Posted on Sunday, January 6th, 2008
Buuuuuuuuuullet Sunday! Buuuuuuuuuullet Sunday! Bullet Sunday! Bullet Sunday! Bullet Sunnnnnnnnnnnnnndaaaaaaaayy! Amen.
Driver. Remember the good old days when driving was a relatively effortless endeavor? When you could be assured that most of the people out on the road were semi-competant behind the wheel? Now-a-days I get the feeling that nobody else out there knows how the hell to drive. I spend every waking minute on the road having to watch out for all the crazy crap that other people do so I don't get in an accident. Just driving to the grocery store is now a massively stressful ordeal. It would be easy to put the blame on mobile phones... but I honestly think people are just getting stupider and stupider. Today I saw a pedestrian get nailed by a dumbass bitch who didn't bother to look right before making her turn. This is not complicated stuff... how hard is it to remember that you look left-right-left before pulling out into traffic? The guy bounced up and walked away... but what if he hadn't? When are people going to realize that a car can be a deadly weapon if you don't pay attention?
Flavorful. Mew left a comment in my Jellybean entry asking what my favorite jellybean flavors are. After much deliberation and taste-testing, I've finally come up with my top ten...
Yummy. Now I'm sad that I've eaten all my jellybeans. Except the coffee and licorice ones. Blech.
Worst. I've already laid the honor of BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR on Juno. Now I have the extreme displeasure of awarding WORST MOVIE OF THE YEAR on Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Sure there are probably movies that sucked more, but this horrible confusing mess of the film is by far the most disappointing. Talk about taking a can't-miss franchise and flushing it down the toilet. I'm happy that I never bothered to see it in theaters, but am really pissed that I just bought it on DVD. Stunning special effects do not a good movie make. I can't believe that Johnny Depp signed off on the script.
Winner. Well, if it's possible for a format to actually win the Hi-Def format war, I guess it's going to be Blu-Ray. Not that I'm surprised or anything. I've been reading articles like this saying so since almost the beginning. I still think that it doesn't much matter... whichever one comes out on top, digital delivery is the future. Blu-Ray (or whatever) is just a stop-gap. Still, I'm happy to have come out on top for once... I've still got the bitter taste of failure in my mouth from hopping on the mini-disc fiasco.
Terminated. Watched the sneak-preview of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and was not very impressed. As desperate as I am for new television during the writer's strike, I don't think this is it. About the only high point was getting to see Summer Glau again... but that just made me miss Firefly all the more. I'll undoubtedly watch it for a while to see how things go, but I don't have my hopes up. Fortunately, Series 2 of the excellent British show Torchwood is due to air here in the US on January 26th... now there's sci-fi television to get excited about.
Posted on Sunday, January 13th, 2008
It's Bullet Sunday in Biloxi as I wait for my first of four flights today! Nothing quite so fun as flying from one small city to another small city.
• Feature. I had five hours to catch some sleep before I had to meet the 4:20am shuttle to the airport. Naturally, this means that some stupid bitch has to dial a wrong number and wake me up shortly after midnight. And, of course, I hang on to my phone because I just know the dumbass won't bother to check the number, but will instead dial it again... and she does ("YOU. HAVE. THE. WRONG. NUMBER!!!"). Why doesn't iPhone have a "FAVORITES ONLY" feature?? A way of setting it so anybody NOT on your "favorites" list will automatically be dumped to voicemail with NO notification played? And, since I'm fantasizing here, why can't you put it on a schedule? Make it so anybody calling after 10:00pm or before 8:00am (or whatever) who isn't on your favorites list will be told to go fuck themselves? That would be an astoundingly useful feature, and I don't know why some mobile phone manufacturer hasn't implemented it.
• Etiquette. Speaking of mobile phones...why don't people realize is extremely rude to use your phone on public transportation? My shuttle may have left at 4:20am, but some bad-mannered fucker in a pink shirt managed to find somebody to talk to for the entire 30-minute trip to the airport. People are trying to catch some rest here, asshole.
• Handicap. And speaking of assholes... why is it that people using the handicap parking never know how to park a fucking car? When I was at my Milwaukee hotel, some idiot parked angled across three spaces (only one of them handicapped)... WITH A SUBARU! OVERNIGHT!! And, of course, since parking lots are personal property, there's no way to ticket the offense. This just encourages the morons to get worse and worse. And don't give me the bullshit "there wasn't room to get out" excuse. If that's the case, then pull up and drop off your passenger before parking so you're not blocking a walkway. Being handicapped doesn't give you an excuse to be a dick...
So what if I block the walkway! I'm handicapped, so fuck you!
• Prize. I've been trying to devise unique prizes and events for my fifth blogiversary coming up in April. One of my ideas was to have a prize drawing for a Dave Event in the city of your choice... anywhere in the world with an airport served by a major airline carrier. I figured it would be not only exciting for anybody who entered, but VERY exciting for myself. Who knows where I'd end up? I mean, if somebody in Seattle won, that wouldn't be much of a trip... but what if it was somebody in Bucharest? Or São Paulo? Or Jakarta? How cool would that be? I mean, Davekarta may only be a party for two, but that would still be pretty sweet. And then I got to thinking about it. Who knows where I'd REALLY end up? Pyongyang? Baghdad? Darfur? SACRAMENTO?!?*** Hmmm... actually, I wouldn't mind visiting North Korea... but there are some places that I just don't know how I'd do it. I dunno. Maybe there could be some kind of pre-approval process when you enter, but that kind of spoils the fun, doesn't it?
• Approach. Hmmm... I was just looking through my photos and noticed how cool the approach is into the Gulfport/Biloxi Airport...
If you look really closely, you can see the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino!
On top of that, the airport here has FREE Wi-Fi internet and plays this totally awesome 80's soundtrack at full volume. Sitting here I've heard Thompson Twins, Devo, R.E.M., The Police, Talking Heads, The Fixx, Wang Chung, Billy Idol, Eurythmics, and Def Leppard! Sweet! It's almost worth coming to Biloxi just to use their kick-ass airport.
• MacWorld. Oh crap. MacWorld starts tomorrow. Since I didn't win a million dollars at the Hard Rock Casino Biloxi, I'm terrified at what Steve Jobs is going to unleash in his keynote. Undoubtedly something very expensive that I just can't live without (like a new $7000 Mac that fits up your ass and is controlled directly by your brain using radio waves). Sometimes being a Certified Mac Whore is not easy. Especially if you end up bankrupt. To tell the truth, I'd just be happy if Apple would fix iCal and Mail so that they were useable again. Between the HORRENDOUS FUCKING INTERFACE DESIGN CHANGES of iCal, and the CONSTANT CRASHING AND SLOW-SLOW-SLOW-SLOW START-UP TIMES for Mail that occurred with the OS X 10.5 Leopard release, I'm really starting to get pissed off. Apple is messing up bad, which is tragic when you consider they set the benchmark for this stuff in the first place.
And that's it for Bullet Sunday. I'll be traveling all day long and will probably head to bed the minute I get home, so I figured I might as well post it now.
*** Just kidding, Hilly. Juuuuust kidding.
Posted on Sunday, January 20th, 2008
• Band. A while back Karl found a rather cool meme about making a band and album via random blog searches. I answered it over on his entry, but enough people have asked me about it that I'm reprinting it here. You get your band name from the first article title at a random Wikipedia search. The title of your album is the last four words of the last quote on the random quotations page. Your album cover comes from the third image on a random Flicker page. You then moosh everything together, and here's what I got...
Photo taken from Juan Farrell's Flickr
• Fuckabee. If this ass-wipe wins the presidency, we're all doomed. Of course, we're pretty much doomed right now. I guess I'm just really tired of doom.
• Traction. It started snowing pretty good this morning as I left for work. The snow was all powdery, so when it landed on our icy roads, traction became a problem. Having driven in these kind of conditions for decades, I just reduced my speed by half and anticipated my stops well in advance. Tricky, but not really a big deal. Until I turned the corner and saw one car being pulled out of a ditch, then went another block to see a police office lighting road flares because another car had run off a bridge. WTF? If you are not capable of driving in adverse conditions... STAY THE F#@% HOME!! Or buy my upcoming new book...
• Traveled. By some accounts, I've traveled quite a lot. My travel map shows visits from Asia to Europe and back again. This is especially true for US citizens, where over 80% of us don't have a passport. Which is why it's cool that today I got to meet somebody who's extensive travels make mine look positively tame. It was then that I realize that I've only been south of the equator once, have never visited South America or Australia, and have no "that's when the police confiscated my motorcycle and took my jar of peanut butter" stories. I really do need to get out more, because making the leap from "traveler" to "adventurer" sounds like a lot more fun than eating ice cream and watching cartoons. Well, maybe not a lot more fun... but at least a little more fun.
• Inked. Is there anything worse than printing something out, only to look over and see the error light blinking on your printer? Yes. Yes there is. That would be seeing that you've run out of ink, and have every color cartridge available except the one you just emptied. VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE INFERNAL PRINTING MACHINE!!! Hmmm... maybe I've been watching too much Invader Zim?
And now it's time to see if I can get some sleep so I can get up extra early for work. Heaven only knows how many dumbasses I'll have to navigate around if it snows again.
Posted on Sunday, January 27th, 2008
This entry probably won't make much sense. I spent the day at the world's largest candy show, and consumed so much sugar that my brain hurts. And I think I'm going blind. My hands are kind of shaking too. Perhaps I'm on my way to a sugar-induced coma or something?
What a way to spend a Bullet Sunday!
It's Hannah Montana, bitches!! I so totally want one of those mini star purse tins!
"Billy, do you want a lolly? Okay then, pull one out of the FREAKISHLY FRIGHTENING VAMPIRE HEAD!!"
• Milk! Well, maybe three things... Coolest product at the show this year? BAM! It's Quick Milk! This product is a straw with flavor beads in it. When you suck milk through it, your beverage magically changes flavor and color! TOTALLY AWESOME!! Though... is it just me, or does the product description sound vaguely sexual? "Stick into milk and feel the taste?" Wha-??
In any event, science prooves Quick Milk is good for you too!
• PEZ! Okay, four things... I have a small collection of PEZ candy dispensers that I've collected from around the world. When I mentioned this to the very nice lady working the PEZ booth, she very graciously gave me a bag filled with new PEZ dispensers, even though I'm not a corporate candy buyer! I didn't think it was possible for me to love PEZ more than I already do, but this was so awesome that now I am compelled to! The coolest I got were a Mozart PEZ head sold only in Austria(!), characters from an upcoming movie called "Kung-Fu Panda", and a Johnny Depp head from Pirates of the Caribbean 3! I also got to see prototypes they had on display for upcoming movie tie-in dispensers for Batman: The Dark Knight, Madagascar: Crate Escape, and Disney/Pixar's WALL-E.
I LOVE YOU PEZ!! You're my favorite dispensable candy!
My cool PEZ tote bag that I carry everywhere now!
• SEASONED! Tonight as I was buying yet another slice of street-vendor pizza for dinner, a guy behind me (about 45 years old and obviously American) asked me if I was an American. When I told him "yes" he kindly offered me some advice from a "seasoned traveler" (which is what he called himself)... "You need to get yourself a money belt, because if you keep your cash in your pocket like that, somebody might steal it and that would end your vacation real quick!" Now, having just watched EuroTrip where there's a gag involving a money belt, it took all my composure not to bust out laughing. He was trying to be nice, so I was doing my best to play along (even though, technically, I consider this to be bad advice, as it marks you as a tourist carrying a lot of cash)... "Oh, thanks for the tip! You've traveled a lot then?" I query. "Yep, this is my third time to Europe and I've been to Canada and Mexico, of course" he said with pride. "Ah. Have you been to Asia then?" I asked. "Ummm... no... just to Europe the three times now," he answered, putting extra emphasis on the "three times" part. I just stood there staring at him with this blank look on my face, wondering how somebody who has been out of the country only three times considers themselves to be a "seasoned traveler." Probably because he watches Rick Steves (rolling my eyes here) on television or something. Not really knowing what to say, I stupidly blurt out "Oh... well, good luck with that then!" and scurried off. I've lost track of the number of times I've been out of the country (over 40 probably?) and could likely call myself a "seasoned traveler," but I can't imagine handing out unsolicited advice on the street to people I don't know. He was trying to be helpful, so it's hard to fault him for a kindness, but I can't shake just how bizarre an incident this was.
• ADVICE! AAAAAAAAHH! Except I feel compelled to say that, given the abundance of cash machines everywhere, it's far better to carry small amounts of cash in your pocket or wallet than to use a money belt. This way, even if you are robbed, you don't lose everything. Even if you are in a country without cash machines and where they don't take traveler's checks, I'd still say it's smarter to divide your cash on your person... keeping a small amount in your pocket for minor purchases on the street, and the rest with your passport in your money belt (or whatever), so people don't see your stash.
• FAHRT! Picked up yet another photo for my "fahrt collection" (tee hee!)...
Though, I must say, this true fart from Sweden is still my favorite.
And that's my Bullet Sunday. Since it's almost midnight in Germany as I type this, and I'm not a bit tired because I've been eating sugar all day, I anticipate tomorrow to be slow-going.
Unless, of course, I start eating more sugar first thing to get myself going...
Posted on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008
Gee... what to do with a four hour layover in New Jersey? Guess it must be time for Bullet Sunday!
• Recovery. I will admit to not feeling my best this morning after my drunken exploits yesterday. My head is fine, but my stomach feels as if it could take revenge at any moment... leaping out my throat and strangling me with my esophagus. I'm blaming the corn pizza. Or maybe the guy sitting across from me this morning at the Köln-Bonn Airport picking his nose. And not just a quick flick to remove a stray booger either... this classy bastard was really digging in there. I was increasingly concerned that he would hit brain and lobotomize himself. And when I say "concerned" I actually mean "hopeful." Talk about a stomach-turning sight.
• Approval. Disapproving Man turned out to be more popular than I am on my own blog, so I thought I'd tell the whole story. My hotel is just off a roundabout (or "rotary" to those of you reading in the US Northeast), which means the crosswalk I use several times a day is recessed. So when I cross it, I'm not crossing to a corner, but directly into a hair salon's advertising board with Disapproving Man on it...
This means I pass that evil bitch with his condescending smirk both coming (where he watches me the entire way I'm crossing the street) and going...
I wonder if the poor bastard realized he'd be abused like this when he was asked to model for professionally disheveled hair? I'm guessing no...
• MottoSchal. I am so totally wearing my scarf from the Kölner Karneval right now, and am quite the sexy bitch! Everybody is totally noticing my hotness as they walk by, and I owe it all to Emma.
• Revision. Well, they're either admiring my hotness or wondering why a grown man is wearing a clown scarf... it's hard to tell. I'm banking on the former, because the raw sexiness of my scarf-wearing self is too much for even me to take. This morning I had to finally had remove it while brushing my teeth (YES! I SLEPT IN IT!!) because I was getting myself all excited just looking at me. I think between my Kölner Karneval scarf and my Batman Chuck Taylor sneakers, I'm pretty much going to be an unstoppable man-whore with the ladies from here on out.
• Revision Revision. See, I told you I wasn't feeling well.
• Россия. As I added Warsaw to my Travel Map, I longingly looked over at Moscow and started wondering how difficult it is to get a tourist visa. Russian history absolutely fascinates me, and visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg would be a dream come true. From talking to people who have been there, the word that keeps popping up is "expensive." Apparently the hotels are among the most pricey in the world, and even a simple 5-day Russian tour can cost thousands of dollars. Still, when I go to Flickr and do a search for "Moscow" and see the stunning images that pop up (like the magnificent shot of St. Basil's Cathedral by Ferenc Koltai below), I really, really want to go. Guess I better start saving my pennies rubles...
• Beastly. Just for fun, I sometimes go to my blog stats and click on a few of the sites linking to me so I can see what's happening there. The first one I clicked to was a blog called "Bête de Jour" which caught my attention because I knew that "bête" is French for "beast." Once I got there I saw that the author links to me in their blogroll, titled "People who blog better than me." My first reaction was to think "that's probably true"... not because my ego is so huge (though evidence dictates otherwise)... but because so many of the random blogs I come across are total crap.
Then I started reading it. And could not stop.
By the time I got to the entry entitled "Air Rage," I realized that the very idea of me blogging better than this guy is positively laughable. I'm simply not this clever or smart. La Bête just started writing in December, so click here to read from the beginning and then click on the "Newer Post" links hidden at the bottom of each entry to keep going. You're welcome!
And that's a wrap! I'd add more bullets, but some lovely ladies across the airport are admiring my scarf, so I think it's only fair that I go share a taste of Dave with them.
Or find out that they're making fun of me so I can go to the bathroom and cry. One of those two things.
Posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2008
Can you believe it was only a week ago that I was Bullet Sunday-ing with a hangover I got the previous night in Germany? I can't. Time seems to be getting away from me. Or my brain has been destroyed by alcohol.
• Licorice. I haven't eaten much licorice since Jenny unintentionally destroyed my taste for it by exposing me to the atrocity known as "Dutch Double Salt Licorice" while we were watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I had commented at the time that the Dutch are ingenious for managing to come up with something that tastes saltier than actual salt. Sometimes in the middle of the night I still wake up screaming because I have flashbacks to the agonizing burning of licorice gone terribly wrong. A year later, and I now learn that a friend of mine has a business importing Australian licorice to Europe. Once I get to his booth at the Germany candy show, he fills a bag full of samples and hands me a lifetime supply of licorice treats.
Which I have almost entirely devoured in just a week's time. This stuff is so fantastically delicious that the only word which comes to mind in describing it is "orgasmic"...
The licorice is yummy soft, but magically doesn't moosh together into a big sticky clump in the bag. The taste is bold, but tempered with just enough sweetness to keep it from being bitter. I am so addicted to the stuff that I may have to start smoking crack in order to wean myself off of it. While it's made in Australia, Black Opal is actually an American company, so I'm hoping I can buy it locally. If not, I see that Licorice International is importing it, so my dream of banishing the memory of Dutch Double Salt Licorice may finally become a reality.
• Microhoo. My opinion? Microsoft + Yahoo! ≠ Google. Save your money.
• Struck. Unless something totally unexpected happens, the Hollywood writer's strike should be over on Tuesday. Good deal? Yes. Great deal? Not really. I maintain that the writers deserve much more than they got, but that's negotiations for you. Of course, I'd be a lot happier for the writers if they hadn't made side-deals which allowed some writers to return to work while everybody else was on the picket line. Oh well... hopefully new television will be coming back soon, and that's what's really important.
• Paula. Yesterday as I was looking for a paperclip that had skittered under the refrigerator, my iPhone rings...
ROBERT: "DUDE! DID YOU RECORD THE SUPERBOWL?!?"
DAVE: "Errr... no."
ROBERT: "Aw, man! Super Deluxe Girlfriend erased mine."
DAVE: "Well, if it helps any, I hear that the Giants won."
ROBERT: "I don't care about the game, I wanted the half-time show."
DAVE: "Ah. Who was it this year?"
ROBERT: "Paula Abdul."
DAVE: "Uhhh... seriously?"
ROBERT: "Yeah, I like that song she did there."
DAVE: "Well, it would be pretty stupid to put a song out for the Superbowl and not release it. Have you checked with iTunes?"
At which point he hung up on me. But he called back five minutes later...
DAVE: "Hey, did they have it?"
ROBERT: "Yeah," he says dejectedly, followed by dead silence.
DAVE: "Is something wrong?"
ROBERT: "Without the crowd screaming and all the dancing to distract you, the song's not that good. Paula sounds like a robot singing into a bucket."
DAVE: "Oh. Sorry about that."
ROBERT: "That's okay. It's not your fault you ruined my life.
It would be nice to have a normal conversation with Bad Robert just once.
• Aid. One of the sheer joys left in flying (once you ignore the cramped seats, late departures, lost luggage, and your idiotic fellow passengers) is the SkyMall catalog you get on every flight. I have never purchased anything from it, but boy do I love to look. Half of the stuff is genius, half of it is crap, but all of it is interesting. My favorite item this time around is the "Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier"...
"If a conventional hearing aid sounds like an embarrassment to you, try the Stealth Secret Sound Amplifier. It looks just like a cell phone ear adapter and works as a sound enhancer so you can join conversations and even hear soft voices from 50 feet away. Now you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a more youthful appearance and better hearing."
Hey! It's working! You totally look more youthful...
No. No, I lie. You so totally look like a dick...
Bah! It's 7:00 and I really should take a minute to eat something. A Black Bean Chipotle Burger is calling me...
Posted on Monday, February 18th, 2008
Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know it's actually Monday... but it's a holiday Monday, which means it's almost like a Sunday. Kind of.
• Hoff... Managed to watch the new Knight Rider made-for-TV-movie last night. As one of my favorite shows from the 80's, I was both nervous and excited to see how they were going to handle the material. What they got right was not starting over from scratch, but instead making this show a continuation of the original series. I also enjoyed the cast, the cameo by David Hasselhoff, the new and improved abilities of K.I.T.T., and the overall storyline. What they got wrong... very, very, very wrong... was the voice of the car. The original K.I.T.T. (masterfully voiced by William Daniels) was a sarcastic bastard, who let his self-perceived superiority complex drip off of every word. Val Kilmer as the new K.I.T.T. just sounded bored. In all fairness, this might not be his fault... the guy is a talented actor who is probably just reading his lines as directed... but it really killed the show for me. Why the fuck didn't they just bring back Daniels? Oh well. The entire show was just a giant Ford commercial with Ford commercials inside the Ford commercials... so maybe product placement and ad revenue was what the showrunners really cared about...
• XP... I've run across more than a couple grassroots movements attempting to save Windows XP from being dropped by Microsoft. Given how badly XP's successor, Windows Vista, COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY SUCKS ASS... I am 100% behind this effort. XP may not be pretty, but at least it actually works for those times I need a Windows machine. Here's hoping that Microsoft bothers to listen.
• Heaven... While my friend Perry and I were mucking about in Poland a couple weeks ago, we took a taxi driven by an 80-year-old driver who didn't speak much English. As he was barreling down the streets of Warsaw, a song came blasting on the radio that sounded familiar, but neither Perry or I could place it. Thinking I could look it up later, I jotted down some of the lyrics in my iPhone and promptly forgot about it. Eventually I happened upon my notes and Googled to discover that the song was "(Feels Like) Heaven" by Fiction Factory. Not finding anything on the iTunes Music Store (FOR SHAME!) I downloaded some tracks off BitTorrent and liked what I heard. This led me to order their CD, Throw The Warped Wheel Out, which finally arrived today. Oh how I love rediscovering great 80's music from my past! Just when I think there's no more to be found, something like this happens...
• Terminated. Despite myself, I am completely addicted to "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." The quality of the show on almost every level has been surpassing my expectations more and more with each new episode. The abject despair of the future-humans under domination of SkyNet is almost painful to watch... just as it should be. The clever dance the writers are weaving around the continuity of the first two films is really impressive, and I can't wait to see where they take the story next...
• Chicken... Today on the drive back home over the mountains, I stopped off for tacos and did my usual bit of requesting that the beef be replaced with rice. This caused the guy taking my order to ask if this was because I was concerned about the massive meat recall out of California. When I told him no, that I make the substitution because I am a vegetarian, he said that he was thinking of becoming a vegetarian too. The only problem was that he thought he'd get tired of eating chicken all the time. I was going to ask him exactly what kind of vegetable a chicken was, but ultimately decided against it. Maybe he'll get it all figured out when we get an outbreak of Mad Chicken Disease.
And there's my Bullet Sunday on Monday. I hope my brain can shut down tonight so I can get some real sleep. I'm entirely too tired of being tired to keep going without it.
Posted on Sunday, February 24th, 2008
It's Oscar Sunday! Which would probably be a lot more exciting for me if I actually gave a crap about the Oscars. Oh well. I got my taxes done, AND it's Steve Jobs' birthday today, so that's pretty exciting.
• Portlandia... I am working in Portland, Oregon later this week, and am staying an extra day to goof around the city. If anybody in the area wants to meet for dinner on Saturday, just let me know!
• Oscars... Of the movies I've seen in 2007, my favorites (in order) are... Juno, 300, Waitress, Hot Fuzz, Curse of the Golden Flower, Paprika, The Man From Earth, Ratatouille, The Bourne Ultimatum, Once, Music & Lyrics, and Blades of Glory. I have not yet seen Michael Clayton, Lives of Others, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Persepolis, and Hannah Montana: Best of Both Worlds, but expect they will make the list as well...
• Boyfriend... The latest meme crawling through the blogosphere is "Who Is My TV Boyfriend?" Since I love television, I was compelled to try it...
What the bloody heck? I can't STAND that whiny bitch Chuck Bartowski! I am very close to erasing Chuck off my TiVo's Season Pass list, because I am so sick of his bumbling idiocy. Why oh why couldn't I have gotten kick-ass Jack Bauer from 24 or Eli from Eli Stone? Jonny Lee Miller is ever so dreamy! Click here to find out who is YOUR ideal TV boyfriend. I couldn't find a "who is your ideal TV girlfriend, but I already know it would be the sweet hotness of Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell (who is now on Gossip Girl and Heroes, but will always be Veronica to me).
• Gelatinous... I was dismayed and disgusted to find out that the Hello Kitty Gummies I was raving about two days ago have yucky GELATIN in them. Gross! Shame on Kellogg's for putting that vile crap in their product when there are far better alternatives available (like citrus pectin). And shame on Sanrio for allowing Hello Kitty's reputation to suffer by licensing her to a company that would put dead animal cartilage in her gummies! This sucks ass.
• Ilusional... Found this sweet tutorial for an optical illusion which makes a black & white photo turn into a color photo (may not work in a feed-reader, you'll have to click through to see it). Just stare at the dot for 30 seconds, then mouse over the image without taking your eyes off that dot (it may help to put the mouse pointer next to the image so you can do the mouseover without having to look!). After you've seen the color photo, look away for ten seconds, then come back and look again...
Hah! It's black & white! Sweet! That's a photo I took of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
• Iron... I'm mainly a "DC Comics guy" because I'm into Batman and such, but there's one super-hero at Marvel of which I'm a major fan: Iron Man. I've been following the Iron Man movie updates over at Geeks of Doom with growing interest (Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is genius casting!), and now see that somebody has new poster art and a description of the movie trailer from WonderCon. It sounds as through director Jon Favreau has totally nailed it, and I am really looking forward to the debut on May 2nd. Given my huge disappointment in the X-Men film franchise, it will be nice to have a good comic-to-movie flick from Marvel this time...
And there's another Bullet Sunday down the tubes. Time to wash clothes so I have something to wear to work in the morning.
Where did my weekend go?
Posted on Sunday, March 2nd, 2008
It's Bullet Sunday and I'm shooting blanks! My brain is so tired that I can only think of three points this week...
• Salmoni! When I got home from Portland, Animal Planet TV was running a 2003 special I hadn't seen before called Living with Tigers. Tigers have always been one of my favorite animals, and this documentary about the efforts to save them from extinction was fascinating. It follows two cubs, Ron & Julie, as they are raised in captivity and eventually trained to be released into the wild. The hope is that the dwindling tiger population can be bolstered in this manner before wild tigers disappear altogether.
But almost as interesting as the tigers, is one of the trainers who was working with them: Dave Salmoni. The bastard is just insane. He keeps saying things like "let's hope she doesn't realize that she's much bigger and stronger than I am so I don't get killed" as he walks up to a growling tiger to take her food away. And every time you see him, his clothes have holes all over from when he's been wrestling with the big cats. After Living With Tigers was over, they showed another program which had Salmoni working with Grizzly Bears (Predator vs. Prey)... and then aired previews of another where he was with lions (Into The Lion's Den). You can tell he has a passion for his work, but I have to wonder how long it will be before I'm reading that he's been killed by stampeding elephants (or whatever). Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's tragic death is still very fresh in my mind, and something tells me it's only a matter of time. There's only so long you can keep exposing yourself to high-risk scenarios with dangerous animals like this before your number is up...
• Mappable! As a long-time lover of maps, I was delighted to stumble upon Transit Maps of The World while browsing at Powell's City of Books yesterday. This wondrous tome has maps of every rapid-transit system on earth... which is kind of like cartographic porn for people like me. The graphics are really too small to be functional, with the diagrams being treated more like works of art than actual maps (and they are!)...
This is very cool book for anybody interested in maps or rapid transit, and you can read more about it at Amazon. If you'd rather not spend the money, you can always take a look at the free transit maps online courtesy of Urban Rail.
• Majesty! No matter how many times I fly over The Cascades, I'm always amazed at how beautiful they are. The day I stop being awed by sights like this, it's time for me to stop traveling...
And now I'm off to bed, where I hope to lapse into a coma for seven hours or so...
UPDATE: Aaaaaaannnnnnd my blog seems to be refusing to accept my entry. Guess I'll give it a try in the morning and hope that the problem solves itself rather than requiring me to do any actual work.
Posted on Sunday, March 9th, 2008
Bullet Sunday already? Where did that weekend go?
• Radio. Today at 4:00pm Pacific (7:00pm Eastern) I will be a guest host on BlogTalk Radio for the incomparable Mr. Fab's Pointless Drivel LIVE show! Heaven only knows what we'll talk about, but it's sure to be a lot of fun! To listen in, just point your web browser here and you're good to go! Once the show begins you'll be able to view a live chat with other listeners but, to join-in the chat yourself, you'll need to pre-register for an account (it's free!). Please note that the show is usually NSFW and probably not appropriate for children, small animals, The Radical Christian Right, or those not possessing a sense of humor...
• Talk. While I'm talking up the big fun that's BlogTalk Radio, I would be remiss to mention that half the blogosphere has radio shows there on Sunday. It starts off with Karl from Secondhand Triptophan at 2:00pm (that's Pacific Time), followed by Hilly-Sue from Snackie's World at 3:00pm, Fab at 4:00pm, Turnbaby from And The World Turns at 5:00pm, and Kyra from The Kyra Sutra at 6:00pm! Quite a line-up! Usually Sundays are travel days for me and I miss the shows, then have to listen to the archives. But today I'm excited because I'll be able to listen to everybody LIVE! Though I have to say that I'm feeling a bit left out that I don't have a radio show of my own. Maybe I'll just beg everybody to guest-star on their show and it will be almost the same? Probably not, but I guess I'll find out.
• Misrepresented. While State Legislator Sally Kern (Oklahoma House of Representatives) was making disgusting homophobic remarks to a small group of people, somebody recorded her dumbass ramblings and posted them on the internets. Now the dumbass bigot is having to deal with the fallout of being a "representative" who is very selective about which of her constituates she "represents" (gays need not apply!). After listening to her bullshit, I came away with a sense that she doth protest too much. What is she compensating for I wondered? And then it hit me... she's not afraid of the "gay agenda" she's afraid of being exposed! A classic case of denial...
• Lesbionic. I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on Representative Kern... but I'm lashing out from fear. Fear that she and her homophobic nut-job comrades might actually be able to make good on their Nazi-esque fantasies of cleansing the nation of homosexuals. A nightmare! WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO LESBIAN PORN?!? Because right now I'm trying to decide which video I need most, and that's a struggle I'm not wanting to give up...
I'm leaning towards "The Trouble with Girls" because it sounds naughty! But then I see "Girls Do It Best: Volume 2" and think perhaps that's the way to go... obviously these babes are really good at making lesbian porn if they've got a SEQUEL going on! Except further down the shelf there's "Girls on Girls: VOLUME FOUR" yes, VOLUME FOUR, which sounds great, yet I can't help but wonder if they're just running the series into the ground like the Star Wars prequels did? But then... THEN... I spot "Bitch Banging Bitch" and think this video must be the one to beat... it's got bitches in it! And they appear to be experienced bitches, unlike the amateurs to be found in "Bitches in Training." And there's always "100% Strap-On," which could be interesting and educational... or just very, very scary. What's a boy to do? Well, if people like Sally Kern get their way, there won't be anything TO do. The lesbian porn industry will be shut down. THIS is AMERICA?!? Nay, I say! Hmmm... I wonder where Obama stands on lesbian porn?
• Trek I have been really enjoying the new remastered versions of Star Trek lately. It's amazing how a fresh batch of special effects can totally refresh the show. It's just as relevant today as it ever was, and looks absolutely beautiful. ..
More gorgeous images can be found here, and where you can watch the remastered episodes can be found here. If all else fails, and you're wanting to know what the fuss is about, you can always buy episodes from the iTunes Music Store.
And that's a wrap for Bullet Sunday! Be sure to tune in to Pointless Drivel LIVE on BlogTalk Radio today at 4:00pm Pacific Time (or 3:00pm if you haven't set your clock ahead yet). Your life might just depend on it!
Well, maybe not yours, but definitely mine. I hear Fabby sends out assassins to kill you if his ratings drop when you guest-host.
Posted on Sunday, March 16th, 2008
Another Bullet Sunday is upon us, but I'm not ready for the weekend to be over!
• Organizational... This past week Suzy asked me if I still had a souvenir I bought from when we were goofing around in L.A. back in September. I knew I hadn't thrown it away, but couldn't find it. Probably because whenever I get back from a trip, I toss all my souvenirs and crap into one of ten big cardboard boxes I've got piled on top of my shelving units. Disgusted with my lack of organization, I decided to sit down with one box a week until I've organized all my travel stuff. It's hard work, but every once in a while I see something from my past that makes me smile, and that makes it all worthwhile...
I wonder how many people know you could once smoke on a plane?
• Time Capsule... Cannot express in mere words how happy I am with my new Apple Time Capsule. Using the built-in wireless connection, it took 22 hours to back up the 142 GB on my laptop. That was a bit harsh, but the incremental updates every hour are very fast. It's constant, unobtrusive, transparent backup that works beautifully. I've lost count of the times that Time Machine has saved my ass both at work and at home. Just one of the hundreds of reasons I'm such an Apple whore.
• Album... 2008 promises to be a very good year for the 80's music that I love. It has been rumored since January that Depeche Mode would start work on their new album this month for release in November (with a tour hopefully following in early 2009). Morten Harket (of a-ha fame) is releasing an English-language album this month in Norway, which will hopefully be available when I'm there next week. The Pet Shop Boys are meeting with producers this month for their upcoming album. Bananarama is gathering material for their next album. Erasure is also rumored to be working on a new pop album very soon now. I have high hopes that New Order will get together this year. Still no word on a Thompson Twins reunion, but I remain optimistic that one day it will happen.
• WWZ... Many thanks to Vahid and Dustin for a brilliant recommendation... World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Totally awesome book! Now I want the audiobook, because Dustin says the recording has Henry Rollins in it and totally kicks ass! They have it at iTunes, but it costs $18.95! I think I'll see if the library has it to borrow first...
Because me loves the zombies...
And popcorn. Can't have zombies without popcorn!
Speaking of zombies... it's time for me to get back to work.
Posted on Sunday, March 23rd, 2008
You want a bullet? Here's a bullet for you...
• VACATION, BITCHES!!!
Away I go...
And if you celebrate the whole Easter thing (or just like chocolate bunnies), I hope your holiday is a happy one.
Posted on Sunday, March 30th, 2008
Where did my vacation go? A week is much too short.
I need another vacation.
• Radio. Assuming I make it back home over the mountain passes in one piece, I will be a guest host on Hilly's Snackie Radio tonight at 3:00pm (Pacific), 6:00pm (Eastern). I guess that would be midnight Oslo time, which is where my head is still at, so hopefully I won't fall asleep on the air...
• Poverty. I took a quick look at my credit card statement online. As hideously expensive as I thought the trip was, it actually ended up being much worse. Bring on the peanut butter sandwiches for a month! Eh, but it was a treat for my birthday and I had fun, so what can you do?
• Flight. Have I mentioned how much sweet it is to have a media entertainment center for those long-ass flights? Well it is. The time just flies (heh heh) by when you've got something to do. I watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age (excellent, with an amazing performance by Cate Blanchett), Michael Clayton (okay, but a little Erin Brockovich to me), Eastern Promises (good, though a little inappropriate to be watching in mixed company with the nudity and violence), Enter The Dragon (awesome! haven't seen it in a decade), Bee Movie (suck-ass BORING, I fast-forwarded through it), and and episode of The Office (always good).
• Customs. When you come back from an international trip, you have to claim your luggage for possible inspection whether you are continuing on a connecting flight or not. This doesn't really bother me, but the third degree you get from the customs officers while you wait for your luggage does. I was interviewed twice. The second time was no big deal, but the first time was ridiculous. Not only did he want to know stuff that was none of his fucking business (what does my work matter when I just told you I was traveling on vacation?), but I didn't get the impression he was even listening to my answers. Some questions were duplicates, and others were asked as I was still speaking. I fail to see the point. Do they expect that random questioning is going to cause somebody to slip up and admit they're hauling contraband?
How long were you out of the country? Six days.
Why were you in Norway? On vacation to visit a friend.
Why did you go Sweden then? To visit another fr--
What do you do for work? I'm a graphic desi--
How long were you out of the country? Since Sunday... isn't that six da--
Are you bringing back any food items? Just some candies.
And why were you in Norway? Vaca--
Bringing back any agricultural products? Just some marijuana I picked up in Amsterdam.
AH HAAAAAHHH! D'oh!
• Parking. Usually, I just park at the airport because it's really convenient to have your car waiting for you when you get back. But I found a coupon for "MasterPark" so I gave it a try. It's cheaper than the airport, they valet park your car, their shuttles run constantly, and if you call ahead they'll have your car waiting for you when the shuttle arrives. Sweet! Except I went over my one week coupon rate by 5 hours and had to pay an entire extra day for the overage. That kind of sucks, but I don't know that I can give up this kind of pampering now that I've experienced it.
Well, it's 8:00am... I suppose I should get out of bed and try to get my life back to normal. It's always rough trying to adjust to reality after vacation... even if it was only a week.
Posted on Sunday, April 13th, 2008
Good news, everybody! Those toxic Bac-Os I ate yesterday didn't kill me! To celebrate my new-found lease on life, I present another Bullet Sunday...
• Blogiversary. Blargh. It's one week until I have to get things ready for my Fifth Annual Blogiversary Celebration, and I am nowhere near ready. Six months ago I started two very cool projects specifically for the occasion... but one is not ready and the other fell through and has to be re-worked. This is great news for Blogiversary Six, but a real inconvenience for Blogiversary Five. Oh well. There's plenty of big fun in store, as usual. Mark your calenders...
• Nads. How big of balls do you have to possess in order to write an email to a complete stranger asking if they have any shirtless photos they'd be willing to share? My guess is that these balls would have to be at least two pounds each. So when I received just such an email this morning, all I could think about was how does somebody finds pants to fit over such enormous testicles? In any event, anything I'm willing to share is already on my blog or posted to my Flickr account. There ain't no more. But thanks so much for being crass enough to ask.
• Imported. I purchased a nifty audio/video importer for my Mac so I can transfer all my favorite old television shows from videotape to my iPhone. The XLR8 XtraView unit works pretty well considering the source material is of really poor quality. Oh how happy I will be to finally eliminated the last vestiges of analog media in my life.
• Cliffhanger. But there is a down-side to digitizing all these fantastic old shows... so many of them end with a cliffhanger that was never resolved. I get to that last episode, then get angry all over again that television networks screw over their viewers by not wrapping up all the loose ends of the story. Then, just when I'm over being pissed off because the shows were cancelled, I get enraged all over again because they haven't been released on DVD and I'm having to digitize them off of crappy videotape in the first place. Even if studios don't want to go to the expense of manufacturing the DVDs, they could at least put them up for sale on iTunes or something. This would cost them practically nothing AND be a nice source of revenue for them. Here are the top five shows I want released...
• Taxed. I finished most of my taxes months ago, but needed a few final bits of information before I could send them in. On Monday, I'll hopefully get the last piece of the puzzle so I can squeak in under the April 15th deadline. Oh how I hate the US tax system. It's a bloated bitch of a complicated mess, and I remain in a constant state of shock that our citizens don't revolt against the government for not coming up with something that's not fucking stupid. While I don't think that the Flat Tax Initiative or the Fair Tax Initiative are anywhere near perfect, at least they are something that normal people can understand, so I say go for it. Nothing could be worse than what we have now. It's at time like this that I think government officials need to be taken into the street and beaten severely for their complete and total failure to serve us with any competency.
And on that happy note, I suppose I should get back to work.
Posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2008
Wow! It's Bullet Sunday again! I was talking to a friend this afternoon when she remarked that she's going to give up on reading blogs because so many of them have nothing but stupid crap on them. At first I was offended, because my blog is nothing but stupid crap, but she then told me that of all the stupid crap she reads, mine is her favorite. I still don't know if that was a compliment or not.
On to the stupid crap...
• Repeat. I've started re-watching the first season of Veronica Mars for the hundredth time and think that I appreciate it now more than ever. The first episode is positively mind-blowing in the way that they set up so many seemingly-random events that won't pay-off until the very end of the season. There are lots of shows I've liked over the years which have been canceled, but none of them left such massive future potential laying in the dirt than Veronica Mars. If only there was a way to erase my memories of the show form my head so I can watch it all over again for the first time. It's things like this that make amnesia not sound like such a bad thing, and perhaps I should investigate running my car into a tree. Hey, it always works in the movies.
• Repeat. Every time I read a new piece of news about Zac Snyder's adaptation of one of the greatest comic book series of all time, Alan Moore & Dave Gibbon's Watchmen, it makes me want to read it all over again. So, over the course of the last twelve nights, I did. Like Veronica Mars, I'm astounded at how carefully the foreshadowing of future events was crafted on almost every single page of the story. Unlike so many comics today where you could rip out a dozen pages and not really affect anything, losing even a single page of Watchmen would be catastrophic to the structure of the story. Oh how I wish Alan Moore would tackle another project like this again. Comics needs it so badly.
• Repeat. While working at night, I like to toss in a movie for background noise so I won't be distracted by other noises going on around my home. This usually works quite well, because I always choose a movie that I've already seen a dozen times so I won't be tempted to stop work and watch it. But there are some movies that you are compelled to watch no matter how many times you've seen it... Sneakers is just such a film. I'm amazed that it holds up as well today as it did when it was released. At first I thought it was because the technology they used was so cutting edge at the time they filmed it, but now I'm thinking it's because the brilliant performances are so timeless. Needless to say, I'm pretty pissed at everybody involved with Sneakers because I lost 2 hours and 6 minutes of time I should have been working.
• Repeat. Just when I think winter is finally over, I get hit with stupid-ass snow first thing this morning. Followed by rain. Followed by hail. Now it's just ball-shriveling cold. Where in the hell is my Spring? It's almost MAY. I'm dying here.
• Repeat. Heaven help me, my Fifth Annual Kick-Ass Blogiversary Celebration starts tomorrow. As always, it will start out with a Blogography wrap-up followed by four contests over the following four days until everything ends on Saturday and winners are drawn on Sunday. Two things I had wanted to do for the event didn't get done, one thing I am still unsure about, and one thing I think is totally insane... even for me... so it should be an interesting week.
Posted on Sunday, May 11th, 2008
Happy Mother's Day!
I don't feel much like typing right now, so I've decided to drop a video for today's 80th edition of Bullet Sunday here at Blogography!
For my valued readers who would rather see a transcript of the video, I've added that in an extended entry.
Have a super awesome week everybody!
On to the transcript...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, May 18th, 2008
w00t! Today it's Bullet Sunday from one of my favorite cities: CHICAGO!!
• Johhny. After struggling to catch up with work all morning, I decided to take the train into the city... even though the CTA has both the Blue-Line and the Red-Line under construction. A Johnny Rockets veggie burger was calling me. And since Chicago has one of my favorite restaurants in the chain, it would be worth the effort. Imagine my surprise when I get there to find that my beloved Johnny Rockets on Rush Street had CLOSED!! I was equally sad and enraged, and I don't think I'm ever going to recover. Goodbye Johnny, you will be missed...
• Beautiful. I looked out the window and was happy to see that the weather had cleared up from the overcast skies and rain we had last night. It was beautiful out! Unfortunately, looks can be a bit deceiving, because it was actually chilly and windy. Fortunately, I had a jacket with me out of habit, because how would you expect to be cold on a day like this?
• Bean. After getting a surprise call from a former co-worker and meeting for coffee (her) and hot cocoa (me)... I met up with friends who were in the city from suburbia to do some shopping and go see Speed Racer (my review of the film along with reviews for two other movies I saw on the plane follows below). From there I decided to meet up with a current co-worker for dinner at the ever-excellent Pizano's Pizza and a walk through Millennium Park. I can't get enough of The Cloud Gate "Coffee Bean" sculpture, which was looking especially cool today...
• Movie #1: Jumper. One sentence review: A great concept diminished to a bucket of shit that not even Samuel L. Jackson can save. Didn't we suffer enough when Hayden Christensen played Anakin Skywalker in the shitty Star Wars sequels? NOTE TO FILMMAKERS: THIS GUY CANNOT ACT! STOP CASTING HIM IN MOVIES! But even putting the horribleness of Mannequin Skywalker aside, this is a mess of a film. Our story begins when young David Rice discovers he has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world he can visualize. This is handy, because his mother abandoned him to live with his abusive father, and "jumping" provides him with the escape he's been longing for. Using his new-found power to rob banks and live a life of excess that spans the globe, things go terribly wrong when jumper-hating "paladins" (led by Samuel L. Jackson) start hunting David... AND THE AUDIENCE DOESN'T FUCKING CARE! The story then turns into sheer idiocy, and I was salivating over the thought that Samuel L. Jackson will actually kill the stupid bastard. By the time the lame-ass "twist ending" was revealed, I was cursing the moment I decided to watch this joke of a film. FAIL!
• Movie #2: The Bucket List. Once sentence review: Brilliant performances rises above a pandering and fluff-laden script. Two of my all-time favorite actors? Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I will watch anything they appear in. To have them both in the same film is absolute magic. The story is about a curmudgeon millionaire (Nicholson) and a genius garage mechanic (Freeman) who discover they have fatal illnesses which compel them to live their final days doing all those things they never got around to doing in life. The resulting ride is a fun one, mostly because the banter between the two leads is so fantastic and the acting note-perfect. If only the script could have been tightened to eliminate some of the more overtly manipulative sentimentality, it could have been elevated to greatness. As it is, it's a good film that tries too hard to find the "fun" side of death. WIN!
• Movie #3: Speed Racer. One sentence review: Complete and total failure of filmmaking on an epic scale that utterly devastates a beloved classic cartoon. What the hell happened? I have been looking forward to this film ever since I first glimpsed the previews that hit the internets. I was expecting a full-throttle, hyperactive film that pushes visual effects to new levels while redefining a childhood cartoon I loved. What I got was crap. A boring snore-fest of a movie that has shit-loads of stupid exposition and unnecessary drama that undermines any excitement you might get from the actual racing scenes (which are, admittedly, cool in a repetitive video-game kind of way). Just as the Wachowski Brothers managed to fuck-up an unfuck-upable franchise with the awful Matrix sequels, they have turned Speed Racer into a meandering, directionless film that sucks so badly that all the acting talent in the world (including Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, and Christina Ricci) can't keep it on track. Between the never-ending cut-wipe transitions that make you want to scream... and way, WAY too much time devoted to a mindless plot about evil businessmen secretly controlling all the world's racing events... it was all I could do to keep myself from walking out of the theater. EPIC FAIL!
And that brings to an end another Bullet Sunday.
I totally should have watched Iron Man again.
• P.S. Every time I stay at a Sheraton hotel, the internet connection screen always has a photo of a guy smelling a melon. Can anybody tell me what the hell this has to do with anything?
Posted on Sunday, May 25th, 2008
It's a Three-Day Weekend Edition of Bullet Sunday here at Blogography!
• Meerkats. I am blogging early today, because there's a new Meerkat Manor Movie on Animal Planet Network tonight! A friend got me hooked on the show, which is like a really raunchy soap opera... but with cute furry animals instead of Joan Collins or J.R. Ewing. Sex, violence, betrayal, revenge, humor, life, death... Meerkat Manor has it all. This movie is supposed to go back to the beginning of the series to show how the meerkat Flower became leader of her tribe...
• Trainer. As I was pulling out the instruction booklet for my Epi-Pens, a plastic tube fell out. Wondering what it could be, I studied the label and found out it was a "Auto-Injector Training Device." Apparently, you are supposed to use it to practice stabbing yourself so you'll be ready if you should ever have to stab yourself with adrenaline for reals. To which I can only say "Oh hell no!" But then I stabbed a pillow with it and found out there's no needle inside, so now I'm having fun "stabbing" myself with it. I am so easily entertained.
• Karled. Thanks to Karl for having me on his Secondhand Radio show earlier today! The hour went by way too quickly, but you can catch it from the BlogTalk Radio archives here. Since time was tight, I didn't have time to pop up links to all the things we talked about, so here we go...
• Ordered. Pre-orders at the Artificial Duck Co. store will be ending Wednesday, May 28th of this coming week. I will order some extra hats and shirts to have on hand, but if you want to be sure of getting something you want, please order or email me with what you want so I can be sure I'll have it. I'm ordering plenty of extra playing cards, so those should be in stock for quite a while.
And that's all she wrote for now... because it's meerkat time...
Posted on Sunday, June 1st, 2008
It's the crap-tastic edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Sickness. I am starting to worry about getting my cards printed. The first company I was going to print with didn't come clean about not being able to use a casino-quality black-core paper stock. The next company I found took forever to respond to even simple queries. I then found a third company that I really liked, but now I am having a hard time confirming anything. They have amazing credentials, and dozens of excellent references... so I'm confident everything will turn out fine... I'm just going crazy over when things are going to start happening. I worked so very hard on these cards (three months to get them all drawn), and I want so badly to make sure they print as perfectly as possible... but right now I'd settle for just getting them printed at all. I'm probably making a big deal out of nothing, but I'm just sick over a possible delay when all my other suppliers are lined up to deliver by the end of the month. Argh.
• Health. Not able to get in to see an allergist... not able to figure out what random foods or things in my environment are causing my allergic reactions... I finally gave in and started eating all the foods I had been cutting out of my diet because I thought they might be a problem. And nothing happened. Nothing. For two days now I've taken one Benadryl at night and one Claritin in the morning and that's it. No hives and no random welts. Is it too much to hope for that this was a temporary thing, and I'm all better now?
• Richer. I just made my final payment on my motorcycle, which I then turned around and sold because I can't ride it anymore. Isn't it cool how life can be both sweet and crappy at the same time?
• Poorer. Shouldn't there be some kind of statute of limitations for how long they can keep billing you for medical shit? I mean, seriously, every time I think that I've got these bastards paid off, another bill shows up in the mail. Even better, I got a collection letter for one of the bills less than a month after I had received the actual bill. I guess they want to make sure you don't fall behind with all the bills they send, so they turn you in for collection if you don't remit immediate payment. I find it positively absurd that THIS is the state of health care in this country... I had the misfortune of surviving my kidney stone, so now I'm going to be billed to death? I should have put my fear of blood and needles behind me and become a doctor when I had the chance... it's the ultimate fountain of revenue wealth.
• Better. Code Monkeys debuted their second season today and it was a fricken' hilarious! — "My new game is called Cock Goblin! - That is bad-ass dude! Why not Goblin Cock? - That's a little hard for me to swallow!" — Where do they come up with this stuff?
• Worse. Also debuting today was the highly-anticipated (by me, anyway) Mary McCormack vehicle, In Plain Sight. Holy crap what a disaster. McCormack's lead character is trying so hard to be bad-ass, that she just ends up being plain bad. I kept hoping somebody would shoot her arrogant ass and the show would end. I'll watch a couple of more episodes just to make sure, but this does not bode well.
And that's all she wrote. Probably a good thing considering Sunday ends in 5 minutes.
Posted on Sunday, June 8th, 2008
I desperately want to celebrate Bullet Sunday with a Chalupa Supreme (no beef, add rice) and a side of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, but am entirely too lazy to drive the 20 minutes to Taco Bell. Waaah!
• Pizza! I'm officially done. I've tried every frozen cheese pizza on the market and hate them all. It doesn't matter whether it's from a famous chef like Wolfgang Puck, a famous restaurant like California Pizza Kitchen, a hot new brand like Freschetta, a critical favorite like DiGiorno, or a pizza staple like Red Baron. They're all terrible. So I've finally decided that I'm not going to pay
• Christmas! The funny thing about being in the graphic design business is that you are always ahead of the season. Right now, for example, I'm working on Christmas projects. When Christmas rolls around I'll be working on Easter projects, and so on. Because I don't really celebrate any of these holidays, it's no big deal to me, but it's a challenging mindset to be thinking of snowy holidays in the middle of summer. But that's nothing compared to the challenge of finding a live Christmas Tree for a photo shoot next week.
• Jobs! Tomorrow is the opening keynote for Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference. At that time my personal hero and god among men, Steve Jobs, is expected to release the iPhone 2.0 software update which will allow 3rd party applications to run on my iPhone. This is, to put it mildly, super-exciting. Jobs is also expected to announce the new and improved iPhone hardware which is rumored to have a real GPS (thank you!) and faster 3G internet access. The latter bit means that we can all surf for porn several times faster, which is probably a more important function for a phone than making actual phone calls.
• Legion! One of my all-time favorite comic books is The Legion of Super-Heroes. It's a comic about super-powered teens in the far future of the DC Comics Universe. Back in the 1960's the book was looking for a new writer and ended up hiring 14-year-old Jim Shooter for the job. He submitted stories, the editor liked them, and a legend was born. His Legion books were highly successful and memorable, and ended up being a stepping stone to greater things... like when he was editor in chief at Marvel Comics for nearly a decade. Now, 30 years after he left The Legion of Super-Heroes, Shooter is back writing the book. He's five issues into the title now, and I have to say I'm enjoying the heck out of his stories. But I'm nostalgic that way.
Annnnnnnd... I'm spent.
I'm trying to be optimistic, but something tells me this is not going to be a good week.
Posted on Sunday, June 15th, 2008
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there... especially mine... on this fine Bullet Sunday!
• Snackiepoo! This afternoon at 3:00pm (Pacific Time) I will be a VERY SPECIAL GUEST STAR on Snackie Radio. Today's topic? How much is too much? Hilly and I have radically different blogging styles... I avoid anything personal and draw monkey cartoons in lieu of actual substance... Hilly wears her heart on her blog and bares her soul for all to see... what are the consequences to these very different approaches to blogging? How much information on your blog is too much? Is there such a thing as too little information when it comes to the internet? Will Dave ever get his tiara back? Tune in today and find out! (show contains language and situations which may be unsuitable for childre or small animals).
• Radio! And for other BlogTalk Radio goodness, I'd be remiss not to mention the entire BTR's Rocking Sunday Schedule... first up, Karl from Secondhand Radio will have his daughter and the Alive Campaign as his guest at 2:00pm Pacific, 5:00pm Eastern. Next up is the afore-mentioned Snackie Radio show with VERY SPECIAL GUEST STAR me! at 3:00pm Pacific, 6:00pm Eastern. And, lastly, Turnbaby is back on Turnbaby Talks with her special guest Mr. Shiny at 5:00pm Pacific, 8:00pm Eastern. It should be a very interesting night.
• iPhone! As expected, Apple released their new iPhone at the World Wide Developer's Conference this past Monday. It has the faster 3G internet access everybody has been clamoring for, but all I cared about is that it FINALLY has a frickin' GPS unit. I still feel it was profoundly stupid that the original model didn't have a hardware GPS, but better late than never, I suppose. Of course I simply must own one... even though the data plan is a total ripoff that now costs $10 more per month with NO TXT messages and still has NO MMS capabilities. The more things change...
• Shopper! What happens when you find out that a business you really like is owned by a complete and total asshole? How do you shop there anymore knowing what you now know? Does it matter that you've patronized the place for decades and love their stuff? Or is it just over once you discover it's run by a horribly wretched excuse of a human being? I've been wrestling with this dilemma for a week, and have come to the realization that my ethical beliefs simply won't allow me to step foot in this establishment ever again... much as I would like to shop there. Wouldn't the world be a much better place if we could just stay ignorant to the nastiness that plagues it?
• Televised! I had this idea of picking my favorite 100 television shows of all time and then listing ten of them each day with an explanation of why I liked them so much. For a television whore like me, it seemed a perfect fit for Blogography. Then common sense settled in, and I realized how much work it would be to actually do it. But I already had the list made up, so I decided to go ahead and post it in an extended entry.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, June 22nd, 2008
It's a very sad Bullet Sunday, as I just learned George Carlin has died.
• Broked. Sorry about the missing images from Friday's entry. I don't quite know what happened, but I'll look into it when I get off work on Monday.
• Daveattle. You might have noticed that I've added some new people to the "Bloggers I've Met" in my sidebar. That's because last night was Daveattle 2! I was ever so grateful that a terrific group of bloggers showed up to eat, drink, and chat... a good time was had by all...
• Evidence. It's always a good idea to bring a camera to these things, because you just never know when blackmail-worthy material is going to pop up. Not pictured is Bryan, who managed to avoid the cameras (which is pretty much what you have to do when you're wanted for murders in three states)...
The reason they all look so happy is because they're drunk.
Or maybe because Kristin brought fun prizes!
Dustin and Sizzle being sneaky.
Vahid and Sizzle strike a pose while The Fella serenades them.
Matt and Dustin agonize over trying to operate their tiny cameras.
Tracy gives Chris a prison tattoo, apparently making him her bitch.
A scary buffalo head at Linda's Tavern.
Kristin sharpening a knife so she can remove The Fella's spleen.
• Sleepytime. And that about wraps it up! Thanks to everybody who took time our of their valuable weekend to hang out, and I hope to see everybody again soon!
Posted on Sunday, June 29th, 2008
It's an early edition of Bullet Sunday, because I'll be working my ass off all day trying to get caught up on the work I missed from my allergy attack on Friday.
• Pride Weekend. This weekend is host to Pride Weekend parades in many cities (including Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and more). It's a totally fabulous annual celebration of lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender life and history. Taking a cue from a wonderful entry over at Sizzle Says, I thought I'd blog my support for the GLBT community since I am unable to show up and offer my support in person. I have too many friends being treated like second class citizens because of who they are and I'm sick of it. When people are being persecuted and discriminated against unjustly, something needs to be said. I'm happy to add my voice to the party. Bad Monkey, however, just wants an excuse to get drunk and run around naked...
• Aptly Named. The reason my real name is on my blog is because when I started I didn't know any better. Also, it was originally written specifically for my friends and family so they could keep up with where I was and what I was up to. I never dreamed that other people would want to read it. Things kind of escalated from there, and it's too late to do anything about it now. So when I read crazy speculation to the contrary by people who don't even know me... part of me finds it mildly amusing. The other part doesn't.
• Shel Puppet. When noted social media author and consultant Shel Israel was given a video channel at Robert Scoble's FastCompany.tv, it ended up being a train wreck of near-biblical proportions. The interviews he posted there gave entirely new definition to the word "disaster" and the "blogging pros" were merciless in their criticism. Instead of chalking it up as a learning experience, Shel Israel came unhinged when parody videos started popping up by Loren Feldman of 1938 Media, starring Shel Israel... THE PUPPET! The videos were everything that the "real" Shel Israel videos were not... smart, insightful, and entertaining. But yesterday it was announced that Loren would stop posting the videos, having made his point. I'm a little sad about that, because I've grown to love Shel Puppet and his kick-ass videos! Here's one of my favorites, where he interviews Digg's Kevin Rose...
• Mostly Frozen. With the weather as hot as it has been, I find myself eating a lot of frozen foods. And I don't mean frozen foods that are cooked. I mean ice cream for breakfast, frozen candy bars for lunch, and popsicles for dinner. I'd try to justify this unhealthy and very odd behavior, but my Chips Ahoy cookies should be frozen by now, and I need a bedtime snack.
• DC Sucks. Somebody had to say it... DC Comics officially sucks ass. I am just sick over how frakin' stupid things have gotten with my once-favorite comic book company. Continuity is a convoluted mess that's been screwed over with so many revisions and ret-cons that it's incomprehensible. I pity the new reader wanting to start into comics who is unfortunate enough to try and pick up a current issue of most any DC book. They finally streamlined their "universe" with the groundbreaking Crisis on Infinite Earths, only to completely destroy everything in the years that followed (don't even get me started on 52, Infinite Crisis, and Countdown, which were tragically bad). The last straw for me is yet another incomprehensible "DC Event" called Final Crisis. Not only is it another confusing suck-fest of a mess, but I've just learned that YET AGAIN the art chores are changing mid-story. WHAT THE HELL? IS NOBODY STEERING THE SHIP AT DC?!? Rumor has it that Editor in Chief Dan DiDio is going to be replaced, and it's about fucking time. It's going to take some major, major changes to salvage what's left of DC Comics. Hopefully they find somebody with the balls (or ovaries!) to do the job. If DC can ditch the floodgates of quantity that have replaced the superior goal ofquality, things can be good again.
And now I suppose I should get some sleep so I can wake up early and get shit done.
Hopefully my allergies will cooperate.
Posted on Sunday, July 6th, 2008
It's Bullet Sunday, and I'm not even supposed to be here!
&bull Pear Mint. Whenever I travel to foreign lands, I stock up on awesome chips and candies that I can't get back home. Most of the time it's stuff I know... other times, it's bizarre crap I dare myself to try... and still other times it's stuff that sounds too good to pass up. Like these pear mint drops I got while I was visiting Göran in Sweden that I just now found in a secret pocket of my backpack. I like pear. I like mint. So they must be super awesome together, right?
WRONG! OMG! It's like the great tastes cancel out each other out and make death! The taste is horrible... HORRIBLE!! It's been an entire day since I sucked on one of those craptastic bastards, but the nasty taste still lingers! Pears have been ruined for me. RUINED I SAY!!
• Wanted Much? This week I went to see the movie Wanted. Based on the Mark Millar comic of the same name, I didn't know quite what to expect. I was not a huge fan of the comic (a nicely illustrated book by J.G. Jones that consisted of a mediocre plot overwhelmed by juvenile shock-value), but was curious to know how they were going to adapt it. Turns out they didn't adapt the comic. The entire premise has changed (no more super-vilains!) and most all the characters have been radically altered. The result? I actually enjoyed the movie more than the book. Much more. The story of a secret society of assassins with super-human skills was almost too good to be true... kind of like a kick-ass, high-octane blending of Fight Club and The Matrix. In addition to some awesome special effects, it also features Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman...
Angelina kills people with hotness!
A pretty badass role for Mr. Freeman!
Rumor has it that they are already working on a Wanted sequel, which is sweet. But please, please, please don't flush such excellent potential down the toilet like they did with the shitty Matrix sequels.
• Guest Poster. In the past month I've received eight requests to do guest-posts on other people's blog. This is kind of cool, because it's always a lot of fun to break away and do something "same-but-different" somewhere else. Unfortunately, I am already worried about finding time to post in my own blog over the next several months, so guest-posting for somebody else is impossible. I wonder if anybody would notice if I came up with ONE guest post that I could use over and over again? Usually I work hard to come up with something unique that fits the blog I'm writing for... that's what makes it fun... but re-posting is looking to be more and more appealing as more and more bloggers decide they want to take a break from their blog.
• Gee Eight. Tomorrow begins this year's G8 summit, which is being held in Japan. Just like every other time our Beloved Leader leaves the country, Americans will be holding their breath in anticipation over what he might say to embarrass us this time. Will he invent a new word? Will he say something utterly insane? Will he accidentally declare war on Canada? Or will he just ramble on incomprehensibly? I'm not speculating... I'm just going to sit back and be surprised. I suppose it's too late to sneak a copy of my latest Dumbasses book into his bedside table...
• Interface. Many moons ago, I took some contract jobs for application interface design. It's a very challenging field to work in because, in addition to being a designer, you have to have a very good understanding as to how people use their computers. Most graphic designers make horrible interface designers because they're more interested in making things pretty than functional. I ended up doing some nice work and enjoyed the jobs, but found interface design to be too time consuming to make a career out of it... I spent way too much time agonizing over the details. But I'm always fascinated with the work and still take jobs from time to time, so I try to keep up with what's happening. A couple months ago I noticed that the C4 Indie Mac Developer Conference had videos of the event online, and made a note to watch them when I had a chance. This morning I finally finished the last one, which was a great talk given by Cabel Sasser of Panic. This company makes two of the best applications for the Mac, Transmit (an FTP tool) and Coda (a website development tool), both of which I love and use often. Sasser spoke mostly about designing Coda's interface, and it was a fascinating insight as to the thought process that goes into software development. It was also very frustrating, because at least one of the decisions they ended up making is downright tragic.
Here is how Apple's web browser, Safari, handles multiple pages in the same document window by using tabs. It's not a perfect implementation (the tabs point DOWN and aren't connected to the page?!?) but it is very obvious which tab has been activated. Here, there is simply no mistaking that the "Blogography" page is what you're looking at, because that's the tab in the foreground...
And here's how Coda handles tabs...
Pretty much the same thing, right? The "Opener.html" page is obviously what you're looking at, because it's the tab in the foreground.
EXCEPT IT'S NOT!!! In this case, it's the "Closer.html" tab that's activated. Coda goes entirely opposite from how people are used to seeing tabs, and makes the activated tab RECESSED! I have been using Coda regularly for almost a year and still get confused as to which document I'm in because of this hideous choice of interface design. It's inexplicably bad. It's SO bad that I actually wrote to Panic and begged them to fix it. They wrote back a nice note, but haven't done anything about it yet.
So when I'm watching Sasser's C4 video, and listening to him pour his heart out about how much he agonizes over the details to make the best user interface possible... I can relate, but my mind boggles. At one point, a programmer in the audience brings up the tabbed windows and my heart skipped a beat, but it was only to discuss how Apple hasn't standardized tabs, so everybody's tabs are going to look different. And that's the root of the problem... Apple needs to standardize things so we don't end up with confusing interfaces in the software we use. In the meanwhile, I continue to hope that Panic will revisit their solution soon so I can stop making costly mistakes when using their product. Nothing sucks worse than editing code for 20 minutes and then realizing you've been editing the wrong document.
And thus ends another edition of Bullet Sunday. Time for lunch!
Posted on Sunday, July 13th, 2008
It's a mini edition of Bullet Sunday after a very long week.
• Sick & Tired. I am so exhausted from work this week that I'm becoming physically ill. So many things need to be done before I leave again... yet there simply isn't enough time to do them, and too many little details are slipping through the cracks. I haven't picked up my mail in so long that the post office probably thinks I'm dead. I have dry cleaning that has been sitting at the cleaners for months. My friends never see me, and I'm sure many of them are starting to question whether I even exist. If it weren't for this blog, even I would question whether or not I exist. And yet there's three more months of this left to go. It's times like this I question whether I'll be able to survive it.
• Re-Scheduled. I've lost track of the number of times my various travel itineraries have been changed over the past three months, but it just keeps getting uglier. Rumor has it that things will get much worse after labor day, as airlines scramble to cancel as many flights as possible to slash operating costs. I'm already having to fly out a day early for an overnight layover on three trips... now I've found out that I'm going to have to have an overnight layover on two more coming back. Just how much worse can it get? I'm afraid to even speculate. From what I can tell, the days of being able to schedule back-to-back trips on airlines are quickly disappearing. This is going to cause serious problems for me, and I can't even begin to think about how I'm going to deal with it. Maybe if I don't think about it, the problem will just go away? I can dream.
• Laughably Unfunny. I overheard somebody being told that not only was it possible for them to complete their work assignment on time... it was "impossibly possible." The guy on the receiving end didn't bat an eye and replied "In that case, I'll get it to you as quickly as impossible," which made his supervisor very happy... probably because he was just stupid enough not to over-think it: "See what happens when you put your mind on something?" ON?!? I can only guess his mind was on drugs.
• Mobile Maybe. Apple's $100-per-year ".Mac" service sounds like a dream come true. It's an online place to synchronize your address book, web browser bookmarks, email, calendar, and there's even room left over for file storage. No matter which of your computers you are using, you can rest easy that all your information is up-to-date, because everything is coordinated online by the ".Mac" server. At least that's how it's suppose to be. Unfortunately, reality is very different from the fantasy they sell you. The file storage is unbearably slow and freezes your computer (rendering it useless)... the syncing has NEVER worked properly... email is faulty and unreliable... basically, ".Mac" is a steaming pile of shit. Apple knows it's a steaming pile of shit, so they've introduced a replacement now called "MobileMe" which is a better, bigger, faster version of ".Mac"...
Yeah, still a steaming pile of shit! In fact, I'd go so far as to say that "MobileMe" is the biggest disaster I've ever seen from Apple. Not only does it not work... AT ALL... because Apple's servers are overloaded most of the time, but in those rare instances that it can connect to the server, IT STILL DOESN'T WORK! The entire service, from top to bottom, is plagued with troubles. I could go on for pages about the problems (which would only make me more angry than I already am), so let me give you just one example of how bad it is: When you enter your "MobileMe" identity into your iPhone, the last character is truncated. It took me HOURS to realize that my connection problems were because the last character of my login was being removed. I finally worked around this by adding an extra character to my identity (which was then truncated), but WHAT THE FUCK?!?? Did anybody bother to beta test this crap? Anybody?
• Mobile Misery. Okay, I just can't let this go... did I mention that I am PAYING for the MobileMe service? Perhaps these problems would be excusable if it were provided free, BUT I AM PAYING FOR THIS SHIT!! I am certain that Google Mail (a free service) has a shitload more people using it than are using "MobileMe," and yet how often does it go down? Now that I think of it... Google Mail has never crapped out on me. This is absolutely pathetic on Apple's part, and I hope that they have a plan for compensating their users for this bullshit. Assuming I ever get it to work in the first place, of course. Man, I never thought I'd find myself longing for the "horrible old .Mac days."
And on that perky note, I'd better get back to work...
Posted on Sunday, July 20th, 2008
I survived my trip back from Atlanta. And, though I am happy to be home, a part of me kind of wishes I hadn't left. Anyway... welcome to a special FAIL! edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Sleep FAIL! No matter how hard I try or how many pills I take, sleep still seems to elude me. This wouldn't be a big deal, except it makes getting through the day on 3-4 hours sleep incredibly difficult. My change from Eastern to Pacific time isn't helping matters.
• iPhone FAIL! Just before Davelanta was due to begin, Beth and Kevin took me to the Atlanta institution known as "The Varsity," (the largest drive-in restaurant in the world) so I could have a yummy frosty orange beverage. It was then I noticed that the camera on my iPhone no longer worked. In fact, NO photo related app on my iPhone worked (including both installed and 2nd party apps). After several restarts and reinstalls, it still doesn't work. I didn't have plans to upgrade to the iPhone 3G, but it looks like I might not have a choice.
• Spam FAIL! The latest trend in comment spam? Copying somebody else's previously approved comment and working your website links into the text. This way, your comment looks legitimate, because it actually pertains to the blog entry. Of course, since I read every one of my comments and manually approve them, I know immediately if it's a spam-infused duplicate. BANNED! DELETE! All of the IP addresses of the commenters are coming from India, but link to US websites, which means this kind of lame behavior is somebody's job?! Lovely.
• Survey FAIL! How interesting. The smokey first hotel that I was staying at in Georgia sent me an email asking me to take a survey on my visit. As there was no "EPIC FAIL" option, I decided to take a pass. Since the place was totally packed whenever I drove by, the problem obviously isn't with the hotel, but with me.
• Twitter FAIL! I've drastically cut my usage of Twitter over the past couple weeks, because I'm tired of disappointment. The API which my Twitter apps use to read/update (both on my iPhone and at home) has been broken a lot (what else is new?) making it more frustrating than fun. About the only thing that seems to be getting through on a regular basis are the tired old "I UPDATED MY BLOG" messages, which are often posted two and three times a day. Hopefully Twitter gets this all sorted out before I drop the service completely.
Alrighty then... time to futilely attempt to get some sleep in my 100-degree bedroom. Maybe I'll get lucky and pass out from the heat?
Posted on Sunday, August 3rd, 2008
I am totally exhausted this Bullet Sunday. Let's see how far I get...
• Ordered. I have finally... FINALLY... managed to get most all of the Artificial Duck Co. Store orders filled. The exception is orders that have "Ladies T Monkey Button" shirts in them, which were misplaced at the printer and are arriving on Tuesday or Wednesday. Of course, now I have to process a couple hundred orders for postage and make six or seven trips to the Post Office, but I will work hard over the next couple of days to get everything shipped out before I leave. Nobody will be happier than me to finally see everybody get their stuff! Given the long and difficult road I've been down, I am so very, very grateful for everybody's patience and understanding.
• Pounded. Just when you think that the US Dollar couldn't possibly be worth any less than it already is... you start planning a trip to London. The city has always been expensive... but now, thanks to the heinous exchange rate, even going on the cheap is unrealistic. I was planning on a six day, five-night trip to Blighty so I could meet with an artist there and hang out with friends (Davedon!), but once I got up to an estimated $3600 for all the expenses, I shat myself and decided to see if getting a new president will improve the dollar for a trip next year. I certainly hope so.
• Cents. Since traveling to Europe right now is insanely expensive, I thought I'd look into filling in those missing six states I've got going on...
Fly into Bismarck, North Dakota... drive down through Mount Rushmore... swing through Nebraska, Kansas, and the Oklahoma panhandle... then whip into Albuquerque, New Mexico... simple, right? The one-way rental would run me about $1100 (amazing how you don't get unlimited miles on a one-way rental!). Assuming that I get about 32 miles per gallon, fuel will run me about 42 gallons of gas @ $4.20 a gallon means an additional $180-$200 in gas. Adding in hotels and one-way airfare... and we're up to $2800?? Yikes. For that kind of money, I'd save up an additional $800 and take my London trip.
• MobileMaybe. Ever since resetting my iPhone so I could get the camera working again, syncing through Apple's pile-of-shit "MobileMe" service has failed. After trying absolutely everything, I reset my iPhone AGAIN and finally got it working. Of course, I ended up losing all the information that I had added to my iPhone, since there's no way of transferring notes, and syncing contacts was broken. Don't get me wrong... I love my iPhone and can't imagine life without it... but this is bullshit. To make matters worse, now we've got Windows users freaking out because iPhone syncing through MobileMe can erase all your Outlook Calendar data. Apple has already given everybody an extra month of MobileMe to compensate for how utterly shitty the service is... what happens now that it's still total crap? Another free month? Disaster. And I'm still not convinced it's working as it's supposed to, which is fine if the service was free... but $100 a year for this?
• Darker. I went to see The Dark Knight for the third time because I just can't help myself... and froze my ass off. Why do theaters feel the need to set the temperature to sub-zero? Cool would be fine... I like to keep cool when it's hot outside... but cold? It's miserable to try watching a movie while shivering the whole time. If it were that cold during winter time, they'd have the heaters on!.
And that's all for Bullet Sunday, because it's nearing midnight and I'm falling asleep...
AND OMG, I NEARLY FELL ASLEEP IN THESE EYE-RAPING CONTACT LENSES AGAIN!! Wouldn't that make for a great Monday. I will be so glad when my "real" lenses come in so I can be rid of these elements of torture.
Posted on Sunday, August 10th, 2008
Live from Chicago, it's another edition of Bullet Sunday!
• iPhone. When I got back from Davecago 3 last night and went to charge my iPhone, I found out that my power adaptor was dead. This was frustrating, but not a big problem, because I was going into the city and could just stop by the Apple Store and get a new one. But when I got there, something strange was happening. The line to get a new iPhone 3G had only one person in it. Not knowing quite what to do with myself, I made the snap decision to just get a new iPhone so I could finally have the GPS I need so badly in my travels (and go completely broke from having to shell out $299). I'll undoubtedly blather on about it later, but my initial reaction? Feels better in the hand, but design is not as nice as my first iPhone. Face feels more like plastic than glass (oh shit!). GPS is slow to acquire. 3G network is faster only sometimes and not widely available. None of my old complaints were addressed (clipboard, subscribed calendars, etc.). Conclusion? If Apple had put a fucking GPS in the original iPhone like they should have in the first place, I would never have "upgraded." Still a nice product, however.
• Doggity. Since earliest childhood, the only way I ever ate hotdogs was plain with ketchup. Now that I've started eating Chicago Style Hotdogs, I can't imagine eating them any other way (well, maybe one other way). Damn they're addicting. Fortunately, there's a vegetarian version here in Chicago at America's Dog, which is where I had lunch (again) today...
• Chef. Isaac Hayes, who I will forever associate with the phrase "Hello there, children!" from his character "Chef" on South Park has just died. I know that Hayes had a major falling out with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of the show) a while back, which resulted in the death of "Chef"... but I sure hope that they do something on South Park to remember him and the years he worked on the show. It hasn't been the same since he left...
• Davecago 3. I hate to admit it, but RW over at 1 Step Beyond gave up a much better recap of the festivities than I could ever hope to write. Suffice to say that I had a great time, and was so very happy to meet some terrific new people...
UPDATE: Tori has relented and published the recipe for her amazing, highly addictive brownies! Click and rejoice!
And also to reunite with some old friends from Davecagos past...
I swear that every time I meet up with other bloggers I feel so amazingly lucky to have people like this in my life. It's not easy spending so much time traveling far away from home, but knowing I have a blogging family no matter where I go is a blessing in life that I just can't put into words. I have received criticism from those who think that I'm an egotistical bastard for "renaming cities in my image" and "inviting people to come worship me"... but the truth is exactly the opposite. I don't do this so people can meet me... I do it so that I can meet them...
The fact that I am lucky enough that people even care enough about me to show up and say "hello" is just a bonus. If I am very lucky, I'll get to keep meeting up with fellow bloggers and blog readers for years to come.
Past and upcoming meet-ups can always be found on Blogography's Dave Events Page.
Oog... I really need to update my "Bloggers I've Met" list in my sidebar, but it's time for bed. I have a very long day ahead of me tomorrow...
Posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2008
Welcome to the Dave Louis edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Home Again. Yeah, I made it home safely. Though the frickin' 106° heat has me wondering why I didn't escape to Alaska while I had the chance. Isn't it about time for a Davebanks or Daveorage or Davelaska even? Of course, I don't know how many readers I have in Alaska... but even if it ended up being just me, that would be okay because the weather might be cooler. If not, there's always Davearctica.
• Dave Louis. Thanks to Ajooja's luck in the Blogiversary V Grand Prize drawing, there was a blogger meet in St. Louis last night...
In attendance was a terrific group of people that made me feel welcome in the city "Where There's More Than Meets The Arch."
• Blueberry Hill. The restaurant we met at, Blueberry Hill, is a St. Louis institution, famous for it's Blue Bar and eclectic interior design. What it should be famous for is its Red Beans & Rice, which I liked quite a lot. My only problem was that they didn't have any meatless toasted ravioli, which is one of my favorite things about St. Louis.
• Ted Drewes. After dinner, the consensus for dessert was to drive to Ted Drewes for frozen custard. I love frozen custard, so I thought it was a great idea. Though I wasn't quite prepared for what awaited me there. Apparently, this is a popular place...
Surprisingly, the crowds were not a problem at all. They had security in their lot to assist with parking, plenty of staff to keep the lines moving, and fill orders impossibly fast. As the popularity suggests, Ted Drewes frozen custard is pretty bad-ass amazing. I had a caramel sundae that was delicious...
Gina was kind enough to take a photo of me as I had just finished my third orgasm...
• Thank You. My most heart-felt thanks to everybody who made the trip to Dave Louis! The happiness at meeting my fellow bloggers and readers has become one of the major reasons I still write at Blogography every day.
And that's a wrap for another Bullet Sunday! Join me again next Sunday when I'll be back from another trip and celebrating the fact that I will get to stay home for a mind-boggling two-and-a-half weeks before traveling again! w00t!
Posted on Sunday, August 24th, 2008
I'm so tired that I'm falling asleep this Bullet Sunday. Here's hoping I can stay awake long enough to write something.
• Organizing Is Just This Easy. Every once in a while, something comes along that' so amazing that I don't know how I existed without it. The latest thing to rock my world? TripIt. This web-based service makes keeping track of your travel easy. You forward your email confirmations from airlines, hotels, car rentals, travel sites, and such, and TripIt miraculously organizes everything for you automatically. As if that wasn't enough, TripIt adds maps, driving directions, weather forecasts, and other cool stuff to help you plan your trip. But that's not all... TripIt also makes it easy to share and collaborate your travel plans with others, and creates an iCal subscription calendar plus a webfeed. I've been using the service for almost a year now, and find it invaluable. Even if you don't travel lots, all the extras make TripIt worth a look. Mostly because it's FREE! And right now they're running a promotion where you can sign up and be entered to win a new iPhone (prize available only if you live inside the US, but the service works everywhere). Highest recommendation...
• If It's Loaded, We'll Shoot Ourselves With It. Proving once again that Microsoft just can't seem to make a good decision, they're paying Jerry Seinfeld TEN MILLION DOLLARS to appear in Windows commercials with Bill Gates. Apparently, copying Apple's MacOS isn't going far enough, and so now Microsoft wants to copy their "Mac vs. PC" ads as well. How this is going to convince people that Windows Vista doesn't suck ass is beyond me. I'd much rather they take the 300 million they're planning to spend on this "Windows Not Walls" disinformation campaign and actually make Windows a decent product. Seinfeld went off the air ten years ago... apparently Microsoft's advertising firm is still stuck there. I anticipate that the music will be performed by The Backstreet Boys.
• Take Them Out Of The Oven, They're Done. Why are they still making new stupid-ass "caveman" commercials for GEICO insurance? I never liked the ads, but at least they were fresh... at first. Now they've been run into the ground and are just fucking annoying. Wasn't the cancellation of the crappy "Cavemen" TV show spin-off enough of a clue? Helpful hint to GEICO: IT'S OVER!!
• Ultimate Cleansing Power. If John McCain truly does "approve the message" in his latest campaign ads, he's a fucking douchebag. And an idiot. Using Hillary Clinton's words against Obama now that Biden is on the ticket is inviting the exact same treatment when he picks his VP. The difference being that the ads could be so much worse against McCain because the footage available is so much juicier. I remember back to the viscous McCain/Romney debates and imagine that Obama's attack dogs are just salivating over the prospect of retaliation ads (assuming Romney gets the spot). Issues? What Issues? Politics at their finest.
The end. Kind of. There are some additional bullets with bitching about my recent Salt Lake City trip in an extended entry. If stuff like that interests you, by all means click through...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2008
It's time for another edition of bullet-points gone amok!
• Gustav. Please please please let this storm abate before doing any damage. Not because New Orleans is one of my favorite American cities... but because I just can't take asshole frauds like Pat Robertson once again saying that God hates New Orleans and is punishing the city for its sins. If God were petty enough to be dishing out punishment this way, there's no doubt in my mind that a hurricane would descend on Virginia Beach and wipe nut-job Robertson and his "church of hate" 700 Club off the face of the earth forever. As it looks now, Gustav is due to hit at 7:00 Monday night...
• Biorhythmic. I'm not much of a believer in biorhythms, horoscopes, numerology, and other such stuff. It just doesn't make sense to me, and has rarely proven accurate in any way. And yet, despite being a pseudoscience with absolutely no hard evidence to back it up, biorhythms is a passion for a friend of mine who convinced me to get a "Dashboard Widget" to chart myself and see what I make of it. So far (when I remember to even look at it) the results have been unremarkable. But I did note this morning that my upcoming vacation occurs during the exact period that my cerebral functions are at their highest and my physical functions are lowest. Pretty much exactly what you'd want for a relaxing vacation, I guess...
• Allergen. I had long since ruled out peanuts as a possibility for the source of my recent food allergy problems. It wouldn't make any sense, because I eat peanut butter constantly (practically daily) and would have reactions far more often than I do now. Except... now that I'm on a restrictive diet to help figure out a medicine interaction problem, I'm keeping closer track of what I eat. And it would appear that peanuts do seem to be a factor. On days I experience swelling (like today!), peanut butter was consumed in higher quantities than usual. This is kind of a bummer... if it ends up being true... (love me the peanut butter), but at least a mystery would be solved.
• Deathrace. WARNING! THIS REVIEW FEATURES AN ABUNDANCE OF CURSE-WORDS! Tonight I made time to see the remake of cult-classic Death Race 2000, simply titled "Death Race." Not because I had any confidence in crap-for-hire "director" Paul W.S. Anderson (who managed to fuck up a practically un-fuckupable film property: Alien vs. Predator), but because it starred kick-ass Jason Statham. I enjoy Statham's ability to transcend cheese in cheesy movies, and was hoping the same would apply here.
Not by a long shot. Nobody, including Statham, could transcend this pile of shit...
This movie is so incredibly bad, I don't even know where to start. I think I can sum it up by saying the most exciting part of the film was when actress Joan Allen has to deliver the line "okay, cocksucker... fuck with me and we'll see who shits on the sidewalk!" And this is from a film which features cars with machine guns blowing shit up! How do you fuck up a film which features cars with machine guns blowing shit up?!? Big surprise, hack "writer-director" Paul W.S. Anderson managed to not only fuck it up... but actually make it boring!
Gone is the shocking, dark humor from the original Death Race. Gone also is the socio-political commentary that mad the first film so fascinating. Gone too is any sense of excitement, suspense, or logic. This is a by-the-numbers exercise in predictability that has no guts... and certainly no glory. As I sat in the theater thinking of what a missed opportunity this was, I was positively furious. Shame on Paul W.S. Anderson for delivering shit... AGAIN. Shame on Jason Statham and Joan Allen for signing on to such a mindlessly boring script. Shaome on Roger Corman for betraying his original film and producing this crapfest. Shame on anybody who had a hand in destroying a killer concept and tarnishing a classic film by daring to use the same name. If you're looking for a watered-down version of Death Race 2000, go rent Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Running Man, which was a far, far better film in this genre.
And on that note of profound disappointment, I'm calling it a night!
Posted on Sunday, September 7th, 2008
• Shopping. Just a quick note... I am on vacation for two weeks starting Wednesday. Any orders placed at the Artificial Duck Co. Store after tomorrow (Monday) will ship when I get back on September 26th.
• Vacation. In other news, OMFG! MY VACATION STARTS IN THREE DAYS!!
• Palinmony. Umm... is Sarah Palin ever going to agree to be interviewed... BY ANYBODY?!? What the hell is she hiding that she won't even appear on FOX News where they're positively wet over her? Are people seriously going to vote for Palin based on a couple of speeches alone? If she somehow makes it to the White House, she'll be closer to the presidency than any Vice President ever, shouldn't we know her answers to the big questions? Or are the Republicans so confident in their zombie minions to not give a shit, that she's going to be off-limits until election day?
• Britcom. A couple people asked me about a reference to Gavin & Stacey in my entry yesterday, which is a British television series that has just started showing here in the US on BBC America. I'm a huge fan of British comedy, and love it. It's so rare to find a show now-a-days where the lead characters are actually... nice... sweet even... and it's a refreshing change (especially with the Pushing Daisies premiere so far away). If you don't get BBC America, you can buy episodes at the iTunes Music Store. But check it out quickly before they start showing the sure-to-be-crappy American remake that they're working on...
• Rebate. When sending in for a mail order rebate, I wonder what the national average is in actually getting your money. Because I'm running at about 50%, which sucks ass. There's always some lame-ass excuse... "we never received it" or "that rebate expired" or "you didn't include all the required materials" or some other bullshit that's either an obscure technicality or an outright lie. Companies come up with rebates that they never intend to pay out, and I don't understand how this is legal. I just sent in an $80 rebate for SanDisk memory cards and a $75 rebate for AcuVue Contact Lenses... will either of them pay their promised rebate? Here's hoping.
My next Bullet Sunday will happen while I'm far away from here. Time to start packing a suitcase, I suppose.
Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2008
It's a Bullet Sunday from Maui... which is probably the best place for Bullet Sunday to be! Today I'm posting early (internet access willing) because it's going to be a chill-at-the-beach kind of day. Since I don't want to think, I thought I'd just answer some of the comments I got from recent entries. I guess this makes me a lazy bastard, but isn't that what vacation is for?
• "Ohhhh, nice! Which island?" — Kapgar.
Four islands, actually... Maui, Oahu, Hawaii, and Kauai.
• "The monkey, how's it travelling? In a bag, or you paying for an extra seat?" — stephentrepreneur.
Bad Monkey flew First Class, as always. I couldn't get an upgrade, so I flew Coach. But I was able to get an exit row and an empty seat next to me, which was actually better, since I didn't have to watch my monkey get drunk and hit on flight attendants.
• "Speaking of Hard Rock... have you checked the HRC website's Coming Soon section lately? Seattle, Washington. Summer 2009. — Marc.
Yep, and this time it actually looks like it might actually be happening... though I've heard that a couple of times before as they tried to put a Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle over the past 20 years. As a bonus, I hear that a cafe is being planned for Portland, Oregon as well.
"Gorgeous pics! Are these with your new camera? What IS your new camera??? — SJ.
"Great photos... I need to now ask... is this with your new camera? At some point, you will get tired of me asking about it and just blog about it." — ChillyWilly.
Thanks! And, yes, my camera arrived the day before I left, and I've been shooting with it since I got here. It's the brand new Nikon D90 model, which I wrote about here. Since I've barely used it, I'm not quite ready to write a review, but I'm pretty sure it will go something like this... "OMG! I SO TOTALLY LOVE THIS CAMERA! IT'S AMAZING, AND IT LETS ME GET SOME OF THE BEST PHOTOS I'VE EVER TAKEN WITH VERY LITTLE EFFORT!"
"Do you experience any hostility from native Hawaiians?" — Avitable.
Never. Not once in the dozen times I've been here over a 22-year span have I ever experienced any hostility. Unless you count being honked at by Hana natives because I wasn't driving at reckless enough speeds on the Hana Highway.
"As for Big Beach/Little Beach, it was the one spot I wanted to go to and didn't get there. Next time, for sure. My exhibitionist side needed out!!" — Lewis.
"If I recall, there was a sign on that road that read 'Your rental car insurance expires after this point'." — TheQueen.
When I fist started coming to Maui in the 80's, the road to Big Beach did indeed violate you car rental contract because it was very rough and unimproved. As such, very few people went there. I have photos of me and my friends where we're the only ones on the entire beach. And the one time I went to "Little Beach" (the "nude beach") nobody was there. Now there's a paved two-lane road right up to Big Beach (and beyond)... complete with a parking lot! Sadly, this means the beach is usually fairly crowded. My how things have changed.
• "QUESTION, and stop me if you've heard this one: If you need a vacation so badly why are you blogging in realish time about it?" — Poppy.
Realish time? Not really. I blog once a day, usually at night before I go to bed. Once the sun goes down, there's not much to do on Maui except eat and get drunk. It's not a big deal to post a few photos and say what I did that day before I eat and get drunk.
"Those sunrise photos are breathtaking. I can only imagine how much more spectacular it must have been to be there in person." — Iron Fist.
"My goodness, thank you for sharing these magnificent photos of the sun rising!! Worth waking up for huh???" — Michelle Jacobs
Truly. Sunrise at Haleakala is truly an event that must be witnessed in person... I got some great shots, but looking at a tiny little photo is nothing compared to the massive event it is in real-life.
• "If you find yourself on Lanai, i have family there that own a restaurant." — hello haha narf.
Having never been to Lanai before (except to dive off the coast), I actually decided to do this! On Friday I made a reservation on the ferry for today with a 9:15am departure and a 6:30pm return. But last night I learned that the road to Lahaina would be overrun with The Maui Marathon from 5:00am onward, making it difficult to even get to the city for a 9:15am launch. This meant, sadly, I had to cancel my plans. Maybe next time.
"When in Maui - Eat at Peggy Sue's (Kihei)!! Tell them Aynde sent you! Visited Maui a couple of years ago to visit the in laws (they own peggy sues). Fun vacation." — Aynde.
Wow... seems everybody's family owns a restaurant in Hawaii! Actually, I am very familiar with "Peggy Sue's"... it was an inspiration for a restaurant back in Washington that some friends own!
"BTW, how's the WiFi at your hotel?" — ChillyWilly.
Uhhh... it pretty much sucks. Couldn't even use it the first day, and last night was so slow that I couldn't post my entry for the day until this morning. Still, it's better than nothing!
And that's the end of that. Time to get out of bed and drag my lazy ass to the ocean.
Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008
It's another edition of Bullet Sunday on Monday! Since this is my last day in the Hawaiian Islands and all I'm going to do is sit on the beach and relax, I figured it was a better day to shoot bullets.
• Happily Mauied. This morning I flew back to Maui where my vacation all began. This is my most favorite of all the islands, and I wanted my last memory to be from here. With the US economy getting worse by the hour, who knows if I'll ever be able to afford to come back again?
• Macadamia Kisses. When you're in Hawaii, you can't turn around without bumping into chocolate-covered macadamia nuts. They are sold absolutely everywhere... from gift shops and grocery stores to restaurants and fruit stands. I think they must be the unofficial-official souvenir of Hawaii, and tourists pack them home by the cases. Sometimes the chocolate-covered macs have clever names like "Donkey Balls," and there are endless varieties where the macs are mixed with everything from crispy rice to coconut. But my favorite way of eating them would be "Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses with Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts," sold only in Hawaii...
Sublime! I love them and eat them by the bag-full because they're more addictive than crack (or so I would imagine). Of course, admitting this is going to get me hate-mail from people telling me (again) that Hershey is a horrible company that's buying out candy companies left and right in an effort to eliminate all competition (including Mauna Loa, Scharffen Berger, Joseph Schmidt, and others) and they're shipping American jobs off to Mexico... but I just can't help myself. I don't like "gourmet" chocolate or dark chocolate or the crap chocolate used in the souvenir boxes that tastes like wax. I like plain old boring Hershey's chocolate. And if I'm going to eat chocolate-covered macs, I want them with a chocolate I'm going to actually like. If it makes Hershey-haters feel any better, I'll switch to M&M Mars Dove bars to get my chocolate fix back home.
• Spore Origins. Games for the iPhone seem to lose their luster quickly on me. They're exciting at first, but eventually I grow bored with their repetitive nature and stop playing. I thought Electronic Arts' latest "Spore: Origins" would be different because the creature you play can evolve to meet new challenges. But it's grown repetitive to me just like the others (move around, avoid baddies, eat food). Oh well. It sure is a pretty game, so I'll probably play it again eventually...
• Chevy Cobalt. I never thought I would run across a car that had a worse turning radius than my Saturn SC-2, but the Chevy Cobalt that Hertz Rent-A-Car stuck me with on Kauaʻi really takes the cake. I swear that there were frickin' TOUR BUSSES that could take a corner tighter than I could in the Cobalt. How embarrassing for Chevy that they built a car which requires a six-point turn to flip a 180 on a two-lane road (well, not really, but it sure seems that way as I was trying to maneuver in parking lots). I have no clue as to why auto-makers think a shitty turning radius is acceptable when designing a car but, if you value being able to make a U-Turn, test-drive before you buy... I'm just sayin'.
• Accentuate The Positive. Soon after I began my vacation, I got a few emails asking if I was aware that somebody was trashing me personally in a popular forum because of a Blogography entry I wrote years ago. The answer was "yes"... I did know because I saw the referral links showing up in my stats bar... but I just didn't care. First of all, the dumbass who was doing the trashing didn't read the full entry and had no idea what the fuck they were talking about. Second of all, it was obvious to anybody reading the trash-talk that this person was a total moron, so there was no reason for me to get involved. And, lastly, the douchebag was making a personal attack ANONYMOUSLY with a pathetic alias that pointed to a profile that was BLANK. If somebody is going to attack me personally, how can I take them seriously if they're being an anonymous coward about it? Either sign your name to the shit you say and be accountable for it or don't even bother, you flaming ass troll.
And thus ends my thirteenth day in paradise. Tomorrow I fly home and resume real life. In many ways I'm glad, because it's time. If I were to stay any longer I would never want to go home again.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got one last perfect sunset to watch...
Posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2008
UPDATE: CONTEST CLOSED! Thanks for your entries! Winners will be drawn this weekend.
Welcome to the ONE-HUNDREDTH edition of Bullet Sunday!
It seems like just yesterday that I wrote my first Bullet Sunday as a way of collecting all the little things that weren't enough for an entry of their own throughout the week... but it's been nearly two years! In celebration of the event, I've decided to post a dozen random bullets from the past 99 entries AND have a contest for amazing prizes from The Artificial Duck Co. Store at the end! w00t!
On with the bullets...
• DOLLS! (from Bullet Sunday 9, Dec. 3, 2006) Now that they've released a "Doctor" Laura talking doll to go with the Ann Coulter talking doll, the "Hypocritical Dumbass Whore Talking Doll Line" is nearly complete...
All we're missing is Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.
• Best Explanation of Why I Am The Way I Am... (from Bullet Sunday 11, Dec. 31, 2006)
Yes, the world really does revolve around me.
• Mouthy... (from Bullet Sunday 16, Feb. 4, 2007) Is there an over-abundance of loud-mouthed, obnoxious bitches in the world... or is it just my grave misfortune to be consistently seated in their vicinity during long plane flights? I had yet another one behind me for a lovely 9 hour flight out of Cologne. This woman talked CONTINUOUSLY, irritating the shit out of just about everybody. Fortunately, by the time she got to her rant about Mexico being a "dirty, disgusting, 3rd-world country that she won't visit," I was able to turn on my iPod. This saved her from my wrath, as I was just about to start screaming "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UUUUUUUP!! But, alas, I couldn't resist being a smart-ass when she was in the lavatory...
And you know what? I don't even f#@%ing apologize for saying it. Screw her and her big mouth, because NOBODY wanted to hear it. All we wanted to do was have a peaceful flight under cramped, horrible conditions, and I don't think that's too much to ask. Read a book. Watch the movie. Listen to music. Do whatever the f#@% gets you through those nine hours... AS LONG AS IT ISN'T BUGGING THE CRAP OUT OF EVERYBODY ELSE! Because blathering loudly about stupid shit while people are trying to relax or sleep or work or whatever is just making you an inconsiderate asshole.
Yes, bitches! I am one sexy bastard! Just ask Jenny and Sass...
• Scare the shit INTO me... (from Bullet Sunday 35, June 17, 2007) Speaking of fast food, why is it that the fast food industry always seems to choose freaky-ass mascots to represent their companies? What are they trying to do... scare you into eating their shit?
• Paris! (from Bullet Sunday 36, June 24, 2007) OMG! Like, Paris is getting out of jail early and will be released on Tuesday! JUSTICE PREVAILS! Which means I guess it's time for me to come clean about something... since the tabloids are sure to break the news soon anyway.
I am totally dating Paris Hilton.
I wrote her letters of encouragement while she was doing time, and she understandably fell head-over-heels in love with me. I will be moving to L.A. at the end of next week so Paris and I can be together. 2GETHER 4EVA!
Lil' Dave is totally not wearing panties in this shot...
We ask that the media respect our privacy as we plan our new life.
And by "respect our privacy" we mean "follow us around and take our picture everywhere we go, because we are so totally hot and interesting and deserving of your love."
There are entirely too many people in the world who simply cannot understand this simple concept, and about twenty of them decided to go to the movies at the same time I did.
• But Not Really... (from Bullet Sunday 47, Sept. 9, 2007) Okay just one more thing about Zune. THIS WAS WHAT MICROSOFT THOUGHT WOULD BE AN iPOD KILLER?!? It's so craptastically bad that I can only guess it was crapped out of somebody's ass in an explosive case of diarrhea. It certainly looks as if that's the case...
Microsoft has BILLIONS of dollars! But what good is it if they only spend $2.50 on research and development when they decide to enter a new market? NOTE TO MICROSOFT: SPEND THE FUCKING MONEY TO MAKE OBSCENELY AMAZING PRODUCTS!! Put in a billion-dollars and come up with a media player that has anti-gravity controls, a 400dpi 3-D screen, wireless power recharging, and folds to the size of a pack of gum! Otherwise, why bother? Why continue to release complete and total shit that isn't a leap ahead of what's already out there? For crying out loud, who is in charge over there at Redmond? If this is your answer to iPod, I can't wait to see your iPhone competition. Seriously, I could use a good laugh.
• Science! (from Bullet Sunday 51, Oct. 7, 2007) Yesterday while I was running errands, I dropped by the crafts store for some spray glue. As I was standing in line to pay for my stuff, I saw a kid holding a cardboard "presentation board" which he was using for his Science Fair project. This made me a little bit angry. CARDBOARD? Back when I made my science fair project, I had to use REAL WOOD BOARDS and METAL HINGES and SCREWS. My science fair board weighed a ton, but had the benefit of being indestructible. I pity the fool who uses wimpy CARDBOARD on their science fair project! So this is what people mean when they talk about the "pussification of America!"
• Pole! (from Bullet Sunday 57, Nov. 25, 2007) What is it with the latest fitness trends that keep popping up, disappearing, then popping up again? I'm seeing ads (once again) for POLE DANCING as exercise. I could make a number of smart-ass comments here, but instead I decided to buy a pole and get into shape! Off I went to Amazon to get an instructional video... and imagine my surprise when I found out there's a whole world of slutty exercise programs to choose from!
And now I can't decide if I want to learn exotic dancing, pole dancing, lap dancing, or bump n' grind strip-dancing. My gut instinct is to stick with pole dancing, but I'm thinking there's more money to be made in lap dancing. At least that's always been the case when I'm paying for it. Because, hey, there's nothing to say a guy can't earn a little cash while getting into shape.
• Lesbionic. (from Bullet Sunday 72, March 9, 2008) I suppose I shouldn't be too hard on Representative Kern... but I'm lashing out from fear. Fear that she and her homophobic nut-job comrades might actually be able to make good on their Nazi-esque fantasies of cleansing the nation of homosexuals. A nightmare! WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO LESBIAN PORN?!? Because right now I'm trying to decide which video I need most, and that's a struggle I'm not wanting to give up...
I'm leaning towards "The Trouble with Girls" because it sounds naughty! But then I see "Girls Do It Best: Volume 2" and think perhaps that's the way to go... obviously these babes are really good at making lesbian porn if they've got a SEQUEL going on! Except further down the shelf there's "Girls on Girls: VOLUME FOUR" yes, VOLUME FOUR, which sounds great, yet I can't help but wonder if they're just running the series into the ground like the Star Wars prequels did? But then... THEN... I spot "Bitch Banging Bitch" and think this video must be the one to beat... it's got bitches in it! And they appear to be experienced bitches, unlike the amateurs to be found in "Bitches in Training." And there's always "100% Strap-On," which could be interesting and educational... or just very, very scary. What's a boy to do? Well, if people like Sally Kern get their way, there won't be anything TO do. The lesbian porn industry will be shut down. THIS is AMERICA?!? Nay, I say! Hmmm... I wonder where Obama stands on lesbian porn?
• Happy Mother's Day! (from Bullet Sunday 80, May 11, 2008) I don't feel much like typing right now, so I've decided to drop a video for today's 80th edition of Bullet Sunday here at Blogography!
For my valued readers who are deaf, have hearing difficulties, don't have sound, or can't play video, a transcript of the video has been added in an extended entry.
Have a super awesome week everybody!
Leave a comment with a valid email address (which will not be shared) telling me something you'd like to have a hundred of. A hundred dollars? A hundred kisses from Elizabeth Hurley? A hundred cups of Snack-Pack Chocolate Pudding? A hundred of anything you want! — I'll then randomly pick three commenters who answered the question and they'll win a certificate good for one T-shirt, one hat, and one deck of cards from The Artificial Duck Co. Store! How sweet is that?
UPDATE: CONTEST CLOSED! Thanks for your entries! Winners will be drawn this weekend.
As for me? I'd like a hundred more Bullet Sundays!
Posted on Sunday, October 5th, 2008
Home from Austin. For a little while, anyway. I must be brief, because I am not feeling very well.
• It's Peanuts! Thanks to the bag of peanuts I had on the plane AND the Drumstick ice cream sundae with peanuts I had when I got home... I now have a huge allergic welt above my ass crack. I also think that my intestines might have swollen up again because I've got some major cramping going on. Methinks I might have to start taking this allergy thing seriously after all. Oh well... at least now I'm more sure of what the cause is. So much for my Uncrustables peanut butter sandwiches.
• It's Prizes! A big "thank you" to everybody who commented or emailed to enter my Bullet Sunday 100 Contest! I've taken all 116 of you who entered, listed you in a spreadsheet. Randomly re-arranged a list of numbers from 1 to 116 three times, then generated a random number once the list had been randomly sorted to pick the winners. It's double the random for double the fun! The winners (who will be notified by email tomorrow on how to collect their prizes) are as follows (congratulations!!)...
• It's Over! Seriously, I'm dying here. Taking pills and going to bed...
Posted on Sunday, October 12th, 2008
I'm writing a Bullet Sunday that I know I won't get to post! How awesome is that?!?
• Sorry! Okay then... first, thanks to all the nice people who emailed me to make sure I was okay because I didn't post entries for the past two (now going to be three) days. On Friday I wrote an entry, but didn't want to pay a $12 internet fee to my hotel to post it, so I thought I'd do it Saturday morning at my new hotel. But then I found out my new hotel has flaky internet that didn't allow me to post at all. So I dutifully wrote entries each day anyway, and will posted them when I get home tomorrow. Likewise, I'll try to get caught up with all the email which has been piling up. For future reference, if I should ever drop off the face of the earth again and new entries aren't showing up, you can always take a look at my Twitter updates, which are posted in the sidebar and at DaveStalker™ (it's easier to update Twitter from my iPhone than my blog when I'm on the go).
• TQ2009! For those who have been emailing and Twittering to ask about TequilaCon 2009 plans, I'm not your man. TequilaCon is Jenny and Brandon... I'm just a lackey who flies to planning meetings when I'm summoned and makes the lanyards. For breaking TQ2009 news, be sure to keep checking TequilaCon.com (which currently points to a Flicker album from TQ2008, but will eventually point to Jenny's post on next year's event). About the only thing I can tell you is that the host city for next year has been narrowed down to three choices, and they all took us by surprise. I guess these planning meetings aren't just an excuse to drink copious amounts of alcohol after all!
• Economical! I've heard of people losing their shirts as the stock market tank, but apparently they're losing their pants now as well. Spotted this morning on Wacker and Dearborn here in Chicago...
• Chicago2! After viewing beautiful works at The Art Institute of Chicago, Jenny, Vahid, and I met up with Brandon at Pizanos Pizza for lunch and then headed to Millennium Park. Brandon then just had to see Obama's Three Million Dollar Overhead Projector at the Adler Planetarium, so off we went. Except the Chicago Marathon was in town, so we ended up having to walk twenty miles in the scorching heat to get there. But it was all in the name of science, so it's all good in the end.
• Betty! Usually, I don't like putting stuff on Blogography that I didn't create... but I will always make an exception for Betty White, who I love more than chocolate pudding (which is saying a lot). She recently made a brilliant appearance on Craig Ferguson, and has been catching some flack for calling Sarah Palin a "crazy bitch" while play-acting as John McCain's speechwriter...
First of all, Betty was playing a character. Second of all, Sarah Palin is a crazy bitch. That's what being a maverick is all about! Because abstinence-only sex education really works, people!
• OutFOXed! I was wholly disgusted to see that FOX Home Entertainment has gone and revised the DVD boxes for The Simpsons yet again. They've taken a kind of "hybrid" approach between the original (and very cool) boxes and the outrageously fucked-up and stupid "giant head" boxes that started appearing on the Sixth Season set. Now, there's still a giant head (it's Krusty!) except you can peel it off so it fits on the shelf next to the rest of your collection. The problem is that peeling off the giant head strips ink from the "real" box leaving it looking shitty. But if you leave the damn thing on, it looks like shit anyways, and takes up twice the space on your shelf unnecessarily...
But that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that INSIDE the box they no longer have snap-in spaces for the DVDs... they now just slide them all into a giant accordion-style cardboard sleeve. This not only makes it difficult to get your DVDs in and out, but it also makes it easy to damage both the DVDs and the packaging. So fuck you FOX Home Entertainment. Fuck you up your stupid fucking asses, you greedy fucking assholes. I was already pissed that my Simpsons DVD collection doesn't have a consistent look between seasons when sitting on the shelf, but now I'm pissed that I ever started buying your fucking DVDs in the first place. You cut corners where it counts by using cheap-ass packaging, and don't give a flying fuck about your loyal customers, so why should I give a shit about you? I guess this teaches me a lesson... don't send money to studios who treat you like crap and stick you with poor-quality product, just download the stuff you want off BitTorrent so you don't have to deal with their bullshit. It's really amazing how movie and television studios bitch and whine about piracy, yet they do everything in their power to force consumers down that path. Big fucking surprise. Well, congratulations FOX Home Entertainment, unless you make this right with your customers, I've just bought my last fucking Simpsons DVD set from you. Shame on The Simpsons creator Matt Groening for allowing FOX to treat people like shit on his behalf. I hope the millions of dollars he's making off of his creation compensates for the ill-will of his fans who has supported him all these years.
Hopefully I will get home and the internet there will be working. Otherwise, I guess I'll be posting this sometime next week.
Posted on Sunday, October 19th, 2008
I'm writing today's Bullet Sunday at Seattle-Tacoma International airport during my 3-1/2 hour layover. I forgot to charge my MacBook battery, so here's hoping that I can type really fast today...
• Event! Finally got around to updating my Events Page with Austin, Chicago, and San Francisco, and I'll try to update my blogroll and sidebar tonight. Amazing that I've met over 100 people now! By far my favorite part of blogging is continuing to meet my readers and fellow bloggers, so hopefully this will continue into next year and beyond.
• Trick! This morning I got a notification email that a critical part of my Halloween costume I ordered for Avitable's party is out of stock and not expected before I leave. Since this was the ONLY place I could find it after an exhaustive two-day search, I'm screwed. Now I'm going to have to work on an entirely different costume with less than two weeks to go. So nice they waited almost THREE WEEKS to tell me that I won't be getting the item I needed. Now that's customer service!
• Vote! I brought my Voter's Information Pamphlet with me so I'd have something to read on the plane. Most of the issues are fairly straightforward for me this time (when they're not, I usually defer to whatever side The League of Women's Voters takes... they've got a pretty good track record). As an unaffiliated voter, I tend to vote for both Democrat and Republican candidates. This largely stems from the idea that Republicans tend to be from Eastern Washington and don't forget about us when it's time to make the budget. Democratic candidates tend to focus on Seattle's problems first (it's the voter base that got them elected, after all), and I never really feel the area where I live is well-represented. Of course, when it's time to vote for president, there's no way I'm voting for piece-of-shit POW/MIA betrayer McCain. I may not agree 100% with everything Obama says, but in this race there's no contest. I would never give my vote to an angry unstable bastard with total disregard for the men and women serving in our military like McCain. The fact that he's in bad shape health-wise, leaving the joke that is Sarah Palin as our president if he dies, is just the icing on the cake. Thankfully McCain's fellow MIA/POW betrayer asshole, John Kerry, didn't win the Democratic ticket or else I'd end up voting for Ralph Nader!
• Boredom! This past week I took my grandmother to East Wenatchee so she could get her flu shot. Along the way she mentioned something about how the snow kept coming later and later and the amount of snow was less and less each year. She worried that if this trend continued, we might not have a white Christmas this year. She then remembered one year when she was a kid in the 1920's how there was no snow for Christmas, so her and her sisters went outside to wait for it. This kind of boggles my mind, because I can't fathom being so completely bored that I'd go outside and wait for it to snow. I'd probably not even be bored enough to bother looking outside a window, preferring to consult the weather widget on my MacBook instead. It's things like this that make it difficult for me to know if we're better off... or worse off... in today's hectic, modernized world. There are days I'd sure like to be bored enough to go outside and wait for it to snow.
• Creative! My copy of Adobe Creative Suite CS4 arrived, and I'm kind of hesitant to start using it. On my very first launch of the new Photoshop, I found a massive bug (if you use Apple's "Spaces" virtual desktops and launch an app in a space different than where you have it defaulting to, then open an Photoshop file by double-clicking it in The Finder, you end up in a limbo between Spaces and have to click back and forth in order to access the image... wheeeee!). This just makes me wonder what other horrendous crap I'm going to have to deal with because ONCE AGAIN Adobe doesn't test their software very well. I mean, seriously, Spaces is a standard feature of the Mac OS... did nobody bother to turn it on when testing the programs? What's next... is The Dock going to stop working in CS4 apps? And here I was hoping I wouldn't have to rip Adobe a new one like I did last time.
And now, since I'm down to 5% battery life left, I guess that's all for Bullet Sunday.
UPDATE! Oops. Since I forgot that I didn't get to post Saturday until Sunday, then completely forgot about Sunday until Monday. Hopefully Monday's entry will actually be on Monday so I can break this chain of not knowing what day it is.
Ummm... it is Monday, is it not?
Posted on Sunday, October 26th, 2008
This has been a very challenging week for me on all fronts, and I am glad it's over. Hopefully I can manage to get caught up on all the emails, orders, blogs, and work I missed while dealing with the drama so things can get back to normal. It would be nice to have a little "normalcy" in my life right now.
• Thanks! A heartfelt thanks to everybody for the kind comments and emails this past week. I read absolutely everything I get, but haven't had much time to reply or comment myself. I'd like to send out a special thanks to the many, many wonderful people who were supportive of my posting of Henry's story a while back. Entries like this are not easy for me, and the nice feedback I got was much appreciated.
• High? I love these ads encouraging people to find out the facts about High Fructose Corn Syrup by pointing to a web site created by the people who make High Fructose Corn Syrup. I'd encourage people to do their own research on the evils of this horrendous shit and see where they net out. I only wish that there was away to easily avoid eating the crap, but it is in absolutely everything. I eat as little High Fructose Corn Syrup as possible, and hope that food manufacturers will start phasing it out like they have trans fats. In the meanwhile, these misleading ads will continue to tell people that High Fructose Corn Syrup is "okay in moderation" when there's no way to moderate it because most foods you buy have it in the ingredients...
Yo, bitch... you trying to kill me with that shit?
Bonus points if you watch the above-mentioned ad and notice that neither one of the actors in the commercial dare stick that High Fructose Corn Syrup laden popsicle in their mouths.
• Wrong! One of my most favorite features of my iPhone is having Google Maps in my pocket. When I need to find something, it's an invaluable resource. But not always. I am having a really tough time getting accurate information lately. I'll zero-in to where I'm at, search for something, and up will pop the location... except not really. I'll drive there only to find out that the information provided is outdated, inaccurate, or just plain wrong. Example... As I was driving home I wanted to see if a halloween store was around, so I Google Mapped it and came up with "Planet Halloween Superstore" in Monroe. Perfect. But having been burned by Google Maps before, I clicked through to the website and saw the information was indeed correct. So off I went... only to find it doesn't exist. So I call the number on the website and find out that it's been disconnected. Great. You'd think people would be nice enough to erase the website for a business that doesn't exist anymore so they don't waste people's time, but I guess not. Lame. What's even more frustrating is that Google Maps doesn't do anything about it, even when you put in a request... like I did for the now-dead Johnny Rockets in Chicago. It shows as "removal requested" in my web browser, but hasn't actually been removed...
And now let's look at the location on my iPhone...
Yes, that's right... this mobile version of Google Maps doesn't bother to show the removal request, which is pretty messed up. I guess I just have to remember to distrust Google Maps every single time I use it until I've verified the information directly. Kind of defeats the purpose, but that's progress for you.
• Watching! Finally got my copy of Dave Gibbons' Watching The Watchmen while I was working in Seattle... and was really disappointed. I was drooling at the prospect of insider information about my favorite graphic novel of all time but, despite weighing in with a whopping 256 over-sized pages, there just wasn't a lot there. Mostly just page after page after page after page of thumbnail layout sketches showing sketchy compositions with an occasional comparison to the actual printed page. As if that wasn't bad enough, the book's design sucked ass. Who the fuck puts small blue text over a black background on glossy paper and expects that anybody will be able to read it? I was constantly shifting the book as I was attempting to read it in order to see the text without having it blown out in reflective glare. Monumentally fucking stupid and an EPIC FAIL. My recommendation is to skip the book. If you're a die-hard Watchmen fan, it's worth a check-out at your local library, but hardly worth owning...
• Voted? Still encouraging people to vote in the upcoming election. Many states allow early voting so you don't have to wait in lines come November 4th.
And now I think I shall retire so that I can get up at some obscene hour and go to work early.
Posted on Sunday, November 9th, 2008
w00t! Glad to be alive on this Bullet Sunday!
• Death. Ummm... yeah... I nearly died last night. Usually when I have a mysterious allergic reaction to some unknown substance, I start swelling up somewhere... mostly my tongue, hands, or feet. When it's my tongue, I overdoes on Benadryl or Cetirizine to get the swelling to go down faster (sometimes having to crush the pills and shove them into my mouth when the swelling is nasty). Last night when I was woken up, the swelling not only caused my tongue to swell, but the opening to my throat as well. This is particularly bad, because the option of breathing through your nose doesn't work when your throat is constricted. My first reaction was to stab myself with my Epi-Pen but, once I calmed down, I realized that I was getting air. My throat wasn't fully swollen as I had first thought. After taking an overdose of Cetirizine, I went back to bed and meditated in an effort to calm myself down and reduce the amount of oxygen I needed. This worked pretty well, because I fell back asleep. When I woke up four hours later, my throat was back to normal and my tongue was only half-swollen. Since I cannot figure out what is causing this to happen, I guess it's time for another appointment with an allergist. Yay.
• Gay. I've sat down a couple times to write about my extreme disgust over the gross discrimination voted into the Constitution of California by the passing of Prop 8, but always end up screaming obscenities. If "traditional marriage" is so fucking precious to people, why is the divorce rate so high? Why is divorce even allowed? It makes me wonder what's going to be next. How long will it be before gays are segregated on public transportation and forced to use separate bathrooms? How long before we're hearing such absurd crap as "I believe public peeing is the relationship formed by a straight man's penis and a urinal!" I honestly don't know where this country is headed when we can allow such overtly discriminatory legislation to dictate how people are treated in the eyes of the law based solely on an attribute they were born with. And here's where I start screaming obscenities. Again.
• Palin. Let me just say up-front that I thought Sarah Palin was a total joke of a choice by the McCain administration for Vice President. She's almost George Bushian in her total inability to speak in coherent sentences or say anything except sound-bites without sounding like a complete moron. She should have never, ever been selected for that position. But McCain's people wanted to "shake things up" and pander to disenfranchised Hillary Clinton supporters in the worst possible way, so there she was. That being said, I am absolutely appalled at the way that Sarah Palin is being treated in the press. Even the most ardent Right-wing supporters are suddenly keen to blame Palin for absolutely everything that went wrong with the campaign, up-to-and-including losing the election. That's a load of shit. That's like blaming a television repairman you hired for their inability to fix your toilet. Sarah Palin worked her ass off for the campaign, going wherever they sent her and saying whatever they asked her to say. She did the very best job she could, and blaming her for losing the election or hurting McCain is just stupid. Blame the dumbasses in the campaign who put her up for the position in the first place, because anything else is totally unfair. But that's just the beginning... it's not enough that she's "lost the election," now they're coming out and slamming her for stuff like "not knowing Africa was a continent, not a country." Give me a break. Somebody a lot stupider than Sarah Palin is to be blamed for putting Sarah Palin on the ticket... she's just an easier target, and all this crap is nothing but distraction.
And, on that happy note, it's time for me to take a handful of sleeping pills and go back to bed! Goodnight!
Posted on Sunday, November 16th, 2008
Another Bullet Sunday has come, and I'm running short of time, so let's get to it...
• Chappelle. I've always enjoyed the program Inside the Actor's Studio and am amazed at the big names they manage to get for the show. On the occasion of the 200th episode, the tables were turned and interviewer James Lipton became the interviewee... by Dave Chappelle. He was, of course, genius. The guy could have a talk show and would be amazing at it.
• Hellboy. I was genuinely upset that Hellboy 2: The Golden Army left theaters before I could see it on the big screen. Now that I've seen this amazing film on DVD, I'm even more upset. Brillaint flick. I am hoping far a sequel to get a complete trilogy of films, but don't know how likely that is. Fingers crossed...
• Righteous. The latest round of injustices piled on the gay community in this past election were apparently the final straw. No longer willing to remain passive as their rights continue to erode, the gay community is fighting back. The demonstrations, boycotts, and educational campaigns are just the beginning. This was made very clear to me when one of my favorite comedians, Wanda Sykes, came out and rallied the troops...
And so it begins...
"We shouldn't have to be standing out here demanding something we automatically should have as citizens of this country. But I got pissed off. They pissed me off. And I said 'you know what? now I got to get in your face.' And that's what we all have to do now! They pissed off the wrong group of people. They have galvanized a community. We are so together now and we all want the same thing and we are not going to settle for less. Instead of having gay marriage in California, no, we're gonna get it across the country. Because when I leave... when my wife and I leave California, I want to have my marriage also recognized in Nevada, in Arizona, all the way to New York.
How can you stop people from loving each other? How can you get upset about loving? I'm sick of this stuff about 'oh... well, you made that choice... that's your choice.' Gay is not a choice! Being gay is not... that's like telling me I chose to be a woman... I chose to be black. Are we saying that if being gay is a choice that people are straight because they chose not to be gay? I am very proud. I'm proud to be a woman, I'm proud to be a black woman and I'm proud to be gay. I love you all. Now let's go get our damn equal rights!"
If that doesn't sum it all up in a nutshell, I don't know what does. You go girl. For everybody.
• Inferno. My thoughts go out to everybody in California affected by the fires. I've been there... twice... and hope that everybody stays safe.
Back to work.
Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008
It's Bullet Sunday on Monday from chilly Wisconsin!
Yesterday I had intended on posting this as a second entry, my "real" entry for the day. But internet at my hotel is spotty, so I never got the chance because it went down before I could finish. That's the bad news. The good news is that I'm one of only three guests staying at the entire hotel, so it's been very quiet. I like me the quiet hotel.
• Cheese and Crackers. Whenever I travel, I always take along packages of Cheese and Crackers. Not just because they taste great (they've got cheese in 'em!) but because the packaging is useful as an iPhone stand for watching movies more comfortably. Just turn it upside-down after eating the contents, and there you go...
I mention this because the guy across the aisle from me on the plane thought this was the coolest thing since sliced bread.
• Flying The Friendly Skies. As a "Platinum Elite" flyer, I'm pretty much guaranteed a First Class upgrade any time I fly domestic with Northwest Airlines (for now... once they merge with Delta, who knows?). This doesn't make me special, it just means I fly a lot. And, while I do enjoy the extra legroom and being able to sit more comfortably, I'm not devastated if the upgrade doesn't happen. This is contrary to most other frequent fliers I've seen, who freak out if they don't get it. Eventually they called pre-boarding for First Class, so I got up and walked to the gate. As I was standing there behind other passengers, some guy comes out of nowhere with a Burger King bag and a boat-load of other shit he was carrying. He made a ruckus as he worked his way through the crowd informing anybody who would listen that he was "first class." When he finally got up to me, he said "Are you in line?" To which I replied "Yes." He then said "Sorry, you didn't look like you were first class." To which I replied "Fuck you." It wasn't loud enough for anybody else to hear, but I was pissed off and didn't care. He wiped the shock off his face, did a nervous laugh, then fell in line behind me. Fortunately, I didn't have to sit next to the dumbass on the plane, because that might have been awkward. For him. I didn't give a shit. I was wearing jeans and a Simmer Style hoodie. How this disqualifies me from looking like I fly a lot, I have no idea. But people who make judgements from appearances don't make much sense to me anyways.
• Warlords DS. WHERE IS IT?!? WASN'T THIS SUPPOSED TO BE RELEASED IN 2007?!? Probably my favorite strategy game of all time, Warlords II, is supposed to be coming to the Nintendo DS. I've been anxiously waiting for years now to get my hands on it, yet I've never found it for sale. From what I can tell, the company originally releasing it went under, now Glyphic Entertainment(the developer) has new distributor. A visit to their web site shows "Coming Soon" but that's what I've been hearing forever. How soon is soon?
Even better than Warlords II for Nintendo DS would be Warlords II for iPhone! I wonder if that project is in the works? Apparently the spin-off Puzzle Quest: Challenge of The Warlords will be available for iPhone next month, so my fingers are crossed.
• Secretary of State. So Hillary Clinton has accepted President Elect Obama's offer to become Secretary of State. This does not make me very happy. Not because she's a woman, but because she's Hillary Clinton. Barrack Obama's lack of experience never much bothered me because he could surround himself with brilliant and heavily experienced people in all fields and use their advice from which to govern. THAT'S what a president does. But now he's put somebody's in charge of foreign affairs whose "foreign experience" comes from the globetrotting she did as First Lady? Seriously? If I didn't hate John Kerry so much, I'd question why his 20 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wasn't tapped for that position. Or, if Obama was dead-set on having a woman in that position, why not pick Susan Rice? I mean, holy shit... she was Obama's foreign policy advisor during the campaign and has boat-loads of experience! If he wanted to prove that he is bi-partisan, why not pick Republican Senator Dick Lugar? He may be on the opposite party, but he has foreign experience for miles and similar foreign policy ideals to Obama (they worked together on the "Lugar-Obama Proliferation and Threat Reduction Initiative," and Luger endorsed Obama for foreign policy experience over McCain in the election). Hey, having a Republican Secretary of State in a Democratic White House worked on one of my favorite episodes of The West Wing! This is a highly questionable decision, and I hope it doesn't come back to bite us in the ass. If we've learned anything in the past eight years, it's that having shitty foreign relations doesn't help us any.
&bull The West Wing. Speaking of The West Wing, here's a list of my five most memorable episodes of the show...
And now it's time for me to brave the cold so I can get some dinner. It's supposed to snow tomorrow, and I think we all know just how much I'm looking forward to that.
Posted on Sunday, November 30th, 2008
GAH! I FLY OUT IN TWO DAYS!! What am I doing writing Bullet Sunday when I should be washing clothes, packing my suitcase, and getting my work finished up?
• NaBloPoMoBlahBlahBlah. This is the last day of National Blog Posting Month, better known as NaBloPoMo. If you join up, you're supposed to post every single day in November. Congratulations to everybody who made it, and a special thanks to those who decided to make their daily post be about how tough it is to be doing a daily posts for NaBloPoMo. As somebody who posts every single day of the year, I feel your pain.
• Revenge! On occasion I write bits and pieces for the awesome news site GEEKS OF DOOM! under the name "Bad Monkey." Today I joined in on a Geek Round Table discussion on "best payback moments in film." You can check out our answers (and suggest your own) by clicking on this link.
• Dibs! My latest food addiction is DIBS brand ice cream snacks. They're horrendously bad for you, but oh so delicious. My most favorite would be the Nestle Crunch Dibs. Vanilla ice cream drenched in chocolate and rice crispies...
Looking at the Nutrition Facts is a bit scary. NINETY-FIVE PERCENT OF YOUR DAILY SATURATED FAT VALUE?
So basically, these things will kill you... but what a tasty way to go.
• Steamer. Knowing that my site is well-indexed by Google, I thought that I would spare people the agony I've gone through after buying a Hewlett-Packard Photosmart B9180 Printer when people go searching for reviews. This is unquestionably the worst electronics purchase I have ever made. Ever. And that's saying a lot, because I've invested in a lot of technology over the years...
When I say that the Hp Photosmart B9180 printer sucks ass, I mean that it sucks ass on an epic scale. In fact, it goes beyond sucking ass. It has reached EPIC FAIL. I've had problems with this piece of shit printer from DAY ONE. Carriage stalls... print-heads dragging across the paper... mysterious color shifts... suddenly printing black as gray... print jobs canceling half-way through for no reason... and loads of other stupid crap.
Multiple calls to Hewlett-Packard "support" resulted in nothing being solved. For ANY of the many problems I've had.
After a year of suffering, the pile of crap finally died completely. I would rather eat a gallon of lard than to EVER buy anything from HP again, but then I discovered something strange.
This printer, which you can get for $560 if you look around, comes with a full set of inks, valued at $260, bringing the actual cost of the printer itself down to $300. When I hold that up to the $600 in spare ink cartridges I have sitting in my filing cabinet, I didn't have much choice but to buy a replacement. It was my cheapest option.
And guess what?
STILL a pile of shit.
I'm still having random and inexplicable problems that I can find no way of solving. I'd call HP "support," but I already know that would be futile. Their "support" blows donkey. Thankfully I was smart enough to buy "lemon insurance," so we'll see if I can get it exchanged for yet another B9180. Third time's a charm? Unlikely, but whatever.
So now I know... better to kiss off $600 in ink than to ever trust your money to a Hewlett-Packard piece of shit printer.
And to anybody who comes here via Google looking for buying advice? FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, DON'T PURCHASE THIS PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A PRINTER!!
And, on that happy note, I'm off to bed.
Posted on Sunday, December 14th, 2008
I have no idea where this week went.
Snow. I'm pretty anal-retentive about making sure my car has all the snow scraped off of it. Not only is it safer for me, but also safer for other drivers out there. Unfortunately, a lot of other dumbasses on the road aren't so courteous. On the way into work this morning I was pummeled with chunks of snow from an idiot ahead of me who hadn't bothered to clean off his car. Fortunately, karma came calling when the dipshit pulled up to a stop and the entire shelf of snow and ice on his roof came spilling down on his windshield. He had to pull over, get out, then clean off his windshield as I drove around him, laughing my ass off. Sometimes justice is a dish best served cold.
Storm. Finally got to play with the "iPhone killer" known as the "Blackberry Storm." I'm not impressed. It gets rid of the things that I actually liked about other Blackberry models, but has nothing from the iPhone that would make it any kind of competition to me. Once you've had multi-touch, you never go back. I can't fathom owning a mobile device without it. Apparently, Microsoft can't either. They're Live Labs has just released "Seadragon" for the iPhone, yet it's currently nowhere else to be found... not on Windows Mobile devices and not on Blackberry.
Auto. The saga of the American auto industry drags on. Personally, I don't know what to think about it all. I would certainly feel terrible for all the workers losing their job because management has run the companies into the ground... but, then again, that's the peril of a free market. Does the government really have a responsibility to save a business if it's going under? If they rescue the auto industry, what about all the other businesses in trouble? Do they get help too? The one thing I don't understand is how everybody keeps saying that the US auto-makers are "making cars nobody wants." Because when I research sales by brands, over half of the top twenty cars are made by American companies...
Of course, just because a company is American of foreign means nothing. The Toyota Camry, for example, is assembled in the right here in the US and is made from over half American parts. Ford, on the other hand, is shipping manufacturing to Mexico and Canada and does use foreign parts in their autos. So the issue here isn't quite so cut and dry, and one has to wonder if the "Big Three" US auto makers go under, is that a bad thing? Won't that mean that sales of the remaining American-made cars will increase so the jobs will just be shifted to companies who know how to make a profit? Sure they're foreign companies, but if the jobs are here, isn't that what's important? And who knows? Maybe letting the companies who can't make money fail will clear the way for new American companies with fresh ideas to be born? I honestly don't know. Hopefully people making the decisions do.
Car. All that being said, my dream car is the new BMW Z4 Roadster...
Sex. On. Wheels.
And now I really need to get back to work. And some Snack-Pack chocolate pudding.
Posted on Sunday, December 21st, 2008
It's Bullet Sunday from the insanity of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport!
• Success. When it comes to travel, things going right is what's SUPPOSED to happen and doesn't really tell you much about a company. It's when things go wrong that you find out what they're made of. How they handle problems and the way they treat their customers is everything you really need to know. For the most part, Alaska/Horizon Air has been pretty good in dealing with an unprecedented weather situation that you can never really be prepared for. They have a genuinely caring, hard-working bunch of employees that are working their asses off against a never-ending tide of very upset people. This cannot be easy, and is truly a testament to the company philosophy that has made Alaska/Horizon Air such a huge part of my travel plans for decades. I consider myself extremely fortunate that they are "my local airline," and happy to keep flying with them.
• Failure. Where Alaska/Horizon fails... and fails badly... is in organization and communication. There have been several incidents that boggle my mind, and has me wondering just how people in charge thought they were Doing The Right Thing. As I said in my previous entry, there's no point screaming and getting upset at the airport... but I have no problem doing that in my blog!
• Redial. Speaking of auto-redial, it is pathetic... PATHETIC that the iPhone doesn't seem to have this most basic of calling functions. Hopefully it will be added soon via an update or third-party application.
• Outsourced. Last year, a movie came out with the very timely topic of outsourcing. In the film, a Seattle call center manager, Todd Anderson, has his entire department outsourced to India, and ends up having to travel there so he can train his replacement. The trailer looked funny, so I put it on a list of movies I wanted to see...
But then I was reading a review of Outsourced in the Seattle P.I. where it was just savaged. The reviewer Bill White hated the film. He made it sound highly offensive to Indian culture for the sake of laughs, which I hate, so I ended up skipping it altogether. Turns out this was a mistake. I ended up renting Outsourced for my iPhone on this trip and liked it quite a lot. All of the criticism from the Seattle P.I. review was entirely unjustified. White called the lead actor Josh Hamilton "aggravatingly nondescript," but that was the entire point of his everyman character! White said the film "vulgarized the sacred sex manual, the Kama Sutra," but it absolutely did not! I thought the film was great in communicating the cultural differences between our countries in an entertaining way and, if anything, made more fun of us here in the USA than India. Sure there's some stereotypical humor in there, but it's on BOTH sides! As Todd becomes more and more adjusted to Indian life and starts to embrace his new surroundings, you get a wonderful taste of the culture, and can appreciate the country through his eyes. It doesn't hurt that his love-interest (played by Ayesha Dharker) is freakin' adorable...
And I love the relationship between Todd and his "replacement" Puro (played by Asif Basra), which was pretty funny...
All-in-all, a wonderful film that I regret having missed on the big screen. The cinematography of India (including the wonderful Holi Festival of Color) begs to be seen big. I guess that will teach me to trust a crappy review over my gut instinct when it comes to picking what movies I see in the theater.
And now, since I've given up getting home until after the 25th, it's time for Wii Bowling!
Posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008
Home for Bullet Sunday... isn't that nice?
• Eartha Kitt. I was very sad to learn that Earth Kitt had died. I may not have seen her in much, but she sure left a big impression where I did see her. To me, Julie Newmar is the Catwoman from the campy 1960's Batman series, because she was the first I saw in the role, and played it far more often than Lee Meriwether or Earth Kitt ever did. That being said, there's no denying that Eartha Kitt was the most perfect for the role. She was a cat-woman in real life, and was able to slink herself into the character perfectly... errr... purrrrfectly...
I am (surprisingly) too young to remember Eartha in her earlier work as a sultry songstress, but caught her from time to time in movies like Boomerang with Eddie Murphy. She may have only had a small role, but was easily the most memorable part of a forgettable movie (I can still hear her calling "Maaaaarrrrrrcuuuuussss!")...
But my favorite Eartha Kitt character would have to be Yzma from Disney's The Emperor's New Groove, which was a match made in heaven. She could have easily just sleep-walked through this role but, as anybody who's seen the film can attest, she put in 110% into the character and totally killed...
When Disney made a cartoon series spin-off The Emperor's New School Eartha continued playing her character, which was really cool of her (considering lead David Spade was not so accommodating). And don't think that the story-writers and animators of the series didn't know how to take advantage of Eartha's talents. They knew exactly who the star of the show really is. In the episode "Yzmopolis" from the iTunes Store, you can see Eartha Kitt making Yzma totally her own (the title song might also be on YouTube for a while)...
I believe the cartoon was still in production when she died, so I have no idea what Disney is going to do. If they're smart, they'll just count themselves lucky that they got two seasons from Eartha Kitt, and shut down the show. Or, if they're intent on continuing the show without her, they should find a new villain. Nobody can replace Eartha as Yzma.
• The Wilderness. Last night I got my third email and second comment asking where I stayed when I was in Walt Disney World. Well, I stayed where I usually stay... Disney's Wilderness Lodge...
I have stayed in many of the Disney properties, and The Wilderness Lodge is my most favorite from my top five...
Despite it's popularity, I am not a fan of the upscale Grand Floridian Resort (it's nice, but the decor and eateries just aren't for me). For the budget-conscious, I like the two Port Orleans hotels quite a lot. For the really budget-conscious, the new Pop Century hotel is pretty cool. But, then again, any of the "Disney All-Star" value hotels are a good bet (you can choose from Sports, Movies, Music). They're fairly inexpensive and frills-free, but you get all the perks you'd get at even the most expensive Disney hotel... including free transportation between the parks, purchases shipped to your room, and Disney's "Extra Magic Hours" which allow you to get in early or stay late at one of the parks each day. Sure you can stay outside of Disney World and save money, but the added expense of staying on-site is well worth the cost when you consider all you get in return. In all honesty, I consider the resort-stay to be just as important to the Walt Disney World experience as visiting the actual parks! If you're planning a trip, postponing a visit so you can save enough money to stay at a Disney World property is about the best advice I can give.
• No Talking. I have pretty much given up on going to movies because the audience is always filled with COMPLETE AND TOTAL DUMBASSES who ruin the experience by talking. And, thanks to mobile phones, it's gotten far worse. Every time I've gone to a movie lately, I've been distracted by a sea of glowing phones from idiots TXTing the entire time. Or fucktards who don't silence their mobile, and then it goes off during the film. And, of course, they ANSWER it. Why would I want to pay $8.00 plus another $10.00 for overpriced snacks to be tortured like that? Well, it was only a matter of time, but somebody in Philadelphia finally got himself shot because he wouldn't shut the fuck up during a movie. Naturally, I'm horrified at such a display of violence... but secretly I'm wondering why it took this long to happen. I'm also relieved that it wasn't me doing the shooting, because heaven only knows I've felt like it enough times. Guess it's a good thing I don't own a gun?
Now I suppose I should be getting ready for work in the morning. Bleh.
Posted on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015
Don't be intimidated by The Biggest Little City in the World... because Bullet Sunday from Reno starts... now...
• Reno! I have been to Reno exactly once, years ago. It looks much the same. Except the Planet Hollywood restaurant is gone. That cool sign is still there though...
Too bad I'm not much of a gambler.
• Avengers! Well...
Not that I didn't have fun. I had a great time. It's a comic book geek's dream come true. Except it wasn't quite the movie I was hoping for. But I'll get to that on Wednesday. Probably.
• Rand. Was very sad to learn that the lovely Grace Lee Whitney has died...
So many Star Trek alums are passing on. And suddenly I feel very old.
• Supremes! Food for thought while The Supreme Court battles it out over marriage equality...
Same sex marriage isn't gay privilege. It's equal rights. Privilege would be something like gay people not paying tax. Like churches don't.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 29, 2015
When churches get involved in politics, they should have their tax-exempt status revoked. Never seems to happen though, and they're more active than ever before.
• Chocolate! The flight attendant for my Reno trip was sweet to give me a chocolate bar snack. They often do this when you're an Alaska Air elite flyer and the plane doesn't have a First Class section. I guess it's supposed to make you forget you're in coach? In any event, it's such a nice gesture and is always appreciated. The interesting thing about this bar was the flavor...
Agave Quinoa Sesame Chocolate? Isn't that about the most hipster flavor you can imagine? Turns out it's quite tasty though. Interesting texture and a pleasing taste. And then there's the inside of the wrapper...
Chocolate plus a donation... with a Side of butt-shot? So weird.
• Mime Time! And, lastly, here's something to end your Sunday on a high note. Kinda.
And here... we... go...