Traveling the world is not the only way to have a more open perspective concerning the people living on it. But it definitely helps. If there's one thing that I've taken away from my travels, it's that the vast, vast majority of people on this planet just want to live their lives in peace. They want to have a place to life. Have food to eat. Maybe pop out some kids and raise a family. But above all, they want to not have to live their lives in fear. Unfortunately fear is a highly effective tool to control people, so our lives are governed by fear.
They hate us, so you have to hate them more.
They want what we have, so you have to destroy them before they take it.
We deserve to have what they have, so we need to take it.
Our lives are more important than their lives, so they don't deserve to live.
It is an endless cycle of hatred and fear which keeps powerful people in power and people without power in line so that powerful people maintain their power.
In all honesty, I thought that the advent of the internet would severely cripple the ability of people to use fear as a motivator. "Surely once people see that there is no reason to hate other people since everybody around the globe basically wants the same thing out of life, powerful people will lose their grip on us!" I thought.
To say that this was not the case is a gross understatement.
Turns out the internet was just another tool for powerful people to control us with hate and fear. Even worse, it allows non-powerful people to have a global audience for their hate and fear.
And so it has all escallated to such obscene levels that I'm wondering if we can escape it before we destroy ourselves. It's nice to hope so... but reality says we probably won't.
Which is such a shame.
Because all that the vast, vast majority of people on this planet want is just to live their lives in peace.
When Jake used to get sick or be upset, he hid from me. Him not showing up for a meal or running to meet me when I walked in the door is how I knew something was wrong. But now? Complete opposite. When he eats a bug and feels sick or is stressed about something, he will cling to me like glue. He's so clingy that I've come dangerously close to stepping on him.
Last night I have no idea what happened... probably ate a praying mantis for no reason at all or something equally disgusting... but he was on me. On the couch. Going upstairs. Brushing my teeth. Climbing into bed. And it's not like he's on the bed with me... he's squeezed up to me as close as he possibly can be.
At first, it's incredibly sweet that he thinks of me as comfort food when he's not doing well. But around midnight when I really should be going to bed, it's not quite so sweet. I'm scared that if I fall asleep I might roll over on him and crush him, so I continued to work for another hour. Around 1:00am, I was so tired that I couldn't focus on work and started playing on the internet
The first thing I did was find a TikTok where a guy was talking about crAIyon, a site that draws whatever you can think of. And what was the first thing that came to mind? Taylor Swift eating corn on the cob!
Have you ever seen anything so terrifying? Well hold on to your hats, because next up was Ryan Reynolds on a boat wearing a bear hat!
Then came A bear at the movies eating popcorn in a newspaper hat!
And A cat in a birthday hat eating cake!
Once I got to the nightmare that was Ernest Borgnine Wearing a Dress and Sitting on a Toilet I knew that I had to stop.
AND, NO, I DON'T KNOW HOW MY BRAIN COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF!
After that I came across a TikTok which lead me to a YouTube series by comedian/actor Kyle Prue called Rabbit. For such a shallow premise, it gets shockingly deep. By the time I got to the third episode I was completely obsessed and had to finish off all five (even though Jake had already climbed to the end of the bed). If you want a time-waster that has some serious thought behind it, this is a trailer for the series...
Now, right off the bat I should inform you that when he hits the woman with the hammer, it's not what you think. This is smarter than that. And I'm telling you... if this was a television series, I would totally watch it.
And now it's running close to 2:00am so I really, really need to try and get some sleep. It's now Friday so I guess this counts as my Friday post? I sure hope so.
Not a great day. All my plans have been scuttled because the smoke is so thick outside that it's blotting out the sun.
No trip to the grocery store. No trip to buy overpriced wood so I can buld something. No nuthin'. Except sitting inside all day and hoping that my house is sealed enough that my air purifiers can keep up with anything that might leak in. Assuming I have to open my doors for any reason.
Oh well. My cats will be happy to have me at home. I think.
Look... it's me when I drop a cookie on the floor (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@funnypetvvip The kitten cried sadly, but I really want to laugh #cat #catsoftiktok #cats #kitten #dog #dogsoftiktok #dogs #pet #pets #petsoftiktok #funnyvideos #animals #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - TikTok Pet
Or me when I'm trapped in the house all day.
It's the middle of a 3-day weekend, but I won't let that stop me... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• There Be Dragons Here! We're three episodes into House of the Dragon and I'm fairly impressed. Not so much for the show, which is okay and I'm certainly enjoying it... but because anybody who has read Fire & Blood already knows what becomes of all these characters, and that's kind of exciting. At least we think we do. Heaven only knows that they could change events in order to drag the show out and have it end in a pile of shit like Game of Thrones...
In the books... this period in Westerous history which culminated in the disastrous "Dance of Dragons" war, was actually quite cool and interesting. If they stay faithful to it, the HBO series could have a great ending. If not? Well, strike two, I guess.
• POWERRRRR! In Amazon's absurdly expensive competition for the above, The Rings of Power, we've returned to Middle Earth (last seen in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy). While watching the first two episodes, I was confused. What in the heck is this supposed to be? We're in The Second Age, which is fine... but it's not feeling very "Tolkien." Nor does it seem to be coming from The Silmarillion (Tolkien's book of stuff that happens in the First, Second, and Third Age). Sure, you've got Elrond and Galadriel, but not in a form that they're recognizable. At least not to me...
Not knowing what to think, I ran to Google to find out. Turns out that Amazon didn't buy the rights to The Silmarillion at all. All they got were the books which have already been made into movies, including the appendices, which is where the concept for Rings of Power came from. But the actual story? Pulled out of their asses. The show is visually stunning. The acting is great. And the story doesn't suck. I will absolutely keep watching. But, it's like, WTF? You would think that the Tolkien Estate would want for the series to be close to Tolkien's vision as possible. But I guess not. Money speaks louder than Elvish, I guess.
• GAH! MY GOD! WHAT DID HAPPEN TO MEN?!??? (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@chris_wells_ #stitch with @tre_valley ♬ BIG MAD - Ktlyn
I've heard this so many times in my life. "WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR MEN?!" It's such a laughable question to be asking. Harry Styles doesn't represent "all men" any more than a landing craft full of men during (assumably)
• Booster for my Booster's Booster Booster! The minute it's available to me... "If you have had your primary series, with or without any number of boosters, you are eligible to get a bivalent booster this fall, as long as it has been at least two months since your last COVID vaccine."
• ZOMFG!!! I do not even know how to respond to this (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@fulldanfisher #stitch with @proudviking2 i dont get it and i love mayonnaise for life #fyp #mayonnaise #prisonlube ♬ original sound - Dan Fisher
Now, I love mayonnaise. It's one of my most favorite foods. No stupid-ass "factoid" like this woman is spinning would make me reconsider. Which is why I'm sharing this, because Dan Fisher's measured response is all that needs to be said.
• Your Sexism at Work! Yeah. Not enough people are talking about this: Grey hair: Fine for George Clooney but not Lisa LaFlamme?
• Food! GAH! I AM IN LOVE AGAIN! This woman’s cooking TikTok is the best thing on the internet right now (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@abir.sag Replying to @Krami lulu Maltese Pastizzi 🇲🇹#malta #🇲🇹 #pastizzi #abirzkitchen ♬ original sound - Abir el saghir
Seriously, go watch her videos. She's absolutely lovely, has amazing recipes, and her videos are wonderfully entertaining.
• Safety. A quick and important read if you own an iPhone: How to Hard Lock an iPhone to Prevent Unauthorized Biometric Access (I don't know how this works on an Android phone, but you should find out if you own one).
See you in seven.
International Labour Day is a global holiday on May 1st which celebrates the contribution of workers to society and advocate for their rights. The United States, ever marching to the beat of our own drum, celebrates our Labor Day today.
I, of course, had to work.
Which is fine. I plan on taking a half-day off on Wednesday.
Somebody else who isn't getting a holiday today either?
Otherwise you have to assign feelings to
Look, I did it again.
I think I'm dead.
Or, at the very least, dying.
So you'll have to excuse me not feeling like blogging tonight. I'm going to go to bed so I can die in peace.
EXPECT ME TO RISE FROM THE DEAD TOMORROW FOR THE LATEST APPLE EVENT! NO RESPECTABLE APPLE WHORE STAYS DEAD WHEN TIM COOK TAKES THE STAGE!
Oh look! Today was yet another Apple Event!
Tim Cook started things off with Dear Apple... which is dramatic readings of people who have written to him saying how much Apple has improved their lives... and saved their lives! It's like, okay, we get it, and it's probably smart to focus on this (thanks for at least trying to be clever about it), but this is kinda a weird way to kick off excitement for new products, isn't it?
Let's get to it, shall we?
Here's the thing. I love my Apple Watch. It helps me monitor my sleep and can do some handy things so I don't have to grab my iPhone as much.
Here's the promo...
One of my biggest complaints from Series 6 is still here! I just checked... Apple still doesn't allow me to "customize it your way" the way I want to customize it. This is so damn stupid. Maybe if I go to an actually Apple Store they could help me? I want a Project RED case with a Black Solo Loop. The only way to do this online? Buy a Project RED watch with a band I don't want and won't use... then pay another $50 to get the Black Solo Loop...
Pretty crappy, Apple.
I don't know if saving $150 for a lighter feature set would be the best choice for me... but it's nice that Apple is at least trying to be a little sensitive to the fact that people don't have shitloads of money laying around. From what I can tell you lose always-on display, edge-to-edge display, Blood Oxygen and ECG reading, and "fast charge." So... not a lot, actually. A smart choice if you want a more basic watch that still have a lot to offer.
Apple's long-rumored "super watch" is actually pretty compelling. If it weren't so darn HUGE it might be something I'd consider (if I had $799 to spare).
Ultimately, I really like this watch. I just could not deal with how astoundingly big it is (SERIOUSLY! JUST LOOK AT IT IN THE AD WHERE IT'S SHOWN ON PEOPLE'S WRISTS! HOLY CRAP!). Even for the features you get. I have to say... the advertisement that they came up with for the watch is unintentionally hilarious with its overly-dramatic overtones...
I mean, come on... adventure can be fun too! It's not always so dire!
I used my Airpods to death when I was traveling constantly. And the "Pro" pods were my favorite travel pods I've ever used. Not only did they not fall out constantly like the old model version, but they had that spatial sound mode that was brilliant. But now that I'm not traveling? Rarely use them. I prefer my Beats. The new "Pro" AirPods that got released today are said to improve sound quality, but I sincerely doubt it's going to be groundbreaking compared to the ones I have now. The enhanced noise cancelation, better battery life, and adaptive transparency mode would be pretty sweet though. And how awesome is the swipe volume control?
Since I've bought the "Pro" version all the way back to the iPhone X, I'm not sure about what features are improved compared to the iPhone 13. But it sure can't be much.
All-in-all... this is a pretty good bargain when it comes to iPhones.
And here we go (boy is Tim Cook excited! Must be great!)...
The promo video is pretty good at hitting all the sweet spots...
Like I said... the camera makes it all worthwhile to me, so I'll be using my option in the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program to upgrade. Probably in Purple. Maybe in Black. BUT DEFINITELY NOT IN PRODUCT RED, HUH APPLE?!???
So... no real surprises, I guess. Just incremental improvements with no revolutionary innovations. Again. One day there is going to be some paradigm-altering new feature at one of these things. The question being... will it have come from Apple first?
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II • 1926-2022
The Queen is dead, long live The King.
Years ago I read a book about Her Majesty by famed biographer Ben Pimlott. She is about as fascinating a figure as you'd expect. It's because of this book that when I think of Queen Elizabeth, it's usually in the context of her extraordinary dedication to the monarchy and service to her country. No matter what you may think of her in any capacity, you gotta respect her dedication. I've seen more than one documentary on The Queen, and it's always stuck with me how she dug in with the rest of Britain to serve as "Princess Auto Mechanic" during World War II...
Photo from the Imperial War Museum, London
Every day since then, she's continued to serve her people with grace as the face of all Britain to the world. And she was very good at her job. As well she should be, since she's had it since she was 25 years old.
If you want to know a little bit about the history of the Royal Family without having to read stuffy biographies, have I got a short CGP Grey video for you!
And if you want to know how Her Majesty Queen Ellizabeth II happened when royalty is a primarily male-dominated concept (until recently, natch), have I got an even shorter CGP Grey video for you!
And if you're dying to know what good The Queen is when a constitutional monarchy reduces her to nothing more than a ceremonial figurehead, guess what! Yet another short CGP Grey video to explain that to you too!
As you'd assume, all is not perfect in the land of royalty.
I find the entire concept of a monarchy to be antiquated and impractical (it's my duty as an American to feel this way). I think that the idea that somebody is qualified to hold any political position based on genetics and name recognition to be full-on nuts (even in the UK, which isn't an actual monarchy but a constitutional monarchy where the Queen doesn't hold much actual power). History is replete with examples of bad rulers who got the job just because of who their mummy and daddy were. I wouldn't put Queen Elizabeth into this category... but it's still incredibly weird to me that this kind of thing is still going on in the Year of Our Lord 2022. Maybe I would feel different if I were next in line for the throne. Though I'd like to think that my first act after having a massive party for my coronation would be to abolish the monarchy, so I dunno.
There are many examples I could drop about how the Queen is problematic to me. But here's one that has bothered me for a very long time: Her Majesty has a long record of homophobia, and infamously didn't allow partners of gay staffers to attend her annual Christmas Ball at Buckingham Palace until protests in 1995 changed the mind of her and her handlers. 1995! That's surprising (but hardly shocking), as you'd think that somebody who is supposed to represent all of the people would make even a tiny effort to recognize the LGBTQ persons that she rules over (not that Americans are ones to talk given how our leaders are no better... and, in fact, worse in many regards). The fact that she could have done something... anything... to make LGBTQ persons feel a welcome part of her reign but never did is kinda shitty behavior, to be honest.
And so there it is. I'm sorry for her family and all those subjects who loved her, but really hoping that King Charles III does even a little bit more (or a lot more) to be inclusive of all his subjects. And if not? The guy is 73 years old (long may he reign), so maybe I'll see it happen in my lifetime if I'm alive when King William V ascends the throne. Which is entirely possible if he has more of his mother in him than his father, as she always seemed so compassionate towards people... all people, regardless of station or circumstance... than others in the Royal Family.
And now, because I can't help myself, here's a CGP Grey video about tumbleweeds...
Today I will be cooking up a grilled cheese sandwich recipe that I've been working on forever. More on that in a second, because first I feel obligated to put some bullshit story in front of my recipe. Apparently that's The Law of the interwebs...
When we went into lockdown, I spent a lot of time in cooking forums and groups trying to find ways to get creative with limited groceries. One day there was a conversation built around your favorite grilled cheese sandwich.
Now, I have many, many "favorite" grilled cheese sandwiches. I love bread. I adore cheese. I have made so many different combinations of both that I couldn't possibly count them all. Growing up my grilled cheeses were American on whatever white bread was cheapest. I loved them. Still do.
All that being said, here is my favorite grilled cheese sandwich. Which got me some hate, I won't lie...
And here's what I do...
I didn't have green apple or tomato for this one, but you can get the idea...
Now, there's some method to this madness. And I ended up having to defend my sandwich to people who were upset about my choices in a frickin' cooking forum...
Thus is the politics of grilled cheese sandwiches. If you have a favorite of your own, then by all means keep doing what you're doing and not tell me how much my favorite sucks!
It's starting to feel a lot like Fall.
Which is not great for my cats, because the hot sunny days they crave are slipping away faster and faster. Pretty soon I'll be dragging out the warming pads so they can get the heat they live for.
In the meanwhile?
They luxuriate in the sun whenever it's shining. Especially Jake, who is going for maximum belly exposure...
Tell me you could resist that fuzzy belly...
If no sun is available, they're all too happy to snuggle up next to me...
And then there's Jenny.
My little princess just keeps getting more demanding. This past week she came down to complain after I ran the vacuum. Later I sat down to work and she pushed me aside on the couch because I wasn't petting her enough. Just jumped on the couch and wedged her way onto a pillow that I was leaning up against and started pre-purring to tell me exactly what she wanted...
It's only a matter of time before she doesn't allow me on the couch at all. It's bound to happen given that she's now demanding foot massages...
I don't stand much of a chance in this house, that's for sure.
Another year of waking up, realizing it's 9/11, and knowing that it's the Last Night of the World all over again. I'd stop and think of something more to say, but I don't have time... because an all new Disney D23 Expo Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• D23! Every year Disney holds its D23 Fan Club Expo where they talk about all the new things that will be coming up. Ever since they bought Star Wars and Marvel Studios, it's been a much more important event to me than it was prior...
• Thunderbolts! It's a Marvel Studios reunion! Florence Pugh returning as Yelena Belova? Sebastian Stan returning as Winter Soldier? David Harbour returning as Red Guardian? Hannah John Kamen returning as Ghost? Wyatt Russell returning as US Agent? Olga Kurylenko returning as Taskmaster? SIGN ME UP! In the comic books, Thunderbolts are a team of villains pretending to be a new team of heroes in the MCU. You don't find out who they actually are until the last page. This looks to be the same type of thing, except it's going to have a very different dynamic since the element of surprise is completely missing. If people are familiar with the MCU, they already know who these actors are playing. It would seem that this movie is going to have a Russian plot since most of these characters (except US Agent and Ghost) having ties to there. Well, whatever the case, this cast is very exciting, and I'm really looking forward to this one.
• Invasive! I didn't know exactly where they were going to go with Secret Invasion since the comic book series relied on a huge amount of backstory that simply doesn't exist in the MCU. Or does it? I mean, there is a number of interesting people in the MCU who could have been swapped out by the shape-changing Skrulls... and first on my list would be Sharon Carter, Agent 13, whom we lost saw as a bad guy (bad gal?) "Power Broker" in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. I hope that there's some major names that got replaced and not just some background characters (how cool if Tony Stark was replaced and it was a Skrull?)...
Olivia Colman?!? What's she doing there? It looks like Rhodey might be a Skrull in the trailer, so anybody could be. Which is the entire premise, I suppose.
• ARMORRRR! And speaking of Rhodey, Marvel Studios says that Secret Invasion will lead directly into his own series, which would be Armor Wars. Other than Ironheart, we don't know whether the concept from the comic books will make it to the series, but it should prove interesting if the Stark armor gets out and the series is putting the genie back in the bottle. No trailer and no idea of an air date.
• WHAT??! Surprise! I had no idea that we were getting a Werewolf by Night Halloween Special on Disney+...
Gael García Bernal?!? That's quite a get for the character. Not exactly sure how this ties into the bigger picture... but something I'm excited to see given the grind house aesthetic that's going on. Interesting to note that Man-Thing is going to be in this as well.
• Andor! I'm one of those Star Wars fans who didn't like everything that came after The Empire Strikes Back except for Rougue One and Solo. Fortunately, The Mandalorian came along to revive good Star Wars for me. Then we got Book of Boba Fest, which was good. Then we got Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was also good. And next up? Andor, which is coming out of Rogue One...
This looks so good. And I couldn't be happier, because his character is fantastic. Fingers crossed it lives up to my high expectations.
• Mando! And speaking of The Mandalorian, heeeeeere comes Season 03...
Awww... baby Grogu is still adorable. He never gets old.
• Oh Percy! Is it too much to hope that Percy Jackson and The Olympians doesn't suck?
While the movies were far from terrible, they weren't what I was hoping for either because they didn't follow the books (WHY? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?).
• Treasures! I am a big fan of the first Nicholas Cage National Treasure movie... and thought that the sequel was okay too. Now they're releasing a new television series based on the movies (with Harvey Keitel and Justin Bartha providing a link between the two)...
Catherine Zeta-Jones is a good choice for a villain, but I find it weird that they have made the show to be some kind of teen adventure version?
There was other stuff that got discussed (Wakanda Forever, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, and Indiana Jones 5 to name a few), but that info hasn't been released to the general public yet. Probably eventually though.
This year we've been blessed with few wildfires plaguing us. And those that have been around haven't really blown into the valley all that much.
Very early Sunday morning I woke up smelling smoke, which always provides a small amount of trauma because my mind instantly transports back to when I was in the middle of a fire and panic sets in. Once I realized that it wasn't my house on fire, but was instead smoke from one of the three fires in the mountains, I was flooded with relief. For about 5 minutes. Then I had to think about how this would affect my serious smoke allergies...
The nearby hills are completely missing here
Here is the treat that I get to endure when the smoke gets terrible...
So... not a great day to be me! Hopefully you're having a better day being you.
I am getting close to my breaking point here. I am doped up on allergy medication all day, which means I'm falling asleep all day. The irony being that the constant drainage of my sinuses makes it impossible to actually sleep.
This is Day 3 of being held hostage by increasing amounts of wildfire smoke. Except I still have to go into the office, which involves my opening the door to the smokey hellscape outside, dashing out of the house, then closing the door as quickly as I can (then hoping that the air purifiers will get rid of any smoke that crept inside).
But the cats? They don't seem to care about the smoke at all. Both of them are out in the catio several times a day. You'd think that their enhanced sense of smell would be overwhelmed, but apparently they care less about that than having a few remaining warm days outside (though it's not so warm here any more!). I worry about their tiny lungs... but they're so low to the ground that there's not much smoke there. But the smell is still fierce.
I remain hopeful that they'll be able to put out the fires very soon thanks to dwindling heat and occasional rains, but every time I look at the wildfire map the fire perimeter seems unchanged.
I'm destined to have smoke on the brain for a while longer, I guess.
I love all kinds of movies. As I may have mentioned, I have "themes" which I pick every month to try and watch movies from that genre. Last month I focused on South Korean films, this month I'm watching Bollywood/Tollywood films. And there is no film... none... that has completely absorbed me like the masterpiece that is RRR. It's advertised as standing for Rise—Roar—Revolt... but technically it's standing for S.S. Rajamouli, N.T. Rama Rao Jr., and Ram Charan, which is the director and two stars for the film.
RRR is just bonkers.
And that's understating it.
Either you will be able to buy into this movie and the culture it represents 1000% and enjoy every minute that it is blowing your mind with its unreal absurdity... or you won’t. If you can buy into it, you’re in for a Tollywood treat of epic proportions. If you can’t? Well, there’s no hope for you enjoying this one, because it's out there.
Tonight I watched RRR for the third time (it's on Netflix)...
If you can stick with it for a while and accept that these guys are like superheroes involved in one of the greatest bromances of all time, it's worth your valuable time.
Because once you see a guy throw a leopard at another guy in a fight... well... what more do you want in a movie?
I have had enough of this smoke.
I guess you could say that it is looking a little better today, but the smell is still hanging in the air and the hills are still hazy. It would be nice if they could manage to get the wildfires contained... not just for my sinuses, but for all the little woodland critters that are being made homeless.
IN OTHER NEWS...
Since I can't go outside except to drive to work, I have been staying indoors huddled up next to my air purifiers and watching a lot of television. And holy crap have I got a winner. If you want to see one amazing television show, then tune into Netflix for лучше чем люди (which translates as "Better Than People," but has been retitled Better Than Us by Netflix). It takes place in the near future where robots are around to help humans... but a new kind of robot prototype escapes, and her programming is not like other robots!
This series is gorgeously realized. The tech that's integrated into people's lives all seems remarkably intuitive and real. The world that's been created is amazing... not so far from our own, but jusssst different enough to be fascinating. And the cast is incredible (the young girl who plays Sonya is so good). Seriously one of the best things I've watched in a minute. The more you watch, the more it sucks you in! I have no idea why Netflix didn't promote the heck out of this show. You can watch all sixteen episodes dubbed into English, but the original performances are so good it's better with subtitles.
It's the Sony SpiderVerse 3.0! Or whatever.
Despite all the numeours bad reviews, I was actually willing to give Morbius a shot... on Netflix, of course, I wasn't going to spend money to see it in theaters. And now that it's been streaming for a week, I figure I can talk about the whole ordeal.
I'm not going to review the movie. Suffice to say it's not horrendous, but it's far from good. There's numerous idiotic story beats that make less than zero sense... and they use time jumps not to be clever and interesting, but to appear clever and interesting. Alas, they only serve to convolute the compressed stream of yet another stupid origin story that nobody asked for. Why they couldn't have just picked up after Jared Leto had been Morbin' for a while, gave us an interesting adversary, and spent five minutes recapping his useless origin in some way that was actually clever and interesting... well... that might have worked.
And now I am going to discuss a heavy spoiler (if you can call it that) for one of the "shocking" events in the film.
The post-credit madness has The Vulture (Adrian Toomes played by Michael Keaton) disappear from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and reappear in the Sony SpiderVerse. FOR NO REASON AT ALL. Doctor Strange's spell in the MCU returned everybody to their own universe, but this iteration of The Vulture didn't originate in the Sony SpiderVerse, so I have no idea what in the hell they were thinking.
I have less a problem with The Vulture wanting to team up with Morby to defeat Spider-Man... nobody in the MCU remembers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, including Toomes, so him wanting to destroy the guy who destroyed his life and sent him to prison back in the MCU makes sense. Except it really doesn't. Toomes has a family back in the MCU. He has no beef with the Spider-Man in Morbius's universe. So why wouldn't he focus on getting back to his family instead of some useless vendetta against somebody who had done nothing to him? It's like... holy shit. Did the Morbius writers think about this crap for even two seconds?
Which kills me, because Toomes did the right thing in the end, but that was erased for nothing more than Sony trying to sponge off Marvel Studios hard work.
Which means that it's just one more shitty take on Morbius for this embarrassing fucking movie.
Sony should either A) Sell the rights for Spider-Man to Marvel Studios... or B) Just sit back and collect the profits on the MCU Spider-Man movies, which don't suck.
But of course they won't do any of those things because they'd rather keep hoping they hit the jackpot... even though they are doing very little to ensure that actually happens.
I have got to remember to wake Jake up if he's sleeping before I go to bed. If I don't, he wakes up and sees that everybody is gone, then starts crying and crying. Eventually he calms down after I yell down a few times... but it still makes me feel bad.
And speaking of feeling bad...
This is what I do when I walk into a room where one of the cats are sleeping and unintentionally wake them up. But then I'm all "Why do I feel bad? All they DO is sleep!" Plus the fact that they can fall asleep again almost immediately. A talent I sure wish that I had.
Lately when I've awakened in the morning and am heading down to feed the cats, my bedroom, the hallway, and all the way down the stairs is littered with toys...
When I get home from work I put them back in the toybox... only to find them dragged back out the next morning.
When I look at the security cameras, I see that it's Jake. He spends hours pulling toys out. Not all at the same time... sometimes he takes breaks between trips... but still. That's a lot of time...
No idea what's going through that furry little head of his.
Not this is anything new.
You had a bad day, but all of that's about to change... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Leap? I was more than a little excited for the new Quantum Leap series. The original is one of the more memorable shows from my 20's, and there was a lot they could do with the concept. Many ways to freshen it up and make it relevant to today's audiences. Alas, they didn't get anywhere near what I was hoping for. The original was the whole package... charming, funny, smart, exciting, and entertaining. Plus the two stars (Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell) were exceedingly talented and had chemistry for days. Sure parts of the show haven't aged well at all, but if the new version was even half as good, it would be something special. But this new one is just... there...
I didn't like it. I didn't hate it. I didn't feel anything about it at all (which is probably worse than if I had outright hated it). The actors aren't bad... but none of them seem particularly suited for their roles. The story isn't bad... it just isn't compelling television. And while they make a nod towards Dr. Sam Beckett right off the bat (and Al at the end) I wish they hadn't have bothered, because it just makes me feel even worse about what we've got.
• Click! If you have an iPhone. If you've installed iOS 16. You need to turn on "haptic keyboard" (settings -> sound & haptics -> keyboard feedback). This is SO nice. Feels like you're pressing keys! It's a little less magical if you have "QuickPath" (slide to type) on like I do... but it's still a cool additional to how I interact with my iPhone.
• MegaSHADE! Wow. Nobody roasts like Megatron...
did he fucking call me a loser?♬ original sound - Joe Randallo
I love it when meet-n-greet characters are a step above.
• Cod! This is funny... but actually speaks to how incredibly stupid it is to complain about Ariel’s skin color. SHE’S A FRICKIN’ FICTIONAL FISH PERSON! And the actress they got to play her has the voice of an absolute angel, WHICH IS WHAT YOU WANT IN A FRICKIN’ MUSICAL!
• From Scratch! Sooo... Zoe Saldana is doing a "Hallmark" type series for Netflix? YES PLEASE!
Actually looks like it's trying to be more than just Hallmark, which is nice.
• Nuggies! Dayam! That's cold...
Time-Traaveling Robot really should have lied. More Dinos and Comics here.
• Board! This is great if you watch until the end (and have subtitles on if you don't speak German). I tell you... I've found that some of the funniest people on earth are Germans, and this just reinforces that.
And now I really need to take a nap.
There was a meme floating through Facebook this past week asking "What company or service that has closed would you bring back?" And I was like "Wow... so many." But if I was forced to pick just one, it would probably be Anthro.
This is a copany that made industrial furniture. And I bought a lot of it. Their stuff was built like a tank, looked great, and had a lot of thought behind it. My two desks at work (along with my scanner stand) is Anthro. My desk at home used to be Anthro until I used a built-in nook desk for my computer and put it into storage. But I still have Anthro shelving at home.
You've probably seen Anthro products before even if the name isn't ringing any bells... it's pretty iconic-looking...
The reason I'd like to bring Anthro back (other than they made such great stuff) is that I need some replacements for the plastic shelf brackets. They're beefy, but plastic gets brittle after 30 years and they're starting to split on me.
Right now I'm essentially canibalizing parts from various Anthro stuff to keep the pieces I'm still using operational.
I wonder if somebody out there is 3D printing the pieces I'm looking for? Seems like there's a demand for it given how many thousands upon thousands of furniture pieces that Anthro make for the decades they were running.
At some point the wildfires have to end, right? I just want to breath again.
It's mind-boggling just how often I am expected to put up with crap that nobody else seems to have to. Maybe it's because I'm a total pushover and try too hard to be nice. Maybe it's because the path of least drama is my default mode of operation. Maybe I lack the strength to put my foot down.
Whatever the reason, I'm obviously not bothered enough to change anything, so I guess it's on me.
Though I think the fact that people take advantage of this says a lot about them.
I'm going to not worry about it because a new episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is on in twenty minutes.
I stayed up last night to see the first episode of Andor on Disney+... and immediately wanted to watch the other two episodes that were unleashed at the same time. Except I was way, way too tired to attempt it thanks to being more than a little wiped out by the booster for my booster's COVID booster. At least I'm guessing that's the reason. I had a fever for about a half-hour, then my arm was sore... and that was the end of it. Which is weird because I was warned that the side-effects would be worse than previous boosters.
But anyway... back to Andor...
I finally got around to watching Episode 02 and 03 today... and they are epic.
Cassian Andor is easily one of my favorite characters in all of Star Wars, and it was a forgone conclusion that I would enjoy this series if they A) They didn't change the character for no reason, B) They had a story to make it worth my time, and C) They spent some money to make it actually feel like Star Wars.
Thankfully, Disney+ put their money and talents where their mouth is and completely crushed it. Especially in that mind-blowing third episode! And enough can't be said about Diego Luna, who is talented to begin with... but really bought his A-game to this series. It's like he knows that his character is beloved and wanted to give it everything he got.
And we have nine more episodes to go.
Remember yesterday when I said that I had a fever for 30 minutes, then a sore arm, then nothing else from my booster's booster to my COVID booster?
If only that had been the end of it.
I woke up freezing three times in the middle of the night last night. It's kinda a haze, but I did remember the first time very well because I was shaking so much that I fell over when I got up to grab another couple of blankets. My teeth were chattering so much that I thought they would break.
I've had "chills" before... but never like this!
I woke up tired from lack of sleep, but otherwise feeling fine. Except the wildfire smoke was heavier than usual today, which was really tough on my allergies. I ended up leaving work at noon because my head hurt so bad that I couldn't concentrate.
And now I'm at home with three air purifiers running while I watch YouTube videos. Like this interesting one from 2019 by one of my favorite content creators... Marques Brownlee...
I actually have a very early model Mac. This makes me want to drag it out and play with it again. It's still remarkable to me.
Saturday was made for staying in bed with the cats.
Which is easy to do when I awoke to my cats giving each other head-baths.
I recorded a dozen minutes of it for no reason other than it made me happy to do so...
It was genuinely sweet. And went on for a full 16 minutes.
Then Jake used Jenny as a foot rest so he could wash his foot, and... well... it was good while it lasted.
Jenny, of course, acts like a little lady and washes her gams without assistance...
I swear... seeing her sour little face is about the best thing I have.
My weekend has been spent sick from wildfire smoke, again. But that won't stop me from blogarizing... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• LEGO The Office! I wish that I had more money than I know what to do with. Because one of my immediate purchases would be a pre-order for the LEGO set of The Office. It looks so good! But the fact that you can reinact Kevin's chili accident is the real reason to get this one...
But it's ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DOLLARS!! And, I gotta say, for that kind of money I'd almost rather have the DUPLO animals set, which looks amazing...
=sigh= LEGO has lost none of its charm on me.
• Razor! And do you want to know how I know LEGO has lost none of its charm on me? I want to sell my spleen so I can afford to pay $600 for this amazing LEGO Star Wars Razor Crest...
Complete with Grogu (AKA Baby Yoda)...
TELL ME THAT'S NOT WORTH $600!!!
• Tour! The logistics of major tour planning are fascinating to me...
They should really have a television documentary series that follows huge tours around the country showing stuff like this. And they can start with Pink! And Taylor Swift.
• Signs! I'm certain that I've shared this wonderful short film here at least once. But even though I've seen it a dozen times now, I stop and watch it again every time I think about it, so I'm going to share it again...
The simplicity of the idea married to actors who absolutely know what to do for their characters make this infinity watchable.
• Thrones! I've made no secret of how much a detest the final season of Game of Thrones. If David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wanted to "get it over with" and move on to other projects, they should have turned the show over to other people to finish it. But they love money, so they took the paycheck and just farted out a shitty endgame that completely betrayed every character involved. If you had told me that there was a way to salvage the finale, I'd have said you were nuts. But I was wrong, because somebody actually managed to do it. Is it perfect? Oh hell no. But does it at least provide a satisfactory explanation for how things unfolded? Yes. Yes it does. Maybe one of these decades George R.R. Martin will complete the final two books in the series. But until then? This is better than nothing.
• Crash! Is everybody ready to see DART crash into an asteroid tomorrow? Yeah. Me too. If you want a preview... just Google "NASA DART"
I take my leave of you dreaming for breathable air.
Well, today was the day.
Exactly as planned when it launched last November, the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft slammed into Dimorphos... a moonlet orbiting the asteroid Didymos.
And why would NASA do this?
Because it seems prudent to see what we might can do to knock an asteroid off-course that's headed for earth. This test will give us an idea of what may or may not be possible.
The whole DART mission has me irrationally emotional. I feel sorry for DART, who was ordered to crash and be exploded. I feel sorry for the asteroid who was minding its own business and got exploded into. My life would be easier if I didn't anthropomorphize animals and objects. What even more awful though? DART filmed its own demise...
Am I the only one who thinks that this is sad?
But I guess extinction of all life on earth from an asteroid impact is also sad, so make of it what you will.
January of last year I ordered a workbench from Home Depot because it finally went on sale (I had been coveting it for months). It arrived and, alas I never had time to assemble and install it. So it's been sitting in my garage these 20-some-odd months. It's a really cool model too, because you can fold it against the wall when you need it to be out of the way. Since I use my garage as a woodworking shop, that's essential.
They said it was adjustable height, and they even showed it installed in a garage on their site (albeit a much nicer garage than mine!)...
But here's the thing about garages... the floor slopes slightly away from the side walls and away from the back wall so that when you wash out the floor all the water can more easily head outside. It's not a lot... usually around 1%... but it adds up when you are talking the distance of a 6-foot table.
But no problem, right? They advertise the bench as being height adjustable!
Um... yeah... no.
The BACK legs have screw feet which are adjustable. The wheels on the front legs are not adjustable at all.
But it gets worse!
The distance that the back legs will unscrew is less than the distance between screw-holes! Essentially making them useless for trying to level out your table. And since the front legs are not height adjustable at all, one side or the other will not touch the ground if one side is higher than the other.
The upshot of all this design stupidity is that I have to shim the table on three sides in order to have a level surface. The two back legs since the screw-feet can't extend far enough. And the front right leg since the slope of the floor means it can't reach the ground. Who the fuck designs this kind of nonsense? Why even bother with the screw-feet on the back legs when they can't extend far enough, can't be independently screwed out to the length you need, and are useless for side-to-side leveling?
The back shims are permanent. And that's fine. But I'm incredibly irritated by the fact that I have to slide a paint stir-stick under the front-right leg any time I fold out the damn table. And don't even get me started by the soft, cheap-ass screws they give you to bolt the thing to the wall. Even with a good large-sized Phillips screwdriver head that fits like a glove... AND USING A HAND-DRIVER INSTEAD OF A POWER TOOL... the things still strip out. Cheap-ass bullshit.
I'd return the stupid thing, but since I waited so long to take it out of the box, it's too late.
The thing is built like a tank, which is nice. But had I known the hot mess I was getting, I would have just built my own. But that's kind of how it works now-a-days, doesn't it? Do it yourself or risk disappointment. The irony that I would have bought all the materials at Home Depot is not lost on me.
Last night Jenny and I went upstairs to bed. Jake was following, but broke away at the last minute. I didn't know then, but the reason was because he forgot Mufasa. He had to go run back to get him.
Next thing you know I hear the little guy howling downstairs. I called down for him, and eventually he came... but I had to check the security cameras before I knew what in the heck happened.
Turns out he got half-way up the stairs, dropped Mufasa, had to go back down to get him, and was very upset about it...
On one hand... it's sweet that Jake is still so fond of his favorite toy six years onward.
But on the other... his life would be easier if he wasn't so attached to this one thing above all others.
Like I'm attached to my cats, I suppose.
This morning the wildfire smoke was the worst it's been yet this year (no, I have no idea how this is the case in late September) so I closed off the catio. When I got home Jake was crying and crying and crying at the back door, so finally I was like "OKAY! Go outside! But I tried to warn you!"
After ten minutes, he was still out there, which bothered me greatly because his little lungs are more susceptible to smoke damage than mine, and mine were burning.
Eventually I shook the bag of treats to get him back inside. That's the one thing that's more of a motivator than anything else in his life.
Certainly more than me.
Just when I think that prices of stuff can't surprise me any more than it already has, I walk out of the grocery store with one bag of food that I paid $65 for, and I'm in shock all over again.
It's really breathtaking. In that I can barely catch my breath from the money I just spent.
Remember when you could order a two-bedroom house, ready-to-assemble from Sears for $1,175? Pepperidge Farms (and the internet) remembers...
$1,298 if you want an interior bathroom.
Which I do, but the $123 difference could buy me two bags of groceries.