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Caturday 278

Posted on Saturday, October 1st, 2022

Dave!This past week I finally set out the warming pads so I don't have to go bankrupt trying to keep the house warm enough for the cats to be happy. For two days neither Jake or Jenny had found them. Even when I tried to make them aware. But nope. So far as the cats were concerned, they didn't exist.

Until one day they did.

Jenny was walking across the couch so she could snuggle up against me as she's been doing. But once her paws touched that warming pad, I ceased to exist. Now you couldn't get her off the thing even if you used dynamite...

Jenny on the Warming Pad!

Jenny on the Warming Pad!

Jenny on the Warming Pad!

Jenny on the Warming Pad!

Remember the good ol' days when Jenny thought I was the best thing going...

Jenny snuggled up next to me.

Jenny snuggled up next to me.

Jenny snuggled up next to me.

Well those days are gone.

The other day I had to have a contractor come look at my house so he could write up an estimate for some work that I am not comfortable working on. The minute I opened the door, Jake and Jenny were running upstairs at top speed. I still leave the door to the storage room propped open so they have a "safe space" to hide out in. After the contractor left I ran up to make sure they were okay...

Jenny hiding behind boxes in the closet.

Jake hiding between boxes in the closet.

But no worries... the minute it was lunchtime, they were barreling down the stairs as if a stranger had never walked in the house.

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Bullet Sunday 780

Posted on Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

Dave!I may be mired in wildfire smoke and barely able to breathe, but have no fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Behind! If you're old like me, get a colonoscopy, y'all...

The fact that Ryan and Rob are willing to use their celebrity for important stuff like this is why I love Ryan and Rob.

• Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! Just an FYI that Changeland, one of my favorite films of 2019 is now streaming on Amazon Prime. As if the fact that it's gorgeously shot in Thailand isn't enough, the closing credits features Thai cats! It's a bit deeper movie than this trailer lets on, but it's fun too...

I own the film, so I can watch it any time I want... but I will be giving it more than a couple views on Amazon just to give it some love for studio execs who need to be making more films like this.

• Diego! Well, crap. Now I love Diego Luna even more than I already did...

If you're not watching him being brilliant in Andor, which is the best Star Wars since Rogue One, then you should get on that.

• Play On! Explain to me again how Lizzo playing a fucking flute is somehow controversial. SHE IS A CLASSICALLY-TRAINED FLAUTIST FOR FUCK'S SAKE! Just listen to this...


But that's not all... how the fuck is Lizzo twerking with a slave-owner's crystal flute more disrespectful than it's past-owner James Madison LITERALLY ENSLAVING PEOPLE? I will never in a million years be able to wrap my head around the faux outrage and blatant hypocrisy of these assholes...

Good on Lizzo. I hope she keeps pissing people off for a very long time.

• Expired! Petco rewards points used to expire after 90 days. Then it was 45 days. Now it's 30 days. They really, really don't want you to be able to cash in your points. I look forward to the email telling me that they expire in 24 hours. Guess the only thing I'm buying there now will be their bulk kitty litter... and it's probably cheaper and more convenient to get it from Chewy anyway, so maybe not even that. In adjacent news... look forward to your local Petco announcing that they will be closing soon.

• Avalon! I have only ever been a casual fan of Brian Ferry and Roxy Music. That being said, I played there Street Life: 20 Greatest Hits album to death, and still fire it up from time to time...

Cover art for Street Life album

Most of my favorite tracks from Roxy Music is from their masterpiece album Avalon. Which is why this look at the album and its recording is so cool to see...

And... now I'll be listening to Street Life on repeat for the rest of the evening.

Until next Sunday then. Here's hoping your air is smoke-free.


Misery is Smoke on Smoke

Posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Dave!It's frickin' October. Why are we still plagued with wildfire smoke?

Every morning I get up and look out the window to see how bad of a day I'm going to have with my smoke allergies. If I can see the hills clearly, I can get away with minimal drugs so I can breathe, speak, think, and live. But if I can't see the hills...

Everything is smoke.

And it's supposed to continue all week. Oh what fun.

Once again my heartfelt thanks to those firefighters out there battling it out with the flames. Where would we be without you?

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Apple Needs an Asshole at the Top

Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

Dave!Every company has missteps and things that don't go right. Because companies are filled with humans that make mistakes and bad judgement calls and that's just the way it is. But for the longest time, the company that had the best track record at minimizing this... to me at least... has been Apple Computer. Especially during the period that Steve Jobs came back. It was a golden era of him making tough choices that shaped the company into what it was when it was at its best.

Now though? Not so much.

I mean, don't get me wrong, they still make great products and (usually) have the best user experience going... but the meticulous attention to detail the company once had has been abandoned. There's no asshole at the top obsessing over even the tiniest of things and driving people to push past their limits and design the best products and experiences possible.

Take, for example, AppleTV.

AppleTV has one of the shittiest user interfaces I have ever been subjected to. If you've purchased a lot of movies and television shows, navigating through them all is an absolute nightmare of laggy loading and endless scrolling. Plex allows you to swipe all the way right to click on the letter at the start of the title you want. Apple forces you to scroll and scroll and scroll. And they just don't give a shit about it because people have been complaining for years to no avail. Apple's solution? "Use Siri to find it." And it's like... that doesn't work for every person in every situation, but okay. There's a simple solution that everybody else uses, but Apple would rather their users not have access to it.

And there's a lot of things like that.

Take for example installing MacOS updates. I have my computer automatically install them. This happens in the middle of the night and the next morning you're good to go. Simple. But what if there's an update you need to install immediately manually? Well, that's not so simple. You have to type in passwords and confirm the user agreement and click a bunch of buttons. It's all so fucking stupid. Why are automatic updates exempt from all this bullshit but manual updates are not? It makes zero sense, but that's Apple for you.

And then there's "AirDrop." It works great (mostly) on my laptop. Doesn't work at all on my work Mac Studio. The Studio says its receiving a file. The progress bar runs. The "downloads" folder bounces to notify you something was added. BUT THE FILE ISN'T THERE! And there is nothing I haven't tried to get this working. It just doesn't for some reason.

And don't even get me started on Apple Mail, which is the fucking sludge under the trash heap it's been built on.

Now-a-days there's shit like that happening at Apple everywhere you look. And it's so very, very frustrating. THEY HAVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS... BUT WON'T SPEND THE TINIEST FRACTION TO FIX THIS SHIT?!? If I wasn't hopelessly trapped in the Apple ecosystem, I'd likely be looking into options. Not that Windows is better or anything... it's just as shitty as ever... but at least Microsoft isn't above seeing what works with their competitors products and integrating it into their own.

And speaking of being trapped in Apple Hell, my new iPhone 14 Pro Max arrived yesterday...

Danai Gurira as Okoye

I knew before I even opened the box that I would be cursing out loud at least once. Probably more.

Spoiler Alert: It was indeed more.

I'm waiting a few days before writing about my pretty new phone because I need to live with it a while. But suffice to say that I've already had problems that should have been solved before the phone was ever released.

Apple needs an asshole at the top to make that happen, and one of the best assholes to ever run a company died eleven years ago tomorrow.

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Namor Forever

Posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

Dave!The trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever landed on Monday. I am still processing.

Because while I am excited to visit that world again (especially to see Okoye and M'Baku)... there is something a whole lot bigger that has me very excited for the movie.

And it's Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner.

It's one thing to see movie stills where he's standing there looking cool as all getout... it's quite another to see him in action, winged feet and all. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT THIS...

Namor (AKA "The Sub-Mariner") has a long and complex history in the Marvel comic books (created in 1939!). His pink skin is inherited from his father (the Atlanteans are normally blue) but he's unique in one other very important way... he's a mutant. To be more precise... he's Marvel's first mutant. His ability to fly comes from neither his human or Atlantean side, and so this skill (along with his winged feet) are a mutation (which is kinda a huge deal in Marvel's comics, and soon to be a big deal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe)...

Prince Namor Floats into Wakanda.

Prince Namor Floats into Wakanda.

In the comics Namor bounces back and forth between being villain and hero (which I think has been explained by some kind of oxygen imbalance due to his Atlantean/human physiology). And it sure looks like that's the path he will be taking in Wakanda Forever as well. It is heavily implied that Namor is going to kill Ramonda (Black Panther's mom, amazingly portrayed by Angela Bassett), and this is what drives Shuri to become the new Black Panther (as seen at the end of the trailer).

Though, to be honest, I really hope that Shuri isn't the new Black Panther... I hope that honor goes to girlfriend (and perhaps widow) Nakia. Her fighting skills make her a far more suitable choice, and I think that Lupita Nyong'o would absolutely kill it in the role.

But anyway... Namor. I want to see him everywhere. I want him to guest-appear in other movies. I want him in his own movies. I want him in a Disney+ series. Just one more piece of my childhood slamming home, and I want to have a steady stream of appearances.

Because I'm greedy like that.


Spielberg RANKED

Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2022

Dave!Last night I was in a movie chat room where the topic of discussion was Spielberg films. Not something I'm incredibly passionate about, even though he's made a dozen films I've really enjoyed.

Eventually talk turned to which of his films were our favorites, at which point I was mentally ranking them in my head. But them I decided to rank them in my computer when I couldn't think of more than a dozen.

Luckily I have a blog where I can dump things like this...

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Minority Report
  3. Jurassic Park
  4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  5. Schindler’s List
  6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  7. Saving Private Ryan
  8. Jaws
  9. Catch Me if You Can
  10. Always
  11. The Terminal
  12. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  13. Munich
  14. Lincoln
  15. The Color Purple
  16. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  17. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  18. War of the Worlds
  19. Bridge of Spies
  20. The Post
  21. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  22. The Sugarland Express
  23. Amistad
  24. War Horse
  25. Empire of the Sun
  26. The BFG
  27. Hook
  28. 1941
  29. West Side Story
  30. The Adventures of TinTin
  31. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  32. Ready Player One

Usually I like to add commentary about why I rank the things I rank, but Spielberg is so subjective that it seems a little pointless. I will say that after #15 there's a noticeable drop. Like off a cliff. From #16 onward they are films I just don't like very much. Still, that's a 50/50 split, which is better than I could say for some directors!

A few asides here...

Many people consider Always to be one of Spielberg's worst. This always surprises me, because I thought it was such a charming, wonderful film.

Many people would put E.T. at the top of this list. I like the film okay, but there were so many annoyances that I consider #12 to be generous.

I should post a disclaimer that I wasn't able to get all the way through West Side Story because it's just not my kind of flick. But I saw enough to know that I liked it better than TinTin, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and whatever the hell Ready Player One was supposed to be. Lord what an awful, awful film. ANYBODY could have crapped that out of their ass... but Spielberg? Spielberg?!?

His next film is The Fabelmans, which I'm hearing good things about. Here's hoping.

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The (Incomplete) Sound of 007

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2022

Dave!If you've read Blogography for a while, you know that I have a bit of an obsession with James Bond films. But I also have an obsession with the music from James Bond films. One of the posts I've written which was the most difficult for me, was attempting to rank all the awesome theme songs that have opened the movies.

So you can imagine my joy in finding out that Amazon (who bought MGM, the studio which does all the Bond movies) has a new documentary called The Sound of 007 streaming...

Interesting to note that they were very unfair to some of the movies/songs, and I don't understand why. Madonna's Die Another Day? Forgotten. Shirley Bassey's Moonraker (my favorite of the three she sang)? Forgotten. My second-favorite Bond theme song, Sheena Easton's For Your Eyes Only? Forgotten. Gladys Night's only Bond entry, License to Kill? Forgotten. a-ha's The Living Daylights? Forgotten. WTF?? I mean, for what's there, the documentary is good. But to not acknowledge all of the songs is so incredibly irresponsible. They could have given even just a moment to acknowledge everybody... but were instead content to be incomplete.

A five-star concept that's a two-star result.

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Caturday 279

Posted on Saturday, October 8th, 2022

Dave!Remember how last week I was lamenting that Jenny is ignoring me because I put the warming pads out?

Well, now the newness of the warming pads are over for her. She'll still lay on them, of course, but she's back to preferring my body heat again because I'm more comfortable, I guess. And she has a total routine for it most days...

Jenny gets comfortable snuggling up against me.

But she ends up getting a little too comfortable, because her claws come out. She doesn't "make biscuits" like Jake does, but she does like to dig into me when she's really happy to be here and the scratches are good...

Jenny with her claws out.

Once I say "Ouch!" she actually knows to stop clawing me and turn her attention to getting the smell of me off her paws!

Jenny with her claws out.

Eventually she's ready for belly rubs...

Jenny flopped over and ready for those belly rubs.

At which point she's just minutes away from curling up and going to sleep...

Jenny sleeping next to me.

Yesterday she didn't even go through her routine. She just curled up and immediately fell asleep...

Jenny sleeping next to me.

In that photo, she actually started snoring a little bit, which is about the cutest thing ever.

Wildfire smoke this past week has been about as bad as it gets. I'm hacking up a lung most nights, because I spend all day on drugs to keep me from coughing at the office and don't want to overdo it by being drugged up 24/7. And yet... Jake has been playing nursemaid to me the entire time. I get home feeling awful and he's checking in on me from the minute I step through the door.

And at night? He's next to me when I go to bed...

Jake next to me at night.

And still there when I wake up in the morning...

Jake next to me in the morning.

Which is nice, but I feel terrible for him because what he likes most during the moderate temperatures of Autumn is to be outside. But because of the smoke I have the catio closed off. And so he's at the door crying all the time... and even attempting to get the door open. But, alas, I worry about his little kitty lungs outside...

Jake trying to get out to the catio.

Jake trying to get out to the catio.

I finally relented yesterday because the smoke was not as bad in the morning (I could see the nearby hills!), and he was out there until lunch...

Jake sitting out in the catio looking at the back yeard.

There are times I really wish I could explain to my cats why I do what I do... because it's always in their best interest in keeping them safe. But, alas, they just have to be mad at me when I deny them what they want.

Such is the life of a pet owner.

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Bullet Sunday 781

Posted on Sunday, October 9th, 2022

My world may be on fire and I feel like I'm dying from smoke inhalation, but never fear... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Todd! Skylar Astin's new show So Help Me Todd is surprisingly great (he was in Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). If you're looking for something good on TV, this is worth your valuable time...

Please please please can we get a second season of this show. There's so few series on TV now that I really love, and this is definitely one of them. If you've cut the cord like me, you can stream it on Paramount+

• Speaking of Awesome TV... You guys... YOU GUYS! Late last night I watched the Marvel Studios Werewolf by Night special on Disney+ and it's BEYOND good. Exceeded all my wildest (and very high) expectations. I watched it a second time so I could be more detached to catch all the references I might have missed the first time (no spoilers, but there are some amazing tidbits for Marvel Comics fans!). I highly recommend watching it late at night first like I did, because that's really the best...

Werewolf By Night Poster.

The clever story... the brilliant cast... the incredible music... the gorgeous cinematography (lovingly shot in black & white)... it's all so wonderful. Especially if you're a fan of all those old monster movies like I am. I'm not posting the trailer because it's best to watch it with no warning, but I give it my highest recommendation. Seriously hoping that Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly return for more Marvel projects. They could do a new story like this every Autumn and I would be thrilled. I would subscribe to Disney+ for this and She-Hulk alone... Marvel Studios is really firing on all cylinders.

• Speaking of She-Hulk... I've been loving Marvel Studios She-Hulk: Attorney at Law up until Episode 07, which was kinda boring and pointless. I get that it was supposed to be a dive into who Jennifer Walters is and what she's going through, but it never hit as essential to what the show needs to work. But they totally made up for it with the current episode! I've been looking forward to it ever since they've been advertising Daredevil was in it... and It OVER-delivered (ZOMG! GOLD DEVIL!)...

A ketchup-and-mustard-suited Daredevil meets She-Hulk.

And the very end of the episode actually accomplished more than the previous episode could. This show has been brilliantly shining a spotlight on misogynistic crap that is systemic to our society (which, of course, has the dude-bro incel brigade up in arms)... and when you watch the coda to this penultimate episode, it's ALL driven home. Everything She-Hulk is shamed for is what men are celebrated for. I cannot wait for next week's finale. This is my favorite Disney+ series after Hawkeye, and I am really, really hoping for another season. Just back up a dump truck full of money to Tatiana Maslany's house and get it done.

• And One More Thing... I'm not going to post spoilers past what's already been spoiled in all the ads for the amazing latest episode of She-Hulk... but there is a huge bomb dropped which doesn't spoil the story that I am still reeling from as I watch it a second time. It's a throwaway line where they say "The Sokovia Accords were repealed..." And it's like... WHAT?!? That's a huge deal that drove an entire film (Captain America: Civil War) and popped up in other films as well. And they dropped it as a nothing line in frickin' She-Hulk? It's actually kinda awesome. And impressive. This is such a great episode. Everything that came before doesn't prepare you.

• Hasan-Bhai "See, that's the crazy thing they never tell you about adulthood. Life gets very real when 'don't want' becomes 'can't have.' " There are so few comedians who can do what Hasan Minhaj does in the way he does it. The guy is hilarious... but so very, very smart in his comedy. To the point that it can be devastating. I have missed him A lot after Patriot Act was canceled. Well, he's back and worth your valuable time on Netflix...

His previous special, Homecoming King, is the best piece of standup I've seen. The King's Jester is almost as good.

• Taking the Temp! Yesterday I installed the warming pad in Fake Jake's shelter... and have a WiFi temperature gauge set on top of it inside the wind-breaker berm. The good news is that he’s spending most nights inside my neighbor’s house, which will be a lot more comfortable as he gets older. But I still want a place he can go if he’s outside so he doesn’t freeze on nights when it's below freezing. I used to have a camera inside so I could check in on him and be alerted when he's there, but all my Wyze cameras have finally died, and I don't plan on buying any more because of their abusive WHY THE FUCK AREN'T YOU SUBSCRIBED TO WYZE-PLUS?? pestering in the Wyze App. What's interesting is that I can still tell when he's laying in the shelter because the warming pad heats up once he lays on it. Here you can see where he was on it at about 2am, then left an hour-and-a-half later...

Kitty Shelter Temperature Chart showing an increase in temperature at 2:00am, then declining at 3:30am.

One of these days I might find a replacement camera that will work, but everything is so expensive that my wallet may not agree to it.

• Toasted! Oh noes! I had half an avocado left and felt bougie as fuck, so I made avocado toast with flakey salt, crushed red pepper flakes, diced green onion, and fresh-ground toasted peppercorns for lunch today... and it turns out FOX "News" was right... now I can't afford my house! AND IT'S ALL MY OWN FAULT!!

My lunch today.

I do like me the avocado toast though. Especially when paired with my potato salad, which I made with cayenne pepper in the sauce, and it tastes amazeballs.

We now return to my wildfire-smoke-filled existence already in progress.


Fleeing The Smoke-Filled Valley of My Life

Posted on Monday, October 17th, 2022

Dave!And so I took a week off blogging. I have to take so many medications to function at work during the day that I have to stop taking them when I get home so that I'm not in a 24/7 stupor. It's very difficult to form coherent thoughts while coming off medications, coughing your head off, and having your nose and eyes running like a faucet.

Thank heavens I was smart enough to not post right away, but wait until morning so I could review what I wrote.

And I wrote such gems as "...wishing I had time off so I could take time to not have to worry about not having time to do stuff..." and "I wonder if I wonder the smoke will ever stop smoking."

And so I decided to have a one-week sabbatical, visit my sister (where it is significantly less smokey), and spare everybody my incoherent ramblings.

Which, admittedly, is a minor step down from the semi-incoherent ramblings I usually drop on Blogography, but a guy has to have his standards. Mine are low, but not in the basement. Yet.

We may get there in short order if I have to suffer through this wildfire smoke much longer.

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Contractor #6

Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2022

Dave!It was never my ambition to become a homeowner. I thought I'd rent a small place and spend my money traveling the world. Then my mom got sick and it became necessary to have a home in our old neighborhood so that if she got out of the house there are people who know her and could guide her back to the house.

But then... something happened. I found out that my home gave me an endless number of projects for my budding woodworking hobby. And the more I worked on my house, the more I loved having it. So thanks for that, mom.

But it hasn't all been a bed of roses.

I had a ceiling leak in my guest bathroom.

Then I had a ceiling leak in my kitchen.

Apparently the plumbing in my place was not done all that well. But eventually I got it all resolved and decided to move forward with renovating my kitchen... and repair the two massive holes in my ceiling.

The furthest I got was hiring a contractor and having my countertops replaced then having my cupboards all torn apart.

The contractor I hired contracted COVID in April of 2020. Ended up hospitalized multiple times, then had to move away to live with relatives because they couldn't work anymore. I've been trying to hire contractors to complete the work for nearly three years. Four of them, to be exact. And all that time I've lived out of drawers stacked on my countertops.

Yesterday Contractor #6 actually showed up. I followed one of his trucks out of town one day, then checked my dashcam footage to get the number so I could call. Two weeks later and they started taping up my kitchen and bathroom.

It will be so nice to have a kitchen again.


Simply White

Posted on Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

Dave!Three years ago before my ceiling leaks, I was deep into a kitchen renovation. I ran out of money when I renovated the rest of my house after buying it, but managed to save my pennies for a couple years to get going at last.

Turns out that I should have put off a different room and had my kitchen done first, because I hated it I hated it I hated it.

All the wood was this weird putty color that had a grey wash over it. Which meant that it always looked dirty. As somebody who's a bit of a germaphobe (especially where I prepare my food), it bugged me every single day. How can I tell when there's dirt on something when everything always looks dirty?

But it wasn't just the material my cupboards and drawers were made up... it was the shape. There's this weird groove that goes around the center panel which collects dust... and it has these rounded corners on everything that I didn't like at all.

The plan was to repaint the cupboards then pay to have my doors and drawers rebuilt to be the shaker-style I love.


During the original renovation when I had all my walls painted white I went through a dozen shades until I found the white I wanted... a touch warm but not yellow. Plus a different white for the trim which was a bit more glossy but a visual match (it's weird, but going from eggshell to semi-gloss makes the color change!).

So when it came to my cupboards, I thought the color of white was already chosen. I'd just use the trim color. Done!

But then I painted a cupboard door to see how it looks.

And was mortified to find that painting a large surface looks entirely different than painting a thin strip of trim! So it was back to the drawing board. The wall color in semi-gloss didn't work. The white colors around my colors didn't work. And then... just as I was going to give up and pick a color that wasn't white, I mixed two of the whites I had sampled... and ended up with exactly the right shade. Proud of myself for my ingenuity, I took it to the paint store, explained what I had done to get the color I wanted, only to have the guy say "Oh yeah, that's Simply White."

Then yesterday and today they started spraying Simply White on all my cupboard frames...

After almost six years of dirty-looking cupboards, the kitchen of my dreams is starting to come together!


The Great Cat Barrier 3.0

Posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2022

Dave!My cats have always just run and hid when people are over. I've tried really hard to slowly introduce them to people who are not me, but they won't have any of it. Any time somebody is over, they run and hide in the storage closet in my bedroom that's behind my clothes closet. Eventually I just propped the door open so Jake and Jenny could have a safe space whenever they wanted it.

On Monday I just left my bedroom door open. There's no need to close it because my cats will never come downstairs while the workers are here. Especially with all the noise they were making.

But what I didn't count on? Lunchbreaks.

When the workers went to lunch, Jake wandered downstairs. Then when the workers returned, he didn't run back upstairs... but instead ran out in the catio. Where he stayed the rest of the day until the workers left at 5:30 (I went out and put a litter box out there just in case).

After that, I just closed my bedroom door so they couldn't leave. I already had their auto-feeders and one of their Litter-Robots in there, so they were set. Except they stayed in the closet the entire time and only came out to eat and use the litter box when I'd sit in there with them.

I don't want them licking the primer off the cabinets... but they are going absolutely bonkers trapped in my bedroom. So I decided to build a kinda barricade to keep them out of the kitchen...

Cat Barrier 1.0

Let's see if you can figure out how long it took Jenny to figure out a way around it, shall we?

A) 5 minutes
B) 2 minutes
C) Literally seconds... you have a ladder for them to climb right over it, dumbass!

The answer is, of course, C. And yes, I am not smarter than my cats and a total dumbass. Jake followed immediately after his (much) smarter sister figured it out.

My second attempt was to wrap the ladder in plastic, which seemed to work great...

Cat Barrier 2.0

Last night I just moved and re-taped the dust barrier to keep them out, which worked fantastic...

Cat Barrier 3.0

Today was clean-up day as all the painting stuff was hauled away. My kitchen cupboard frames are painted! And they look great! Now I just need to have the backsplash tiled and save money to have my cupboard doors and drawers made.

And maybe my floors re-done.

Jake and Jenny have had the full run of the house since 2:00. And do you know where they are now? In my bedroom.

Even though I've moved their food and litter box back downstairs.

But what about the bathroom, you might be asking? You said that there was a big hole in the ceiling, so did that get fixed?

No. No it did not.

But we'll get to that disaster tomorrow. Right now I want to just be happy that I have my kitchen back after three years.


It’s a Leak on All Our Heads

Posted on Friday, October 21st, 2022

Dave!As I mentioned yesterday, my kitchen may be mostly complete (sans new cupboard doors and drawer facing), but I'm not out of the woods yet.

The leak in the bathroom, which I thought had been resolved, started leaking again as they were repairing the hole in the wall that got ripped open when repairing the leak the first time. This was, to be sure, a horrible development. Fortunately I have a bathroom upstairs, but the fact that my downstairs bathroom is still torn up means I am not yet done with this madness.

Not that this would be the end of it. There's plenty of other things that I need to work on (though none as urgent as a hole in the wall). And I suppose that as soon as the last to-do is checked off the list I'll have to start all over again. Home ownership is a never-ending money pit, so I'm counting on it.

The water leak could be something simple involving popping off a few tiles in the upstairs bathroom and repairing a pipe or fitting... or it could be something horribly complex, which would involve ripping out the entire upstairs shower and the ducts downstairs. Or anything in-between. Which means it will either be something that wipes out my savings to pay for in its entirety... or something which wipes out my savings to pay an insurance deductible.

The good news is that I won't have to worry about what I'm going to buy for clothes and toys on Black Friday this year!


Caturday 280

Posted on Saturday, October 22nd, 2022

Dave!To say that this past week has been a trying time for my cats is a huge understatement. And they never let me forget it.

Fortunately, as of yesterday, they have the run of the house again... save for the downstairs guestroom, which has been used as storage for all the crap in my kitchen while it was being repaired and the cupboard frames repainted.

They are not happy about this.

They are not happy at all about this.

Jake squawks at the door on occasion, but it's Jenny who is beside herself with rage about the fact that there is a room denied her. She meows at the door. She comes and meows at me. She paces in front of the door for 10 minutes. Then she sits in front of it for ten minutes. Then she starts meowing again. She is NOT a happy camper.

Because she's not used to being denied anything.

Meanwhile upstairs...

I still haven't moved the second water fountain back to the kitchen. This morning there was a line. Jake waited patiently while Jenny tested the water...

Jenny dipping her paw in the water fountain while her brother waits.

Examined the room...

Jenny looking around while her brother waits.

And looked like she was going to puke in the bowl...

Jenny with her paw over the bowl while her face is in the bowl while her brother waits.

Then he finally couldn't sit through any more of this nonsense and crowded his way in after five minutes. Five minutes!

Jake crowds in next to Jenny to drink... AT LAST!

But, hey. Any time they're not trying to get in the guestroom is a good time!


Bullet Sunday 782

Posted on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022

Dave!The wildfire smoke appears to have abated at long last, but there's no time for celebrating... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Rest in Peace I was saddened to learn that Angela Lansbury had died. What's strange is that just four days prior I had seen that Murder She Wrote was running on Hallmark Channel. After catching the tailend of it, I looked her up to see if she had done any new projects recently (turns out that she has a cameo appearance in Glass Onion, the new Knives Out mystery movie, that's coming to Netflix on December 23rd)...

A look at the Wikipedia page for Angela Lansbury in my browser history from October 7th

My mom was a huge, huge, mega-huge fan of Murder She Wrote. After her memory started to fail her, she would watch the episodes constantly. Jessica Fletcher was somebody she could remember...

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher

She will be missed.

• SQUIRREL! These videos never disappoint...

Sad that this third installment is the final installment. Hopefully Mark Rober changes his mind and brings us another.

• More Maximo! I cannot oversell how wonderful the show Acapulco is on Apple TV. The first season was brilliant, sweet, funny, and charming in all the best ways... and they've lost nothing of that magic in Season 02...

I can't believe that Apple managed to strike gold twice with both Ted Lasso and Acapulco. If you're not watching, you absolutely should be. Already hoping that it is renewed for Season 03.

• Ho Ho Ho! Very early this morning I ran to the Big City for some shelf pins, because 1/3 of the ones I had were cracking when I pulled them out. Fresh new pins might prevent shelf collapse and breakage maybe? I dunno. But it was only $6 to replace all of them, so worth it, I think. — Hard not to notice that Home Depot had put all their Christmas stuff out...

Much Christmas merryment.

Since I don't celebrate the holiday, I am relieved that I won't need to buy anything (I have a wreath for my door to blend in with the neighborhood, and that's plenty). But I'm also a little sad, because my mom liked decorating for Christmas. Every once in a while I toy with the idea of putting a tree up for old time's sake... but Jake and Jenny would undoubtedly destroy it, and that's something I can do without.

• Countdown to Christmas 2023! It's my first Hallmark Christmas movie of the year, Noelle Next Door, and we're off to a good start. Amazing enough that it has one of my most favorite Hallmark stars, Natalie Hall... but Corey Sevier plays a guy who had a stroke and is dealing with some challenges that make him a bit of a Christmas Scrooge... something that shocks me because it's just such a terrific bit of representation that makes for a good film...

This is a simple story with a simple concept that's wonderfully told. Showing that even after all these years, Hallmark still has new corners to explore.

• Movies! I rented Bullet Train which was fantastic. I am shocked that it wasn't dumbed down more, as it's fairly complex and has plots within plots. The entire cast was amazing... but Brad Pitt was just beyond. He has a way of making casual characters be capable of carrying an entire movie, which is a rare talent. Bloody fun!

Then I finally rented Bros, which was actually darn funny and sweet. Liked it a lot even though Billy Eichner's acerbic and abusive wit which works so well in 5-minute Billy on the Street episodes is wearing really thin after a a while. Still, they nailed the ending, and Luke MacFarlane's Hallmark history served him well (as well as provided a hilarious series of in-jokes). I wish they hadn't felt the need to have self-deprecating "Why is it that gay guys..." exposition for the straights, because it kind of dumbs down the film in the wrong ways. Was thrilled to see Guillermo Díaz again (Huck on Scandal is one of my all-time favorite characters).

Lastly I rented Confess Fletch. I am such a massive fan of the Chevy Chase originals that I was almost afraid to tune into this. But it's very good. I like it just as much as the Chevy version, but in a different way. This version is much closer to the original novels, and Jon Hamm is fantastic for the role. I sure hope we get more...

And that's it for the penultimate Bullet Sunday of October 2023.


Venturing to Ventura

Posted on Monday, October 24th, 2022

Dave!And lo did Apple release another Mac OS X update.

Right off the bat, Stage Manager (the feature I was most looking forward to) is a pile of shit. It's supposed to make it easy to focus on the task at hand by shoving the apps you're not using to the left-hand side of the screen. But nothing acts in an intuitive manner and trying to figure out what will actually happen when you interact with something is an impossibility because there's no sense to it. I spent five minutes trying to access my Finder windows so I could drag files to an app only to give up in frustration and turn off the entire shit-show. Maybe I'm using it wrong, but if something acts this badly and you have to get training to understand how to interact with it, then it's a big ol' fail, isn't it? So back to "Spaces," once again, I suppose. One can only hope that Apple gets this figured out, because it's an intriguing idea.

Safari is a web browser that's both great and incredibly frustrating. Great because it's fast and capable... frustrating because there are sites which break on it. Facebook, for example, is horribly frustrating because stuff randomly won't work on Safari. Take, for example, not being able to click on story links and have them open (currently you have to control-click and tell Safari to open the link in a new tab or window). It would be nice if you could use Safari without having to worry about crap like this, but it is what it is. You'd just think that Apple would put the effort in to make sure that popular sites are compatible... because you know that Facebook doesn't give a fuck. Their solution is going to be "use Chrome."

Apple Mail is a shit program that keeps getting more and more shitty because Apple takes features away and never fixes the things that needs fixing. Take, for example, being able to select the outgoing server. You used to be able to change it right from message composer. But then Apple took it away for unknown reasons. The didn't even give the user the ability to hide it or show it depending on if they need it... they just took it away. This time around Apple is improving things (like actually having search work worth a shit) and adding things (like "schedule an email" so it will send at a later date... and "undo send" to retract an email you sent), but Mail is still trash. The only reason I keep suffering through it is because there are things that are much easier due to the Apple ecosystem integration. I'd probably be a lot more forgiving if the program would quit in a timely manner... I am sick to death of "Shutdown was canceled by Apple Mail" popping up all the damn time.

In happier news... ZOMG! MacOS X has a Clock app! Works about the same as the iPhone version. What the hell took them so long? Can a calculator for iPad be coming next?

Back in the olden days, you had to purchase a separate font manager to deal with activating and deactivating the tons of fonts that designers need to use (I was a fan of Suitcase then FontBaseFont). But eventually I just went with MacOS Font Book because it's built in and worked okay. The Ventura version isn't better or worse... it's just different. All the typefaces are displayed in tiles which now gives you a hint as to what the font looks like (it's just an "Aa" shown in the typeface). This is nice, but it sure would be helpful if you could view more characters in a secondary pane or something. As it is, you have to waste time double clicking every time you want to see the full character set... or you can switch to a "Quick brown fox..." Sample view which requires a lot of scrolling if you have a lot of fonts loaded. Overall I think this is an improvement, but it would be nice if they would keep working on it, because it sure could be better.

One of the bigger shocks in Ventura is the new "Print" dialogue box. The old one has been busted for years, and now it's how it should have been from the very start. No longer is the "two-sided" option on the "simple" page and all the other options on the "more..." page, there's just one page...

Photos has always been a kinda half-baked app. It really needs a way to switch to an "expert" mode where it acts more like Aperture than something so basic. That being said, there's some new toys that make the latest version an improvement. For one thing, your photos are now text searchable in Spotlight...

You can even search for a text string in your images if you've photographed a sign or something. Also available is automatic detection of duplicate photos which can be easily merged, and you can share custom photo libraries more easily.

Continuity Camera allows you to use the far-superior camera on you iPhone as a webcam instead of relying on the customarily mediocre-to-bad camera in Apple's displays. When I tested it, people couldn't really tell the difference. Where this feature shines is when it uses the wide-angle lens to look down at your desktop, changed the distortion, and pipe that to your video stream. It's very cool. But also kind of wonky, because the distortion correction gets weird when something comes up off the desktop. Even so, this is an awesome idea.

You can choose to edit or unsend text messages in Messages now. I haven't taken the time to find out if this is apparent on the other end... but I sure hope that it is. The idea that abusers and harassers could change the narrative of events when you have to seek help is a dangerous game to be playing. If somebody is in that position, switching to SMS is essential, so worth checking out if you need it.

When it comes to System Settings... they are just... gone. Replaced, but not really. I have no fucking clue where anything is and have to search for what I'm wanting to adjust in the hopes I'll know what to do when I get there. This is a bizarre change, but I suppose that they are trying to unify how to change system settings across all platforms.

And lastly there's "Passkeys." This is Apple's admirable effort to abolish passwords. You have a public key that's on the website which gets matched to your private key on your Mac (via TouchID) or iPhone (via FaceID). You don't have to type out anything... you just get logged in after verifying on your device. It's a nice idea. So nice that other companies like Google are signing onboard. The problem is getting apps and websites to adapt it. Until they do, Passkey isn't going to help. I had read that PayPal, eBay, and Google were using Passkey, but couldn't find anywhere to turn it on, so that's not good. If there's one technology that I want to really take off, it's Matter SmartHome (a universal protocol for smart devices). If there's two technologies that I want to really take off, the second would be Passkey. So fingers crossed.

All-in-all Ventura is okay. I wouldn't consider it a game-changer or an essential upgrade though. But since it doesn't cost anything, maybe that's okay. Since all three of my Macs are running Apple Silicon now, I have a feeling that there are a bunch of little optimizations going on behind the scenes that I can't really notice to appreciate, but am grateful are there just the same.

If there's a takeaway to be had from the more recent OS X versions, it's that the big feature-busting releases are a thing of the past. From here on out it's all optimization with an occasional cool new thing thrown in so Apple's marketing department has something to sell.

You'll have to forgive me that I still keep hoping for something revolutionary to come along.

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The Most Magical Whatever on Earth

Posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

Dave!As a kid, I was a massively huge fan of Disneyland. I dreamed of going for years before my family finally made the trip down to California. Once I got there, it truly was the most magical place on earth... at least it was to me.

It was from that point on that I became a hardcore Disney Parks geek. I would visit Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and even Tokyo Disneyland over the years just to keep up with whatever cool rides and experiences they had added. That lead me into becoming once of those infamous "Disney Adults" that keep getting trashed by assholes who are mad that they have to stand in line with their bratty kids to ride the rides... using the justification that "Disney is for kids."

To which I say "Fuck off" because kids invade my space all the time. So even if I bought into the argument that "Disney is for kids" (which I do not), I wouldn't care.

But anyway...

I haven't managed to make my way to any of the Disney parks for years. I really want to see the completed Pandora - The World of Avatar land in Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. And Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at either USA park. But I have a serious problem with the way that Disney is letting the parks go downhill thanks to shitty decisions made by CEO Bob Chapek. The gutting of perks from staying at Disney hotels. The total shitshow that's the "Genie+" service (pay more to get less!). The meandering lack of direction and general stagnation. It's as if all the things that make Disney parks a magical place have been falling by the wayside.

Meanwhile over at Universal Studios...

Yeah, Universal is slowly starting to eat Disney's lunch. On top of investing a lot of time and money into cutting-edge experiences and maintaining hotel perks, they're building an entirely new park in Orlando. Not an extra land, but a whole new third park.

Called Universal's Epic Universe the information coming out of its construction is pretty amazing. We're getting four dedicated lands: Super Nintendo World, Universal Monsters, Wizarding World, and How to Train Your Dragon... along with a central hub (complete with its own attractions) and plenty of room for expansion...

Photo by @BioreConstruct with overlay by @TonyHawkins

This isn't just "Blue Sky" promises about stuff that might happen, this is Universal literally building their future.

So I dunno. Maybe Disney will pull through and actually manage to get Disneyland Westside going. Maybe their rumored "Disney Villains" land and "Frozen" land will actually happen in Orlando. Maybe they'll start adding perks back to the hotels so that the massive price tag is worth it.

But until then... I just don't know that a few new rides is enough to make me book a trip to Orlando.

But Epic Universe is shaping up to be something that might.


What to Watch Minute

Posted on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Dave!Now that I've been cutting streaming services left and right to save money for fixing all the stuff going wrong in my home, I'm confining myself to the few streaming services that I still have left. Which is Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Discovery+, and YouTube. Some of these were pre-paid for a year... but Netflix will be rotated with with Hulu and Paramount+ and Peacock so I can keep up with all the shows I watch.

Since I missed a week blogging, I thought I'd list out some of the stuff that I've been watching.

I've watched the Season Finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law three times, but have held off talking about it because I wanted to make sure that everybody had a chance to see it. There's a lot to love about this series (starting with Tatiana Maslany), but if I had to pick one thing that absolutely thrilled me... it would be seeing Matt Murdock happy. Unlike the dark, dour, depressing Daredevil in the Netflix Universe, which was amazing... the MCU version is the complete opposite and amazing too. Hats off to Charlie Cox... only an actor with some real talent has the chops to pull off both versions of the character. What's so hilarious to me are all the people going on and on about how She-Hulk RUINED THE CHARACTER! No... they didn't. That version is still available to watch if that's what you want. If nothing else, the action was on-point...

In all honesty, I think that the reason people are pouring so much hate on She-Hulk is because it confronts toxic masculinity head-on. Oh well. Stay mad about it, I guess. I thought the series was entertaining as hell and really want a second season.

I'm not done raving about Andor yet. That show is remarkably well thought-out and realized. And the acting is just beyond. Diego Luna is incredible (as expected) but there's nobody falling short of his example, and it's amazing to watch. The eighth episode is fantastic in that you can see they are actually building towards something, and nothing that's come before was by accident. Four more episodes of the first season to go, and I am betting they will just keep amping up as we hurl towards the finish line. Must watch television.

I've been heavily invested in the Netflix series From Scratch with Zoe Saldana. I am fully aware how the show ends (it's based on a true story), but I didn't realize just how heartbreaking they would make it out to be. It's one thing to know something... it's quite another to see it play out with such nuance. After the fourth episode, I only have the heart to watch them one at a time. The problem is that I thought there were six episodes... there are actually eight, and I still have the last two to go. Well worth your time if you're in the mindset for it...

Just have a box of Kleenex ready.

And speaking of knowing how the show ends... I finished the first season of House of the Dragon. Since I've read the book on which it's based, I know exactly what it's all leading to, but that hasn't dampened my appreciation for the show. It reminds me of the early seasons of Game of Thrones. But since the showrunners won't have to make up their own ending, I think Dragon has a much better chance of having a good ending (unlike Thrones which was a complete shit-show)...

Apparently they have the book broken down into four seasons. So three more to go to find out if it actually lived up to its potential, I suppose.

And I'm going to end with this YouTube video of Wayne Brady talking about one of the most hilarious sketches ever to appear on television. This is a deep dive that peels back the curtain in a very interesting and important way...


Antici… pation

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

Dave!Yesterday it was what I am watching.

Today it's what I will be watching.

Wakanda Forever — No surprise that this is my #1 most anticipated, well, anything of 2022. In addition to getting to see all the amazing characters from Wakanda, there's Namor as well? Sign me up. The reactions from everybody who has seen the film have been great, which only makes me want to see it more...

Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania — My second most-anticipated movie doesn't debut until early 2023, but the new trailer that just dropped looks like it's going to be something amazing...

Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special — Just look at the madness that James Gunn has baked into this amazing-looking show. JUST LOOK AT IT!!!

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery — Few things can compare to how great it was to get a new Agatha-Christie-esque murder mystery with an all-star cast, just like the movie adaptations used to be. This one looks great, and the early review buzz has been surprisingly positive...

1899 — From the creators of Dark? Oh yes. I'll be tuning into Netflix for this... 1000%...

Blockbuster — Yeah, Randall Park guarantees that I would be interested, but it actually looks like there's a clever story here...

Enola Holmes 2 — The first movie was very good, and they were pretty clever as to how they went about crafting a mystery to solve. The fact that the cast was exceptional was just the icing on the cake. And here we are all back again for more...

Nope — This is apparently coming out on home streaming this month. I never got to see it in the theaters, so that's something to look forward to...

Falling for Christmas — Lindsay Lohan in a Netflix Hallmark-style Christmas rom-com? Yes please...

The White Lotus: Season 2 — There was a lot of criticism laid on the first season about things not really coming to a conclusion because so many things were left up in the air... and more criticism because things that the entire season spent building towards were abandoned. I think that's totally missing the point of what the show was trying to comment on. The fact that wealthy privileged people blow in to people live and leave behind nothing but destruction IS the show. And people trapped in lives they try to leave, but don't manage to escape from IS the show. I can't wait to see what the second season brings...

Avatar: The Way of Water — If, for no other reason, that I want to see how the special effects have improved from the first movie...

And these are just the things I can think of off the top of my head. There's probably dozens of others that should be on my radar.


The Pillars of Creation

Posted on Friday, October 28th, 2022

Dave!The Webb Telescope is a massive achievement, and I consider it a total miracle that it's actually working. So much could have gone completely wrong... and yet it actually manages to function as designed. It's a huge testament to science (as well as a government expenditure that I have zero problems with).

It will, however, not last.

Webb is being impacted by micrometeorites at a rate of about one per month, and they already had to recalibrate after a micrometeorite caused "significant damage" back in July. This is not a surprise, as NASA knew that this would happen. The hope is that it can last for 20 years. Anything over that would be cream. There is, of course, also the possibility that it could be ruined far earlier than 20 years.

In the meanwhile though?


Just look at one of the more recent images... The Pillars of Creation...

Now compare that to the previous-best image we had from Hubble...

Seriously awe-inspiring stuff.

As I often do whenever NASA releases some amazing shot like this, I pull up the StarWalk 2 app on my phone to see where the stellar object actually is.

This is almost always a mistake because I always, always, always end up falling down an interstellar rabbit hole. There's just so much cool stuff in the universe to see.

The latest Downloadable Content for StarWalk 2 is 3D constellations...

Ursa Major

Which aren't immediately apparent as 3D until you actually rotate the view...

Ursa Major

Interesting to note that while the constellations are static and flat from our viewpoint, they are actually at many different distances, and the more you rotate the more extreme it gets...

Ursa Major

Some of them, like Hydra, are just bonkers...

Ursa Major

Ursa Major

I should probably go to bed since it's now almost midnight and I've been looking at the night sky for two hours.


Caturday 281

Posted on Saturday, October 29th, 2022

Dave!The cats have put up with a lot these past weeks. A lot of strangers coming and going as I have work done and repairs made. Even pre-pandemic when I had a steady stream of visitors, they were having none of it. And now, after years of lockdown, they're even more nervous about strangers as they were before.

The good news is that Jake and Jenny always recover fairly quickly. 20 minutes after everybody leaves, they're down investigating what happened while they were hiding in my closet upstairs.


There's paper on the floor to protect the hardwood outside my bathroom. Knowing my cats would be curious, I dropped a towel over the edge so they would leave it alone.

At least that was the plan. Jake pulled the towel back while Jenny ripped the paper up...

I could be upset about it, but then Jenny comes running to snuggle up next to me, looks up at me with that sour little face, and there's just no way I can be mad...

Jenny being adorable.

Though getting then to snuggle against me is getting tougher and tougher as it gets colder and they want to spend all their time on the warming pads...

I'm not offended in the least. Them liking the warming pads saves me a fortune in heating costs over the winter.

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Bullet Sunday 783

Posted on Sunday, October 30th, 2022

I am outraged with the world, but still have plenty of rage left over for the petty stuff... because a Very Special "Shit I'm Done With" Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

• Good Bye Alexa! And... looks like I'm dumping Amazon Alexa now. They've been spamming me with shit forever, but this morning I got an alert telling me that the movie Coraline is on sale for a special price and I am fucking done. Digital assistants should shut the fuck up and leave me the fuck alone until I ask them to do shit. Period. I'll be using Apple Siri and Google Assistant from here on out. Amazing how can build up the digital assistant market then piss it all away like this. Oh well. Fortunately my Sonos speakers can switch to Google Assistant no problem. I only have two hardware Alexa devices and those are going in the trash where they belong. I wish I could say it was good while it lasted, but, well... you know...

• Good Bye INSTEON! When I bought my new home six years ago, I did a deep dive on all the available smart home platforms. Each of them had pluses and minuses, just like anything. But even more problematic was that there were gaps in devices available, which meant I ended up having to mix-and-match instead of having a single platform for everything. Cameras were Nest (now Google), outlet plugs were Smart Life, temperature sensors were Govee, etc. etc. But the majority of my devices were INSTEON. Everything from my light switches to my garage door opener were a part of the INSTEON ecosystem. Then earlier this year INSTEON went out of business. Then they came back. But who knows for how long? Rather than sinking any more money into a dying platform, I'm putting all my eggs in the Thread/Matter smart home basket. It will be gradual because I'm not made out of money, but I'm starting with some light switches (by Eve) and going from there. Eventually everything will be Thread/Matter devices, because they promise excellent performance, true interoperability between manufacturers, and is relatively future-proof.

• Good Bye Junk Drawer! Now that my kitchen renovation is actually like... happening (after 3 years of trying to find people to make it happen) I am realizing just how much crap I've got that I never use. For all three years my kitchen has been torn up, my junk drawer" has been in my garage. I never once went out to get anything from it...

Jenny with her claws out.

Anything useful will be transferred to my studio. The rest will be tossed in the garbage. It'll be kinda strange to not have a junk drawer since I've always had one. My family has had a junk drawer for generations. But given that Amazon can deliver practically anything in a couple days now-a-days, it doesn't seem necessary to have an entire drawer devoted to clutter. And I'll be donating a bunch of kitchen gadgets I never used to charity as well.

• Good Bye Political Donations! I have long supported two types of political candidates... Moderate Republicans who are working to get back to actual Republican ideals instead of whatever fucked up anti-humanist bullshit is on the current agenda of the faux-Republicans they're running against... and Democrats who are running against the fucked up anti-humanist bullshit. But... NO MORE! Because once your donate to a candidate they (and their entire party) WILL NEVER, EVER FUCKING LEAVE YOU ALONE! It goes something like this...

"Reply STOP to stop receiving these texts."
"LOL! Yeah, right. You donated to my campaign 12 years ago and I'll be spamming you until you die. And every time I'll use a different phone number so there's no way you can block me, and replying STOP doesn't actually do shit. Sucks to be you! Thanks for your support 12 years ago! Send more money!"

I will never donate to another political campaign ever again. All the organizations (but in particular the Democrats' "ActBlue" money machine) fucking spam you to fucking death. It never, EVER ends. And because of it I'll be sending ZERO dollars and ZERO cents to anybody, no matter how much I like them.

• Good Bye JK Rowling! I've never been a Harry Potter fan, but all this transphobic TERF bullshit with his creator, JK Rowling, has gotten out of hand... and now Ralph Fiennes coming to her defense? Really?

TRANS WOMAN: =exists=

What the actual fuck?!? Her entire identity is built around trying to persecute a marginalized community which has done nothing to her. Her entire identity is being a transphobic bigot. Well, no worries, JK... nobody is stealing that identity from you. You work way too hard for anybody to ever even attempt it. Meanwhile Ralph Fiennes says the "abuse" towards JK Rowling is "appalling." Are you joking? How fucking dense could you be?!? It's not like she sat back minding her own business and people started calling her out... SHE WORKS DAY AND NIGHT TO FUCKING *EARN* WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT HER! She practically demands it, because every time it dies down, she starts being a piece of shit again. So yeah, I'm done with her, but that's easy because I never really got started in the first place.

• Good Bye Pantone! Fuck Pantone and their shitty color system sideways. Designers made them the premiere color authority, and we're being repaid by being gouged over the monopoly we handed them. We bought their color books. Printers bought their inks. All of us bought into their bullshit. But now they want to charge designers a $21 monthly fee for the privilege of eating their bullshit...

My work would pay the $21 a month without even batting an eye. But I categorically refuse to give Pantone the money. I don't fucking care if this means that I have to manually create color swatches. I don't care that it adds time. I don't care that it's inconvenient. I will continue to buy their physical color books as I have been for decades (mainly because I have to) but I won't give them a fucking nickel to have their color swatches in my Adobe apps. And the second... THE VERY SECOND... that designers endorse a new OPEN color standard and the printers I use have access to inks for it... I will burn every fucking Pantone item I own then take a shit on the ashes.

Turning all the Pantone colors used in old projects black WHEN THE DOCUMENTS WERE CREATED AT A TIME WHEN THE PANTONE COLOR BOOKS WERE FREE TO USE is fucked up to an infinite degree. I detest these assholes and hope that their entire company as well as their shitty fucking business model goes up in flames.

With all the crap going on in the world, it seems petty to spend any outrage on all this stuff... but rest assured that I have plenty of outrage left. When it comes to outrage, my supply is infinite. And companies like Pantone are the reason why.

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Subway Gone Missing

Posted on Monday, October 31st, 2022

Dave!I like subway tile. It's simple, clean, and doesn't draw much attention to itself. Which is exactly what I want.

So when I bought my place and had it gutted for renovation, the very first thing I did was lock down the subway tile I was going to use. That way I could match all the paint to it. I wanted square tile for the bathrooms and 3×6 for the kitchen. And since I couldn't afford to do everything at once, I was sure to purchase a standard tile from a big box store instead of something unique. In this case, it was American Olean from Lowe's. I started with the bathrooms. Then, four years later I had the money saved to do the kitchen... but COVID... and so I am only getting to it now.

Bright and early Sunday morning I went to buy the tile.

Surprise, surprise... Lowe's no longer sells American Olean. They've switched absolutely everything to Satori Tile. The American Olean is only available via special order, which would be fine. Except of course it's out of stock. And of course they have no idea when... or if... they'll ever get it back again...

Missing Tile

Well, shit.

The Satori subway tile that Lowe's had available is not the same creamy white of the American Olean which I color-matched all my paint to. It's cooler... grayer... and looks like crap next to the kitchen cabinet frames which I just had painted last week.

The next-closest thing is the subway tile at Home Depot... Daltile Bright White. It's not quite as creamy, but at least it's in the same color family. I have no clue if it will require me to repaint my kitchen cabinet frames yet, but it's the best option I have available considering the tile installer is coming this week.

It's become glaringly obvious that only people with loads of money can afford to renovate their home. You can't do it in stages because too much can go wrong. Like your tile gone missing. Or COVID. No, you really have to be wealthy enough to do it all at the same time to make sure that everything you planned can actually happen.

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