Happiest of New Years to you!
When it comes to New Year's resolutions, I'm pretty boring because I have the exact same New Year's resolutions every year. The same five goals going on for heaven only knows how long. This year is no different, so here we go...
I should probably add "keep blogging" on there somewhere, but that's pretty much a given at this point.
And what am I looking forward to in 2015?
• Travel! It's going to be really difficult to top Africa, so I'm not even going to try. Where that leaves me for my Fall vacation I have no idea. Maybe if I try something a little less ambitious this year I'll be able to afford a trip to Antarctica or India next year?
• Movies! Well, new Star Wars: Episode VII is obviously topping my list of films I want to see this year. And lest we forget, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant Man are dropping in 2015 as well. And then there's the long delayed Jupiter Ascending that probably won't live up to my expectations, but I'm wanting to see it anyway. I don't know how to feel about Terminator: Genisys, but am onboard with Jurassic World. Also on my radar... Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mission Impossible 5, Ted 2, and Seventh Son. And then there's The Fantastic Four. Sony's already screwed up the property twice, so I'm holding out little hope that third time will be a charm... but who knows?
• Music! Topping my most anticipated list would be Macintosh Braun's Arcadia, which has been teased for far too long. Interested in seeing what Imagine Dragons come up with for Smoke + Mirrors. Rumor has it Duran Duran, Drake, and Garbage are going to released something this year, which would be welcome. As would a new album by Slayer, but talk seems to have died down as of late. Lastly, Ludacris is going to be dropping Ludaversal this year after a five year wait... definitely looking forward to that. Meanwhile, rumors that Depeche Mode were heading to the studio this year turned out to be false, which is sad because I so want them to redeem themselves to me after their disappointing past two releases. And finally, from the Hope Springs Eternal Dept., please, please, please, let Tom Bailey make a new album this year. His set of Thompson Twin calssics on the Retro Futura Tour was so mind-blowing that I'm dying for new material.
• Fiction! One of the definite highlights of the past four years has been working on THRICE Fiction. I can honestly say that neither RW nor I had any idea what this would become when it started, and we're so very grateful for the successes we've had. None of which wouldn't have been possible with the wonderful writers and artists who contribute to each issue. Big plans are afoot for 2015, and I couldn't be more excited for where we're headed. As always, you can download every issue for FREE on our website.
• Apple! Please oh please let this be the year we get Apple TV.
• Ink! Last year I got two new tattoos. This year will probably be the same. I am hoping to finally find time to get my upper-right arm worked on this year, as that's been a long time coming.
As always, wishing everybody only good things in 2015. Something tells me this is going to be another year to struggle for me, but hopefully not as awful as most of 2014 was.
And so... updating WordPress ended up being a very bad idea, because Blogography done broked real good last night.
Which happens from time to time, I know, but it's no less irritating. Usually I would just stop the world and re-install everything from scratch, but that's not an option right now. Maybe come the weekend...
Sorry if you're one of the thousands of people who can't start their day without a dose of Blogography. Guess you'll be taking the week off then?
When Blogography broke down (again) on Monday, I was half-way tempted to just leave it broken.
This was just the excuse I needed to hang up blogging once and for all, as lately it seems more like a chore I have to do rather than an activity I want to do. But I've gone through rough patches like this before and have always cone around, so I thought it best to get things running again. If I'm going to quit, it should be a decision I make instead of a decision I'm forced into.
So here I am.
Guess there's no better reason to do a meme than that...
See you tomorrow, I guess.
I hope all you East Coasters have dug your way out of the blizzard by now... because Bullet Sunday on Saturday starts... now...
• Blog! Turns out the reason my blog keeps failing is because database tables are being locked, rendering me unable to post anything. I don't know exactly how to keep it from happening... yet... but at least I know how to fix it without reinstalling everything.
• Burma Shave! A few people wrote and asked what's with the "Burma Shave" sign I posted. Since the concept pre-dates even me, here's a link to Wikipedia that explains it all...
If you want to take a look at some of the clever jingles Burma Shave came up with over the years, there's a repository for that.
• The Pox! It doesn't matter that the whole anti-vaccination movement is bullshit and the people who have been most vocal in claiming vaccinations are harmful are lying assholes... people are buying into it, which means dead diseases, like measles, coming back with a vengeance. There's loads of material online to support vaccination as a critical protection for all society... but Night of the Living Dad has one of my favorite takes on the subject. Here's another...
Too bad people can't get vaccinated against insanity.
• Lost? Lost was one of the best shows to hit television. For the first season or two. Then it became an idiotic mess of stupid shit that was piled on top of more stupid shit where nothing was resolved and nothing made sense. I maintained again and again that the writers had no clue what in the hell they were doing and that there could be no pay-off for such random idiotic bullshit. And now? Yep, yep, yep.
• Park! "Nara Dreamland," Japan's answer to Disneyland that opened in the 60's, was eventually closed in 2006. Probably because Japan ended up with an "authentic" Disneyland of their own. Since closing, Dreamland has been left abandoned. I was curious to know if anybody had managed to take photos of the empty park, and was surprised to find some incredible shots on a blog by photographer/writer Michael John Grist...
Well worth your time to visit, if you're into this kind of thing!
• SkyMall! As a frequent flier, I was very sad to learn that SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy. Not that I would ever buy their crazy, overprice crap... but it made for some much-needed entertainment on more than a couple flights...
After all, who wouldn't want a suitcase scooter?
And... I'm spent. New bullets in five days.
Boy do I miss blogs.
I have an ongoing promise to myself that I won't go into work on the weekends until noon. Rarely do I keep that promise, because I'd rather intrude on my precious personal time than have to work until midnight on a a weekend.
This morning I actually managed to keep my promise to myself. And it's all Jack Fischl's fault. JACK is the reason that I didn't drag my sorry ass to work until 1:30...
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Back when blogging was a thing, I read a lot of blogs. Like seriously many. As in hundreds. At one point I was reading 362 blogs, 256 of which were personal blogs of interesting people with interesting things to say. I know this because I once mentioned it in a video...
A surprising number of these bloggers became friends that I still keep in contact with today... even though they have long-since given up on blogging. A few of them I manage to visit in person as I travel the earth. Most of them, however, I only manage to keep up with because of Twitter or Facebook or whatever.
It's not the same.
Twitter gives you 140 characters in which to express yourself. That's great for simple thoughts ("I went to the grocery store today"), but total shit for actual communication ("I went to the grocery store today and was attacked by a grizzly bear"). Wait, what? With blogging you'd probably get the whole grizzly bear story right down to the last detail. Now you get the bare minimum of details that always leave you hanging. If you're lucky, there might be a photo attached, but that's about it.
Facebook isn't much better. Sure you have more space to write, but most people don't use it. Twitter and text messaging has destroyed real personal storytelling forever. Instead you get meaningless updates about winning a trivia game or automated data dumps of how far somebody ran today or random links to random stuff... anything but the story of somebody's life.
Am I the only one who misses that?
This morning I was trying to come up with travel ideas that were off the beaten path yet affordable. Looking at my travel map, I noticed once again how Central and South America have barely been touched. This annoys me greatly, so I started poking around the internet for unique travel experiences in those regions. Eventually I landed on a site called Keteka, "Your gateway to authentic tours and activities in Latin America." And indeed they do have a variety of interesting "off the beaten path" tours that are reasonably priced.
After exploring the site for a bit, I happened to notice a section called "Stories from the Road" at the bottom of the page. The first link was "Jack's Blog."
And there went three hours of my life.
What a fascinating guy. He started a blog as a way to document his adventures in Panama with the Peace Corps, and his every entry is fantastic stuff. Entertaining stories about everything from daily life in the rainforest to battling bat poop. Suddenly I was sucked back into the world of blogs again, remembering how great it was to be an observer into somebody's life that's different from my own.
And that's the thing that makes blogging so wonderful... everybody has a life that's different from mine. Which means everybody's life is interesting to me, even though they may find it mundane.
Boy do I miss blogs.
Such a pity that telling your story and inviting people into your life is an artform that's dying out in favor of snippets of 140 characters or less.
Such is progress.
So, if you want an awesome read from the glory days of blogging, Jack Fischl is your guy.
I recommend starting at the last page, which is the first page chronologically. Then on each subsequent page, you have to scroll to the bottom and read entries in reverse in order to keep moving forward. Confusing, I know, but it's worth the effort.
Here's the last (first) page of Jack's Blog.
And don't hate me for making you miss blogging. I still do this crap every day.
It just occurred to me that I totally forgot about blogging today.
Guess that's bound to happen from time to time.
Here's a photo of me as a baby with a monkey...
There. Blogging done!
I once again forgot about my blogiversary... Blogography turned 12 years old on the 18th.
Not that I blame me. Now that blogs are essentially dead, blogiversaries are not what they used to be. Back in the day when 50 comments on every entry was the norm and the blogging community was strong, I'd count down the days until my blogiversary and have week-long contests with fabulous prizes. Fun times ensued, and I'd energized enough about blogging to carry me through to the next year's celebration.
Those were the days.
A dozen years posting stupid shit to the internet.
Back in the good ol' days where blogging actually mattered, I refused many an offer to host ads on Blogography (I still do... on those rare occasions somebody actually bothers to ask now-a-days). Not that I was turning down any massive dollar amounts or anything... I would have earned well under $100 a month... but the money wasn't the point. I simply did not want to have my entire blogging life revolve around driving clicks to my website.
Which is what you have to do in order to make ads worth it. Just ask the fine folks at TVBlend...
In order to find out the answer to their burning question, you have to click through to their website.
Whereas Super Hero Hype has a different, arguably less douchey approach...
Super Hero Hype doesn't make you click through to get the answer, they try to create a post that will have you wanting to click through to get more than just "the answer." Kind of a big difference, though the end result is the same... if you're a fan of Constantine, you'll be clicking through to the site in order to get the deets about the fate of the show.
And while I prefer the Super Hero Hype approach which doesn't hold a gun to my head for a click-through, TV Blend's tactics don't bother me enough to stop following their newsfeed... I just don't click through as much as I would if they were a bit more creative in how they go about initiating it.
But lest you think Super Hero Hype isn't above allowing others to put douchey clickbait ads on their site. Well...
ZOMFG! WHAT DID SANDRA BULLOCK LIE ABOUT?!??
Who the hell cares?
A lot of people, apparently. Because this kind of clickbait is rampant on the internet. You can't escape it. Everywhere you look there's something UNBELIEVABLE and AMAZING that will LEAVE YOU SPEECHLESS... but it requires a click-through to reveal what it is.
In some cases it's more than figurative... you literally can't escape it. Because an increasing number of websites... "ZergNet" for example... spawn infinite new windows with every click so you never leave their site. You're trapped in a maze of clickbait from which few break free.
Until you fall asleep at the computer.
Or close your browser window.
Which is the only true escape from clickbait once you're on the internet.
Which reminds me... DID YOU KNOW THAT THESE COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS COULD KILL YOU?!?
Ended up with some kind of permissions problem for posting. Again.
The quick fix that's worked every other time didn't work this time.
My ambition for tracking down what's wrong and repairing it is hovering somewhere near non-existent.
No blog for you.
The little photos that accompany each entry on this blog are 15 years old today! Thanks to my friend Meagan for creating the custom-made photo booth that made it all possible.
I should probably update them one of these days, but I can never seem to bring myself to get rid of something that's been a part of Blogography since it began in 2003...
There were originally 25 shots. I whittled them down to 17 for my blog. An 18th image was added of me flipping the bird in late 2003 when I found out I desperately needed one...
Last week when I realized that the 15th anniversary of Meagan's photos was coming up, I pulled all the photos of me posted to this blog and arranged them in ascending date order.
A whole lot of Dave can be found in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Every once in a blue moon...
...I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to write in this blog. Today was a crappy day and just when I thought it couldn't get any crappier, IT DID. Then it was crap on crap on crap, which meant I had to spend most all of my time trying to dig my way out of shit.
Perhaps on days like today I should just skip blogging entirely.
But I don't want to kill that streak I've got going on just yet, so here you are having to read about crap.
Which is to say it's just another day at Blogography.
My plan was to spend all day at the office so I could get caught up from time lost during my whirlwind week of working in Maine. Alas, instead I spent almost the entire day stuck in bed sick. My guess is that lack of sleep has finally compromised my health, and I ended up vulnerable to a bad case of food poisoning around 3:00am.
The bad news is that I managed to get zero work done.
The good news is that I stumbled across my Tumblr that I never use and had a bunch of questions waiting for me! Here are some of them...
What's the scariest thing you've ever done? I'm tempted to answer "skydiving," but I get more scared in tall buildings than I ever did skydiving and parachuting. Being in the middle of earthquakes in both Seattle and Tokyo were pretty scary. Getting held up at gun-point was definitely scary... but that wasn't something I did, so I honestly don't know. Blind dates are terrifying to me, so let's go with that.
What was the best sex you've ever had? Any sex I'm lucky enough to have is the best... but, if forced to choose? Cologne, Germany, February 2008. Came out of nowhere. Took me completely by surprise. Was the amazing culmination of an incredible day.
How do I get these numbers off my television? I am not familiar with your television, but the "DISPLAY" button usually takes care of that.
What sites do you use for travel advice? Where can I get the best airfare and the cheapest hotels? For specifics, I like TripAdvisor quite a lot, but you have to take some of the absurd reviews you see with a grain of salt. For general travel advice, Nomadic Mike is about as good as it gets (he has great tips for cheap airfare as well). Cheap hotels depend completely on where you're willing to say and what class you're comfortable staying at. I use Priceline a lot. When there's a specific hotel I want to stay at, I've saved money with Trivago. Surprisingly, I sometimes find huge savings by using my AAA card (and, as a bonus, all AAA rates seem to let you cancel them, unlike Priceline and other bidding sites which are non-refundable). My general advice for saving money is BE FLEXIBLE! Some times are cheaper than others. Some destinations are cheaper than others. So long as you are flexible, you'll be best able to take advantage of deals you can find around the internet (signing up for fare alerts from FareCompare and Airfare Watchdog is a good start, but you should sign up for everything you can find!).
Where do you draw the line? I try very hard to draw the line when my actions will negatively impact others.
Where did you go to art school and what advice would you give sombody wanting to have a career in art? I didn't go to art school and an entirely self-taught. When it comes to advice, I honestly don't know what to offer. Now-a-days, getting started in a profitable art career seems more about who you know and what connections you have over anything else. That being said, crazy-talented people always seem to find a way to make a living at it. Problem is, most people who think they're crazy-talented (sadly) are not. This is not to say that you can't make a living doing what you love, it's just that in a day and age where clip-art makes everybody think they're an artist and there are sites offering $5 logos and such... well... it can be difficult. That being said... keep working at it. Get yourself out there. Let your work be seen. Don't be discouraged by negative feedback but instead use that feedback to better your craft.
Why are you still blogging? I have no idea. Except... a lot of "unique visitors" drop by every day which means people are still reading it, so there's that. My guess is that it's become habit. I just do it without really thinking about it. And then there's nostalgia. I've met a lot of amazing people through blogging, so ditching it isn't that easy.
And... time to try and get more sleep...
My decision to skip sleeping last night was probably the best decision I could have made. A meager three hours would only have only served to put me in a coma for my three-hour-fifteen-minute commute to work. A coma from which even 5-Hour Energy would not let me escape.
As an insomniac, I never get much sleep anyways. But no sleep makes me very stabby indeed...
Driving sleep-free was the least of my worries though.
The reason I always drive to Spokane at night is because driving it in the morning results in about two-and-a-half hours of staring into this...
I-90 runs due-East directly into the rising sun. And on a day like today, it obliterates everything on the road. I really need to get me a sun-shield one day, but until then all I had was some notecards and clothespins hanging from my visor to cut down the glare as much as I could. I also had sunglasses, but they don't really help when it's this bright.
Work was a brisk 50 minutes, at which time I should have turned around and headed back home.
But there was no way I was going to come all this way without having some of the Best Pizza on Earth courtesy of David's Pizza Spokane...
Waiting 25 minutes for them to open was torture, as I was totally falling asleep after finding a spot to park. I ended up setting the alarm on my iPhone to wake me up, which was probably the smartest thing I did all day.
David's Da Vinci pizza was amazeballs as always.
Then it was time for the three-hour-fifteen-minute drive back.
Which was awful, but at least I didn't have to spend the majority of it staring at a giant ball of flames on the horizon.
I stopped to pick up some crap at Costco on the way because I'm stupid that way. Then I drove to work because I'm incredibly stupid that way. Eventually I managed to get home... at which point I passed out for two hours.
Since waking up I've been wandering around in a haze, my mind still in a state of exhaustion from serious lack of sleep.
Which is why I decided it's the perfect time to post an entry to Blogography... this time I have an actually excuse as to why my incoherent ramblings are incoherent and rambling.
This morning I went to send a Bullet Sunday dedicated to the concert last night and it wouldn't post. I tried to login to Wordpress to see what's going on and couldn't. My guess is that one of the security plugins I'm running has once again gone off the rails, which means I have to go through a bunch of files and deactivate stuff until I figure out what the problem is.
Which is a pain in the ass, but if the alternative is having my blog hacked every week, I guess I'll take it.
Hasn't anybody told the spammers and hackers that blogging is dead? They're just wasting their time.
You were loved.
You will be missed.
Wordpress ate my post.
I don't have the energy to rewrite it, so I guess that will have to be another day.
For those who only read one of my posts each year... or anybody wanting a recap of the past year here at Blogography... this post is for you! As usual, I've jettisoned loads of the usual junk so this entry is "mostly crap" instead of the "total crap" they usually are.
This year was difficult for many reasons, but I tried to make the best of it whenever I could. ...
• Restored some very cool old family photos...
• Finally made the switch from Apple's discontinued Aperture to Adobe Lightroom.
• Got angry at the lobbyist pig-fuckers ruining this country.
• Mourned the loss of the blogs in my life.
• Went to a birthday party in San Diego and took some photos...
• I love baby bats!
• Had another encounter with Cirque du Soleil, this time with KURIOS!
• Flew to Memphis to visit their new Hard Rock Cafe, see the sights, and visit some friends...
• Spent the evening photographing beautiful Beale Street...
• Got my hands on the majesty that is the Retina 5K iMac.
• Essential viewing for every American.
• Sang the praises of Netflix and Marvel's Daredevil.
• Took a trip to Vancouver so I could get detained, visit the new Hard Rock Casino, and eat TimBits...
• Had a less than stellar experience when visiting the new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Lake Tahoe...
• Visited Anchorage to see the new Hard Rock Cafe there and take the Alaska Railroad so I could go glacier watching...
• Marvel at Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande as they Don't Dream it's Over...
• THE BLACKHAWKS WIN THE STANLEY CUP!
• Dropped some text on vitiligo.
• Spent too long obsessing over a video where a cat taking a nap got an unexpected ride...
• Equality nation-wide...
• Wrote a love letter to Back to the Future on the event of the film's 30th anniversary.
• America. A retrospective of greatness.
• Took a look back at some of my favorite television commercials from past years.
• Came the closest to death that I ever have.
• Said goodbye to The Daily Show.
• Took a trip to Los Angeles and visited The Getty Museum...
• Was disgusted by being disgusted.
• Became enamored with a pencil.
• Said goodbye to PDX carpet after flying to Portland for a wedding...
• Finally, finally got to see a concert at Red Rocks... DURAN DURAN!
• Became obsessed with LEGO Dimensions...
• Sorry, I'm not Josh...
• iTunes is the shittiest software ever.
• Spent a beautiful day in Marin County...
• Went to see Walk the Moon with Jestertunes...
• Finally said goodbye to my piece of shit car.
• Took a step towards fulfilling a dream...
• On a trip to Portland, Maine, I discovered that United Airlines Don't Give a Fuck.
• Delved into the world of home automation.
• Closed out my travel year by flying back to San Francisco so I could see The 1975 with Jestertunes.
And that was my adventures in 2015.
Here's wishing everybody a terrific 2016!