Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2022
well, they do.
Posted on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022
This past week I finally had a day to start putting back together my studio. I kinda had to rebuild it once the shelves I had toppled over in the middle of the night. First I bought a new drafting table... then bought some new IKEA shelves. Since my cats like to watch me when I'm drawing, I decided that I would put a catwalk around the perimeter of the room so my cats could hang our and look down at me. But how to get them up to the catwalk?
I decided to punch out the sides of my shelves in order to create a staircase for my cats.
I still have to trim it out, but I managed to get everything screwed together and bolted to the wall for safety. I also built guardrails so that my cats wouldn't fall out if they tried to pass each other on their way up or down...
The last one there has a hole in the top so that they can get to the top of the shelves. This is looking down the staircase from the top...
The guardrails are built from scrap wood that I painted to match the shelves...
Next up? Guess I need to build that catwalk.
Posted on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022
Fireworks are blowing out a day early and my cats are in hiding, but don't think I'm using this as an excuse to skip the day's bullets... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• 'MURICAAAA! Just so you know, I'm feeling patriotic as fuck right now...
And how could I not be? It says so right on the label!
• Strange! New! The previous episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was pretty bad, but the penultimate episode of Season 01 was darn good, despite some rather questionable turn of events...
Interesting how sci-fi is kinda embracing horror recently. First with The Orville and now with Strange New Worlds. Hopefully Season 02 (which just finished production!) will have another thrills and scares episode like this one, because it's a great diversion from the "episode of the week."
• Westworld S04! HBO's Westworld is one of those shows which was deliciously twisty and challenging the first season. Had interesting turns in the second. And almost pedestrianly straightforward in the third. Now we've reached the second episode of the fourth season and it looks like they are sticking with the less interesting straightforward approach, but doing so in a way that is anything but boring. The hosts are out of the park and taking over the world, and where the writers decided to take us? Back to the beginning. Kinda sorta. But not really.
There's two things I'm taking away from the first two episodes... A) The cast is one of the best on television (and has been that way from the start). Thandiwe Newton and Aaron Paul are in the spotlight to fantastic effect. Ed Harris is savagely chewing through absolutely every scene they give him. Tessa Thompson has not had much to do, but holy crap does she make every minute count. Evan Rachel Wood is kinda lost in the shuffle, but hopefully she gets something interesting soon. And B) I am reeeeeally invested in seeing how they make everything pay off at the end. Though they may be pulling a The Empire Strikes Back and saving any conclusion for the fifth (and final) season.
• Only Murders in the Building S02! I was late to Only Murders in the Building because I am not a huge Martin Short fan and Steve Martin. But the reviews were so crazy good that I finally tuned in... and loved the series. Martin Short is more "quirky" than "annoyingly distracting" which is perfect for the character. Fortunately a second season was quickly greenlit...
And the new season is perfect. They kept everything that was good about the first season, found a way to attach a new and intriguing mystery to it, and are letting the supporting players shine in a way that makes the show so New York specific. Really hoping that they stick the landing on this season, because nothing would make me happier than to be anticipating a third series.
• Paper! I think that I've mentioned how excited I am for the Amazon Prime adaptation of Paper Girls. And if not, here's me saying it. I loved the comic book, and they look to be staying close to the source material...
If nothing else, the casting looks pretty great!
• Footloose! The opening of the third season of The Umbrella Academy had its best moment. Which makes things really tough, because it was all downhill from here...
I did enjoy Season 03 quite a lot... but it was a considerable step down from the first two seasons. Everything seemed really spread out, and great moments with the characters were very spread out. Even so, I sure hope we get a fourth season, because the series is always entertaining.
• But before I go... Tell me again how overturning Roe v. Wade should be taken out of the hands of the pregnant person and their doctor. Seriously, I'm waiting. I've read a couple posts online which are basically saying that rapists now get to choose the mother of their children, and if that is what you think "freedom" means then you're a fucking abomination. Case in point? 10-year-old rape victim denied abortion in Ohio. You can fuck ALL the way off with this.
Enjoy your fucking fireworks.
Posted on Monday, July 4th, 2022
And today is the day set aside to celebrate our independence from Great Britain. No longer a colony of The Crown, we were free to be free in our pursuit for life, liberty, and happiness.
Fast-forward to today, and there seems little reason to celebrate a damn thing. Our freedoms are eroding ever faster into a nightmarish hellscape that has me seriously thinking that The United States of America has become a failed experiment. No longer is there separate of Church and State as we were designed to be, and Evangelical Christianity is the law of the land. The wealthy own our politicians and our existence is constructed to support their interests instead of the public good. Horrific decisions on how we live (and how we're being made to suffer and die) are made by a tiny minority and sold to people as a "good thing." Lies are truth. Truths are a lie. And nobody seems to give a shit.
It's all political games from here on out, and that's why we're so hopelessly divided and fucked. Maintaining wealth and power is all that matters.
One side is conned into worshipping their leaders like gods and supporting laws which make their lives harder... destroying our liberties. One side is conned into believing that their leaders will save them from evils, only to keep believing it no matter how many times it's found to be a lie... destroying our liberties. And it's all hate all the time, because it's easier to destroy liberty when you're distracted by hating "the other side" even though the commonalities between "sides" are numerous, and we're all more alike than different.
And so, no, I am not "celebrating" our freedoms and independence today. I'm celebrating a day off work.
While I still can.
Because Federal holidays are a hit to productivity, and our wealthy owners will likely be eliminating them eventually. And of course we'll be told that this is the best thing to ever happen to this country, and everybody will be smiling as they head out to their 10-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week jobs while having no living wage, no health care, no housing, and barely enough resources to survive.
But there will still fireworks!
Posted on Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
How fucked up is our bought-and-paid-for government that one of the old white men running this shitshow can cause essential legislation to become "endangered" because so many members of the Senate are fucking owned by the big internet providers? Pretty fucked up... and yet here we are. Some old Democrat dude breaks a hip so an FCC nominee can't get confirmed... or whatever... and now net-neutrality (something that the majority of Americans agree is a good and necessary thing) may not be passed if it can't get done by mid-terms.
First of all... Fuck Joe Biden and the fucking Democrats for not getting this shit done immediately when he got into office. Just one of many, many things that they should have rammed through in 2020 (like codifying Roe v. Wade) that they decided to sit on and do fuck-all about because it can be used to get progressives running to the poles at elections. Fuck them sideways for putting their personal re-election campaigns above the American people. We're told to "support net-neutrality" and "protect a woman's right to choose" by voting for Democrats, then have absolutely fucking NOTHING to show for it on these issues (and many others).
I swear, the only thing that enrages me more than Republicans accepting cash to roll over on the American people so that wealthy people can continue to fuck us over... is the fucking Democrats who just sit by and let it happen when they have a chance to actually do something. Happened with President Obama. Happening again with fucking President Biden.
Everybody who knows me knows that I hate career politicians, hate our lobbyist-owned political "representatives," hate Democrats, really hate Republicans, and am sick to fucking death of the way that politics continues to erode our freedoms and put us even deeper into this bullshit. But I hold my nose and the polls and vote for the least-worst candidate anyways, hoping against hope that somebody actually does something... only to get disappointed every time.
And then people tell me I should be happy because "Well, at least they didn't make things worse!"
Fuck that. And fuck Joe Biden.
I'll be dead inside of 40 years, thank God. I just hope that I live long enough to see our failed two-party system go down in fucking flames when people trapped into voting for a nonstop parade of shitty politicians get sick of it all.
Assuming they ever do.
I am having more doubts about that every fucking day.
Some old guy in Vermont breaking a hip could be enough to skuttle net neutrality, so do you blame me?
Posted on Wednesday, July 6th, 2022
This morning I started getting hit with attacks to my blog. Hard.
I was receiving hundreds of emails from my blog security software informing me that unauthorized people were trying to login, resulting in their IP address getting banned. I didn't really pay them any mind. Even if they get my username which, let's face it, WordPress makes easy... they have to manage to guess a rather complicated password (so complicated that I have zero hope of remembering it and have to rely on my password manager)... plus I have two levels of two-factor authentication enabled.
This makes it a bit tough to break through, but there's all kinds of WordPress vulnerabilities that get exploited, so it's bound to happen eventually.
There are attempts to break into my blog daily. But I have not had such a huge series of attempts like this in a very long time.
Maybe my previous entry had something to do with it? No idea.
Posted on Thursday, July 7th, 2022
Thor: Love and Thunder is great. Not as great as Thor: Ragnarok, but I enjoyed it quite a lot.
Especially the mid-credits scene at the end, which is glorious. I'd stay off the internets until you've seen the movie so it doesn't get spoiled... but it's a doozy. Especially if you're me. As if that weren't enough, there's Russell Crowe as Zeus. And he plays it in a way I was most definitely not expecting...
As has become my custom, I am not reviewing any films until they are released on home video... trying to avoid spoilers for people who may not be able to go to the theater in the Age of COVID.
But if I were to tease my thoughts? It's a worthy successor to Thor Ragnarok which could have taken itself a bit more seriously, but is another awesome Thor adventure just the same.
Posted on Friday, July 8th, 2022
I had a very long work day today... 14 hours. Which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I got no sleep last night. Just as I was nodding off around midnight, somebody lit up some fireworks, at which point I was wide awake. Even if I were to manage to fall asleep with the noise, the cats tearing off my bed and running into the closet would have been enough to cancel any attempt at slumber.
My watch tells me that I finally fell asleep at 3:30am.
So... 3-1/2 hours sleep then.
It would be nice if I could get at least half the amount of sleep that I end up working in a day.
Posted on Saturday, July 9th, 2022
My cats have a great life.
The full run of my home. The best-quality food. Auto-cleaning litter boxes. Plenty of toys, scratching posts, perches, and places to explore. An outdoor catio enclosure. There's really nothing they could want for. And yet... they do get irritated by their situation. Especially Jenny, who will definitely let you know if she's unhappy about something.
The other day I was working in bed when she hopped up after her breakfast. I was typing out an email and couldn't pet her right away. This was UNACCEPTABLE! Meow! Meow! Meeeeeowwww! I finished up as quickly as I could, started petting her back... then head... then she was comfortable enough to want belly rubs...
No matter what I did, she was not happy. Eventually she just started glaring at me as if to say "HOW DARE YOU BE THIS INCOMPETENT!"
A few minutes later, she left in disgust.
Still, it was better than the time that she hopped up and didn't want to be petted... she just wanted to use me as a support so she could reach her butt...
I've never felt so useful.
Fortunately, I'm not the only one she is unhappy with. Jake is a snuggler. Jenny keeps her distance, even when I am rubbing her belly. Jake? He tries to get as close as possible when I'm petting him. And if I'm already petting Jenny, he will try and get as close as possible to her. This is what happened when Jenny was laying down getting a back massage... and Jake flopped down on her right paw...
Eventually she managed to work her paw free, at which time she started smacking Jake until she got up and left in a huff.
Jake was unbothered. As he so often is.
Posted on Sunday, July 10th, 2022
Don't be too sad that your weekend is half-over... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Season FIVE! I did not know that Magnum P.I. was picked up by NBC!!! HOLY SHIT!
So many people worked very hard to make this happen. CBS, Universal, Magnum execs & all you fans out there. The tremendous effort paid off in a very unlikely move for any TV show. We can't wait to start filming again. #MagnumPISaved #NBC #ohana https://t.co/Jz7JAZN3Mi— Jay Hernandez (@jay_hernandez) July 3, 2022
This is one of the most consistently great television shows going, and I'm happy to know more Higgins is on the way.
• LIE! I can't remember if I shared this when it first dropped a while back. If I didn't, I should have, and so here you go...
Mark Kacy's creations are always funny, but this one is next level.
• New Balance! I finally watched the Season 01 finale episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds for the second time. Lord how I love this show. And this final episode is a MASSIVE love letter to fans of The Original Series. Absolutely perfect. If you didn't see the original episode which this one is based on... Balance of Terror (one of my all-time favorites)...
You really should track down the episode and watch it first. Your appreciation for the brilliance of Strange New Worlds will be deepened.
• Hey, Jake! It took me a minute to understand why this character was given the name "Jake"...
Funny. Unless you're the cow he was cut out of, I guess.
• The Boys Go Back, AGAIN! The Boys kinda-sorta works better as a TV show than a comic. EXCEPT... where the comics tend to break ground in shocking and unexpected ways with absolutely nobody being safe... the Amazon Prime series is gutless and pathetic because they are happy to keep treading water. Characters die, but it's always the ones who aren't contributing to the main narrative. They're "main" characters only so far as they've been hanging around... not because they're actually doing anything...
And the third season finale just fell into the same rut that the first two did. You know exactly who will make it to the end of the episode because they've the ones who aren't background fodder. Everybody else? Eh. They die and it just doesn't matter. What's so hilariously stupid is that the writers are not even remotely clever about how they maintain the status quo. Characters with a singular motivation from Day One just discard such motivation at the drop of a hat. It doesn't matter if it makes no sense and doesn't serve the story... it only matters that it keeps everything exactly the same. Ugh. I don't even care if we get a fourth season. Why should I care when I already know how it will end?
• Morningstar Madness! I don't get why MorningStar Farms insists on having such shitty, confusing packaging. Last time I was at the store, I ended up with Spicy Black Bean patties because they accidentally got stocked in the wrong bin at the store. I can't really blame the store, because ALL OF MORNINGSTAR FARMS PRODUCTS LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME.
So this time I went to the store, I was very careful to read the packages so I could grab a couple of the "Grillers" burgers. But when I get home I found that the package in front was Grillers... but the package behind it was the Spicy Black Bean patties... again. So now I have one package of Grillers and four packages of Spicy Black Bean burgers in my freezer. For fuck's sake... ADD COLOR IDENTITY TO YOUR FUCKING PACKAGING SO PEOPLE CAN TELL THEM APART YOU STUPID FUCKS!! HAVING EVERY LAST FUCKING ONE OF THEM BEING GREEN WITH A PURPLE BOX ONLY LEADS TO NON-STOP CONFUSION BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN'T TELL THEM APART! I mean, holy fucking shit... JUST LOOK AT THIS FUCKING MESS! WHO DOES THIS?!?? Jesus. This is like BAD DESIGN 101.
• Giving Education the Finger! A role model to children everywhere! Assuming the education they need is how to be a disgusting piece of shit. She's like the British Betsy DeVos!
Of course I don't know that Betsy DeVos was ever seen giving the finger... but she sure gave the finger to education with her actions. What a repugnant pile of garbage she was. DeVos worked overtime to remove protections for students as bullying is at an all-time high. Any kid who is not a straight, white, Christian got the middle finger every time they walked into a school. And her constant cuts to education spending just made things even worse than they already were. Teachers underpaid? Schools falling apart? Materials outdated? Fuck it! Let's cut MORE money on public schools and give it to charter schools. And let's not even talk about how victims of sexual assault in colleges were stripped of even more protections. Actually... let's talk about it. DeVos made it far more likely that victims of sexual assault would come forward because they limited what "sexual assault" even means... and then made it so that victims could be ruthlessly assaulted AGAIN on the stand. Because, hey, if victims don't come forward... it never happened! And there's SO much more. DeVos was a heinous blight on education and even though I am no President Biden fan, at least he gave us a new Secretary of Education that can dismantle her fucked up shit. BUT WILL HE?? Biden has done some fucked up shit of his own, and there's no guarantee that our situation will markedly improve... they were going to reverse the DeVos cancelation of sexual misconduct reporting in schools... but last I heard, they CANCELED the reversal. So fuck if I know. The wealthy people who own our government want our kids to be poorly-educated drones who never question authority, and that's true no matter who is president.
See you on the flip-side, buckaroos.
Posted on Monday, July 11th, 2022
Today was so exhausting that my brain feels melted. Like I could remove my skullcap, dig in with an ice cream scoop, and pull out a delightful warm pink sauce to go with a nice sponge cake.
Bet you won't see that on the next season of The Great British Bake Off.
Unless Hannibal Lecter is hosting as a guest judge.
"I like what you've done with the brains here, but your sponge could have used a little more time in the oven."
Ugh. I need a vacation.
Posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2022
NASA released four images from the WEBB Space Telescope, and lo did the people of earth lose their minds. And well they should, because the images are absolutely jaw-droopingly stunning.
The best we could really do prior to this was the images that came out of the Hubble Space Telescope. And, amazing though they were, technology has come a very long way since Hubble was launched in 1990.
A guy released a tool for comparing Hubble to WEBB, and it's impossible to overstate what a drastic difference it is...
But that's just the beginning.
Not only can we see more stuff better, we can see further back in time. 4.6 billion years and counting.
This astounding shot of Stephan's Quintet is mind-boggling. Each of these four massive nebulas contain millions of stars. But each of those little dots scattered around them? Galaxies with hundreds of thousands of millions of stars each. There's billions upon billions upon billions of stars in this image. And many of those could have planets. Many of those could have planets with life. Odds are very good that we are not alone...
The photos we're going to see from WEBB will most certainly continue to astonish for decades to come. And the amount of learning opportunities for all of humanity are likely staggering.
I dunno about you, but I like the idea of tax dollars going to occasional programs like this instead of exclusively fueling a war machine that's already bigger than most other countries on the planet combined. WEBB cost $10 billion. That's a massively-huge amount of money, no doubt. But considering an aircraft carrier costs $14 billion... and the jets that are onboard cost a cool $80 million each... well, if there's money for that, there's money for this.
Posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2022
The season finale of Ms. Marvel Season 01 aired and I have thoughts.
My spoiler-free review of the series would go something like this... "While deviating from the comic book in many ways, the Disney+ adaptation kept what made the series so compelling from the very start: it's heart. When married to the flawless cast (headed perfectly by Man Vellani) we're left with something that made for great television, despite some fumbling when putting a history lesson ahead of story. This doesn't surpass Hawkeye as my favorite Marvel Studios series, but it's a solid second place and comes to a satisfying conclusion."
So... nod bad at all...
And now for those spoiler-filled thoughts of mine...
Okay... believe it or not, Captain Marvel swapping places with Kamala was not the biggest bombshell dropped in the final episode. But it was cool...
As is Carol's new costume.
No, the big reveal is that Kamala Khan is a mutant.
Which means that the X-Men are on their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (assuming that they are not already here, and are just in hiding... or, in the case of Patrick Stewart, in an alternate reality of the Multiverse).
As I mentioned, I thought that they shoehorned The Partition of India and Pakistan into the series in a way that put a history lesson above the story. Not that I don't like it when a show can help educate people on history, I just thought this one was a bit sloppy when compared to... let's say... Watchmen... building a story around The Tulsa Race Massacre. Had Ms. Marvel been handled like that, it could have been a brilliant addition instead of something that turned out to be a bit of a distraction. Even so, I'm hopeful that people who see this series and aren't fully unaware of the tragedy that came out of The Partition are inspired to look into it further.
Setting that aside, the series was pretty great overall.
I know that they changed Kamala's powers in a significant way, but by the end they made it very clear that they were adhering to the spirit of her powers.
Ms. Marvel is a part of the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel... The Marvels... and it's obvious that this series is leading directly into that. So Kamala ain't going anywhere. I just hope that we get a second season of the TV show, because it would be nice to catch up with her family.
Posted on Thursday, July 14th, 2022
Yesterday before I went back to my hotel and worked the night away, I stopped by the 7-11 because I needed a Coke Zero and a bottle of water. Except the place was packed, so I went next door to a place called "Momo's Kebab." They had a Coke cooler visible through the window, and that's all I needed.
When I walked in, the place smelled like what I thougt heaven probably smalls like.
I saw that they had a falafel pita and Greek fries on the menu, so I figured I'd go for it and save myself the trouble of figuring out what to do for dinner.
The falafel sandwich? Incredible. Five out of five stars. The melange of flavors and seasoning is everything you could want, and it looked beautiful...
BUT THOSE GREEK FRIES THO!!!!
If I had to use a single word to describe them, I think it would be "orgasmic." Probably the best I've ever had. Flawless. Eleven out of five stars. (they looked more amazing than that photo, but I mixed them around before I thought to take a photo).
It's a darn good thing that I live 2-1/2 hours away from Momo's, because I would double in size from eating these daily.
Indeed, I've just arrived home after a long drive and it's taking all of my willpower to not drive back over to Seattle so I can have some.
Posted on Friday, July 15th, 2022
Sad video flashback time.
Back in the day, I preferred Windows Phone over iPhone (shocking, I know). I personally never bought one, but received them for development and spent a lot of time with them. Interestingly enough, all the GUI work I did... for four separate Windows Phones apps... never went anywhere because the apps were never released.
There are still things about Windows Phone that I wish Apple & Android would adopt. Windows Phone is weird in that Microsoft was both behind and ahead of their time...
Interesting to think about what it would take for a new mobile OS to break the strangelhold that Apple iOS and Google Android OS has on the market. I honestly think it can't be done. It's going to take some huge technological leap to get there.
Assuming we're still using phones instead of some kind of chip implanted in our head.
Posted on Saturday, July 16th, 2022
After returning home from my work trip to Seattle, I ended up having to deal with Jake's separation anxiety. I honestly think that it gets worse the shorter my trip is. If I'm gone for a week, he's happy to see me, but not the clingy mess he is when I'm only gone for just a night or two.
Thursday was about as bad as it's ever been, with him waking me up with his howling at both 10:30pm and 3:30am. This wouldn't be bad, except for the fact that I was desperately trying to get caught up on some sleep...
So much for going to bed two hours early.
And Jake doesn't really make much sense. He comes to bed with me, then leaves to get a drink or go to the bathroom or whatever... forgets that I'm upstairs in bed... and starts walking around the house howling at full volume. I holler down at him to come upstairs, he does, he falls asleep, then I fall asleep, then he wakes up and wanders away, only to end up howling again.
Jenny doesn't keep me up at night after I return from a trip, but she does have a tough time deciding whether or not she wants belly rubs. Which is nothing new. Except now she's much more likely to let me know when she's had enough by using claws...
Now, don't think that she's going for blood here... she's not. Neither of my cats have ever really done this. Jenny clawed me once when she was a kitten because I grabbed her to cut her surgery collar off. And Jake clawed me once when I grabbed him after he escaped out of the catio. But in both cases they were terrified. I was forced to grab them... they were forced to try and defend themselves.
Jake is mostly back to normal now. He's still following me around like a lost puppy any time I'm home, but he's not howling any more.
Posted on Sunday, July 17th, 2022
It's too hot to go outside, but not too hot to blog... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• 988! The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been given a new easy-to-remember number... 988, an obvious play on the 911 used for emergencies. This is an important thing to have happen, and I can only hope that 988 becomes as well-known as 911 in case somebody ends up in crisis.
• OKOYE! This just in from the It's About Damn Time department, Nerdist is reporting that there's an Okoye series in development for Disney+ (assumably starring the always-awesome Danai Gurira). Second only to Black Panther himself, she was one of the most memorable parts of Black Panther...
Now where's my M'Baku series?
• Appliance! @mcmullanappliance TikTok has fantastic videos that have taught me a lot. Like adding Pine-Sol in the wash cycle with the detergent (never in the softener dispenser)...
And then there's this...
His channel is a total rabbit hole you will be happy to fall down.
• Dud! How in the heck did I completely miss the show Lodge 49? It's a bit slow... methodical... but it's also brilliant, heartfelt, and has purpose. It's about how we go on with our everyday lives feeling lost and alone, meandering in the fog of existence... while something bigger... something magical(?)... may be at play...
The show is random, all over the place, and impossible to describe. I am liking it a lot, but don't know exactly why I do. It's bizarre. And it's on Hulu if you want to check it out.
• Bog Hero! Finally got around to watching BAYMAX! It's adorable and beautifully animated (as expected)... but also very well written. They went places that I wasn't expecting for Disney to go, which just made the episodes even more interesting...
Good stuff. I hope we get a second season.
• It's a Frigidaire! Boy. Refrigerators sure have taken a dive in cool features over the years...
That veggie tray is just cool as all getout.
And now I return to my air-conditioned life of luxury.
Posted on Monday, July 18th, 2022
When I got up this morning, I could barely move. I worked in my wood shop all day yesterday, and was definitely feeling it. A part of me wishes that I would have put that effort into cleaning the mess that is my home (currently nicknamed "The Disaster Area"). You'd think that living alone would preclude a mess being made, since I clean up after myself as I go... but I have two cats. And they are forever shedding and dragging their toys out everywhere and tracking kitty litter throughout the place... and they never clean up after themselves!
Though Jake must have spent some time cleaning his butt, because it's been surprisingly clean lately!
You'd think that this would inspire me to clean my toilet, but it has not.
Though my butt has also been surprisingly clean lately, so I'm trying not to be too hard on myself.
Posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2022
Today was a long, long, very long day at work. I started at 5:30am, finished at 1:15am, and only stopped to each lunch and dinner (plus bathroom breaks). So... nineteen hours, give or take.
I think it might actually be tolerable if I was able to get some sleep, but for the past three weeks my allergies have been in overdrive, which means I'm coughing my fool head off most of the night. Interestingly enough, my cats have become so accustomed to it that they don't even flinch when I'm hacking up a lung. Quite a change from the days when they would dart under the couch or run upstairs and hide if I were to so much as clear my throat.
As if the coughing and lack of sleep wasn't bad enough, I seem to have been locked out of my bank account somehow. Which is to say that I'm effectively without funds. My credit/debit/ATM card is "frozen" and when I try to login to see what's going on I can't get in that way either. Tomorrow (=ahem later today) I will have to call my credit union and find out what the heck is going on. Hopefully it's not because somebody has hacked my account and taken all my money... that would really suck. Though perhaps bank and credit union accounts are insured against that kind of thing? I have no idea.
But I bet you I will real soon now!
I've counted out money from my change jar just in case I need to have that exchanged for real money. I could have sworn I had a $20 bill tucked away in my wallet, but I do not. Apparently I spent it and forgot about it. Entirely possible given how I almost never use cash any more.
I guess my spare change savings is all I got, apparently.
Maybe I should think about trying to find my checkbook? That would be a big help right about now.
Posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022
I begged my doctor for an appointment to deal with this non-stop cough. His office took pity on me, and worked me in tomorrow. Thank heavens. Because three hours of sleep each night is not sustainable.
Something else that's not sustainable?
I am so busy with work and everything else in my life that finding time to clean up my pit of despair (AKA my home) is almost impossible. Usually this is a task for my weekend, but it just hasn't been possible so I've been doing a little bit here and there when I get home from work during the week.
MY CATS DO NOT LIKE THIS!
Tonight I decided to deep clean my downstairs. That's when I pull out the corded vacuum (which is far more powerful than my cordless) and steam clean everything. This is something I do once a month because I have cats wandering around. And while they are actually very clean animals, they also dig around in a litter box and shed everywhere.
So I turn on the vacuum and the cats go bolting upstairs to flee the noise. I then pull out the steam floor cleaner, which my cats hate even worse because of the hissing sound it makes. I have separate pads that I use on it... one for the kitchen, one for the cat feeding station, one for the living room and guest room, and one for the bathroom. That way I'm assured that I'm actually cleaning instead of transferring filth from one place to another.
In-between changing pads, Jenny comes marching downstairs... meows at me... then runs right back upstairs.
I guess this was her letting me know just how mad she is about my need to have a clean house.
But hey, I'm not exactly thrilled about it. I just wasted hours on housework that I could have spent doing something I enjoy.
Though then I'd be freaking out because I hadn't done a deep clean and probably wouldn't have enjoyed myself much anyway. So I guess it's a wash.
So to speak.
Posted on Thursday, July 21st, 2022
It's always sobering when you find out that the something you've enjoyed... or even mindlessly acknowledged... has a dark story behind it. Songs that are rooted in racism. Movies built around homophobia. Books written with misogynistic undertones. The list goes on and on. And most times you never know about these stories because it's well-hidden or omitted.
Take, for example, the Woman Yelling at a Cat meme. It's everywhere on the internet, and many of them are hilariously funny...
But, like so many things, what's behind it isn't that funny. I never watched The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills so I never even knew who the woman is in these things.
Well here she is, and her story is triggering for domestic abuse...
Which just goes to show... you never know.
All I know is that I won't look at these memes the same way again.
Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2022
It's amazing to me how the things that people enjoy are always up for judgement. Right now Comic Con is going on in San Diego and, of course, there are a lot of attendees dressed up like their favorite characters from comics, television, and movies.
I, for one, am amazed by the sheer creativity that goes into the costumes that people construct. Some of them are ridiculously smart and clever, and those who create such cool things have my respect.
As well they should.
But whenever I see photos and videos posted of these cos-players, there are always always always people in the comments seeking to tear them down. Always.
Usually it's in the vein of making fun of grown adults who like dressing up in costumes. But sometimes you get somebody truly deranged. One "Good Christian Woman" weighed in with her unwanted 2¢ by saying that cos-play is a tool of Satan to lure children to adult so they can be groomed for "sex abuse." She ended her lengthy tirade by calling all the cos-players "sick freaks."
And all I could think of was who the real sick freak was in this scenario.
And it is most definitely not the people who are having fun dressing up for a comic book convention.
Posted on Saturday, July 23rd, 2022
I am a very nervous cat dad. I worry about everything all the time even though I really don't have cause to do so. As an example... yesterday morning Jenny didn't come when I shook the bag of treats. This is highly unusual. I thought she might be trapped or hurt somewhere, so I went looking for her. But nope! She was just lounging on the cat cushion I put on the guest bed. So after giving an impatient Jake his treats, I put some in a bowl and took them to Jenny... who was completely uninterested in them!
This has never happened before.
My cats refusing treats is a serious cause for concern.
And concerned I was. I put a security camera in the guest room so I could check in on her from work. All I saw was her resting comfortably every time I checked. Which was about every 15 minutes.
But then lunch time came and she was off the bed like a shot, running to the auto-feeders at top speed. So I have no idea what her deal was. Maybe she was full because she ate some of Jake's food.
And, oh yeah, that's something she does now.
Since the beginning, my cats have been fairly respectful of each other's food. Jake will happily head to her food bowls if she doesn't finish her meal, but rarely does he actually try to get in there while she's actively eating. But now apparently this is something that Jenny does. One day I was preparing my dinner when I look at the cats eating and Jenny has totally horned in on Jake's dinner. I was stunned. Jake just sat there staring at me like "What do I do now?" I seriously hope that this doesn't become a trend.
In other news... we had a small family of quail visit us this morning...
The babies were particularly cute. But quail usually lay a lot of eggs... like one per day or something like that... which means their families are usually quite large. It's sad to see only two chicks when usually you see much more... because that means the other chicks probably perished. Google says that quail chicks have only a 5% to 30% chance to grow into adults...
I have no idea why they would sit out in full sunlight in 100º heat on hot concrete... that can't be good because the poor things are getting cooked. Eventually they got up and scrambled off to do whatever it is that quail do. Probably look for food.
Thankfully my cats are contained and aren't contributing to the quail mortality rate. But you just know that they would like to, as they went rushing to the windows right after they spotted the quail (which is how I knew to look!)...
Best of luck to those baby quail. I hope they make it.
Posted on Sunday, July 24th, 2022
It's the most geektastic time of the year... because a Very Special Comic Con Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Wakanda Forever! This is the movie to beat, right? Though it will forever be tainted by the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther, we're getting most of the other amazing characters that came out of Black Panther plus the MCU debut of Namor, the Sub-Mariner. So, yeah, can't wait for November 11...
• Sandman! Based on one of the most beloved comic book series ever made (and one of my all-time favorites) the only question to be asked is Will it be any good? Well, if the trailer is any indication, the answer is yes. Looking very faithful to the books, and of course I am dying to see it. Fortunately we only have to wait until August 5th...
• She-Hulk! I've been waffling on this one. It sounded like a great idea when it came out... looked intriguing with the glimpses we got... and looks absolute fire now that we've got an actual trailer. Coming August 17th...
• John Wick 4! I love the John Wick franchise. And it just seems to get better with each new installment as they flesh out the organization built around The High Table. John Wick 3 was the best one yet, filled with a cool story and action that was more over the top than ever. And here we are at the fourth one, coming March 24, 2023...
• I Am Groot! It looks cute as hell, like we knew it would. I could speculate, but there's not much point when we'll see for reals on August 10th...
• Black Adam! The DC Comics movies have been mostly bad as of late, Wonder Woman and The Suicide Squad being the exceptions. Everything else that came after Nolan's Batman trilogy has been crap. This doesn't look half bad, but (especially where DC is concerned) looks can be deceiving. They have before. Guess we'll know on October 21...
• Rings of Power! I don't know if the Amazon Prime Lord of the Rings series is going to be any good... but it sure looks like they put a ton of money into it. ..
• Shazam! Fury of the Gods! The first Shazam was a horrendous pile of shit and I hated it. Hopefully this one won't be as stupid and uneven, because it certainly could be a good movie character. And Helen Mirren makes an intriguing villain to be sure. Good or bad, it's coming on December 21...
• More Marvel Studios! There was more from Kevin Feige in Hall H yesterday...
• And The Rest! And here's some other things that might prove interesting...
So... until next Comic Con, I guess. See you next year.
Posted on Monday, July 25th, 2022
As I have said many, many times in this blog, I am a massively huge fan of Black Panther. He, along with Doctor Strange, are my favorite Marvel comic book characters by a wide margin. Needless to say I was crushed when Chadwick Boseman died... not just because he was a talented actor who I had enjoyed in many films... but because he is Black Panther. And not getting to see him in Ryan Coogler's follow-up to the amazing Black Panther film fills me with a sadness that's hard to describe. His performance as The Black Panther filled me with joy after waiting years for the character to finally appear in the MCU, and now he's gone. Taken from us far too soon.
And you might guess, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a series of mixed emotions for me. On one hand, I am so happy that we will get to see all the great characters and incredible world of Wakanda again. On the other hand... Black Panther is gone.
I posted the trailer from Comic Con yesterday. I have watched it dozens of times trying to see every detail of what awaits us on November 11...
So here we go. Please avert your eyes if you don't want to see my spoiler-filled comments...
The trailer starts with Nakia on a beach... likely mourning the death of her boyfriend. Could she be pregnant with the heir to Wakanda? We don't know. What's very interesting about this scene is that you can see Aztec/Mayan architecture behind her. This related to Namor, which we'll get to in a bit...
Later we see T'Challa's mother, Ramonda, also on a beach which is kind of strange, because I thought that Wakanda is a landlocked country. They have a lake and rivers, of course, but no oceanfront real estate. Not sure what this could be about...
And heeeeere's the birth of Namor. Which you can tell because of his winged feet (in the comics this allows him to fly). This makes Namor the first mutant in Marvel's history...
In the Marvel Comics, Namor (AKA The Sub-Mariner) debuted in 1939, years before Aquaman debuted in DC Comics (that was in 1941). Even though Namor came first in reality, DC brought Aquaman to the movies first. To avoid people who don't know the history thinking that they have ripped off Aquaman, Marvel Studios has decided to root Namor in Aztec/Mayan culture, giving him and his people a far different look for Atlantis than DC gave to the Aquaman movies. I absolutely love this. Not only because it adds diversity and representation to the the MCU, but because it's just an amazing idea from the get-go...
I'm guessing this is Wakanda's throne room? All flooded and burning. I don't know if this is supposed to show a turning point where Shuri accepts that she must become the new Black Panther or not, but it's an interesting scene...
And... here's two of the smartest people in the MCU. That's Shuri shaking the hand of Riri Williams who becomes the successor to Iron Man, Iron Heart. I am positive that Riri is going to be tied to Wakanda and the first movie due to the ending of Black Panther where T'Challa established the Wakanda Outreach Program. How cool is that?!
Awwww... it's little Prince Namor! The reason he is not blue like other Atlanteans in the Marvel Universe is because his father is a surface-dweller, and his mother is princess of Atlantis. He inherited his father's skin color, but his mother's royal status...
And here's adult Namor...
M'Baku is probably my favorite character from the first movie. I am thrilled that he's come back for the sequel (just as I am sad that W'Kabi isn't able to return because Daniel Kaluuya had other commitments). Of all the characters in the MCU, M'Baku is the one I most want to see get his own Disney+ series. Okoye is apparently getting hers, maybe M'Baku will be a big part of the World of Wakanda series?
This movie is going to be a punch in the gut from start to finish... especially when seeing Chadwick Boseman pop up...
I am more than a little excited that Ryan Coogler & Co. don't hire somebody with the massive talent of Angela Bassett and have her sit on the sidelines. She actually looks like she's going to be given stuff to do...
Everett K. Ross! I love how this character is part of the MCU. And thank heavens that Ryan Cooler didn't have him fall into that tired old "white savior" trope that so often gets assigned to white characters in movies. Wakanda is the most technically-advanced nation in the MCU and their people are among the most powerful on the planet. They don't need a white man to step in and save them. From anything.
I am surprised that RiRi is going to become Iron Heart in this film. I thought she would be introduced here, then become Iron Heart in her own series! Kinda cool that her first suit is going to harken back to the bruit-force armor that Tony Stark created in the first Iron Man movie!
Wakanda and Atlantis have a long and complicated history in the comics. They have been at war for much of that history, though they have put it aside when a common threat faces them. I am guessing that the movie will have them at war from the start, and it will be interesting to see the reason behind it. Likely Vibranium-related. Note that Atlanteans need masks to breath when out of the water, whereas Namor does not. He got that from his dad.
And here's M'Baku... about to make a serious error. Namor can survive the crushing pressure of the deep ocean, so this battle club won't be much trouble for him to shrug off...
And who might this be? Could it be Aneka? We've already seen Ayo in the MCU (Aneka's lover in the comics) and this could be setting them up for a very interesting turn if they follow the story from the comics.
Okoye is so wonderfully bad-ass. I truly hope that Coogler is involved in her Disney+ series, because I will be sorely disappointed if she doesn't maintain character...
Just give Namor his own movie already. Can you just imagine?
Dora Milaje warriors vs. Atlantean warriors. That will be a heck of a fight!
And who is the new Black Panther? In the comics, Shuri has taken on the job on more than one occasion. Not sure if that's the way they are going to go in the movies. Maybe. Or perhaps M'Baku? Though I would really rather he keep his character, because he's just so fantastic. And now, for the hundredth time, WHERE IS MY M'BAKU SERIES?!? Just back up a dump truck full of cash to Winston Duke's house, pour out however much money it takes to get him to sign on to the project, then keep paying him absurd amounts of money so we get minimum ten seasons...
I am not even joking. I would watch the heck out of an M'Baku series.
And that's our first look at Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. November seriously cannot get here fast enough.
Posted on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022
Blogging to me is such a habit that I don't even think about it much. I haven't had to in nearly twenty years. When I have a free moment each day I just sit down and hammer out what's on my mind. Simple.
But the way I hammer out my posts is via a blogging app that does all the heavy lifting for me. It's called MarsEdit and I've been using it for a long time. The problem is that my blog is under constant assault by hackers who really, really want the deep Google index for Blogography to exploit for whatever it is they're selling. I get hundreds, sometimes thousands, of attacks a week. And because of this I've had to close some security vulnerabilities... including the access point that MarsEdit uses to post here. There's a newer, more secure way to use outside blogging apps, but unfortunately MarsEdit can't do that yet.
So now I've had to start using the internal editor inside of WordPress, which is less than ideal. It gets the job done, but it's a whole lot less intuitive and spontaneous as I've gotten used to.
Oh well. It wouldn't be life on planet earth if somebody wasn't trying to make my life miserable. This is just one more thing.
Posted on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
Today I had to run into The Big City so I could drop off some work. It was a quick trip, but I made the most of it by picking up some groceries and then getting some gas as I drove out of town.
It sounds like such a simple thing. But the truth of the matter is that it was not. Partly because the heat makes it miserable to go anywhere and do anything... but mostly because people can be such huge assholes who care about nobody but themselves.
This was made most clear to me when I stopped at the gas station.
All the stalls were full, which is not a big deal. My car is air conditioned and I wasn't in a huge hurry. It was then I noticed a person pull up and head into the mini mart. I assumed that they didn't want (or didn't have) a credit card and needed to pay inside. But that wasn't what happened. Turns out they parked at the pump... went in for a drink and some snacks... then came back and paid at the pump before filling up. WHILE THREE CARS WERE WAITING TO GET GAS!
I was more than a little pissed off, but assholes will be assholes, so what can you do?
But then I noticed that other people were doing this same damn thing. Rather than getting gas then moving to a parking spot so somebody else had access to the pump... people were getting gas and parking at the pump while they went inside for some shopping.
Who does that when there are people waiting?
And you just know that these same people would be laying on their damn horn if they had to wait while somebody went inside for a Big Gulp (or whatever).
I tell you what... I am THIS CLOSE to just doing whatever it takes to avoid people completely. Getting a job that allows working off-site. Staying at home and only venturing out after midnight where I will shop exclusively at businesses that are open 24 hours. Ordering crap via mail order whenever possible. — Because my being assured that I will run into far fewer assholes than have to be endured during daylight hours is a heck of a temptation.
Posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2022
There's a popular meme that many people have posted on social media which goes something like this... "I'd rather be excluded for who I include than included for who I exclude." On the surface, this actually seems like a nice thing. Being inclusive is an admirable goal and something I have strived to do in my life for as long as I can remember. I love the diverse nature of humanity and find life to be far more exciting because everybody everywhere can be so different. Variety truly is the spice of life.
I disagree strongly that you have to include everybody.
Some people... expecially people who are dumbasses or pieces of shit... NEED to be excluded from my life. All the bigots, racists, homophobes, transphobes, flat earthers, willfully ignorant, science-denier, persecuting haters (and those like them) can just go. I really don't want to waste my time on all that. Which is probably a good thing for them as well, because they're probably going to be far happier without me in their lives too.
The problem is that it's nigh-impossible to escape from these people entirely. Sometimes they travel in the same social circles. Sometimes they end up at the same places. Sometimes you have to work with them. Sometimes you're related to them. There's just no way to be a part of society without having to endure it, regardless of the lengths you go towards trying to avoid them.
And in those cases you just have to grin and bear it... while trying to be as civil as possible... and hope you can stay sane.
Something that has been a lot more dificult since the pandemic started.
Which is kinda the opposite of how it should be.
And yet here we are.
Posted on Friday, July 29th, 2022
Last night I read an article about how the Oxford University Press is constructing an African American English Dictionary and I couldn't be happier about it. Those who gatekeep the English language are infuriating and exhausting and it seems ridiculous to me that cultural forms of language and expression are called out for "not being real words." ALL words are made up, so what does that even mean? Language is always changing and adapting. "Awful" used to mean "full of awe." And "microchip" as a word didn't even exist when the first Oxford English Dictionary was published.
Yeah, yeah... I used to get hung up on people mixing up "they're" and "their" and "there" or "to" and "too" or "whether" and "weather"... but this was a conditioning artifact that makes me cringe now. So long as the meaning is clear, does it really fucking matter?
Though I am still 1000% for using the Oxford comma in a list. Anything less is madness.
Posted on Saturday, July 30th, 2022
I've been performing an experiment on my cats. Well, not both of them, it's just Jenny.
It was curious to me how she always always always follows me up to bed... unless it's before her 9:00pm nighttime snack. If I head up at 9:30... 10:00... 11:00... midnight... she is right on my heels. But if I decide to work upstairs and head up at sayyyy... 8:45? Nope. She will wait for the feeder to go, then come up after.
But is there a lower limit?
Turns out there is. Experimenting for the past 4 weeks, I confirmed that it's around 40 minutes. I head up before 8:20pm and she will come up and wait for her snack upstairs with me. But anything after that and she stays put for the snack she knows is coming.
Jake's sense of time is not nearly as acute, but he still knows when his dinner is late!
Posted on Sunday, July 31st, 2022
Oh look! Summer is half-over and the temperatures are climbing past 100°, but it's cool in this house... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Uhura! I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Nichelle Nichols. It's impossible to quantify just how important her role on Star Trek was when it comes to the history of television... and the world, really. The now legendary story of how she was going to quit Star Trek until Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed her mind because it showed the world how our future should be was just the beginning of her influence...
If you're interested in a very loose interpretation of events... this episode of Drunk History is darn good...
I have watched that so many times.
• Wood! Maybe it's because I love woodworking that I've watched these a half-dozen times... but I honestly think it's so cool that anybody would find it fascinating...
I love videos like this. Entirely too imaginative and clever. There's only a few videos, but entire YouTube Channel is gold.
• PANDA! Bamboo Eating Panda is no longer interested in eating for your amusement (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@xiongmaosh This is to know that someone photographed it? Pose#panda #lovely #eat ♬ 原聲 - xiongmaosh
He's still adorable, however.
• Girls? I've been looking forward to Paper Girls since I found out that they were adapting the comic book series, which was excellent. — Unfortunately, I find it to be nearly unwatchable. In the comics, the story really shines through... it's imaginative and interesting and everything you could want in a comic. But the Amazon Prime adaptation? EVERY FUCKING SCENE HAS THE DRAMA AND INTENSITY DIALED UP TO ELEVEN! It's all screaming and overacting on top of overacting on top of overacting. And I do not blame the young actors for that... when they are given quieter moments (which is rare) they are darn good. I blame the director(s) who apparently pushed them to be fucking insane level to a bizarre and intolerable degree. And the worst part is when they use swear words, because they don't sound even remotely natural... they PUNCH. EVERY. FUCKING. CURSE. and it's so jarring as to be disastrous. Absolutely hated this series, and nobody is more bummed about that than I am...
Be careful what you wish for... because for every Umbrella Academy, there's whatever the hell this was.
• Deadly! Utterly fascinating. Utterly terrifying.
Add to this the advent of antibiotic-resistant bacteria... and the future looks pretty scary if science can't find a way out of this.
• ChocToc! Look, I'm not saying I ate a lot of Choco Tacos... but I am still sad that they are being discontinued because my life was made easier knowing that they were out there when I needed them...
WHAT WILL I DO WHEN I CRAVE A CHOCO TACO NOW?!?
• HYPOCRISY! So remember… I know I will… (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick).
And that's all the bullets we have for today.