was how the author of the article had a friend willing to help but I had nobody.

Which begs the question... How can life have a happy ending when you're dead at the end of it?

It wasn't until years later that I happened across the article again while preparing for my mom's death that I managed to truly appreciate it. Even though I was all alone. Again. I read the article so many times that I practically had it memorized. That's how much it meant to me.

Needless to say, I was a little excited when I read that the article was being made into a movie...

And this past weekend I finally watched it because it was free with Amazon Prime.

And it was fantastic. Really did the original article justice, which was surprising to me for some reason. And the performances were better than you could even hope for.

Fast-forward to tonight.

Gwendoline Christie has a small part in Our Friend. It's wonderful. And it's haunted me ever since I saw the movie. So I pulled it up on Amazon Prime so I could rewatch her scenes.

I knew I'd be watching the movie again... but I also knew that I couldn't watch it again right away. It's just too exhausting. But here I am. Turns out it was impossible to just watch one small part of it without being compelled to watch the whole thing all over again.

So, yeah, if you've got Amazon Prime, it's worth a look.

   

He Who Remains

Posted on Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Dave!And so the final episode of Loki was unleashed upon an unworthy world.

I have been enjoying the series up until this point, but wasn't necessarily blown away by anything. The idea of variant Loki's being the only characters to survive in multiple versions... or at least the only characters we've seen survive in multiple version... is kinda laughable. But, it did give us Loki Gator, and it's tough to be mad about that...

A poster for Aligator Loki... wearing Loki's horned helmet.

Needless to say, anything I say after this point is going to be riddled with spoilers. If you haven't seen all of Loki yet, you should probably get on that before proceeding.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Stand By Your Pan

Posted on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Dave!Cookware is one of those things that I never gave a thought about. I inherited some copper-bottom RevereWare along with some cheap Teflon crap that my mom had, and I used that for years and years. Sure Teflon can kill you now (or something bad, I dunno) but who wants to live forever? Eventually I started getting into cooking and made the decision in February of 2020 to get new cookware. It's nothing fancy, but it's much nicer than what I was using... a 12-piece hard anodized set... and has really held up well. It still looks new.

Despite it all, I still kept some of my mom's old crap.

Whether out of being overly-sentimental and wanting to cling to what was left of her, or the fact that I'm a hoarder who just can't throw crap away, I kept two RevereWare pots and a beat-up old skillet that was scraped and warped and flaking Teflon.

I still use them from time to time... mostly when I'm cooking tons of stuff and run out of clean pots and pans.

Until tonight when I finally tossed out that shitty, poisonous, old Teflon skillet.

There I was scrubbing it in the sink when a nice big piece of Teflon came off. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me, and I decided enough was enough. I have cats who are depending on me, and I don't need to end up dead from a pan I didn't want to let go of.

Plus... one less thing to clean in the future.

Though I did finish cleaning it that one last time before tossing it in the garbage. Stand by your pan, and all that. It's provided 30-35 years of faithful service and earned the right to be retired with dignity.

Well, as dignified as being tossed in the trash can be, I guess.

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Mainstream Metal is Coming

Posted on Friday, July 16th, 2021

Dave!Yesterday Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands was there for the opening of the "Smart Bridge" in Amsterdam, which was 3D printed.

Out of metal.

They used computer-programmed welding robots to print the bridge layer by layer until the structure was complete...

It's gorgeous...


Photo from TheMayor.eu... photographer not credited

But it's also frightening, as it means the technology to print with metal is here and will only get more refined and precise in the future. At which time the technology will get cheaper and will make its way into our homes. At which time people can start printing firearms. Something I have been talking about for a decade now.

I don't know what the solution is to stopping gun violence (or any violence, really). But in a fast-approaching era where anybody can print the parts and assemble a fully-automatic weapon in their basement from plans they find on the internet... we'd better figure it out. Education programs. Mental health programs. Empathy programs. Poverty-ending programs. Marginalization-ending programs. Something. Anything. Our governing bodies may want to look into stuff like that before we get to the point where banning guns is a futile gesture that comes too late (as if we're not already there... that genie is out of the bottle).

People who intend harm will always have access to weapons. And their weapon of choice could end up being something terrible that we can't even conceive of right now. That's how fast technology is moving. Staying ahead of it is essential, but current solutions always revolve around escalating the violence. And it's not working.

Evidence of that is all around you every day.

   

Caturday 218

Posted on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Dave!THUMP. BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA. THUMP THUMP THUMP. THUMP. CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP.

This is what I hear each time I come from work. It's Jake jumping off the upstairs cat tower... running across my room. running down the hall... then running down the stairs. It's nice that he comes running to greet me each day for scratches, and it's something I look forward to.

Jenny is more cautious. She'll wait and make sure that Jake doesn't get eaten before she cautiously slinks downstairs. The difference being that she's completely silent.

The other day I came home and heard nothing.

It happens from time to time. Jake is having a particularly good sleep and doesn't feel like being interrupted. Or he's busy chewing away on Mufasa and that's more important than welcoming be back home.

How disappointing.

And then I heard him squawking. Worried that he might be sick or hurt, I went running to find him. Only to see this...

Jake laying on a chair and staring at me... Mufasa next to him.

Not sick or hurt... lazy. He didn't want to run to me, he wanted me to run to him...

Jake laying on a chair and staring at me... Mufasa next to him.

Eventually he tore himself away from Mufasa and came running after me when I plopped down on the couch. Say goodbye to my spleen...

Jake crawling through my legs on the couch... getting closer and closer until he's in my face!

Jake crawling through my legs on the couch... getting closer and closer until he's in my face!

Jake crawling through my legs on the couch... getting closer and closer until he's in my face!

Jake crawling through my legs on the couch... getting closer and closer until he's in my face!

Jake crawling through my legs on the couch... getting closer and closer until he's in my face!

Jake crawling through my legs on the couch... getting closer and closer until he's in my face!

Jake crawling through my legs on the couch... getting closer and closer until he's in my face!

Though he was nice enough to step over my balls, so that was nice.

Speaking of Mufasa...

Earlier this week Jake piled up two of his toys... then put Mufasa on top. Then sat there squawking (turn the volume up to hear it). I guess he wanted me to come look at it? I was working, so I yelled down for him to come to bed, which he did. But then I felt bad because he was obviously proud of what he accomplished and wanted to share it.

The next morning as I went downstairs to feed the cats their breakfast I was sure to tell Jake how proud I was. He didn’t care. He was over it and just wanted to be fed. Oh well. I tried.

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Bullet Sunday 722

Posted on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

Dave!I'm overwhelmed with work, but the bullets must endure... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• HEADLINE: Buttered Saltine Crackers Are The Hot New Viral Snack Trend That’s Taking Over the Internet — Surely this is a troll article... I mean it would have to be, wouldn't it? I've been eating buttered saltines at least once a week for decades. My mom used to pack them in my lunch. Now that I'm an adult living alone, I usually skip the knife and just slap the butter in a bowl and scrape the saltines through it. Delicious. Oh... and I still pack them in my lunch as a snack all the time too. IS CHEESE AND CRACKERS GOING TO BE THE NEXT VIRAL SNACK TREND?!?

   
• Racing! There's a guy on TikTok who uses his treadmill to film races between stuff and it's fantastic! Many of these are edge-of-your-seat races and it's tough to watch just one...

@thetreadmillguy

Who wins? ##fastandfurious ##race ##racing ##car ##cars ##lamborghini ##tesla ##bmw ##yoshi ##videogame ##mariokart ##porsche ##toad ##mostertruck ##usps ##schoolbus

♬ Silenzio Bruno. Chiquitita by ABBA slowed - ur loved

I am embarrassed to admit how much time I spent watching these things...

@thetreadmillguy

Which fruit you got? 👀 ##fruit ##food ##apple ##orange ##plum ##fruitsalad ##lemon ##mango ##kiwi ##race ##healthy ##fitness ##racing ##fun ##funny

♬ Dville Santa x Laboratory o - 𝙅𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣

But you get it, right? This is totally acceptable addicting behavior!

   
• Painted! It’s. Just. For. Fun. If attacking the parents or shaming a child is your first reaction, you need serious help...

@caitlinfladager

He was so happy. ##mommysboy ##fy ##wholesome ##momsoftiktok ##momlife ##cutest

♬ Say Something (Originally Performed by Christina Aguilera & a Great Big World) [Piano Instrumental Backing Version] - Piano Karaoke

Somebody had the absolute gall to comment "Needs a father figure ASAP"...

@caitlinfladager

Reply to @bobby54327 he was so excited to show his daddy his painted nails. ##bestdaddy ##fy ##wholesome ##mommysboy

♬ See You Again (Piano Arrangement) - Alexandre Pachabezian

Not only has a father figure... he has an amazing father figure.

   
• Ya Burnt! I always always always have my television on while I'm working at home because I need background noise to keep me focused. I just finished Psych (which is getting a third movie this year!), and was pleased to see that Amazon Prime Video then advertised that all seasons of Burn Notice are available for streaming. I've forgotten how much I loved this show. SO smartly written, with some genuine humor and a flawless cast...

Burn notice movie poster.

So, yeah, happy as a cat in a kettle of fish to be streaming the show as my new background noise of choice!

   
• Swim! SHIT, DAD! I KNOW I JUST HAVE A LEARNER'S PERMIT, BUT WHEN ARE YOU JUST GOING TO LET ME DRIVE THE DAMN CAR?!?

   
• TACO SUNDAY! Remember how I mentioned that one of my Amazon Prime Day finds was a dishwasher-safe metal taco holder? Finally remembered to try them. GENIUS!!

My metal taco holder stuffed with yummy tacos!

If anything, the product is better than what I expected, because it hangs over the plate without falling off, which allows me room to add chips and guac dip! VERY nice to be able to have the taco shells held upright while you're trying to fill them. And I think it will be even more useful when I have soft-shell tacos. Worth every penny (even if I had paid full-price) and I'm very happy with them.

   
• Taste! THIS JUST IN FROM THE "IT'S FUNNY BECAUSE IT'S TRUE!" DEPARTMENT...

@_collinmeadows1

IPA guys be like ##fyp ##ipa

♬ original sound - Collin Meadows

This is one of those TikToks that gets funnier every time I see it pop up.

   
• HEADLINE: Britney Spears Can Hire Own Lawyer, Judge Rules. — This is obscene. The woman has been an ATM for her father and other abusers as they exploit her and her mental health for dollars... and the courts just keep letting it happen. Now we're supposed to be elated that SHE GETS TO HIRE HER OWN LAWYER TO REPRESENT HER IN COURT? SERIOUSLY? THAT'S HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO WORK IN A COURT OF LAW YOU SICK ASSHOLES!!! Fuck the judge. Fuck the courts. Fuck her "conservators." Fuck "justice." Fuck everybody who has tormented and exploited this poor woman so her work is their payday. I am disgusted to my very core. If Britney Spears was a man, can you fathom something like this happening to her? And can you imagine what this would be like if she was a Person of Color? Our entire system should be burned to the fucking ground and replaced with something that actually has ANY SEMBLANCE to justice. Whatever the hell that means any more.

   
And that's your happy little bullets for this fine Sunday.

   

A Hedgehog on Your Monday

Posted on Monday, July 19th, 2021

Dave!I feel you, Peter...

@timo.and.peter99

Not again, Peter. ##hedgehog ##🦔 ##peterthehedgehog

♬ Deez nuts - Brandon Flansbaum

Remember when, as a kid, Mondays meant that you just had to go back to school after having the weekend off and it felt like the end of the world? This week, as an adult, I didn't even get the weekend off. Brutal.

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Apple Fucking Bullshit… AGAIN

Posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Dave!It's not that Steve Jobs is spinning in his grave... it's that he can't even maintain a proper etherial state AT ALL because Apple's current UI direction is 100% crap.

ALL OF IT.

Icons are overly-complicated and shitty-looking.

Nothing is elegant, clean, and simple.

Nothing is adequately configurable.

Controls are scattered, unintuitive, and seemingly disappear at random.

Take for instance searching your iTunes library. The DEFAULT for search is not to search your library of songs you own... the DEFAULT is to search Apple Music and the iTunes Store (to encourage you to re-purchase the shit you own, I guess?). In order to search your library, you have to travel ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SCREEN to controls that are easy to miss so you can specify that...

The heinous UI for Apple Music showing how controls are scattered across the entire fucking app.

And I inevitably miss it EVERY FUCKING TIME so I waste time searching Apple Music because I forgot to click off of something I DON'T WANT.

JUST LET ME FUCKING SEARCH WHAT I WANT WITHOUT THIS BULLSHIT!!

Why in the name of Steve Jobs can't the search DEFAULT to your library?

And why is Apple Music even an option IF YOU DON'T FUCKING SUBSCRIBE TO APPLE MUSIC? If you must return results from Apple Music, why not just show results from ALL THREE SOURCES on the SAME SCREEN (with your fucking library at the top since, you know, YOU OWN THAT SHIT)? Is Apple hoping that you'll eventually give up and just subscribe to Apple Music so you can find shit without having to go through this hassle? This is senseless.

Who the fuck is running UI at Apple? They used to have the best of the best talents... now they have people who don't know even basic fucking UI design to make the apps not suck shit at a level that even Microsoft hasn't reached. I am so fucking embarrassed for Apple not being able to do even the simplest shit without completely screwing it up now-a-days that I feel like I want to vomit every time I turn on my Mac.

Get your fucking shit together, Apple. The "Music" app has been garbage SINCE DAY ONE!

   

Behind The Rides

Posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Dave!No time to blog... Disney+ has finally dropped the first season of Behind the Attraction which goes into the history and behind the scenes of their most famous rides. The initial episodes are for Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Star Tours, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and Space Mountain. I will be binging them all, because this is the kind of stuff I live for...

Poster for Disney+ Behind the Attraction.

UPDATE: Finished! Absolutely fantastic! In-depth but not to the point of being obsessive or boring. Entertaining and smart (Paget Brewster's narration is perfect!). Even if you're just a casual fan of the parks, it's worth a look. I've been waiting for this since it was announced, and it does not disappoint!

In the last episode they ask the question "If you were on your last trip to a Disney park... and were riding your last Disney attraction ever... which would you ride?" That is really tough for me. Ultimately I think I would pick "Pirates of the Caribbean" at Disneyland. I was going to go with "Expedition Everest" because it's just so well done... but the nostalgia of Pirates is tough to overcome...

A scenes of prisoners trying to get a dog to give them the keys to their cell in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland.

If I ever go back to China and Shanghai again, riding their version of Pirates is a top priority because everybody I know that has ridden it says it's a pretty nice upgrade.

But... nostalgia...

   

Messiah Complex

Posted on Thursday, July 22nd, 2021

Dave!I'm just going to get this out of the way... I am a fan of David Lynch's Dune movie. The novel itself is so vast, nuanced, and complicated that a film adaptation is a tough go of it... no matter who you are. So if you can't have a complete representation of the source material, you might as well hire a visionary director like David Lynch to put his unique take on the material. As a fan of David Lynch, I got exactly what I was expecting from the movie and have watched it dozens of times. If I have a critique, it's that Paul and Chani are too old. Part of what makes the story so good is that they start out as kids.

And here comes Denis Villeneuve with his take.

Talk about a visionary director.

What he did with Arrival and, even more spectacularly... Blade Runner 2049... is a take that I am very interested in seeing applied to Dune. And, to his credit, he's already got off on the right foot with his remarkable casting. Everybody is sublimely perfect, and the fact that Paul (Timothée Chalamet) and Chani (Zendaya) are kids is just icing on the cake.

My favorite bit of casting, however, is Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat. But we'll get to that in a minute. Because a new trailer just dropped for the movie (coming in October to theaters and HBO Max)...

Interesting to note that, once again, Thufir Hawat is almost entirely absent. The only noticeable look is from one shot where he's not even the focus...

Thufir in the second Dune trailer.

He was barely noticeable in the first trailer either. All we got was this...

Thufir in the first Dune trailer.

And when the Dune character posters were dropped last week? No Thufir... at first! Couldn't be found in any of the news stories I saw. Eventually I found his poster though, so that was a happy discovery...

Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir Hawat character poster.

Now, in the books, Thufir Hawat is a major character. As Mentat to the House Atreides and one of Paul's teachers he's important. Then, later on, he ends up being critical... but not as a major character. Since Villeneuve has (wisely) split the first Dune novel into two parts, maybe he is trying to keep Thufir under wraps so he can be featured in the sequel movie? I guess that could be an explanation, though I'd argue that the first movie should be where he's most important.

My fear, of course, is that Thufir has been shoved to the background and doesn't have enough of a contribution to the film to be featured. Which would be a darn shame.

We don't even know if a sequel is going to happen. Dune is a tough sell to begin with... and with the pandemic and an uncertain future for theaters, expensive projects like this will be the first to get dropped. Unless something crazy happens and the movie explodes acorss the world.

But anyway... could not possibly be more excited for October. Denis Villeneuve will absolutely make the movie worth watching... good or bad... successful or unsuccessful... so I will absolutely be renewing my HBO subscription to see it.

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Ted Talk 2.0

Posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Dave!The best show of last year... or any year ever... is Ted Lasso.

As shitty as 2020 was, the fact that it provided the ray of sunshine that is Ted means that I'll never be able to write it off completely. I fell in love with the show within minutes of watching, and have rewatched it many, many times. And to think I was going to give it a pass because I thought it was going to be a sports show!

Naturally, I was a bit nervous as to whether the second season would live up to the impossible heights set by the first. Much to my relief, the first epiode dropped today and is just as good as one could have hoped.

Part of that is due to a new character which could provide an interesting dynamic to the show... a sports psychologist named Dr. Fieldstone...

But the biggest part?

My favorite character in the show is Roy Kent. His character was pretty one-note though... until it wasn't. By the end of the first season he had lost what was most important to him but ended up with something that had potential to mean everything. The worry was that Roy would be relegated to abackground accessory for the show but, lucky for us, that wasn't the case at all. He's just as critical to the show as he's always been, and living his best life post-football...

But the best part? He's actually happy...

Can't ask for more than a happy Roy Kent!

One episode down. Eleven to go...

   

Caturday 219

Posted on Saturday, July 24th, 2021

Dave!My cats may not be able to speak, but they definitely know how to communicate.

Jenny manipulates me with growing ease. She knows exactly how to meow to get me to give her belly rubs...

Jenny getting belly rubs.

But also knows exactly how to tell me that I'm petting her the wrong way...

Jenny sitting on my hand.

Jake isn't interested in telling me anything. He's more concerned with looking cute...

Jake looking up at me and being adorable.

And just being cute...

Jake looking up at me and being adorable.

Which is to say that they don't need to say anything at all.

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Bullet Sunday 723

Posted on Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Dave!Sunday may be Sundaying, but Sunday ain't going to Monday just yet... because an all new TikTok edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Awwww!

@diqqqqy

I can’t talk rn I’m doing cat mom shit 🐱🤍

♬ Spongebob - Dante9k

   
• Tease! At least he got the carrot in the end.

@isalovenature68

Trop drôle 😂😄 ##parcomega ##montebello ##lol ##funn ##wapiti ##isalovenature68 ##vacationmode ##quebec

♬ son original - Isa

   
• JUST DO IT! I don't much care for the Olympics, but there have been moments that make me glad the competition exists...

@codymelphy

Reply to @madylin.malfoy then do it ? ##olympian ##olympics ##tokyo2020

♬ BGC Drama Effect - whozmanzz

   
• Awwww Again! Dang. This is almost enough to make me want a baby...

@zacharydias

I will let you guys solve the mystery ##crap ##dad ##babylove ##baby

♬ original sound - zacharydias

   
• GENIUS! There it is...

@unnecessaryinventions

Relaxation on the inside. Chaos on the outside. ##unnecessaryinventions

♬ original sound - unnecessaryinvention

   
• Expert Advice! The most important TikTok I've seen yet...

@dr.brein

This may be the most important video I’ve ever posted. Please don’t swipe away! Instead, comment your opinion. Let’s have this conversation 🗣

♬ original sound - Dr. Ben Rein (Ph.D.)

   
• Facts! Oh shit... here comes reality...

@keeptroyblue

Reply to @frankvidz Shout out to @stynalane #ThisisAmerica #socialism #poverty #Democrat #republican

♬ original sound - Troy

   
And that's more than enough Sunday for TikTok Sunday today.

   

Heeeeere’s Monday…

Posted on Monday, July 26th, 2021

Dave!And how has your Monday been going?
   
ME: "This day has been truly awful. I sure hope that there’s some kind of disaster waiting for me at home that I have to deal with!"
   
UNIVERSE: "Um... how about a leak from a 12-pack of Coke in your refrigerator?"
   
ME: "HA! That’s the best you can do?"
   
UNIVERSE: "Remember how you deep-cleaned your entire refrigerator a month ago? How about the Coke leaks EVERYWHERE so you have to deep clean everything again?"
   
ME: "Pathetic. This is ME we’re talking about. You’ll have to try harder than that!"
   
UNIVERSE: "Hmmm... how about the Coke carton has gotten so soggy that when you pull it out the cans go bouncing everywhere?"
   
ME: "Yawn."
   
UNIVERSE: "Really? Okay... one of the cans falls onto the door shelf and causes it to break off."
   
ME: "It’s like you’re not even trying."
   
UNIVERSE: "The shelf falls on another shelf and causes it to break off. And these are the only two shelves that have glass jars and bottles on them."
   
ME: "Nice. Do they shatter and make a massive pile of condiments, soda, and glass shards all over my kitchen floor?"
   
UNIVERSE: "Of course! Oh... and the mess runs underneath all your appliances so you have to pull them out and clean under them as well."
   
ME: "Perfect. I love it. Keep going..."
   
UNIVERSE: "Jesus. Um... how about one of your cats happens to be in the kitchen when this goes down?"
   
ME: "Can it be Jenny? She’s easily frightened, so her being traumatized will mess up my head real good."
   
UNIVERSE: "You got it. Say... how about we have a shard of glass land by your foot? And it will be pointing up so it will slice into it real good when you try to catch the last few cans?"
   
ME: "Eh... would be better if I had a filthy kitchen and my tetanus shot wasn’t up to date... but why not? Yeah, throw that in!"
   
UNIVERSE: "We good with all that then?"
   
ME: "Maybe? Anything you could toss on top? The cherry on a sundae? Just a little ‘fuck you’ so I’ll know you really care?"
   
UNIVERSE: "When you go to start mopping it all up, the head of your mop falls apart."
   
ME: "YES! I’ll take it! Let’s go with that!"
   
UNIVERSE: "Alrighty then... your wish is my command."

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Wherever, Whenever

Posted on Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

Dave!I have found no way of writing the pronunciation of my name on Facebook.

The only option I get is their default, which is wrong. "DAY-vid" is fine. But my last name has TWO Ms in it. You don't pronounce it "SI-mer"... it's more like "SIM-mer." So I just turn the pronunciation off because it annoys me greatly...

Facebook mispronouncing my name.

I've always thought that my name was kinda a no-brainer to pronounce... "Summer" with an "I" instead of a "U" is close enough because people who are not me won't catch the missing "M" and I don't care if somebody is giving it a shot. But SO MANY TIMES I get "Summer" or "Zimmer" or "Sighmer" or "Simner" or "Simmey" and whatnot. Which, no big deal, because it's easy enough to say my name back to them... but to this day I don't know where those pronunciations come from. I can only guess that they have people in their life that are close and seeing what they know? In any event, Facebook isn't helping.

My name is from the Frisian word for "summer" and it's not generally all run together when I've heard it. It's got a subtle double-tap on the M in there. So that's how I've always pronounced it. Not sure about my family, but I don't really care because it's my name and I know the origin.

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I Film Porn While Sleepwalking Now

Posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Dave!It's currently 15 minutes until midnight. I have precious little time to get a blog entry in for the day... and nothing to blog about.

Except...

Just now ehen I was looking through my iPhone photos to see if I could remember something blogable that happened today, I saw this photo taken earlier this evening at 10:11pm...

A mystery photo that's all blurry and stuff. No idea what it could be.

What is this?

Where was I at 10:11pm?

This has to be in my house, but I'll be darned if I know which part of my house it is.

I actually walked around room to room, holding up my iPhone to see if I could figure it out. My best guess is that this is my upstairs bathroom and that rectangular hole in the upper-right is my skylight. But what would I be doing with my camera app running in the bathroom?

AM I FILMING PORN IN MY BATHROOM WHILE SLEEPWALKING NOW?

Wait... I am a sleepwalker?

Wait... I fell asleep at 10:11pm and didn't know it?

I suppose if money starts rolling in from an OnlyFans account (which I also would have had to set up while sleepwalking) then I'll know for sure.

Otherwise?

I'll be darn disappointed if I'm sleep-sexting my homemade sleepwalking porn to people for free.

   

Time is the Clock of the Blog

Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2021

Dave!And so I attempted to get a plugin working on my WordPress installation... had to adjust my template so that the plugin could actually work... then ended up breaking my blog because reinstalling templates from backup after things refused to work wasn't fixing anything.

=sigh!=

At some point I'm going to have to pony up the money for somebody to completely re-do all my templates so they work with the new WordPress editor/engine... or just shut down my blog completely. I barely have time for blogging lately... let alone deal with crap like this.

And so... guess I get to write without posting until I find time to get my blog fixed. You know... again.

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Lavender Plus

Posted on Friday, July 30th, 2021

Dave!Ted Lasso, the greatest television show to ever exist, is a very different show this second season. The drive and tension that ran through the first season is gone. All that's left in these first two episodes is conversation.

But here's the thing... it's wonderful conversation between characters I love, and it makes me so happy I want to cry.

And then... the final scene of this episode drops and I get it. The entire purpose of the first two episodes was to lull everybody into a sense of routine... a sense of calm. Then... BOOM! There it is! Things are going to be shaken up again.

The amazing part about the show is that I would totally watch an entire season of "just conversation"... I'd watch a DOZEN seasons of that. Just following everybody around while they go about their lives is enough. And how many shows could you say that about?

Keeley and Roy's arc this episode is priceless. It's like the writers are intent on making people love them as characters (and a couple) more and more with each new episode. This is what flawless television looks like...

Roy & Keeley

And speaking of Roy... they seem to be making him the focus of the season this time around, and I don't see how anybody could be upset about that. I was fearful that since he left the team at the end of the previous season that he would be relegated to cameo appearances, but boy was I happy to be wrong. As happy as Roy Kent, apparently, as he's found reason to smile both episodes so far...

Roy Kent talking on the phone to Keeley and smiling.

And then there's Sam, one of the sweetest characters to ever grace a television screen. They have been dropping hints that he's being set up for big things on the show, and giving him charming scenes like the one he got this episode is proof positive of that...

Sam talking to Ted and smiling.

But it's the newest character on the show... Doctor Sharon... who is proving to be an MVP for the series. A lot of that falls squarely on Sarah Niles reserved portrayal of the character. She's more than just lovely on the outside... she has a sweet demeanor that makes her character seem lovely on the inside as well. And we got to see even more of that late in the episode. Guess her initial clash with Ted wasn't going to last long at all, clocking in at a total of one episode. I was worried that adding her to the series would mean less time for other characters, but it turns out that her presence is making the other characters stronger, so and fears were completely unfounded...

Sharon looking up at Ted after receiving a box of his biscuits.

A part of me is dying for the week-long wait between episodes. But if they were all available at once, a binge-watch would mean that I'd be done with the show for another year in one day!

Thank God for Apple TV and Ted Lasso. In absence of a kinder, more caring world... this is enough.

   

Caturday 220

Posted on Saturday, July 31st, 2021

Dave!Ugh. I'm so exhausted it feels like my brain is melting.

Jenny is quick to flash the "What in the hell do you think you're doing" look when you are petting her in a way she doesn't like. But she's also quick with the deepest, most earth-shaking purrs I've ever heard when you rub her the right way...

Jenny with the most sour look on her face you've ever seen.

Holy cow, look at that face! That's the same face I'm making right now because I have to work this weekend and don't have time for blogging.

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