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The Eternal Brokeness of Blogography

Posted on Friday, October 1st, 2021

Dave!Maybe the internet is trying to tell me something.

Maybe it's time to just let go.

My blog has been mostly-broken for months now. Strange things happen where posts don't get posted or are lost completely. But sometimes they post just fine. And I never know which of the three it's going to be. If the post gets posted... but then doesn't show up and is lost... there's nothing I can do. It's just gone gone gone. It's so commonplace to me now that I automatically copy the post before posting so I don't have to start over from scratch if it's lost. It's maddening.

And has me wondering if clinging to blogging is even worth it any more.

My traffic is as high as it's ever been, but that's mostly due to Google searches. Everybody else has moved on to social media and left blogs behind, so why not me?

I just don't know.

One of these days Blogography is going to break down (again) and I'm just going to leave it there.

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Caturday 228

Posted on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Dave!Whenever I feed my cats, Jake just lunges for the bowl and starts chomping away. Jenny does not do this. Instead she rubs up against my legs first, as if she's saying "Thank you," THEN starts chomping away.

And there's a lot of differences like that.

Jenny contorts to where she wants to be petted, getting up and moving if she has to. Jake will just let out a soft cry when you are petting him in the wrong place and you have to figure out where he wants to be petted.

Jake will lay on top of me if he's in the mood. Jenny never will...

Jake laying on top of me while I lay on the couch.

But many things are the exact same between them. Most things are the same.

Like the scratcher lounge.

Whenever one of them spots something interesting happening in the catio or the back yard, they'll dash to the scratcher lounger to have a look. Then the other one will follow. And whomever gets there first is who gets to lay down... the second one to arrive only has room to sit...

Jenny laying on the scratcher lounge while Jake sits.

Jake laying on the scratcher lounge while Jenny sits.

But only Jenny looks a little resentful when she's not the one laying down.

And you really can't blame her. That cardboard looks SO comfortable!

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Bullet Sunday 732

Posted on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

Dave!Everybody do the hokey-pokey and turn yourselves around... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Lasso Unwound! The fact that the writers of Ted Lasso are taking a beloved character from the first season and turning them into a literal villain is an interesting turn. The penultimate episode that played out on Friday makes this fairly irrevocable, and there's no real way of getting out of it. Couple that with the fact that Dr. Fieldstone is leaving the show (God please don't let it be permanently!) and I am very interested in seeing how next week's finale is going to play out...

Doctor Fieldstone on the brilliant television series Ted Lasso.

Doctor Fieldstone getting a good bye note from Ted.

Doctor Fieldstone finds an army man in her beer.

Before all the awards and accolades, it was said that Ted Lasso was going to be a trilogy of seasons. But now that Apple has a very, very good reason to keep the show running, I am fairly certain that a fourth season is highly likely. But whether or not that will include Jason Sudeikis as Ted remains to be seen.

   
• NO CRYING! I wish I knew whom to credit this photo to, because it is absolutely epic. Easily one of the best Halloween costumes I've ever seen...

Three young girls dressed as players from A League of Their Own while a man behind them drinks a beer in his coaches uniferm.

Adorable. Adorable. Adorable.

   
• Poorly Animated! As a massively huge fan of Reza Farazmand's comic strip Poorly Drawn Lines (which he graciously contributed to Thrice Fiction)), I was happy to hear that it was becoming an animated series. And now it's here...

You can watch it on FX and stream it on Hulu right here.

   
• Trash TV! Paramount+ is fucking garbage. Can't play the content I'm paying for, and their tech support doesn't give a shit. Tells you to jump through hoops that never work. Has you disable stuff that no other streaming service requires. Then blames you or your hardware when none of their "suggestions" work. When will these fucking dumbasses learn that whenever they treat their customers like shit, it just encourages them to find other ways of watching the content they want to see. I have many streaming services... and NOT ONE OF THEM fails consistently like Paramount+. Not Amazon Prime, not Netflix, not Philo, not YouTube TV, not Hulu, not Apple TV+, not Peacock, not HBO Max, not Sundance, not Discovery+, not Hallmark Now, not Disney+, not Showtime... NONE of them fail like piece of shit Paramount+. And yet it's MY fault. Right. Okay. Cool. Well, at least I'm not alone...

Mark Evanier tweets... Apparently if your TV can't play Paramount+ properly, Tech Support from Roku or Paramount+ consists of telling you to buy a newer set and see if that solves the problem.

If it weren't for the new Star Trek shows, I wouldn't give a fuck about Paramount+... the only show I watch on CBS is Magnum PI, and I always buy that off of iTunes so I can watch the episodes multiple times.

   
• PASSWORD?! This bullshit right here...

It is so fucking infuriating how sites set their requirements. Most of the things which they claim protect your security actually do exactly the opposite. Making passwords impossible to remember. Making passwords expire. All kinds of idiotic shit which keeps you from getting where you need to go. And password managers only scratch the surface, because sometimes it's the SITE that's fucked up. I've had many a site tell me that I have my password wrong EVEN THOUGH IT'S SAVED IN A MANAGER, and then when I have to reset it, I'm told that I can't use my previous password? Fuck you.

   
• NEWSFLASH: Photographer, social media star Matt Mathews: Opossum taken by the state was his ‘baby’. Animals are not seen as living creatures by our laws. They are seen as disposable assets unworthy of consideration. And usually it comes down to some stupid-ass bullshit about "God providing animals for man's use..." (or abuse, as the case may be). But if you took ten minutes to actually read the Bible, you'd find that it dictates that animals are indeed worthy of kindness and care. God rejoices in ALL that he created. How in the hell do you think that this somehow excludes animals? This is just more of the typical "pick-and-choose theology" that plagues us. And our government.

   
• HA! Apples response to the EU wanting to dictate a USB-C standard for all devices is a laugh riot: "We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world." What a load of horse shit. They moved to USB-C for their laptops and iPads without any problem. Why the fuck is the iPhone any different? Oh... that's conveniently left out of the statement.

   
That's what it's all about...

   

Facebook is Down

Posted on Monday, October 4th, 2021

Dave!ZOMFG! FACEBOOK IS DOWN! FACEBOOK IS DOWN! Everywhere you look in the news today, it's the same story and the same headline... Facebook is indeed down. What a tragedy (insert eyeroll).

Which struck me funny because I recently re-read Watership Down... a beautiful story about rabbits which is surprisingly deep and smart for something meant to be a children's tale. If you haven't read it yet, I can't recommend it highly enough.

The cover of Watership Down, a novel, showing a bunny in front of a fence that borders a green, grassy field.

So every time I see "FACEBOOK IS DOWN!" I'm thinking "WATERSHIP DOWN!" which is a far more important thing to focus on.

And so I shall.

So I shall.

   

A Decade Without Jobs

Posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Dave!My personal hero is Steve Jobs.

He died 10 years ago today. I still remember when I found out he had passed. I had been out snorkeling at a reef in the glorious waters of Fiji...

Pretty red and orange fish.

TA sea snake!

Dolphins were all around the boat as we headed back to shore...

Dolphins jumping out of the water.

Dolphins speeding along at the bow of the boat.

It was a wonderful moment in my life. Then, as we came back into cellular range, I heard my iPhone beep that I had a text message. I ignored it because I didn't want to have an interruption of this perfect day. I loaded up my gear and trudged back to shore. For the entire walk back through warm waters as my feet gooshed into the mud below, my mind was distracted by the message notification. At the time I didn't get texts very often. Usually when I got a text it was bad news...

The guy ahead of me trudging back to the SCUBA shop in Fiji through the water.

So when I got to shore I was torn. Do I look at it or do I keep ignoring it? I pulled my iPhone from a waterproof pouch and saw that the text was from my brother. So now I had to read it. My brother never texted me, and the thought that something had happened to my parents or grandparents made avoiding it impossible. The text was four words: Steve Jobs has died...

TEXT: Steve Jobs has died!

I was absolutely crushed. I worshipped the guy, and the irony that I found out about his death on a device he had a hand in creating was not lost on me. But instead of being sad, I decided to appreciate the beauty in the world around me, just as Steve Jobs did. Since I was in Fiji, this was not difficult, even though it started raining like it had the day before...

Plantation Island in Fiji

When I flew back to Sydney, there were flowers piled in front of the Apple Store. THAT'S when I broke down...

Flowers in front of the Apple Store Sydney in 2011.

It was a gut-wrenching moment knowing that I'd never see him on stage delighting everybody with his "One More Thing" or hear new stories of his antics at Apple and out in the world. My life had been made more interesting with Steve Jobs in it. Now that he was gone, I knew there would be a hole there. And it's still there a decade later. I miss you, Steve...

Steve Jobs smiling and looking like a genius.

An interesting aside here... Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011. But I was in Fiji, which was in the future because of the time zone change. Which means I always remember the date as October 6th, 2011... so for me, Steve Jobs had one more day on this earth.

If you go to Apple's website right now, there's a nice tribute movie to Steve Jobs and a statement from the Jobs family that's worth a read.

UPDATE: The video has been posted to YouTube...

   

The Lady is a Tramp

Posted on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Dave!I watched the last episode of 60 Minutes about the Facebook whistleblower because I was expecting some serious dirt. Some people were saying that the Facebook outage was intentional so that people on Facebook wouldn't be discussing the 60 minutes interview, so it must be juicy, right?

Turns out that it was not.

It was the opposite of juicy. Which, according to the listed antonyms of the word, means it was dull, bland, juiceless, moral, withered, sere, desiccated, boring, dehydrated, unfavorable, shriveled, unexciting, disadvantageous, clean, unsexy, uninteresting, and dry.

The story was all those things because all the allegations were just so fucking obvious. Facebook puts profits above its users? ZOMFG! I may die of un-shock.

Facebook is a piece of shit company. They put users like me in Facebook jail for the stupidest crap so they can say "SEE! WE ARE DOING SOMETHING!"... yet some people can say whatever the fuck they want, and spouting COVID misinformation (which is LITERALLY KILLING PEOPLE) is perfectly okay. I can't joke "all men are pigs" when I am, in fact, a man and am clearly joking... THAT will get deleted... yet a man can threaten to beat up a woman and there are ZERO consequences on Facebook, even if you report it.

So, yeah. What a waste of my fucking time. If I didn't have so many people important to me which I only have contact with on Facebook, I'd have ditched them long ago.

What was not a waste of my time was the the story after the whistleblower non-story about Tony Bennet preparing for his final concerts amidst him having alzheimers. It was absolutely fascinating. And heartbreaking. Especially if you've had to go through it with somebody you care about.

Cannot possibly recommend watching this highly enough. Worth your valuable time...

The reaction by Lady Gaga at the end when Tony knows her name... it's like... all the feels. I've been there. And you feel exactly like that. And when it happens less and less, you are hit by it harder and harder. I still remember the last time my mom remember who I am, even as I am forgetting all the less happy times around it.

But that's how it works, right? That's how we cope? Cling to the good things and let go of the bad?

It's how I cope, anyway.

   

Cinematic Theatrical Pass

Posted on Thursday, October 7th, 2021

Dave!There are so few movies that I'll go to the theater to see. All the Marvel Studios movies... maybe one or two others each year... that's it. The theater experience is so horrifically awful that suffering through it is asking too much.

And then there's the pandemic.

Is any movie worth getting sick and potentially dying to see? Not for me it isn't. And even though theaters require masks, you just know once the lights go down that anti-mask, anti-vax people won't be complying.

And it's tough. Because just look at what's coming...

  • No Time to Die
  • Dune
  • The French Dispatch
  • Eternals
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • The King's Man
  • The Matrix Resurrections

It's a slate of movies from two years piled into the final three months of 2021. All of which I would have likely seen in a theater if COVID wasn't out killing people.

Now, two of them... Dune and The Matrix Resurrections... will be on HBO. Not the best way to see movies that were built for the big screen (especially Dune, which looks positively epic), but something is better than nothing...

A few weeks ago I took a flight. I wasn't comfortable doing so but I got through it. And the reason I got through it is that, unlike a theater, an airplane has flight attendants walking down the aisles making sure everybody kept their mask on. Which is to say that there's no "getting through it" when it comes to the movies for me.

I want to see Eternals more than just about anything.

Except not dying.

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Waiting is the Hardest Part

Posted on Friday, October 8th, 2021

Dave!It's my iPhone Upgrade Program anniversary date!

And you know what that means... I have the option to trade in my iPhone 12 Pro MAX for a brand new model! Something that I've ended up doing ever since I got into the program. But will I do it this year? Ah the dilemma...

  • To upgrade or not?
  • Pro or Pro MAX?
  • Which configuration?
  • Which color?

Here we go then...

To upgrade or not?

Since the only way I can afford these very expensive iPhones is through the iPhone Upgrade Program and their monthly payment deal, I am faced with a bit of a tough choice every time a new model comes out. Do I upgrade after one year and keep paying for something I don't own? Or do I skip a year, pay out the phone after the two year term, and end up owning a phone that actually belongs to me? A phone that I can then trade in for a discount on the iPhone 14 Pro? That would be $500 in the bank... which is quite a lot of money. The problem is that it means I'm without the latest and greatest camera for an entire year, which is something I really, really use. Like a lot. A lot a lot. I likely don't use it $500 worth... but I do enjoy it $500 worth. And so... here I go upgrading early again.

Pro or Pro MAX?

When the iPhone Pro 12 was introduced last year, the only way to get the best camera that Apple offered was to go with the MAX (gigantic) version. And I really, really struggled with that. The iPhone I had already felt too big... do I really want to go even bigger? In the end, I decided to go for it. If I didn't like it, I could always return it, right?

At first I hated it. Too big. Too difficult to type with one hand. Too clumsy. Not at all a nice experience compared to the smaller iPhone I was accustomed to...

The iPhone Pro and much larger iPhone Pro MAX.

But then...

Ya kinda get used to it. I especially got used to it for viewing videos and photos. And playing games, of course. That bigger screen makes a world of difference. And so I kept the iPhone 12 Pro MAX, better camera and all.

It's different this time around. The iPhone Pro 13 and iPhone Pro 13 MAX both have the superior camera. So do I stick with the Pro MAX version? Or go back to the "regular" size that I prefer. Because, seriously, I do miss being able to operate my iPhone with one hand. Sure the MAX has the ability to shift the keyboard towards the edge, but that only works to type. You can't reach much of the screen because it's just so darn huge. Even with my large hands.

But viewing photos on that big screen tho...

Yeah, I'm sticking with the Pro MAX. I may hate some things about it, but the benefits of that big, glorious display outweigh any foibles of having to deal with the larger size. Besides, I'm used to it.

Which Configuration?

I got the minimum memory 128GB model last year. I barely use over half that. So I really don't need more than 128GB in a phone. Except... in order to shoot the best video quality (something I am anxious to try) Apple requires a minimum of 256GB. That adds $100 more to the already outrageous price tag. But... wouldn't it be worth it to be able to shot the absolute best movies possible on the phone? Well, $100 spread out over the two years of my Apple Upgrade program is just an extra $4.17 more on my monthly payment, so it kinda seems like a no-brainer. Except on those months where I could really use $4.17, which is most months since I got a mortgage. Oh well. If things go sideways I guess I could always sell my house to keep my iPhone!

Which Color?

I want me a Product RED iPhone, dammit! But, once again, that isn't an option on Apple's flagship Pro iPhones. My choices are Graphite, Gold, Silver, and Sierra Blue...

The available colors for the iPhone 13 Pro series.

The Gold and Silver can be removed immediately. I'm not interested in either. So the question becomes... will Graphite or Sierra Blue look best in my Product RED iPhone case?

The available colors for the iPhone 13 Pro series.

In all honesty, I think that the Graphite looks better. But it also looks pretty basic. The Sierra Blue, on the other hand, looks cooler and more interesting, so let's go with that. Seriously though... can Apple PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring Product RED to the Pro models next time? It's frustrating that the lesser phones always get the cooler colors. I mean...

The available colors for the iPhone 13 Pro series.

Like I said. Frustrating.

Order Up!

As usual, Apple makes ordering your shiny new iPhone a simple experience. I go to the upgrade program site, click on the options for the iPhone I want, then click the purchase button. My order is added to the queue and they'll send me a box to return my old phone when the new one ships. Simple.

EXCEPT... Look at this!

Your order delivers November 10-17.

So... yeah. Simple. The waiting for a month, however? Not so simple.

   

Caturday 229

Posted on Saturday, October 9th, 2021

Dave!And... my cats are now with me any time I'm home, hoping to sponge off my body heat because it's starting to get cold.

And because it's cold, most of the time when I'm working at home I'm in bed. The mattress heating pad is cheaper to run than the HVAC, so it's more budget-friendly to go with that. The fact that I get to spend a lot more time in bed is just a bonus. And my cats are all too happy to take advantage of the heat as well...

Jake and Jenny lounging with me on the bed.

Jake and Jenny lounging with me on the bed.

Jake lounging with me on the bed.

What's funny is that they both get upset when I'm at home but not in bed. Jenny will sit by my bed and meow. Jake will come butt his head against me on the couch letting me know he wants the mattress pad turned on. And if I'm at my destop iMac? Jenny frets at my feet meowing and Jake will legit just hop up on my desk and sit in front of the display...

Jake sitting in front of the iMac display.

Now, I realize that this is something other cats do a lot... but my cats don't really do this. When I am working, they will largely leave me alone. Except when the house is cold. And they want me in bed so that the mattress pad will be turned on.

Not that I can blame them... but holy crap. They have fur coats on!

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Bullet Sunday 733

Posted on Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Dave!Fall days are here, but it's still Summer Vacation at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Bags! Washington State is one of those bizarre states that wants to do a good thing... but often ends up doing it badly. Take for example the "Single Use Plastic Bag Ban" that recently went into effect. The idea is to make people bring reusable cloth totes to the store in order to keep plastic bags out of landfills. But... holy shit. Those bags were never single-use to me. I use them to carry stuff all the time (like my lunch) and they're also the garbage bag I use in my kitchen and bathrooms. Stores will still have plastic bags available for a mandatory 8¢ each, but Washington State requires them to be thicker plastic so they're tougher. And I'm like... okay... 8¢ is still the cheapest garbage bag I can buy... and now they are going to be five times thicker, so it's actually one of the best frickin' garbage bags you can get. EXCEPT NOW THERE'S FIVE TIMES MORE PLASTIC GOING INTO THE LANDFILL!! Lots of people use them as trash bags, so even if a bunch of people switch to cloth totes, people will either be buying more plastic trash bags or using the thicker bags, meaning that we might actually have more plastic in the landfills. Does anybody think about this shit before passing these laws? ANYBODY?!??

   
• Finale! Not sure how to feel about the finale of Ted Lasso. In many ways, it was disappointing. There were zero surprises, if you've been paying attention. But I didn't hate it. The entire purpose of the second season was to lead up to the endgame of the third season, which was designed to be the last. It seems entirely likely that it will continue past that... there's just too much to lose... but Bill Lawrence says the three-season story arc will remain regardless...

Ted Lasso walking and smiling on a chilly London day.

He also says that Doctor Fieldstone and Trent Crimm will be back, so there's that. And so... until next year, I guess.

   
• Make Mine Marvel! And so now there's a Kathryn Hahn spin-off with Agatha Harkness from WandaVision. Add to this the rumor that some Netflix Marvel shows are headed to Disney+ as well (Jessica Jones? Daredevil?), and the future is looking very good for Marvel Studios fans... with Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Secret Invasion, Ironheart, Armor Wars, Wakanda Series, and an Echo Series, already announced...

Kathryn Hahn as Agatha Harkness being all evil and stuff.

And heaven only knows how many are being roughed out that we don't even know! I'm guessing that the Marvel stuff is the most popular part of Disney+, so increasing the number of new shows is a no-brainer.

   
• Kenan! The new cast lineup for Saturday Night Live seems solid. But the killer app of the show is Kenan Thompson. He's the most memorable part of every skit he appears in, but it's only due to how he plays it... not necessarily the material they give him. In Billionaire Star Trek he had a bit part as an Amazon delivery guy and Kenan is all I remember of it. The meeting with the school board sketch was instantly forgettable... except for Kenan. Everything EXCEPT for Kenan in the funeral skit evaporated minutes after I saw it. This is most decidedly not a great way to start the season. They had months to prepare for the first show, and nothing sticks in my head except how Kenan managed to make the most of what he had to work with? I dunno. SNL has a problem that's not an easy fix. Hopefully everything will gel and get dialed in before Jason Sudeikis shows up, because that show is something I am really, really looking forward to.

   
• Weekend! How my weekend started...

My SourJo starter being all bubbly.

VS. how its going...

My baked SourJo bread looking delicious.

So pretty darn delicious, I'd say!

   
• Retired! Good riddance you crusty old homophobic, racist, misogynistic bigot. I’ve got a bottle of champagne chilling in the refrigerator for the day you depart this earthly plane. Don’t keep me waiting...

This asshole may be retiring now, but his brain retired decades ago.

   
• Inside! God. Could Intel reek any worse of desperation? This ad is fucking embarrassing. And the "random strangers" they pulled in are ridiculous. Like Apple fans are completely unaware that other products exist. I mean... holy shit... is Intel SO worried that people are leaning away from their chips that they have to be all pathetic like this? Sad. Just sad...

Somebody would have to be legit brain-dead to think that this reflects any semblance of reality.

   
Everybody remember to drink responsibly...

   

Miseducational Conduct

Posted on Monday, October 11th, 2021

Dave!School teachers are sick of the shit they have to endure and are getting out of the profession for something less asinine and stressful... like bomb disposal, I'd imagine.

If communities keep this up, soon there won't be enough teachers to teach your kids. Which is by design, really. The wealth and power running this country want to keep people uneducated. Makes it easier to control them with stupid-ass misinformation.

Critical thinking is dangerous to the puppet-masters who are maintaining their wealth and power, so let's make sure people don't get the mental fortitude to threaten that. You don't need critical thinking to become a labor resource. Just fall in line, believe the bullshit you're fed, hate people different than you to keep the country fractured, and do the work. Everything will be just fine.

Enlightening...

The guy quit teaching after 13 years to become a standup comedian.

Guaranteed he's happier now than he ever could have been dealing with school bureaucracy and having to deal with stupid-ass school board bullshit. He's also probably better-paid.

It's getting so that even people who want to be a teacher... it's their fucking calling in life... are hanging it up. And if you can't keep those people... what's left?

   

If I Have to Wait an Eternity

Posted on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Dave!No clue if it's Dreamhost, my internet, or what the hell is going on... but my blog takes fucking forever to load. FOREVER! Maybe it's the new "fast cache" plugin that's screwing things up? No idea. Which means it's just one more task to add to this weekend's "To-Do List." Which, as you might guess this close to winter, is packed full as it is.

The good news is that I managed to finish cleaning up my garage and putting away my woodshop projects so that I can park indoors. That's a task that got moved up the list because I've been having to scrape frost off my windows in the morning. And I really don't want to be doing that when the home I'm fortunate enough to call my own has a garage.

The bad news is that some of my projects got put away unfinished. That's going to really bug me, but maybe I'm going to have some time on the weekends that I can drag them out and get things completed.

BWAH HA HA HA!

Only joking. My motivation to do anything of use is at an all-time low. I'm lucky to be getting out of bed in the morning. And I probably wouldn't if my cats didn't need to be fed.

Which just goes to show that Jake and Jenny are good for something after all!

   

Adam and Steve

Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

Dave!As you may imagine, having a blog that's publicly out on the internet can result in a certain level of backlash from people looking at it. I got a death threat for my thoughts on President Trump. I got two death threats for my thoughts of Hillary Clinton. I've also gotten assorted threats for all kinds of things on this blog... with most of the hate coming from homophobes who really don't like that I am an LGBTQ+ ally. After Washington passed the Marriage Equality Act R-74 (something I advocated for at least once a week) I got one of the longest, nastiest, most hateful comments I've ever received. Obviously I didn't approve it. But I did send a reply since he included his email address: "I don't want any more kids killing themselves in my community because they're gay and think they have no future. Marriage equality shows these kids that people approve of THEM. I could give a shit about who's married or not. I then added a link to a news story of the kid from my high school alma matter who committed suicide after being relentlessly bullied. Bullied for nothing more than being who he is.

Who he was.

He died in February, 2012.

Then-Governor Gregoire signed the legislation for marriage equality ten days later on February 13th.

The legislation was voted into law during the 2012 November election.

A GIF of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey wanting Washington to approve Marriage Equality and Legalization of Marijuana.

Then it was rendered moot when the US Supreme Court made marriage equality law country-wide on June 25, 2015.

I was reminded of all this last night as I was watching the movie Adam & Steve for LGBTQ Movie Month (it was weirdly not horrible... with some very funny bits and some cringe bits). The film was released in 2005. At the time, I think that Massachusettes was the only place where marriage equality was legally available.

A different world now. Which is reflected in the movie. To an extent.

Malcolm Gets's character talks about wanting to fall in love, get married, and have kids like he saw in the movies. Spoiler Alert: Malcolm asks his boyfriend to marry him. And they do, in fact, get married at the end. But they don't go much further on commentary than that, despite the ceremony likely not being legally recognized? The idea of marriage equality in 2005 was a bit far-fetched. And ten years away was still ten years away, but it still seems that something could be said about hoping all 50 states would one day recognize their union. Or something? But maybe they didn't want that horrible backwards thinking intruding on such a happy moment for the characters? I get that.

All this has me really, really curious about that homophobe that hated me so badly for supporting equality back in the day. Did his head explode back in 2015 when "the gays" started getting married? Was he in denial about his sexuality and got over his self-loathing enough to get married to the man of his dreams? I honestly don't know. My hope is that if he's still a homophobe that he at least keeps that shit to himself.

Anything is possible.

DAVE'S 2021 MOVIE FESTIVAL CALENDAR

  • JANUARY: British Movies (and television)
  • FEBRUARY: Korean Movies
  • MARCH: Italian Movies
  • APRIL: Australian Movies (and television)
  • MAY: Art House Movies
  • JUNE: French Movies (and television)
  • JULY: Bollywood Movies
  • AUGUST: Japanese Movies
  • SEPTEMBER: Russian Movies
  • OCTOBER: LGBTQ+ Movies
  • NOVEMBER: Documentary Movies
  • DECEMBER: Holiday Movies (hello Hallmark!)

   

Pfizer Booster Super Anti-COVID Powers Activate!

Posted on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Dave!I qualified for the Pfizer booster shot and I leapt on it like a starving lion.

Ever since they announced that the Pfizer vaccine lacked the long-term protection that Moderna offered, I was waiting for my chance. Don't get me wrong... it still does a great job of protecting you from death... it's just that breakthrough cases for the vaccinated can have harsher symptoms than expected. And "harsher symptoms" are something I can't really afford to risk.

And so, I made the appointment at the local clinic's drive-through site (a fiasco in itself, that I'll write about below).

For my previous vaccinations, I went to the mass-vaccination site. For my first dose, barely anybody was there. For my second dose, nobody was there. But at the smaller clinic drive-through, there were at least a dozen people getting shooted. That was unexpected and nifty.

My vaccination card along with my filled out questionnaire to get my booster.

I can hear it now... “Holy shit, dude! You’re stupid enough to get a THIRD vaccination? You’re going to die for sure now!” — Which is what I’m guessing all the people who said I’d be dead by September after my initial vaccination are going to say. Because of course.

AND YES I ASKED FOR DOUBLE LIZARD DNA!!!

UPDATE: SHIT! NOT ONLY DID I NOT EXPERIENCE ANY PAIN OR SIDE-EFFECTS ALL DAY TODAY, I ALSO DIDN'T START TURNING INTO A LIZARD PERSON! THERE GOES MY DREAM OF JOINING THE ELITE LIZARD PERSON CABAL THAT RUNS THE WORLD!!

And now for the absolute absurdity it took to confirm my appointment (which I made by phone this morning).

Holy crap I wish Confluence Health would move away from MyChart.

It is the most inanely frustrating system to deal with. Nothing makes sense.

They send me an email to check in for my appointment. I click on the checkin link button. I then get taken to their website WHERE THEY WANT ME TO VERIFY THE EMAIL ADDRESS THAT THEY JUST SENT THE CHECKIN LINK TO?!? WHAT THE FUCK?!? And so I click the link to be sent a code that verifies my email... AND IT NEVER COMES. So, essentially, I can't check in as requested by email because they can't verify the email? And I know that if I call tech support the solution will be "check your spam folder." It's always "check your spam folder." Like people don't already know to do that by now. And it's not just MyChart. The Confluence Health website is shit too. Wanna login to MyChart? Well, first you have to scroll down and find the MyChart link. Then you go to the MyChart page and have to scroll all the way down the page for the "LOG IN TO MYCHART" link. Why not just put that fucking link at the top of the home page so people don't have to do all this work? Or, better yet, PUT THE LOGIN AT THE TOP OF THE FRONT FUCKING PAGE! They want you to use MyChart to save on staffing costs, but make it a hassle to do so. Which begs the questions... does anybody at Confluence Health use this shit themselves? Of course not. If they did then it would be a hell of a lot less shitty.

At least one would hope so.

Oh well. I finally got my booster.

I'm assuming that since a ton of people aren't getting fucking vaccinated that COVID will continue to mutate in the anti-vax people and we'll have to get annual boosters like the flu vaccine to handle that shit.

Which ain't fun, but it beats sucking on a tube of horse dewormer.

   

Pieces of Shit Being Pieces of Shit

Posted on Friday, October 15th, 2021

Dave!"Well, shit, I'm alive. The COVID booster didn't kill me. So I guess I have to go into to work."

Zero side-effects from the third Pfizer shot. Which worries me a little bit... how do I know that it did anything if there's no side-effects from my immune system getting charged up with COVID-fighting instructions? Though I didn't have side-effects the second time either (only the first, where I had a fever for three hours and soreness in my arm for three days).

In my county here in Central Washington, there's been 102 COVID deaths out of 10,912 total cases since tracking of the pandemic began. Right now they say that 638 people have tested positive in the first half of October. When I check the CDC site, it says that the eligible population here in my county is 73.6% vaccinated and 34 new people have been admitted into the hospital. If it's accurate, that's really good news. Given the number of anti-maskers out and about, I really expected us to be under 50% vaccinated. Some counties east of me in Idaho and Montana are 40-some-odd-percent, which is pretty scary. But not as scary as those counties sitting at 20% once you head over to the Dakotas. Holy shit. It's like a COVID incubater in some parts!

Which is how we end up with COVID variants like Delta, Beta, Gamma, Lambda, Mu, and the variants of those variants. It's all pretty crazy when you consider that the virus will only become more communicable and deadly as it changes to survive.

But that's nothing compared to the heinous level of idiocy coming out of the mouths of pieces of shit like Marjorie Taylor Greens, who is just the worst...

@dr.eric.b

##covid ##covid19 ##pandemic ##mask ##vaccine ##fyp ##hiv ##lgbtq ##politics

♬ original sound - Eric

God she's awful. There's really no level to which this horrific excuse for a human being will stoop. I am disgusted to my core.

I'd say that I can't wait for her to get COVID, but you just know that she's been vaccinated. Pandering to her base with this hipocritical bullshit is how she stays in office.

   

Caturday 230

Posted on Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Dave!My cats have decided that the colder weather should come with a renewed sense of pandemonium. They are acting totally nuts in a way I haven't seen since they were kittens. Which I'm guessing is a good thing? Running around the house at top speed for no reason. Chasing each other around the catio at all hours.

a perfect example is Jenny catching a praying mantis out in the catio... bringing it inside... losing it... then spending the next hour-and-a-half chasing it down so she can murder it (the corpse was on my floor the next morning...

If you look carefully, you can see the poor think fly across the top of the screen at 0:05. Which means she was running into the guest bedroom and tearing through my dirty laundry piles in the entirely wrong place!

All this kitten-like behavior results in my cats sleeping really, really hard. Things that used to wake them up all serious-like (such as my iPhone ringing) now barely makes a dent.

Jake still wants to sleep on me (usauly my legs still)...

Jake sleeping at my feet.

Jake sleeping at my legs.

Jake sleeping against my legs.

Jake sleeping on my chest.

Where Jenny seems to want to spend time in my laundry basket lately...

Jake sleeping at my feet.

Oh well. They're apparently happy and healthy in their craziness, so I guess it's all good?

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Bullet Sunday 734

Posted on Sunday, October 17th, 2021

Dave!My heat is still on, so things are toasty here at Blogography... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...


   
• AWWWWW! You guys... YOU GUYS...

@duckytheyorkie

Brotherly love 🐥🐶 Katsu’s his older brother! ##IKnowWhatYouDid ##duckytheyorkie

♬ original sound - cori

Derpy puppies are the best puppies.

   
• Darwinism! Fuck your 12 years of med school... Dr. Google is my god now!

Fuck your 12 years of med school, I birthed this child and haven't left their side since, I'm their primary source of nutrition, I watch them breath at night and can tell by a cry what they need so yes I do know my baby better than you doc. Get the fuck outta here.

I just feel bad that the kids are at the mercy of this stupid shit. But... I suppose if they are just going to continue propagating it to newer generations, it might be for the best? It sickens me that anti-science has become so prevalent and dangerous that these kind of thoughts go through my head, but here we are. What the fuck has become of us?

   
• Fury! I didn't just dislike the Shazam! movie... I loathed the fucking thing. It was categorically awful from start to finish. Now, thanks to DC Comics' "FanDome" event there was a look at the sequel...

Honestly? I had zero intent on watching the thing... even when it came out on video. But then they cast Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu as the villains? NOW I AM FORCED TO WATCH, DANGIT! Hopefully i doesn't suck as hard as the first one.

   
• Cuntry! Not only do I know all of these countries, I’ve been to all of them except Chile. But I did get close when I visited Argentina on the way to Antarctica, you condescending fuck...

@geography.tester 🇺🇸 #countries #geography #foryoupage #fyp ♬ love nwantiti (feat. Dj Yo! & AX'EL) [Remix] - CKay

The entire channel is filled with "If you don't get these, you're American" TikToks... and it's like... look... I get it. Americans are largely ignorant of the world outside our borders. But constantly harping on this ceases to make it funny... it just makes you a fucking dick.

   
• The BATman! BWAH HA HA HAAAAA!! ZOMFG! They went over the top… and not in a good way. Maybe it’s the way the trailer is cut together, but this looks fucking embarrassing...

Apparently the Nolan Dark Night Trilogy is still safe as the defining cinematic Batman. Oh well. I guess I’ll know for sure once I’ve seen it.

   
• DOG SENSE! Jesus. It’s just... why. If you disagree with policy, DON’T FLY. It’s not fucking rocket science. Though apparently it is for assholes like this...

@jawny

someone come get her

♬ original sound - JAWNY

Please just get the COVID you’re dying to get, then pick up your Darwin Award already. I’m so sick of this shit.

   
• Ending on a Happy Note! Boy... Yes Theory is back and I somehow missed it! This is pretty great...

=sigh= I miss travel. The world is full of such wonders.

   
And now I'm off again...

   

APPLE SUPER MIRACLE AWESOME SPECIAL EVENT TWO!

Posted on Monday, October 18th, 2021

Dave!Another week. Another Apple Event.

Where the last time was for iPhones, this time was (mostly) the new models of MacBook Pro.

As hard as it is to believe that you'd rather watch the event yourself and not listen to my take on the proceedings, I've gone ahead and posted the YouTube video at the end of this post...

Music

From the start of things, it seemed like Apple was about to make some kind of dramatic announcement regarding music. But all we get is a new Apple Music level, playlists, AirPods, and a new color of HomePod mini. Which we'll get to in a minute. But first? This really cool video that opened the event...

Nifty, huh?

AirPods. I detest the original AirPods. The slick plastic would not stay put in my ears and they were forever falling out. Eventually I had to buy a pair of silicon covers so I wouldn't lose them. Which was annoying, because I had to remove the covers every time I charged the things. And here's Apple releasing the same shitty slick plastic crap they did before... at $179. New features, but nothing worth having to add sillicon covers. I'll be sticking with my old AirPod Pros, thanks.

Cheaper Apple Music. I am an Amazon Music Unlimited guy. I tried buying a HomePod to switch to Apple, but we all know how that turned out. So no $9.99 a month subscription to Apple Music for me. Now there's a new tier for just $4.99 a month. It's only good on Apple devices (from iPhones to iPads to Apple Watches to Macs to AppleTV), does not come with spatial audio Dolby Atmos, does not come with lossless audio files, doesn't allow viewing the lyrics, doesn't allow downloading, and doesn't allow sharing features. Otherwise? Alle the cool Apple Music stuff you could want. Alas, again, since HomePod is fucking bullshit, I'll stick with Amazon.

HomePod mini in Colors! Yeah, not a chance. I am not wasting more time with Apple's shitty fucking "experience" when it comes to this disastrous pile of shit.

M1

I'm just going to put this right up front: my "low-end" Apple Silicon M1 iMac is glorious. It runs absolute circles around my previous-generation MacBook Pro. Not even close. Apple's bargain basement iMac completely trounces my pro-level Mac of two years ago. Which begs the question... what happens when Apple releases a professional version of this chip for power users given that their cheapest solution is already pro-level for me. Enter the M1 PRO (which we were all expecting) plus the M1 MAX. Which crams a lot more power on that little chip...

Circuit comparison between the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max chips.

M1 PRO. It's ridiculously powerful.

M1 MAX It's more than ridiculously powerful.

Look, I can pop up all the graphics Apple shared about how the new M1s consistently outperform the competition in every possible metric. But why? Suffice to say that you can do stuff on these new MacBook Pros that couldn't previously be done on a laptop this compact. That's how powerful they are. And the fact that it does all of it with far, far less power consumption for longer battery life? Well that's icing on the cake, right? That's exactly what you want on a laptop. And so here they are...

MacBook Pro

16-inch and 14-inch. Apple starts out by saying how the smaller 14-inch version doesn't cut corners to have the smaller size (why would it when the Apple Silicon has made everything so small?). Turns out they aren't lying. The M1 MAX isn't available in a default configuration... but you can configure to have it if you want. That's pretty sweet.

Wakey Wakey. Instant awake. It's like... my current MacBook Pro wakes up really quickly... but you notice it. I love the idea of not noticing that!

Keyboard Faith. I'm hoping Apple didn't "new and improve" the keyboard again (which is how we ended up with those shitty fucking "butterfly" keyboards that Apple forced on us for FIVE DAMN YEARS). From what I can tell, TouchID is the same and the only difference is that the background behind the keys is black. So yay?

The new TouchBar-free MacBook Pro keyboard.

TouchBar Free. As you will note, Apple has finally given up on the stupid-ass TouchBar which was new levels of annoying. Now we get keys that you can memorize instead of an ever-changing interface that requires you to physically look at where stuff is to operate. Thank God.

Stupidity Recant 101. The SD memory card is back. Losing this was next-level stupid and I'm happy it's back.

Ports! Apple has standardized on USB-C (you get three plus an HDMI port) and ridiculously claims that you can attach a bunch of stuff (namely a bunch of monitors) "...all without a single adapter!" — Except NOT. Because there's not a single USB-A port. Yes, everything is moving to USB-C... but there's still tons upon tons of things that are USB-A, so you actually will, in fact, need those damn dongle adapters for non-video devices. At least a headphone port is still there for people who haven't gone wireless.

Screen Real Estate. HA! They brought the iPhone notch to the MacBook Pro display! Which... eh... I wanna see what happens when the apps I use that have a lot of menu items is used. Do they wrap around the notch? Get truncated? Abbreviated? What? Yeah, I'm glad to have the extra screen real estate, but what's the trade-off? What's the cost?

ProMotion Display. Another iPhone tech makes its way to the Mac. Nice. Scrolls like buttah. Plus 1000 nits brightness and deeper blacks! I'll bet HDR looks spectacular.

Selfie Camera. 1080p. At last. Apple has looked fucking stupid all this time stuck with their shitty cameras. The one on my iMac M1 is very nice. I'm guessing this one is pretty much the same.

Soundly Sound. The sound is better. It has spatial audio. Which is nice, of course, but it's still laptop sound. I'm always in headphones when listening to audio on the MacBook Pro, so it's not something I'd really use.

Mass Memory. Up to 64GB unified memory. Which... which is pretty phenomenal for a portable platform. You can also have up to a whopping 8TB of storage. EIGHT TERABYTES! This will come in real handy for those wanting to edit 8K video on the road! It is expensive, however. An additional $2,200 from the 1TB standard.

Battery Life. The energy efficiency of the new M1s gives you up to 21 hours of video playback on the 16-inch model, which is stunning. But it sounds like any app can benefit from big power savings... even running under Rosetta 2 emulation. Always a plus when working on the road.

Fast Charge. 50% in just 30 minutes? Well that's pretty sweet!

Stupidity Recant 102 Gee, Apple, thanks for bringing back a huge feature that you fucking humiliated yourself with for omitting in the previous generation: MadSafe power. All those ads that touted MagSafe as THE way to charge... and Apple threw it away for USB-C? So stupid. Though... I have to wonder if you can still charge via USB-C if that's all you have? (UPDATE: Yes you can). I didn't hear them mention that.

The ad they came up with (which hasn't been posted, but is in the event video below) is actually... um... scary? Apple's hinting that the new MacBook Pros are so powerful they might be able to become sentient or something.

Just for fun I put together my dream MacBook Pro. 16-inch M1 MAX with 64GB Unified Memory, 2TB Storage. And the grand total is... FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY-NINE DOLLARS! Wow. Now, granted, that's an awful lot of power that is probably reserved for 8K video users and the like... but just to experience that every time I sit down to work on large projects? Must be magic. Interesting to note that the M1 MAX only adds $200 to the price tag of a "standard" MacBook Pro. So a more reasonable Apple M1 Pro with 32GB Unified Memory and 1TB of storage that clocks in at a fairly reasonable $3,099 just jumps to $3,299... which is probably the route I would go if I had $3,300 burning a hole in my pocket (which I do not).

AN ASIDE: If it's only a $200 difference, why not just put the M1 MAX in all the machines? Having a lower tier pro that's just $200 different seems ridiculous. People are spending thousands of dollars, so what's $200 more for the better chip that offers so much more? I don't get it. Unless they want to make people feel good about spending the $200 or something. The logic... it baffles.

Interesting to note that if you pay with Apple Card, you'd get 3% cash back, which is $100. If Apple gave a more reasonable 5% cash back (like Amazon and others) on Apple purchases, you'd get $165. Which is just $35 shy of getting the M1 MAX for free. It's strange that Apple doesn't make a thing of that. "FOR A LIMITED TIME, SPEND $3000 OR MORE ON A M1 PRO MACBOOK PRO WITH YOUR APPLE CARD AND WE'LL UPGRADE YOU TO THE M1 MAX AT NO CHARGE! (cash back not applicable)." If Apple were to do something slick like that... or do a double cash-back promotion ($198)... I would probably go into debt to get that laptop. So it's maybe a good thing they aren't doing that!

Anyway...

Do I want one of these things? Lord, yes. Will I buy one? I can't really afford it because I ain't going into debt when I have an existing MacBook Pro that's loads inferior, but still works for my needs. Maybe when they unleash next year's models?

AN ASIDE: I like Apple CEO Tim Cook. He'd be great to hang with and go out to dinner with. But there are times I long for a bastard perfectionist like Steve Jobs to be in charge so Certified Apple Whores stop getting the shitty experiences we've been plagued with. For MONTHS MacOS X file search has been broken. And by "broken" I mean "useless as a pile of dog shit." Which is why I was screaming at the Apple Event stream with "THESE PRETTY NEW MACBOOKS DON'T MEAN SHIT IF YOUR SEARCH IS BUSTED! WHEN I TRY TO FIND MY WORK FILES, YOU RETURN PICTURES OF MY CATS... HOLY FUCKING SHIT, APPLE! SEARCHING FOR FILES IS A CRITICAL EVERYDAY FUNCTION! HOW CAN YOU ALLOW THIS TO GO ON FOR THIS LONG? WHY NOT TAKE TEN MINUTES TO HOP OFF YOUR M1 PRO/MAX TRAIN AND FIX YOUR FUCKING FINDER FILE SEARCH SO PEOPLE WHO BUY YOUR HARDWARE CAN ACTUALLY USE IT!!! DAMN!" As it is I have to use a third-party search tool in order to track down my files. That's some serious fucking bullshit.

And that was it. Short and sweet.

If somebody has $3,000 they want to give me, I'll order one immediately. Otherwise? I sure hope everybody who's been waiting for a shiny new MacBook Pro enjoys the ride.

And here's that Apple Event video I promised...

Happy Monday, everybody!

   

Rethink (Un)Possible

Posted on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

Dave!I think that I lived with the horrific, byzantine, and abusive billing at AT&T for so long that I am in complete shock now that I'm with the no-nonsense billing at T-Mobile. It's just a text once a month saying "Your bill is $50. Period. And we've paid it from your credit card. Your balance is now $0. Have a great day." Or something like that.

My God. When I think back to the MONTHS I spent just trying to just pay the for the damn plan that I purchased with AT&T... but could never get straightened out... it's nigh-traumatic. Every month the amount was wrong. Then I'd end up having to call, then end up with a credit, then I'd get some mysterious charge nobody could explain, then my credit would disappear, then the amount would change, then they'd want me to switch plans to fix it(!), then they would say it was fixed but it was never fixed, then they would pro-rate a correction to the correction of the correction. And it was still wrong. HOURS of my life gone... and for what? Having to do it all over again the next month!

So relieved those days are over!

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Always A Wait

Posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

Dave!
Today was just waiting for it to be tomorrow because that's when HBO releases Dune.

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Dune and The Deep Desert (no dessert)

Posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Dave!Denis Villeneuve's Dune is a cinematic masterpiece.

Based on one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time, I was hopeful but skeptical. from any angle, it's an unfilmable tale.

And this isn't our first rodeo.

I'm actually a mega-huge fan of the 1984 David Lynch Dune adaptation, even though it doesn't really capture the book. But, to be fair, Villeneuve's version doesn't either. It excises all the political nuance that makes the book so deep. In fact, if anything, the new movie cuts more detail from the story than Lynch did.

But it's not cut haphazardly.

Villeneuve set out to create something approachable for people who haven't read the book. There are nods to bigger ideas that true fans will appreciate, but distractions which would take too much time to explain are quietly dropped. Wisely.

I absolutely love the film. No, it's not the book... how could it be? But it is a breathtakingly beautiful movie and respects the source material better than I thought possible. It's worth $10 for a month of HBO to see it. And I am confident I will see it many more times...

Paul Atreides holds up a knife in DUNE

I just hope that we get the second half. Because, wisely again, Villeneuve also didn't try to cram everthing from the first book into a single movie. So we only got a Part One of Two.

Upon my second viewing (yes, I watched it again back-to-back) I made spoiler-filled notes that I've put in an extended entry.

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
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Back to Arrakis

Posted on Friday, October 22nd, 2021

Dave!I watched Dune twice yesterday and again after work today. I have a lot of movie obsessions, but this is the quickest it's ever happened. Thank heavens all the Hallmark Christmas movies are coming up, because I could easily watch this film every day. There's just so much there on the screen. I see something more... appreciate the film more... with each new viewing. Something tells me this will be going on for a while. I haven't seen Eternals yet, but this is my favorite film of 2021 right now.

My obsession has lead me to becoming obsessed with director Denis Villeneuve. Despite him having crafted Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, two of my favorite films, I know almost nothing about the guy. As opposed to a director like Luc Besson and Ridley Scott whom I've watched numerous interviews and read books about them and by them about their craft.

And so I've been watching interviews with Villeneuve.

His passion, love, and attention given to the films he makes is pretty inspiring. The best I've seen is this break-down for Vanity Fair...

And here he is on Arrival...

And Blade Runner 2049...


On his plate next? Dune: The Sisterhood for HBO Max and a Cleopatra feature film. And then... God willing... Dune Part Two.

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Caturday 231

Posted on Saturday, October 23rd, 2021

Dave!Jenny is incredibly stealthy. She can slink into a room and I rarely hear her. One minute there's not cats, I look away for a second and... BLAM!... there's Jenny.

Jake is a different animal entirely. His nails click on the hardwood floors when he's walking, so I always know where he's at... so long as he's mobile.

EXCEPT...

As you may remember, I builts a shelf for on top of the stairwell after Jake fell and sprained his leg...

Stairwell

Cat Banister Tray Painted

Cat Banister Tray Installed!

To make it more comfortable for him, I put carpet on the top. And he loves it. Many nights he will sleep on it because he can stretch out and be comfortable...

Jake laying on the banister ledge I built for him.

Jake looking at me from the ledge as he lays there looking lazy... my Marvel movie posters are on the walls.

Jake looking down at me from the ledge as I go down the stairs.

But the thing about carpet is... Jake makes no noise when walking on it.

This morning I was working at my desk even though I'm more comfortable working on the couch or in bed (my new, low-level iMac with Apple's M1 chip is far faster than my top-of-the-line MacBook Pro with an Intel chip). I was so absorbed in what I was doing that I had no idea Jake was sitting on the stairwell tray... just staring at me while I work! I was thrown into shock when I noticed and nearly fell out of my chair. But Jake just continued to stare at me...

Jake looking down at me from the ledge as I go down the stairs.

It's like when we're racing downstairs because it's breakfast time. Sometimes Jake will be barreling down the stairs ahead of me and all of a sudden just... stop and sit down. I very nearly trip down the stairs trying to halt my downward momentum, and I just don't understand why he would be doing this. Am I going to slow and he wants to mock me by resting half-way down or something?

My cats will be the death of me. It's just a matter of timing.

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Bullet Sunday 735

Posted on Sunday, October 24th, 2021

Dave!The world may be going to hell in a hand basket, but you can look forward to the journey... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Dune: The Book! When an art book for Blade Runner 2049 was made (called The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049) I bought it immediately. The movie was so beautifully realized that I had to see the work behind it. And I was not disappointed. It was a wonderful book that provided some juicy insight into how it was crafted. When I saw that Dune had an "Art and Soul" book coming, I pre-ordered it before the movie was released because I knew Denis Villeneuve wouldn't disappoint...

The cover for The Art and Soul of Dune showing Paul looking out into the desert as a ship flies overhead.

And he did not disappoint again. The book is gorgeous and rich with detail. With a notable exception. I didn't see anything on the written alphabet that's presented on the scroll Duke Leto signs at the beginning or what's found in Paul's book or on Dr. Yueh's note. This seems a weird omission given how much thought must have gone into it?

   
• Language! The spoken languages of the Fremen was expanded upon by David J. Peterson. He also created the sign language used by the characters. And he put his work online! (along with some other languages he created for film and television, which you can find here). Fascinating stuff. I especially loved how he showed (then explained!) Jessica signing to Paul when they were bound and taken out to the desert to die. And shared a PDF of his transcription for the closed captioning! There's additional stuff showing some writing, but not what I saw in the book and Yueh's note, which is what I was most interested in.

   
• Meme! Lastly on the Dune front is my attempt at a meme...

A massive sandworm towers over two characters and says I'VE BEEN TRYING TO REACH YOU ABOUT YOUR CAR'S EXTENDED WARRANTY!

Yeah, yeah. But I couldn't help myself.

   
• 80's Rewind! My favorite music will forever be 80's Pop. I listen to many other kinds, but that's my go-to jam. Running across music I missed from that era is rare. But finding new music which is clearly 80's-Pop-inspired is an increasingly abundant treat. This past week I found two artists that take me back. The first is CARSON and this wonderful track, Good Love...

And then there's the band Fly By Midnight, which has a number of great songs that feel like they could have been released 35 years ago...

Some of the tracks are a bit more contemporary, but they still have an 80's sensibility in how they're constructed that have me addicted...

And then there's the YouTube suggestions that are filling me with even more incredible stuff. Conor Matthews has some stuff I never knew existed but now can't live without...

New old music is the best music!

   
• BARGAIN! My favorite home renovation show is Bargain Block on HGTV. I don't always like the design result, but the road to getting there is great. And it's been renewed for a second season!

The team from Bargain Block standing in a house that's been ripped out.

Sometimes good news happens when it comes to the shows I like!

   
• Conspiracy Made Real! Netflix has unloaded one of the most depraved animated shows ever, which is hysterically funny to watch...

The imagination that goes into creating this series is really great. It's not just crude for the sake of being crude. Doesn't get much better than that!

   
• Rami is Pete and Pete is Rami! Saturday Night Live has moments of genius that shouldn't exist. And this one from the previous episode is one of them...

Inspired. The genius of it makes things funnier than they actually are to me.

   
And no more fresh hell until next Sunday.

   

MacBook MacDebt

Posted on Monday, October 25th, 2021

Dave!And so I did something I swore I wasn't going to do... go into debt again.

The only reason I can afford the latest model iPhone is because of Apple's "iPhone Upgrade Program" which charges you a monthly fee and allows you to trade in your phone for a new model every year. To buy the thing outright when it costs over $1000 is money I don't have. Essentially it's leasing with an option to own, and I'm perfectly fine with that.

Alas, there's no such "upgrade program" for my MacBook Pro, which costs over three times what an iPhone does.

Which means I have to put money aside whenever I can and save for a new model, which takes three to five years. And this is fine. MacBooks now-a-days are plenty powerful enough to go that long, so I just accept that this is my only option and move on with life.

But Apple did something financially smart (for them) and financially not-smart (for me). Right after you read all about the new MacBook Pro laptops, they have this...

Get a credit for a new MacBook Pro with a trade-in and earn 3% cash-back when you buy with Apple Card.

Now, I naturally assumed that my two-year-old MacBook Pro with an antiquated Intel chip would be worth almost nothing... $500 if I were lucky. So I didn't even bother to check. But I did want to take a look at my Apple Card to find out if I got my 3% cash back when I bought my new M1 iMac. Turns out I did. But then I noticed something that I hadn't anticipated. A surprise of the best possible kind... My Apple Cash card is the last card in my Apple Wallet, so I never see it. And it turns out I had Real Money sitting on it... $1312.48

Without realizing it, I had already saved up over 1/3 the amount needed to buy a new MacBook Pro.

So now I was very interested in how much money Apple would give me for my old Intel Apple MacBook Pro. Another surprise of the best possible kind... Apple would give me $1,210.00 for it. Far, far more than I was expecting.

And so here I am sitting on $2,522.48 that I didn't even realize.

So now it was time to crunch the numbers.

My dream MacBook Pro (M1 MAX with 64GB memory and 1TB storage) costs $3,899.00 plus tax plus $400 for three years of AppleCare coverage. $4,299. HA! Yeah, coming up with the additional $1,776.52 needed might as well have been $20,000. But what if I drop down to 32GB of memory, saving $400? That's double what I have now. Doing that means I'm at $1,376.52 needed. That's still a massive heap of cash. But how much for a monthly payment? After trade-in, it's $224 a month (including tax and AppleCare)... but 3% Apple Card cash-back brings it down to $217 a month. Which is to say that my $1,312.48 in Apple Cash covers six months of payments, during with time I can scrape together four more payments. That's ten out of the twelve payments covered. Factoring in my tax refund money for the final two payments... annnnnd... DONE!

I use my MacBook Pro for work whenever I'm home. Several hours a day every day. And if I ever start traveling again, I use it constantly. The benefits of going into debt to get a newer model outweighed my desire to not be saddled with debt...

  • The far better M1 chip will allow me to work faster, doing more work in the same amount of time.
  • Annoying problems... like trying to find an SD card dongle to load photos I take for work... are eliminated since there's an SD card slot built-in.
  • That stupid fucking TouchBar, which I hate to use because I have to stop everything I'm doing and angle my MacBook towards me so I can see what I'm press on the damn thing, is finally gone... replaced with REAL KEYS I can actually memorize.

Also? The thing will take a month to ship, which means another month to save money for the payments, which means those four payments at the end will be less of a burden. I may not end up eating nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and ramen noodles after all!

Worth it.

If, for no other reason, to get rid of that stupid fucking productivity-killing TouchBar.

I'd eat peanut butter sandwiches and ramen noodles for a year just to get rid of that idiotic shit.

And so... here I am. Looking to see if there's a sale on peanut butter and bread. If there is, then maybe I can start saving for those payments early!

   

Dune Deux

Posted on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Dave!It was announced that Dune: Part 2 has been greenlit. Which means Denis Villeneuve will get to give us the second half of the story. This is, to put it mildly, fantastic news. It is, as a matter of fact, the only news that mattered to me today.

Partly because this is a movie which deserves to be completed. But mostly because I honestly wasn't expecting it to happen...

Dune Part Two

No, seriously... that's it for today. Nothing else matters. Good night.

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Mister Monk and The Blogger

Posted on Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

Dave!One of my favorite television shows is Monk. It's a police procedural starring Tony Shalhoub which ran for 8 seasons... and won as many Emmy Awards. After the death of his wife, Adrian Monk had a nervous breakdown which caused all of his many phobias and his OCD to escalate to debilitating levels. Unable to serve as a police detective, he had to quit the police force and become a private detective. Brilliant to near super-human levels, Monk solves murders that nobody else can. Alas, his many quirks makes it difficult to assimilate with people and function in society, so he has to be aided with a nurse who accompanies him on his cases.

Surprisingly, the show never lost steam and was pretty great right up until its final episode...

I'm just going to get this out of the way right now... I find it inconceivable that the show hasn't been brought back as a mini series or a some movie specials or even a full-on revival. The closest we got were a few book spin-offs and this cool promo spot from Peacock...

How is it that people could watch that and not go... Holy crap! We should bring back Monk!

Over the course of its 125 episodes, Monk had precious few supporting characters which were along for the entire ride. Two, as a matter of fact. Police Captain Leland Stottlemeyer (played by Ted Levine... yes, Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs) and Lieutenant Disher. Even the nurse assistant was two different characters (Bitty Scram was replaced after 40 episodes with Traylor Howard... both of whom were excellent). Not even Monk's psychiatrist lasted the entire show due to the untimely death of actor Stanley Kamel.

I had been watching a couple episodes (most) every night for months now. Last night I watched the season finale and am done.

I gotta tell you... it is really tough to not start all over again from episode one right now. How many shows can you say that about? Not many. Off the top of my head, it's something like this for me...

  • Sirens
  • Wonderfalls
  • Veronica Mars
  • The Finder
  • The West Wing
  • Limitless
  • Watchmen
  • Firefly
  • Kitchen Confidential
  • The IT Crowd
  • Ted Lasso
  • Psych
  • Deception
  • Happy Endings
  • Hooten and the Lady
  • Life
  • Scrubs
  • Palace Guard
  • No Tomorrow
  • Sports Night
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  • L.A. to Vegas
  • Twin Peaks (Season One Only)
  • Alias (Seasons One & Two Only)
  • Wrecked

Given the huge, huge number of TV shows I've watched over the years, the fact that I can only think of 25 of them speaks volumes.

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Sleeping Single is Expensive

Posted on Thursday, October 28th, 2021

Dave!MetaFilter: Living Alone in the U.S. Is Harder Than It Should Be

This article is validating.

I do not mind living alone. On the contrary, I have come to love it. I can find my own happiness without having to worry about maintaining happiness of another person, which is what has doomed all my relationships. I just can't sustain that to the level required.

My bad.

It is what it is.

But there are times that living alone is awful, and it has absolutely nothing to do with loneliness or anything mentally-related. It has everything to do with how expensive it is.

Good prices on food usually mean a two-for or three-for deal on an item that's ALREADY more than I can use. And so I buy a single pack at a far higher price than if I could afford to buy multiples. It's not that I'm bitter about it... that's the price I pay for choosing to be single. What I am bitter about is when I pay more AND GET LESS WITH IT!

Take T-Mobile, for example. If I had multiple phones on my plan, I'd get SD Netflix for free. But even though I have to pay more per line than people with multiple lines have to pay, I get less for my money. No Netflix for me. I am bitter as hell about that. I choose to be single and pay more per line. Fine. That's the cost of my choice. But to not get what families get even though I'm paying more? It's a difficult concept to process.

Oh well. I'm grateful I can afford a mobile phone at all, so I'll try to cling to that. Otherwise? Yeah, it would be nice to have help cleaning my home and sharing expenses, but I'm good.

I've got cats to keep me company, after all.

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I’m Resting in Peace

Posted on Friday, October 29th, 2021

Dave!I was told that I would "probably die in 6 or 7 months" after I got my first COVID vaccination.

Well, as of today it's been 7 months. Apparently I'm going to need all your thoughts and prayers to live through the night. Though since I went back for the second vaccination and went back for a third time to get a booster... maybe I don't deserve to live?

   

Caturday 232

Posted on Saturday, October 30th, 2021

Dave!And so I finally put the warming pads out for the cats. Jake and Jenny complain if it gets too cold, but they settle right down if they have a warm spot to lay on. And it's cheaper than turning the heat on.

Jake took to it immediately. I barely got the thing plugged in...

Jake on a warming pad!

Jenny ignored it. But eventually I lured her onto one and now you'd have to light a stick of dynamite under her furry butt before she'd vacate the thing...

Cats on a wamning pads!

And so... heating crisis averted.

For now.

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Bullet Sunday 736

Posted on Sunday, October 31st, 2021

Dave!Time warp time is here! Which means time is fleeting, but madness takes its toll... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Glue! Ha! This morning I noticed that even though my trip to Maui was over a month ago, my PRE-CLEAR wristband is still hanging on!

My PRE-CLEAR Hawaii band on my wrist.

Alaska Airlines uses some good glue on these things!

   
• NEWSLINE: Intel CEO: My job is to win Apple back Good luck with that. The Apple M1 family of chips have jaw-dropping performance with ridiculously low battery drain (see chart in the comments). I can't fathom how Intel could ever get the kind of integration between hardware and software that Apple is able to achieve in-house. But, hey, if they can do it... PLEASE GET ON THAT! Performance and better life better than the M1 would be a nice thing to have!

   
• Instant Memories! Another couple photos for the box! Are there any other INSTAX photo whores out there?

A box filled with hundreds of Instax photos.

I have hundreds of the things and I want to do something with them. I first started when I got an INSTAX camera in Japan decades ago for an art project. I never really used it for photography... I would use it to make crummy little prints of my digital photos! I would display the photo on a computer screen and take a picture of it. The quality was so bad that you couldn't really tell, and I loved that. It's cool how they are bad. Eventually I switched to the INSTAX printers when they came out. And every time I go on a trip or meet up with somebody or anything, I make INSTAX Polaroids of a photo or two and toss it in a box. I have them dating back to 2000... so it's 20 years of memories. Maybe a giant collage or something? That would be kinda nifty! A couple years ago I started writing on them, then went back and wrote on all of them with dates so other people could understand them. Now I love them more than ever. Gotta figure out a way to display them.

   
• Kermie, NO! OH MY GAWD...

@jeremyolenski It’s a puppet thing (pt 2). #themuppets #kermitthefrog #kermitparody #lucky #NissanShowUp ♬ original sound - Gonna Tell My Kids

I laughed way too hard at this. Way too hard.

   
• Artistry! And even harder at this...

@mark_kacy but why tho 😂.......#naijaanime #naijaanimation ♬ original sound - Grassy_boi

SO INAPROPRIATE!

   
And that's all there is, Halloween fans.

   

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