Posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2021
Okay. I know I am repeating myself from yesterday, but...
Today all five episodes of Dug Days, the mini-series of mini episodes that are a direct sequel to the brilliant Disney/Pixar movie Up! have been released on Disney+.
Needless to say, every last second of the episodes is just phenomenal.
Which makes it all the sadder that Ed Asner has passed, because his appearance as Carl Fredrickson in Dug Days is everything you could hope for...
If I didn't have Disney+ and there was nothing else I wanted to see on the streaming channel, I would still subscribe just to be able to watch this.
Absolute must-see TV.
Posted on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021
Well, it's really happening.
One of my all-time favorite bands is ABBA. When I was young I listened to their stuff near-constantly, and owned everything they released.
And despite fans clamouring for new music... despite an offer of $1 billion for a world tour... they resisted. ABBA was over. The music was done. And there was nothing more to come in the future.
Until there was.
And today was the day.
A new album titled Voyage and a virtual concert performance is forthcoming...
And, in all seriousness, could this be any more brilliant?
The album itself is arriving on November 5th...
And two of the tracks... I Still Have Faith in You and Don't Shut Me Down... are available to listen to right now.
And so 2021 is shaping up to not be so terrible after all perhaps?
UPDATE: When I pre-ordered the album from iTunes, I saw that the complete track listing is there plus you get a digital booklet!
I totally trust ABBA and all... but... Keep an Eye on Dan—?!?!?
UPDATE UPDATE! And here's the lyric video for Don't Shut Me Down (which I've had on repeat for a hundred times now) and a video for I Still Have Faith in You which features the ABBAtars at the end...
There we go!
Posted on Friday, September 3rd, 2021
A while back I introduced everybody to Lemon, my yellow iMac.
Except the yellow that was advertised on Apple's website was absolutely not the yellow I got. What I got was a gold iMac. It's colored shades of gold and urine-stained aluminum. At first I was just going to live with it... despite being more than a little upset that I spent $200 extra just to get yellow in the first place. But... it's not yellow...
Heck, even the sticker that comes with the thing is very clearly GOLD...
With each passing day that I sat down at my computer, all I could think about was another tacky gold and urine-stained architectural abomination...
And I wasn't the only one who noticed it. Many people reviewing the "yellow" iMac commented that it was actually gold...
Taken from Tyler Stalman's unboxing and review.
Now, some people may love the gold, and more power to them. But since I don't live in the Trump Tower penthouse, I called Apple to voice my dissatisfaction.
Their solution? "Oh. We'll just exchange it for a different color. What color do you want?"
Apparently when Apple says "Free Shipping & Free Returns," they actually mean it. So... good on them, I guess. But just think how all of this could have been avoided if Apple would use actual photos on their website instead of Photoshopped color-adjusted photos. Because, seriously, the only way I could replicate Apple's "yellow" image is via Photoshop.
This is really dishonest on Apple's part, in my humble opinion.
At least they made it right at no charge to me though.
I replaced Lemon with the same iMac, but in blue. The only difference was that this time I got a matching blue Magic Keyboard with TouchID in American English and ordered an add-on Magic Keyboard in Russian. This way I can have an easier time typing in English... which I do 98% of the time... and just grab the silver Russian keyboard when I need to type in Cyrillic. The upshot being that Apple ended up making an additional $100 of me in the exchange because of it.
The blue iMac is closer to what you see on Apple's website. The lighter blue on the iMac stand (along with the mouse and the keyboard) is a nice steel-blue metallic aluminum color... the back is a gorgeous deep blue color. And the "chin" on the front is not a bright baby blue as I was fearing. It's more of a flat sky blue that has a little grey in it so things don't look ridiculous. So, all in all, it's a far better fit for me than the heinous gold thing was...
They must have been out of blue mouse charging cables, because mine is for the silver iMac... but it looks fine.
My guess is that some crafty companies will make cling-skins for the "chin" which you can pop on in a variety of designs. I will likely be cashing in on one of those if I can find a design I like. I'd be happy with just plain dark blue to match the back, to be honest.
Setup was a piece of cake because I just used a Time Machine backup to copy everything over from the gold iMac. Once I rebooted it, everything was just as I left it. All that was left to do was wipe the old iMac's hard rive, put it back in the box, then call FedEx.
And there you have it. My all-new NEW iMac.
I am still calling him "Lemon" though, even though he is blue. I'm too attached to the name after using it for the past couple weeks to want to change it.
Posted on Saturday, September 4th, 2021
Jenny continues to be my little princess... knowing full-well that she can get away with absolutely anything she puts her mind to. She's also very quick to express her displeasure when something is not to her liking. That's definitely on me, because I not only put up with it... I seem to encourage it!
Now that I have Lemon 2.0 so I can work on a destop computer at home, I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk. Jake will often lay on the banister tray I made for him (so he won't fall off again) and watch me. But Jenny? She will sit up there and demand to be petted... meowing her head off if I don't comply!
But look at that face! How could I not comply?
Earlier this week Jenny was out chillin' in the catio (the cats spend a LOT of time out there this time of year when it's warm, but not too hot). All of a sudden she came running in the house, then starts meowing at the window. Glaring. She was furious. I couldn't figure it out, but then some kids with a dog walked by and I'm like... oh...
Weird that she's never done anything like this before. Weird but not surprising. This is just my little princess letting everybody know how unhappy she is with the world.
For the past week-and-a-half, Jake has had a dingleberry on his ass. Not stuck on his fur... but stuck to the skin. I tried to remove it (wearing a rubber glove, of course) but it was really stuck and any attempt was hurting him and I didn't want to rip off any skin in such a sensitive area. Then the thing started GROWING because more would stick to it every time Jake when to the bathroom. And it never fell off as I hoped it would.
Consulting Google, I saw that coconut oil was recommended. So I got the oil, loaded it in a squirt bottle, and would spray his pucker when I got the chance. I thought this would get him to try to clean it himself, but no. I am guessing it hurt when he tried so he gave up.
THEN YESTERDAY, after three days of hitting his ass with coconut oil, I gloved-up and it came right off when he was distracted with breakfast! Jake didn't even notice! Which is why I didn't mind when the little poop-head snuggled up to me that morning...
Because... you guys... YOU GUYS... that tongue!
Such are the crazy things I do as a cat dad that I never even conceived of when I first brought them home. Love this guy.
Posted on Sunday, September 5th, 2021
September is here as the horrors of 2021 continue, but the horror is ongoing... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Breakage! Well this is ten tons of cool: Artist Walead Beshty Shipped Glass Boxes Inside FedEx Boxes to Produce Shattered Sculptures. Creative people making highly creative art like this makes me very happy.
• Date! I love discovering a great movie that I didn't even know existed! This time is was Date and Switch from 2014...
Yeah, it's a high-school rom-com... but it has a twist that I haven't seen before. And it has a really good heartfelt ending that's played beautifully by Nicholas Braun, and it caught me completely off guard. Recommended!
• Well-Made... Crap! The wheels on the lower rack of my Whirlpool dishwasher started falling off after two years. After four years, they had all fallen off. I got tired of having to pick up and set the rack in myself after a year, so I finally Googled how to repair the stupid thing just now. Turns out that this is SUCH A HUGE FUCKING PROBLEM that Google AUTO-COMPLETED THE SEARCH FOR ME! I typed "Whirlpool Dishwasher—" and it immediately popped up with "...wheels falling off." And so... $16 later at Amazon and I have "improved & upgraded" wheels on the way. Wheels with a STAINLESS STEEL core that won't snap off. How fucking pathetic is it that the manufacturer doesn't just include these kind of wheels in the first place? They HAVE to know that this is a huge problem with the plastic becoming brittle and cracking. It would probably cost them $5 extra for metal cores and pins on an item that customer's are paying hundreds for, so WTF?!?
• Disney! Please tell me you've seen the 5 minutes of joy and magic that is Us Again on Disney+...
What's magic to me is what happens BETWEEN the cuts. Especially at the very end. She clearly picked up his hat. But they don't have to SHOW it to you... they just have it sitting next to her. That's economy of storytelling in the absolute best possible way. If you have Disney+, you owe it to yourself to give it a quick watch.
• Disneyesque! I watched the new Cinderella on Amazon Prime and new Cruella on Disney+ (now that it's free to watch). Cinderella was nice enough, but their efforts to go more progressive at the end (something I usually wouldn't mind) were really heavy-handed and kind of sunk it for me. Cruella, on the other hand?
Pretty darn good! Very entertaining with a brilliant soundtrack, incredible performances, and cool design sense. The only thing I didn't care for was the fact that eventually Cruella deVil becomes a psychotic old hag who wants to skin puppies to make a coat. It's really tough to be in any way invested in how she started when you know how it ends for her. I suppose if you can ignore that aspect, you'll enjoy it.
• All the Abs! How I imagine the director's conversation with the costume designer went for Aquaman...
Director: "Many people think of Aquaman as a weak hero."
Costume Designer: "Yes, but he's being played by Jason Momoa, so problem solved!"
Director: "No... that's only part of the solution. The other part is giving him a costume that lets viewers know that he is a manly-man and a really powerful hero."
Costume Designer: "So no spandex?"
Director: "Lord, no."
Costume Designer: "We can accent his muscles with the suit to make him appear more like a classic comic book hero."
Costume Designer: "We can REALLY define those abs!"
Director: "YES! YES! OH YES!"
Costume Designer: "What do you think of this sketch?"
Director: "MORE ABS! PILE ON MORE ABS!"
Costume Designer: "Um... okay... how about this?"
Costume Designer: "Maybe this?"
Director: "MORE! MORE! MORE! GIVE HIM ALL THE ABS!"
Costume Designer: "Oh... wow... okay then... how about this sketch?"
Director: "YES! GOD, YES! LET'S DO EXACTLY THAT!"
It's like... damn. That's over-done to the point of being absurd.
• Progressive? Washington State prides itself on being tech-forward thanks to so many tech companies starting here or having a presence here. And yet Washington State itself is ALWAYS the last to adopt actual technology or new ways of doing things. It makes me livid. What in the hell are our legislators being paid for if they ignore what's happening RIGHT NOW? It's like getting your driver's license enhanced to Real ID for travel. I think this only became possible recently... despite everybody knowing that it would be required years ago (my license, renewed last year, is still not enhanced). And now it's digital driver's licenses that they are ignoring. Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, Iowa, Utah, and Connecticut are ALL hopping onboard. WHERE THE FUCK IS WASHINGTON STATE? Iowa is more aware of tech and new trends that Washington State? IOWA?!? — Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell and Jay Inslee need to do their damn jobs, direct the DOL to get on this, and keep us at the forefront of tech. I am sick and tired of Washington State ALWAYS being behind the curve. Our state government probably won't even know that digital driver's licenses EXIST until 2025. Do we need to vote in new legislators that will keep Washington State moving forward? Because what we got now ain't working... and their inaction is embarrassing Washingtonians. Again. DO BETTER!
And that's all the bullets she wrote!
Posted on Monday, September 6th, 2021
My home is kept relatively clean... or, in the case of my kitchen... spotless. The exception has always been my laundry room. I've cleaned it and vacuumed it from time to time, but it hasn't actually been cleaned out since before I moved my mom out in July of 2016.
Over 5 years ago.
My laundry room became a dumping ground for all of my mom's clothes that hadn't been donated to Goodwill... along with other stuff that belonged to her that I've never gone through. I kept waiting, thinking that there would come a time when the thought of it wouldn't be quite so painful... but of course that day never came. I've always dreaded when guests would ask to use my laundry because it was so packed with crap, but oh well. That's something I haven't had to worry about in two years.
This past weekend I was taking a load out of the washer and accidentally backed into it all, and stacks of crap fell over onto the floor. So I finally just sucked it up and decided to clean it out over the past two hours.
And here we are...
A little more heartbroken than I started the day, but a lot less cluttered. My laundry room is finally a laundry room again. It's much nicer to wash clothes in, that's for sure. Here's Jake "helping"...
The next morning as I was walking downstairs to feed the cats their breakfast, I noticed that the sky in the photo of my mom riding Daisy the camel in Egypt matches the lovely flat blue of New Lemon...
How cool is that? This is one of my most favorite photos of my mom from our travels because the only thing she cared about when we went to Egypt was that she got to ride a camel at the pyramids. Everything else was gravy to her. So of course I made it happen. And managed to get this amazing shot of everything she dreamed of in one photo. I made this print to hang in her room at the memory care facility (with many others) so she could see it and know she was "home" even if she didn't recognize the place. And it was a godsend. Because even as her memory was fading, I could ask her if she remembered the camel's name... and she would say "That's Daisy." This memory was so special to her that even when other parts of her life were gone, she held onto this one. And I caught it with my camera. And that's why it hangs above my desk. It's been there since I built my desk.
Now it's back to work and The Great Pottery Throw Down!
Posted on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
I knew what it was... but refused to believe that I knew what it was until I watched to the end of the video and found out exactly what it was!
Thank heavens we don't have cicadas here. I don't even want to know what that would do to my cats.
Posted on Wednesday, September 8th, 2021
I was 36 years old when Steve left Blues Clues. It still hits hard. I *always* left Blues Clues on while I was working or studying... along with many other cartoons... because it created the calming, stress-free environment I needed to be productive.
And now Steve's back to illustrate why we all loved him so much...
Yeah... if you don't think that this put the biggest lump in my throat, you don't know me at all.
Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2021
The original Matrix movie... The Matrix... is one of the best sci-fi films ever made. It was mind-bogglingly good both thematically and visually. Everything about it is brilliant. And a lot of people think so, because The Matrix ended up being massively successful. So successful that there were back-to-back sequels filmed... The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.
Both of which sucked ass.
Unfortunately The Wachowskis decided to go high-concept with the sequels to try to push them into something higher than a mere sci-fi-action-thriller. And they failed spectacularly. Every time I bring this up, people are telling me that the reason I think they failed was because I don't understand the films. I'm not saying that's impossible, but I've read more than my fair share of the philosophy they're hanging the stories on and still think it's a massive failure. And I can't quite seem to decide whether they dumbed it down so much as to make it be incomprehensibly stupid... or whether they tried to do something so over-the-top ridiculous that it ended up being incomprehensibly stupid. Regardless, you get scintillating conversations like "What do I need to do?" — "You KNOW what you have to do!" — "But how will I know?" — "You'll KNOW!" Painful.
All of this prelude is to say that I'm not overly-enthusiastic for a fourth The Matrix film.
The only way I could find myself enjoying it would be if they either ignored the two sequels completely... or they came up with a clever way of explaining why they were so bad and how their Jesus metaphor could miss the mark so completely.
And then today the trailer landed...
Now, after viewing this a half-dozen times, I'm intrigued.
It's almost like they've decided to skirt all the awful things that sunk the sequels by going meta on our asses. This would allow them to BOTH ignore the two sequels completely AND come up with a clever way of explaining why they were so bad... both at the same time!
At least if I'm disappointed I won't have to risk COVID at a theater... the film will be available for streaming on HBO Max as well.
And then there's the new trailer for Picard...
Star Trek always heads to the past whenever they want an easy win. Here we go again. No sign of Whoopi tho?
And Strange New Worlds...
And last, but not least, the first Star Trek focusing on the aliens of the Trek universe...
Though Capt. Janeway is a notable exception... OR IS SHE?!? Time will tell.
Posted on Thursday, September 9th, 2021
I will still be blogging every day, but the posts will be saved and posted after a week's time. This is to help my blog caching plugin do its thing, because it keeps getting reset after I post and it's taking forever. I'm at a convenient breaking point, so the timing is good.
See you next Friday when (hopefully) things will be back to normal around here and I can flood Blogography with a week's worth of posts.
If you could ever say things were ever "normal" here to begin with.
Posted on Friday, September 10th, 2021
I'm off to Maui for a "celebration of life" ceremony for one of my best friends to scatter his ashes in the waters of a place that he loved. We've had many adventures together in Hawaii. We got certified to SCUBA dive in Maui together. We took a hop over to Kauai to be chased by wild boars... and have even had a guy with a shotgun tell us to get off his property when we made a wrong turn. Along with friends, we've been all over the island, and it only seems appropriate that his ashes end up there.
Originally it was discussed for the Spring of 2020. But COVID. So then the Fall of 2020. Then the Spring of 2021. Then (finally) got planned for Fall of 2021 (which seemed sensible at the time since the vaccine was so widely available... but we all know how misinformation turned that into a fucking shit-show). And so here we are. Getting ready to fly over to Maui tomorrow.
The road to get to The Garden Aisle has been long. And made difficult in order to keep everybody safe as the COVID Delta Variant continues to explode.
In theory, meeting the requirements are a simple matter. But in practice? Not so much.
First of all, Hawaii requires the AlohaSafe Alert app be on your phone and enabled. This is actually pretty smart, because if you've come into contact with somebody who has a COVID diagnosis entered into the system, it will anonymously let everybody know who was in their vicinity. Smart. Assuming people keep it turned on AND enter their diagnosis into the system. Two failure points that will most certainly cause AlohaSafe Alert to be rendered useless. But it's required, so whatever.
Second of all, Hawaii requires a negative COVID test result within 48 hours or proof of vaccination to enter the state... unless you want to quarantine for a couple weeks. I'm vaccinated, so no problem there. I uploaded photos of my vaccination card to the travel.hawaii.gov "Safe Travels Program." No confirmation. No verification. No nothing. Apparently you need a digital pass in order to take care of this on top of the card scans? Who knows.
So I got a digital pass with the VaxYes app, thinking I could link that to Safe Travels. Nope. VaxYes is worthless.
So then I tried to get a CLEAR HealthPass via the CLEAR app. There were some initial problems, but I managed to get it taken care of and linked to my Safe Travels account just fine. Perfect. I can now fly into Hawaii.
BUT THEN... Oahu and Maui announced that they would require negative test results or vaccination proof to eat at restaurants and bars via the state-sanctioned CommonPass. No problem. I download the CommonPass app thinking I can just use my VaxYes, CLEAR, or Safe Travels pass to get that set up. NOPE! In order to use CommonPass, you have to have received a SMART Health Card. But the only way you can get a SMART Health Card is if your vaccination site offered it. My vaccination was from the Washington State Department of Health, and they don't offer SMART Health Cards (of course not... Washington State NEVER is on top of tech shit like this). Which means I have no way... none... of getting CommonPass for eating in restaurants or bars when I'm in Hawaii. Hopefully I can just show one of the other fucking passes I've had to get and that will do. I'll also bring my physical vaccination record card (which is a pain in the fucking ass because whomever designed this stupid shit made sure it doesn't fit in a fucking wallet).
So, essentially, it took two websites, four apps, and my vaccination card to get me this far. And I still have absolutely no idea how any of it works or even if any of it will work.
I guess if I show up in Maui and they refuse to let me in or decide to quarantine me, I'll finally find out that it didn't work.
So fingers crossed.
Posted on Saturday, September 11th, 2021
Flying on 9/11 is an interesting concept, to be sure. Couple that with flying during a pandemic and... well... yeah.
My day started at 3:30am because I had an early flight. This wouldn't have been a problem except my cats sensed that something was going on last night and both of them took turns wanting to be petted. For two hours. So instead of going to be at 9:00pm, it was more like 11:00pm. A smarter person might have locked them out of the bedroom so they could get some sleep, but I think we all know that I'm not that guy.
All things considered, today was an uneventful day.
I don't know what I was expecting my first flight in two years to be like, but it wasn't the smooth sailing I got. Made it to the airport. Got checked in. Made it to Seattle. Got my PRE-CLEAR wristband to get me into Hawaii. Got upgraded to First Class. Had an easy flight over the Pacific Ocean. Easy trip to the hotel. Arrived in time for a nice dinner. If I hadn't had to wear a mask the entire time, this was a trip like a hundred others.
No anti-masker meltdown. Nobody being dragged off the flight in handcuffs. Nobody being an asshole even. Just everybody doing whatever they had to do to get to where they were going.
My PRE-CLEAR band managed to survive the trip, so I'm just going to leave it on...
And now for some sleep. It's been a very long day.
Posted on Sunday, September 12th, 2021
I can't seem to sleep.
Despite being completely exhausted, I didn't fall asleep until very late, then woke up depressingly early this morning (the tropical birds making all kinds of noise probably didn't help).
Most of my time was spent swimming in the ocean, lounging at the pool, or otherwise wasting time until the beach sunset ceremony for my friend...
If I were smart, I'd be heading home to my cats... who have been wandering the house looking for me for two days, and take turns sleeping on my bed waiting for me to show up...
But I need a few more days in paradise, so they can enjoy a vacation from me for a while.
Posted on Monday, September 13th, 2021
Other than the plane rides back and forth which, in themselves, are actually fairly safe considering that everybody is masked except to eat and the air recirculation is top-notch, this trip is relatively low-risk. The beach is wide open with fresh air circulating in the wind, and Hawaii is taking COVID seriously. Eateries and shops are at 50% capacity and, in a couple days, you'll even have to provide proof of vaccination in order to step foot in a restaurant.
Tonight we had dinner at Mick Fleetwood's restaurant on the rooftop which was socially-distanced, open-air, and quite nice...
It seemed an acceptable risk.
As was ordering a salad, despite the number of salmonella outbreaks that keep happening with our lettuce supply.
Posted on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021
Trying to find open-air activities which minimize the risk of contracting COVID are fairly easy in Hawaii. Most of the activities that we enjoy are outdoors here.
Tonight that included a sunset booze cruise which was both outdoors and with excellent air-flow to keep COVID flowing away from you.
Bonus? A rainbow!
And... wait... is that a DOUBLE RAINBOW?!?
Plenty of ships tucked in for the night as we headed out...
The sun gave us some beautiful buttery skies with rain falling to the South near Kihei...
And then, just like that, the sun was done setting...
And it was time to get off the boat...
There are certainly worse ways to spend a socially-distanced eveneing.
Posted on Wednesday, September 15th, 2021
This morning I hadn't gotten as much sleep as I had wanted... again... but now that my days are running short, I decided to wake up and walk the beachfront anyway. It's nice in the mornings when there's only a couple people around...
Today was when the proof-of-vaccination requirement went into effect in Maui County. We decided to take advantage of it by heading into Lahaina for luch at Cheese Burger in Paradise. Turns out we needn't have worried. Like everywhere else, restaurants had taken out every-other-table for a 50% cap... plus we got a window-front table...
I brought my mom along to Hawaii a number of times on my work trips because it didn't cost me anything. Cheese Burger in Paradise was one of her favorite places in Maui, so we went there multiple times...
I guess it's nice to eat there now since I have such fond memories of the place... but it's also rough, as you can imagine, since she's not there.
Lahaina was lovely, as usual...
Another day down. And only one more day left.
Posted on Thursday, September 16th, 2021
Wah! Tonight I have to leave!
Time flies when you're not at home. I guarantee that if I were home that it would be Monday right now. Oh well. Trying to stay positive over having most of a whole day remaining before climbing in a metal tube and being hurled across the Pacific Ocean.
This morning started off very early because we had a morning snorkel at Molokini. But it was even earlier for me because I had to get up and pack first so I could get my crap transferred to my friends' room before we leave.
And here we are at the ass-crack of dawn... leaving...
Molokini (which you can see in the distance there, 1/3 in from the right) is a place I've been many, many times. It was where much of my SCUBA certification course happened. Since I am flying tomorrow (and nobody with me dives) I was snorkeling along with everybody else. Which isn't bad. Molokini is kinda a sunken crater (but not really) which is somewhat shallow and had good visibility. So you can see fish even though you're not down with them.
Alas, my underwater camera is over a decade old, so it doesn't take very good photos, most of them ending up blurry beyond all recognition. Plus... the display stopped working half-way through, so I was shooting blind most of the time...
From there it was breakfast at my favorite spot on the island. It's Banana-Macadamia French Toast at the Kihei Caffe, baby!
After that? I did a little side-trip for some research on a project I'll be working on soon.
After that? Time for a nap.
Then off to the airport. Waaaaaaah!
Posted on Friday, September 17th, 2021
Well that was brief.
But better brief than not at all, I guess? I'll wait and see if I ended up with COVID before making my final verdict.
Last night I said goodbye to my friends and hopped an Über for the 45-minute drive to the airport. I arrived in plenty of time for dinner at Burger King, which looked very different from previous times I've been here. THANKS, COVID!
I ended up eating outside on a park bench in a deserted-looking airport...
After dinner, I still had a little under two hours to kill...
Note that my PRE-CLEAR Hawaii band was still intact after a week!
Very happy to have been upgraded to First Class...
I thought that I would be able to get some sleep on the flight to Seattle, but not really! A measely one hour and eighteen minutes! I would have rather not slept at all, because now I was half-awake waiting for my next flight in three hours...
I guess the good news is that Apple Watch thinks that my sleep was 100% efficient!
The first thing I did after taking the train to the Main Terminal was check Apple's Find My... app to see if my suitcase made it (I tucked an AirTag inside). And, yay, there it is, still with the plane back at the North Satellite...
Eventually my suitcase caught up with me... though Apple's Find My... had all my crap spread out all over the place. My phone was the only thing actually shown to be with me. My Apple Watch was on the runway, my MacBook Pro was across the lobby, and my iPad was the next gate down in the hallway...
All that was left was a 25 minute drive home, where my cats came anxiously running to greet me...
And there you have it. My first trip in nearly two years is in the bag.
Absolutely no idea when my next one might be. If the anti-vaxers and anti-maskers have it their way, the answer could very well be another two years.
Posted on Saturday, September 18th, 2021
My cats have never been okay with my traveling. They are barely agreeable for me to go to work. So it will come as no surprise that they were most unhappy for me to leave for a week.
But I really had no idea just how unhappy they would be.
Turns out that after having me home for two years, my leaving would end up being a Very Bad Thing.
Both cats have been glued to me since I got back... even going so far as to share the bed, which is something they do rarely...
Jenny is probably the most upset by my time away. Jake is usually the one who wanders the house crying when he can't find his toy lion, Mufasa, or can't figure out where I am. But lately it's Jenny who's been wandering the house crying. Jake simply never leaves my side except to go to the bathroom or eat...
I guess it's nice to have somebody who misses you while you're gone and is happy when you're back... but having Jenny wake you up at 2:30am because she wants attention is something I hope she gets over real quick!
Posted on Sunday, September 19th, 2021
They may be more than meets the eye, but Transformers ain't got nothing on this blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Classic? Still really, really pissed at the Coca-Cola Company for fucking up Coke Zero. It tastes like such horrendous shit that I am still not used to it... and likely never will be. The only caffeinated beverage I liked, and it's just... gone.
• GAH! Taylor Swift has been re-recording her music due to legal ownership issues with her back-catalog. Her vocals are as good as ever, but the new music is awful. Wildest Dreams, one of my favorites, was just re-recorded and they trashed the music on it. It used to be so open, bright, uplifting, and soaring... now it’s flat, boring, and dour. Almost depressing...
There’s this throbbing bass line just fuzzing over everything and it’s truly terrible. I fully support Ms. Swift taking back ownership of her work, but not like this. Not like this. Ugh.
• Safe & Effective! The Pfizer vaccine is apparently far less effective than Moderna over time... and yet they only authorized the Pfizer booster for people 65 years and older or people at high risk? What the fuck kind of nonsense is this? If it's an issue of them not having enough vaccine for people who are unvaccinated, then yeah... I can wait. But the number of people getting vaccinated right now has to be fairly low given how many people are refusing to protect themselves and others, so what the hell?
• Whitney! They are remaking The Bodyguard? Yeah. Good luck with that. On top of having to replace the irreplaceable, you run the very real risk of trampling over a sacred ground you don't want to be stepping...
I dunno. Maybe the stars will align and they can find a cast that works and find a way of avoiding the disrespect that comes from a wound still fresh... but I won't want to watch it for a very long time. If ever.
• Beard! Yet another fantastic flawless episode of Ted Lasso... this one focusing almost entirely on Coach Beard (with a little more Mae, Baz, Phil, and Jeremy thrown in)...
I sure hope that a few of the other characters that haven't been featured much get at least some character development. They could almost film an entirely new series focusing on the lives of everybody outside of the football club and it's probably going to be great just from the standpoint of adding to the greater narrative.
• Character! I have watched most all of the character breakdown videos from GQ. My favorite that I've seen is this one with Willem Dafoe...
He is a compelling guy, a phenomenally talented actor, and listen to him talking about his career is fascinating stuff.
• Money Shot! Okay... this is pretty incredible...
Now, of course, the answer to everything is just "CGI"... but in the days before CGI? This is what there was.
And that's a wrap for bullets one-day-delayed.
Posted on Monday, September 20th, 2021
When I got back on Friday, I posted all the entries I wrote while I was away.
They still haven't shown up on my blog, which leads me to believe that there is an issue with my new caching plugin. Oh joy.
UPDATE: Now everything is showing up except Saturday & Sunday??
UPDATE UPDATE: Welp. enough messing around for tonight. I'm beat. I guess my posts show up when they show up then.
Posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021
Yesterday I took a COVID test so I could be relatively sure that I wasn't infected before heading back to the office. It seemed the responsible thing to do after flying to Hawaii and back... especially when my throat was a bit sore after the trip. We were as careful as we could be and Maui has some of the most restrictive guidelines in the country, so I wasn't overly-surprised when it came back negative... though the incubation period is up to two weeks, so I'm not completely in the clear.
Not that any of us really are.
Thanks, Delta Variant.
A part of me continues to wonder if I've ever been infected with COVID. It's certainly possible. I was a little sick at the end of 2019, and a lot sick in the beginning of 2020. Was it COVID? I dunno. Washington State was where it is thought to have all started, so maybe. I have no idea how the antibody test works... or even if I could even get one. Probably if I could afford to pay for it. Not that it matters. My pre-COVID life isn't going to magically return if I had it way back when. But I am curious. It would be weird not to be, wouldn't it?
Eh, maybe not.
They are discovering new long term effects of having COVID every day. Perhaps it's best not to know so I don't worry about it. If I do end up with COVID problems... it will be a surprise.
And I'll finally know, at last.
Posted on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021
Okay... Hacks is funny and Jean Smart is amazing. But the writing is supposed to be better than Ted Lasso? Seriously? Hacks wins the Emmy for writing over Ted? This is impossible to comprehend. Ted Lasso is so tightly-written that there are no wasted minutes. Every second is building to something. I did not get that feeling from Hacks at all. You could miss an episode... you could miss multiple episodes... you could miss all the episodes between the first and last... and not miss a thing. Good writing? Sure. But when it comes to a series of episodes, it takes great writing to do what Ted does.
Not the first time that the most worthy nominee loses an Emmy. Which is why I find them irrelevant and don't watch them.
Don't even get me started about The Crown winning everything over Lovecraft Country.
Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021
Now, I don't celebrate anybody's death or want anybody to get sick. All life is precious, even if you can't see why, and I try very hard to remember this. But when people buy into the reams of misinformation about getting vaccinated, then clog up the hospitals so that somebody who has a heart attack can't get a bed... that's just fucking irresponsible, selfish, and disgusting. I was told that I'm going to die any minute now because I got vaccinated... I was told my DNA is being rewritten because I got vaccinated... I was told all kinds of absurd, stupid, impossible stuff because I got vaccinated. All from people who actually believe it. And yet here I am. Still.
For people on the fence about getting vaccinated... think about this for a second: If the vaccine was actually dangerous, the government would be giving it to poor people and minorities so they would create heard immunity for the rich and powerful people that own our government. But that's not what's happening. The rich and powerful were first in line to get the COVID vaccination because the government knows it's not just safe... it's UNDENIABLY safe. Know your history. Because if you did, you'll know this statement is 100% accurate.
Stop believing the anti-vax propaganda nonsense. Start believing that COVID is the actual danger to you and those you care about, then do something about it. It's free.
I mean, for Christ's sake... Dolly Parton helped to fund the Moderna COVID vaccine, then stepped up to get the jab the minute she was eligible. YES, THAT'S RIGHT... DOLLY PARTON IS SUCH A SAINT THAT SHE REFUSED TO CUT IN LINE EVEN THOUGH SHE EASILY COULD HAVE!
If you can't trust Dolly Parton, who the fuck can you trust?
In other news...
When I got my flu shot today THERE WAS NO CANDY AFTERWARDS! NOT EVEN A SINGLE M&M! I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME BEFORE-HAND... I WOULD HAVE REFUSED TO GET IT! NO CANDY... NO SHOT!
Wait a second... maybe THIS is why people aren't getting the COVID vaccine? No piece of candy after? Would the CDC please get on this?!? Could it really be as simple as "I would have totes got the COVID jab, but no candy after, so absolutely not!"
It's worth a shot.
Because the shot is worth it.
Posted on Friday, September 24th, 2021
I've stepped away from most of my political ranting here because it was consuming my life. Politics is so heinous in these United States of America that justice doesn't even fucking exist here. And people just don't care. Thus it's pointless to keep screaming into the void.
Everybody reading this blog knows that I have a healthy distrust of government, loathe 98% of our politicians, and detest the fact that wealthy & powerful people own this country and those we pay to represent us. It's why I advocate for term limits and breaking the stranglehold that lobbyists have over the oppressive load of shit that our government shackles us with.
And yet there are times...
This morning on Facebook somebody reposted this tweet from 2020:
This was referring to this article: Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public. The tweet was based on a minunderstand presented in the article (which has since been cleared up with a revision)... but the sentiment being presented is accurate.
Our government drove a brilliant and tireless political activist to suicide with a heinous campaign of overreach and lies.
As our government does.
Past precedent shows us that the government will always, always, always exterminate those they cannot control.
And we let them.
I first became aware of Aaron after his Infogami CMS was merged with Reddit, of which he is listed as a co-founder. But he didn't move to the forecfront of my thinking until his work in stopping the horrific government SOPA and PIPA laws. Aaron, along with others, got me to be a vocal opponent of this stupid shit, and removed any doubt that the poiticians making our laws don't give a single fuck about being educated about the legislation they advocate. They only do what their wealthy asshole owners tell them to do so the rich get richer at the expense of our citizens. And the only reason... THE ONLY REASON... that our government reversed course on SOPA and PIPA was because enough people got mobilized that their power and wealth were threatened.
And we can't have that, can we?
The U.S. Government: The Best Government You Can Buy!
And so now I am furious all over again... hence this blog post.
Aaron Swartz deserves to be remembered for the fucking hero he is. And of course it's equally important that we remember that our government of the money, by the money, for the money, shall not perish from the earth! We vote in people to keep it that way, after all. Hope you have a ton of money so you can take advantage of it.
If you want to know of Aaron's fascinating story, have I got a video for you. This documentary is essential viewing, so I'd get on that right away if I were you...
Rest in Peace, sir.
And thank you.
If you're in a video-watching mood, Johnny Harris has yet another incredible video that's worth your valuable time...
So it goes...
Posted on Saturday, September 25th, 2021
Jenny is pretty much back to normal after my leaving for a week.
Jake, on the other hand, is still stuck to me like glue whenever I'm home. The only thing that will pull him away is if he wants to eat or poop. Or his sister distracts him enough.
When Jake hears the door open, he comes running down the stairs at top speed to say hello. And sometimes he brings me a gift... like Peeps Bunny...
Jenny will just stay put and wait for me to come to her. She's a princess like that...
Surprisingly, Jake never gets bored hanging with me. He'll find a way to keep himself occupied... usually giving himself a bath... but sometimes chewing on my clothes or whatnot...
And occasionally doing his best to get his head stuck in my Cheetos bag...
Because some things never change.
Posted on Sunday, September 26th, 2021
I may have finally turned the heat on and bought some Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix, but it's still toasty here at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Dream! Oh yay. It looks like The Sandman is going to be very faithful to the comic!
The people putting this show together actually understand that what made such a good story doesn't need to be changed or "improved" or shit on... the reason it was so popular as a comic book was because IT WAS ALREADY GOOD!
• SOURCE! MATERIAL! On the other hand... Everything I feared about the AppleTV+ Foundation series is coming to pass. Boring as fuck. They are dragging shit out just to keep the same actors in the story for a while because if they followed THE ORIGINAL BOOKS (which is what we all want to see) it would leave the initial characters in the dust after 15 minutes. I mean... who gives a fuck about roast peacock and all this other stupid shit?
What they should have done was followed the original trilogy as it was written and hire a bunch of guest stars to make small appearances throughout the series. But NOPE! Boring as fuck it is. At least they spent money on an effeccts budget... the show looks beautiful.
• This just in from the No Fucking Shit Department... The Discredited GOP Election Review In Arizona's Largest County Also Finds Biden Won I simply don't understand how people can honestly continue to believe that the election was "stolen" when it keeps getting proven over and over and over again that it wasn't. I keep waiting for the "My Pillow" idiot to put up or shut up with all his claims of election fraud, but the evidence never materializes.
• Joe! There's a new show on Peacock (NBC) called Ordinary Joe. It's an okay show... nothing revolutionary. But what entertains me are the REVIEWS. a good chunk of people are completely baffled by the three timelines concept and I find that hilarious. THEY LITERALLY BROADCAST WHICH TIMELINE YOU'RE IN WITH EVERY SCENE! In the "NURSE" timeline, Joe wears glasses AND THEY PUT THE COLOR GREEN EVERYWHERE! Green lighting. Green props. Green clothing. — In the "ROCK STAR" timeline, Joe has a beard AND THEY PUT THE COLOR RED EVERYWHERE! Red lighting. Red props. Red clothing. — In the "POLICE OFFICER" timeline, Joe is clean-shaven and glasses-free AND THEY PUT THE COLOR BLUE EVERYWHERE! Blue lighting. Blue props. Blue clothing...
How can you not understand which timeline you're in when they literally hold your hand through the entire episode?!? I mean... I learned a long time ago to not underestimate the intelligence of the average human, but this is next level. There are genuine criticisms that can be made about this show, but it being "confusing?" I don't get it.
• I'm No Superman! I am rewatching all the episodes of Scrubs because I do that every couple of years. Every time I start, I remember back to when I first watched it. I liked it from the start. Then loved it completely on the third episode when Erasure started playing. It's no accident that Bill Lawrence wrote for both Scrubs and Ted Lasso. Excellent television is what he's about...
I will say, however, that the one thing that sticks out SO badly to me when it comes to Scrubs is the passive misogyny that seems baked-in to the show. Dr. Cox constantly referring to JD by girl names and such. On one hand it feels like political correctness can go too far and people latch onto it way too aggressively now-a-days. But, on the other hand (especially in cases like this), I'm glad things are changing. Because unrelentingly implying that girls are less than boys isn't all that funny. Seeing how often it happens in Scrubs really makes me feel for young girls... and women even... that they have this being drummed into them so often that they may actually believe it. But even worse? The boys and men having this drummed into them so they believe it. Absolute trash.
• Apple Be Apple! It is categorically stupid that Apple hasn't moved the iPhone to USB-C like everything else they make (well, not Apple Watch for obvious reasons... though it would be nice if the MagSafe charging puck had ISB-C instead of USB-A, which you can't find on any current Apple computer). Maybe we'll have the EU to thank for Apple finally getting off their dumb asses and letting us have ONE charger standard.
• Experience! My day yesterday summed up completely...
HULU: "Which ad experience do you prefer?"
ME (screaming at the screen): "DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THAT I GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT WHICH SHITTY AD YOU'RE GOING TO INTERRUPT MY SHOW WITH?!? WHO AT YOUR COMPANY THINKS THAT PROLONGING THE FUCKING 'AD EXPERIENCE' BY MAKING ME FIND THE STUPID-ASS REMOTE CONTROL SO I CAN CLICK ON 'McDONALD'S FRIES' INSTEAD OF 'EGG McMUFFIN" IS IN ANY WAY A SERVICE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS? WHOMEVER IT IS, FUCKING FIRE THEIR MORONIC ASSES FOR BEING SO GODDAM STUPID THAT THEY WOULD EVEN COME UP WITH THIS IDIOTIC SHIT!!!"
(sorry, Hulu, I'm just salty that I can't afford the ad-free version)
(not sorry, McDonald's, for your signing off on this fucking bullshit)
And now back to my hot cocoa, already in progress.
Posted on Monday, September 27th, 2021
Well, I guess that work is done for the morning since my mouse ran out of battery and Apple has you charge the fucking thing from the bottom so it's no longer usable.
It's stupid shit like this... design over function... that has plagued Apple for decades. I never even got a warning that the thing was running low so I could charge it. What good is a "pretty" mouse if I can't fucking use the thing? I am so over this bullshit...
Apple should allow you to NOT order an Apple mouse and keyboard when you get a new computer so you can use the money to buy something that's actually fucking functional with the money. Or... here's an idea... OFFER NON-APPLE OPTIONS WHEN YOU ORDER YOUR FUCKING COMPUTER! Maybe when people stop opting for their idiotic crap Apple will get a fucking clue? Probably not. Jesus. This is a company worth BILLIONS.
All they had to do was have the Lightning plug be at the front edge so you can plug it in and use it like a corded mouse when it keeps charging. But Apple has it on the bottom for some stupid-ass reason that only they give a fuck about.
Lord how I wish that Windows wasn't a flaming pile of shit so I had a viable alternative to this Apple crap.
Posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2021
Last night I had to retrieve some files from an old computer. I hadn't turned it on in two or three years, so there was a lot of junk that got left behind.
Including some unfinished blog posts.
Like this one...
Whenever I look at a world map, all I see is this...
I've been trying to get to India for years. I actually planned to visit several times... including my 50th birthday... but ended up having to cancel my plans for one reason or another.
No idea where I was going with this.
I would still very much like to visit India one of these days. Assuming we ever get to travel again. It could just be pandemics from here on out. In which case I'm happy for what I got to see of the world when I was still able to see it.
Now I guess planning a visit to the grocery store is about as big as I dare to dream.
Posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2021
When T-Mobile was rolling out their "new and improved" 5G Ultra Capacity Network, I thought for sure that it would be at least 2025 before it arrived in my podunk little redneck town. BUT NOPE! I got an email that said my area now has it and, sure enough, I gots a new 5GUC logo on my iPhone...
The T-Mobile 5G here was already fast, so I'm not sure of the speed difference... but it's definitely feels zippy. I guess it's supposed to help more when lots of people are using the network at the same time? I dunno. All I DO know is that T-Mobile really blew past my minimal expectations for a mobile carrier, so good on them for that.
Happy hump day, everybody...
@xiongmaosh This year's autumn rain is better than summer rain#panda #eat #lovely ♬ 原聲 - xiongmaosh
I have no idea why I think a panda eating needs to be here, but it really does.
Posted on Thursday, September 30th, 2021
Last night I got a whopping 3-1/2 hours of sleep. This is despite my being exhausted, heading to bed at 10:00pm, and taking a Benadryl. It's like, holy shit, what more do you want from me Sweet Slumber?
Needless to say I was dragging ass when my cats impatiently convinced me that the breakfast alarm was, indeed, actually beeping at me to get out of bed. This was a terrible situation because I had a lot of stuff on my plate today and no time to be half-asleep on the job.
Nothing a handful of chocolate-covered coffee beans can't fix.
And I can hear you saying to yourself COFFEE? BUT DAVE HATES COFFEE! Which is true. But I was not up for dealing with the heinous amount of fuckery that comes from the "new & improved" Coke Zero bullshit today.
This morning at the office while waiting for a file to send, I was blazing through TikTok and heard Queen of Disaster for the millionth time and wondered for the billionth time why Lana Del Rey never released it. Such a brilliant song. Can you imagine being so talented that this is a song you THROW AWAY? — Instead the only way to hear it is when it's credited to "SirLofi" which I think is the original Lana Del Rey? I dunno. There are a lot of versions out there...
In other news, the illustrated cover for the single is incredible.
I'm guessing that it wasn't until around 2:00pm before I realized that it was, in fact, Thursday and not Friday as I had been telling myself all day. The idea of having to do this shit all over again on my imagined-weekend was enough to drive me mad, but I endured.
Now I'm home.
Having my mind completely blown by this video about DNA and crime scene investigation...
I haven't done any genetic testing. The reason is simple... I don't want some piece of shit health insurance company being able to peer into my genetic markers to deny me coverage because I'm carrying a gene that gives me a 2% chance of having a heart attack. Or whatever. But it sounds like it doesn't even matter. Enough of my third cousins have likely had their DNA registered somewhere to make my contribution moot. Which is pretty cool when you think about it.
Incredible how the future is both wonderful and horrifying, isn't it?
Like most things on a Thursday you think is Friday.