A couple months ago I was in an auto parts store.*
While waiting in line to pay for whatever it was I was buying**, the guy behind me announced "I gotta take a dump like nobody's business, so can we hurry the line up?"
Naturally, I found this fascinating.
Not that the guy had to take a raging poop, but that he felt comfortable sharing such information. It had me curious to know why this was, and what other personal business he'd be sharing with us that day. Fortunately, I left before finding out.
And then I remembered that the internet is so much worse. People are forever talking about their bodily functions, their health problems, their relationships, and other personal crap online. I always thought that it was the abstraction... having a computer (or phone or whatever) in-between the person and their audience... that made this possible, but I guess that's not the case. People just like to share. Misery loves company, and all that.
People also love money, which explains shows like Jerry Springer, The Bachelor, Judge Judy, and the rest. For me, the bigger mystery would have to be Why do other people care enough to tune in, but whatever.
The reason I bring this up is that I am still getting email because of my "diaper problem."
Never mind that I don't actually have a "diaper problem" and it was a joke comment left on another person's site, people follow a link back to my blog, find my email address, and are compelled to write. Usually with suggestions of diaper brands... but also to share tips & tricks or to let me know about diaper support communities or (worst-case scenario) diaper fetish sites.
That's all well and good, I guess. Most of the people are simply trying to be helpful.
But today's email had photos attached.
And now that my retinas have stopped burning, I can see that there are times when the sharing goes too far. Waaayyyyy too far.
Though, now that I think about it, I really should have printed those photos before deleting the email. That way, the next time somebody announces they need to take a dump while I'm waiting in line at the auto parts store,*** I can show them a way to avoid such an uncomfortable situation in the future.
Or get punched in the face. One or the other.
*Don't ask me why. I wouldn't know what to do with an auto part. Any auto part.
**Seriously, I have no idea what I was buying. I'd say it was replacement wiper blades (that's the only thing I'd know how to fix) but the blades on my car are shit, so that wasn't it.
***Though I still have no clue why I would go back to an auto parts store. WHAT IN THE HECK WAS I DOING THERE?!?
"Holy crap it's dark out tonight!" I said to myself as I strained against the darkness. This was surprising because I left work only a half-hour later than usual. I wanted to see if the moon was obstructed, but didn't want to take my eyes off the road, so I gave up. I've driven the route home hundreds of time so there wasn't a problem, but it was still kind of freaking me out. Do I have glaucoma? Am I night-blind now?
Nope. When I got home I noticed I had my sunglasses on for some reason and didn't realize it.
I wear my sunglasses at night. So I can... so I can... see the light that's right before my eyes!
And speaking of stumbling around in the dark...
Who still listens to this disgusting fraud?
I don't know what's more surprising... the fact that Pat Robertson can command "God" to show him stuff... or that he seems to feel that the crazy shit he says doesn't contribute to the "internal stress that's tearing this country apart." And, of course, "God" says it's all President Obama's fault, so there's that. Seems kind of silly. I mean, Robertson says that "God" causes earthquakes because He doesn't like the gays... why can't He just put a tornado on The White House front lawn? Robertson's "God" sure sounds wishy-washy. But fictional delusions can be that way.
I'd say when it comes to the wholesale blasphemy of putting words in God's mouth, it looks like Pat Robertson has the market cornered. What a hateful piece of shit.
He can't roast in hell fast enough.
It used to be that when I heard somebody say "I'm my own worst enemy" I would reply "THEN STOP FIGHTING WITH YOURSELF, YA MORON!"
Not out loud, of course. I'd say it in my head. But I always thought this was the stupidest saying ever because anybody who has themselves as an enemy and is still alive must be really bad in a fight. If I were MY own worst enemy, there'd be no survivors.
But lately I've had a change of heart.
Sometimes enemies are so lethal that they are at a perpetual stalemate. Which means there doesn't necessarily have to be death and destruction when facing off with an arch-rival...
That's pretty much me right now.
Except all the fight has been beaten out of me over the past month, so it's not that I'm too lethal to battle myself, it's that I'm too tired to put up much of a fight.
Which means my own worst enemy is badly in need of an ass-kicking.
If only I cared enough to give one to myself.
For the past couple weeks I have been feeling badly dehydrated all day long. I'd say it was the dry winter air wrecking havoc on me, but I've never had this problem before. The upshot is that I am constantly drinking fluids, which means I can't stop peeing. I have to pee right now and I just went pee a half-hour ago. I'd run to the bathroom to pee, but I'd just end up having to pee again once I got back to my computer. So now I'm dancing in my chair with the hope that I can put off peeing for just a little while longer.
Except all this talk about going pee has just made things worse.
And now I'm back.
This would all be a lot easier if I just stood in the bathroom all day long while somebody kept me permanently saturated with Gatorade...
Or somebody just has to start manufacturing my Dream Bed with a Toilet...
Alas, I'm not going to hold my breath.
What I am going to do is reach for my water bottle since I'm parched again.
Drinking all this water is supposed to be healthy, but it sure doesn't feel like it when I have to go pee every 20 minutes.
Maybe it's time to start looking into those adult diapers after all?
I don't really believe in old wive's tales and superstitions and stuff. Sure I feel that most superstitions are probably rooted in a grain of truth since they keep getting reinforced through the ages. But time has a way of warping the truth, so it's not like I think that "stepping on a crack will break my mother's back"... or "wishing on a shooting star makes your wish come true"... or that "Friday the 13th is is an unlucky day."
But boy was my belief (or lack thereof) tested today.
Because if I believed in luck, this would have been a horribly unlucky day. So many things kept going wrong that it felt as if my world had been turned up-side-down...
But now that the day is over, I've decided it was just a coincidence. Bad days happen from time to time, mine happened to be on Friday the 13th, and now I - - -
Just as I was typing that last sentence, I got a wicked leg cramp.
Guess it's probably best to stop writing... post this entry... and then go to bed before my living room explodes or something...
Stupid Friday the 13th.
ZOMFG! I have a cold y'all!
I'm fairly lucky in that I rarely get hit with colds or the flu. After going back through my blog, I see that the last time I had a cold was in February of 2009... or three years ago. Not surprisingly, everything I'm feeling now was pretty much summed up when I wrote about it then. LOL! LMFAO! ROTFL!
I say "not surprisingly" because my "cold routine" is always the same...
SYMPTOMS: Sinus tickle... beginnings of a sore throat.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You're coming down with a cold!
PRESCRIPTION: Overdose on Vitamin C, Spirulina, and Excederin PM for sleep.
SYMPTOMS: Runny nose, congestion, sore throat.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You totally have a cold now!
PRESCRIPTION: Overdose on Vitamin C and Spirulina. Take DayQuil to survive the work day. Take NyQuil to go comatose at night. Go on a Pine-Orange-Banana juice fast. Zinc lozenges throughout the day.
SYMPTOMS: Congestion so bad your head will explode, very runny nose, sore throat.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You are dying!
PRESCRIPTION: Same as day two... PLUS chocolate pudding.
SYMPTOMS: Minor residual symptoms... little bit of a runny nose left.
DIAGNOSIS: Dude! You're gonna live!
PRESCRIPTION: Regular doses of Vitamin C and Spirulina. NO cold medications.
Now... if I'm lucky, Day Four is the end of it. I wake up on Day Five and am pretty much cured. But every once in a while, I get "The Cold Cure Fake-Out" which means your cold comes back stronger and harder than ever on Day Five. In which case I'm screwed. Colds like that can hang on for weeks.
Right now I am at the end of Day Three. I can already feel my cold breaking, and have stopped taking all cold medication (I find it's good to stop as soon as possible, because cold meds seem to prolong a cold if taken too long). Which means tomorrow I'll start recovering. That's awesome, because two days of misery is more than enough.
But then there's Day Five. Where I'm either cured or screwed.
Now there's a Saturday to look forward to.
When you wake up to the sound of snowplows scraping the street, it's more difficult than usual to get out of bed. Obviously it snowed last night, could still be snowing, and that means the roads are going to suck.
Except it turns out it wasn't snow, it was rain. Which was freezing over the snow and ended up creating an icy crust all over the roads... and my car. This made driving to work a bit of an ordeal because everybody was sliding on shards of ice...
Tonight it's snowing again, so tomorrow there will be snow on ice on snow.
That's something to look forward to.
In other news, I've put my good-bye letter to BlackBerry and RIM in an extended entry...
After work I had to go to the grocery store.
And while I hate shopping of any kind, I'd have to say that shopping for groceries is the worst. Probably because, unlike the joy of shopping for sayyyyyy... a flamethrower, nobody likes to shop for groceries. They're expensive and boring. What's to love?
But I needed hamburger buns and chocolate milk, so off I went.
Where I had a more miserable time than usual thanks to some really bad parenting going on.
Usually when I see parents who don't seem to know what they're doing with their children, I refer them to my best-selling book, Minding Your Kids in Public for Dumbasses...
But, because I am feeling generous this evening, I am going to provide an excerpt with some critical insight on child-rearing for FREE! Yes, that's right... I'm giving away FREE PARENTING ADVICE! Just one of the many benefits of being a Blogography reader, yo.
CHAPTER SIX: SHOPPING
Here is a blueprint of a typical grocery store. And here's you shopping for frozen pizza back in the frozen foods aisle...
And here are your kids way over here going ape-shit in the bakery aisle...
GUESS WHAT? YOU FUCKING FAIL AS A PARENT!
NOW PUT DOWN THAT DAMN PIZZA AND GO MIND YOUR FUCKING KIDS, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE!
Otherwise they might get abducted.
Though this is probably not a bad thing. Then at least somebody would be watching them.
No need to thank me. Knowing that I'm making civilization a better place is enough for me!
Blogography is locked and loaded, so Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Buzz! When my hair gets so long that I have to blow-dry it, something has to be done. But since I spent all my money on new Gingher shears yesterday, I couldn't afford to get a haircut. Fortunately, a Google search convinced me that this was something I could do myself.
And, because I'm me, I live-Tweeted the whole thing...
And this is how it all turned out...
Not bad for free! I should totally give myself my own medical advice now.
• LEGO! The more I see of the LEGO Lord of the Rings MiniFigs, the more I realize that my life will not be complete until I possess them all. I mean, come on! Has there ever been a LEGO MiniFig cuter than LEGO Hobbits?
And has there ever been a LGO MiniFig scarier than LEGO Gollum?
I mean, seriously...
I can't wait for The Preciousses to be mine!
• Miley! Yes, as I've said a number of times now, I'm a fan of Miley Cyrus. She was funny as hell in Hannah Montana, and she's had some good songs come out of her music career. But the thing that fascinates me most is how she's unapologetically taken on a role in leading her generation towards acceptance and equality...
"We all should be tolerant of one another and embrace our differences. My dad, who is a real man's man, lives on the farm and is as Southern and straight as they come. He loves my gay friends and even supports same-sex marriage. If my father can do it, anyone can. This is America, the nation of dreams. We're so proud of that. And yet certain people are excluded. It's just not right."
—Miley Cyrus, Glamour Magazine
This is what scares the shit out of the backwards, crazy-ass, hard-core anti-equality crowd... the future is coming, and their antiquated bigotry is not a part of it. Game over. It's only a matter of time.
• Sweet! I swear, at a time when our horrible society has me convinced that we all deserve to be extinct, something like this comes along to restore my faith in humanity. I love it...
• Network! Today I dug out an old "Airport Express" unit for my new computer at work. Since the iMac only has one ethernet port, I thought perhaps I could use WiFi for my second network connection. Ten minutes later, I found out I could. Apple has a "Bridge Mode" which allows you to put a WiFi interface on an ethernet connection. Simple!
Since this is an older model, it can only do 802.11g. If I want the speed increase of 802.11n, I'll have to shell out $99 for a newer model. But the IEEE just released a draft of the even faster 802.11ac standard back in November, so maybe I'll wait for that.
Even though iMac won't be able to take advantage of it, who wants to buy old technology?
Of course, all technology is old technology when you think about it.
• Avengers! Holy crap. Seriously, HOLY CRAP...
A super-hero team movie done right is the dream of every comic book fanboy. Given what I've seen so far, my expectations are impossibly high for this film. May 4th cannot get here soon enough.
And now... PUPPY BOWL!!!
Yesterday afternoon I had to make an emergency trip up to Chelan which, for the uninitiated, is pronounced "sha-lann" (but is spoken by locals more like "shell-ann")... and means Deep Water in the Salish Native American dialect (from the words "tsi-laan").
The city is named after Central Washington's premiere summertime attraction, Lake Chelan, which is indeed some deep, deep water. Like 1400 feet deep, making it the third-deepest lake in the USA, 24th deepest lake in the world. It's also very long... as in 55 miles long.
When I was a kid, I spent many summer days up at "The Lake," and have some great memories from my time there. In high school I spent many summer weekends up at "The Lake," but for entirely different reasons. All my memories from those times are fragmented and hazy.
Anyway... I haven't been here in a while and, despite making the trip for a very sad occasion, there is no denying that waking up to this view is anything but unpleasant...
From Chelan this morning, I drove back to work. Then drove three hours to Spokane this evening...
Where my first stop was Famous Ed's so I could enjoy some David's Pizza (now that David's Pizza has been destroyed)...
Still not authentic David's Da Vinci pizza, but it's a step above what I had last time. I just wish they could get the crust the way David's used to. This crust is kind of tough and chewy... not the wonderfully crusty crispy crust I loved on the original. Oh well. I remain hopeful that they'll eventually open a new David's and make the best pizza I've ever tasted once again.
And now I'm comfy in my hotel bed watching the latest episode of Happy Endings
I want cake.
As I started my three-hour drive home from Spokane, I noticed that my passenger-side rear-view mirror was shaking a bit. As I drove on, it got worse and worse.
"That's odd," I said. I don't remember my mirror being wobbly like that." So I stopped at the next gas station to take a look.
Turns out somebody side-swiped me last night in the hotel parking lot. And, like the asshole they are, they didn't bother leaving a note. Not to offer to pay for repairs. Not even to warn me that my mirror and might drop off my car at any minute. Nothing.
My only consolation is that they scraped a nice swatch of paint off their vehicle...
All I could do was pop my mirror back in the housing the best I could and drive on. I don't even know how I would go about fixing the thing. Take apart the door, I guess. It's still a bit wobbly, but feels solid enough that it's not going to be a safety risk.
And here I thought I was joking when I said my car was invisible.
The first three times.
Now I'm pretty much convinced that the piece of shit does actually possess some kind of stealth capability. How else can I explain getting hit again and again and again and again and again?
Speaking of "again and again"... my blog is down again. Guess I won't be posting this entry tonight after all.
What a dreary, life-sucking day.
A week ago I was in sunny Key West with warm breezes and sunny skies. Today I'm back home where it's cold and overcast.
But, then again, six months ago I was hiking around Uluru in Australia...
...so I guess it's all relative.
Except it just started raining. Again. Which means my life is relatively shitty right now.
Guess there's nothing left to do but go to bed.
Ooh! And make my drawing!
30 DAYS DRAWING CHALLENGE: Draw Someone You Love...
I LOVE YOU, KERMIT THE FROG!!
Today I got in a conversation with somebody where I mentioned that Canada is killing off their penny. They bristled at the idea. I said that not only do I wish we'd kill off our penny... I wish that we'd do away with cash altogether. In addition to saving us bajillions in production costs, we'd also do away with counterfeiters, hamper drug dealers, and reduce who-knows what other problems plaguing society. Money truly is the root of all evil, ya know. The person I was talking to admitted that they had never thought of it that way, and could see my point.
That's when I had to drop the bombshell that it's never going to happen in the US in our lifetimes because the Christians would revolt.
"Huh? Wha-? I'm a Christian, why would we revolt?!?"
"Well, a lot of you guys believe that the advent of a cashless society is a sign of the impending Apocalypse and the End of Days."
"Wha-? No we don't!"
"Some of you do. Among the freaky imagery in Revelation 13 is the idea that the Anti-Christ will do away with cash and you'll need the Mark of the Beast to buy stuff."
"Mark? Like a tattoo? That's in the Book of Revelations? "
"Err... Book of RevelaTION, yeah. I guess it could be a tattoo... like a barcode. Or maybe a brand. Or a computer chip or something... sure. Could even be a credit card... The Bible isn't always literal about things."
"Weird. Guess I don't remember Revelations much."
"Perhaps if you started by remembering the title correctly the rest would come easier..."
And then I had to wonder for the millionth time how it is that I, a non-Christian, have put in more time studying The Bible than most Christians I meet. And then I had to wonder for the billionth time how it is that somebody can choose to live their life and base their faith on a book (The Book) that they don't know much about and don't really understand. Maybe going to church and listening to somebody else tell them what they should think about their most sacred texts is enough. It wouldn't be for me. But to each their own I guess.
It snowed last night and was cold and rainy all day, so I was looking for something warm to eat for dinner. But after having worked all day, I didn't want to cook. So I decided to make a salad and see how that goes...
My dinner salad recipe for tonight (all measures approximate)
It was delicious. Though I do wish tomatoes were in season. With an additional vegetable (or a fruit masquerading as a vegetable), it might actually be considered a "salad" instead of an excuse to eat loads of dressing and cheese. I suppose I could have tossed some frozen peas in there or something.
But then I had Eggo waffles for dessert, so I guess it doesn't really matter how many vegetables I dump on my bowl of dressing and cheese.
Now I wish I had some ice cream.
Oh man... how awesome would ice cream be on Eggo waffles?
Waaaaah! I'M SICK!
I felt sick when I got home from work, but had to go into Wenatchee because I was out of Eggo Thick & Fluffy Waffles and had a Jo-Ann coupon that was close to expiring. Eating dinner just made me sicker, so now I'm sitting here in front of the computer trying not to puke my guts out.
Though I'm guessing vomit hitting the keyboard would probably do a better job of making a blog entry than I am now...
As fun as that sounds, I think I'm going to down some Alka Seltzer and go to bed.
Oh wait... I don't have any Alka Seltzer. I wonder if Jägermeister would work?
Was still feeling sick all day long. This does not bode well for my upcoming travel.
The good news is that I felt well enough to buzz-cut my head again. This time I went even shorter so my haircut will last longer. Because not having to waste time messing with my hair each morning is great. Traveling with short hair is awesome. It's so frickin' convenient that I wish I would have started doing this years ago. Who knew the military had such a good thing going on with their hair style of choice?
Tomorrow is Easter. Hopefully I will follow in the example of Jesus and rise from my almost-dead existence. I've got some work that really needs to get done, so being sick is not an option.
And while I'd really like to fight through the nausea to draw something nice for the holiday, I love what I drew last year so much that I'm not even going to try to top it...
It's just a shame that the poor eggs have to be boiled alive in order to get dressed up for Easter Sunday.
I should have left the Dutch mayo back in the Netherlands. Because now I'm going to have to start a cocaine habit in order to break my Patatjes Met addiction. Cocaine I think I have a shot at shaking... but Dutch mayo? Not on your life. Dutch mayo is the new chocolate pudding, and I want to eat in on everything all of the time.
That can't be good.
Well, it is good, it just can't be healthy.
The weather has taken a decidedly warmer turn here, with temperatures reaching a ball-scorching 86° today. This is kind of depressing, because I don't remember getting a Spring. We went from cold days a couple weeks ago to hot days this week. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. Just freeze your ass off one day, then sweat your ass off the next.
In other news... DEATH TO PENNIES!!!
Despite all the objections, I am for a cashless society. I buy everything... everything... on my credit card to get airline miles anyway, so it wouldn't be a big deal to me. And while I don't see the USA getting rid of money any time soon, I think killing off the penny is something most people could get behind once they are informed of what a stupid waste they are.
Here in these United States of America, we seem to be addicted to stupid waste.
Today was one of those days that was lacking thrills. More than once I found myself wishing I had a package arriving. Because don't you just love it when you order something and receive a tracking notice saying that it's out for delivery? Isn't that just the greatest? The anticipation of knowing any minute the FedEx delivery guy is going to walk through the door carrying a parcel with your name on it? The item doesn't even have to be something major... I'd be excited even knowing that it was new socks on the way.
Just something to look forward to.
Instead I left work early to go to the eye doctor.
After removing my contact lenses for the exam, I saw THIS staring up at me...
It wasn't until I put my glasses on that I figured out what was going on there...
And that was the most thrilling thing that happened to me today.
Thank heavens for a dirty mind. Otherwise I would have had nuthin'.
We were hit by a deluge this afternoon, with the rain falling so hard that leaves were being ripped from the trees. This made it really difficult to drive on the highway because the water was piling up faster than it could run off the road. Some cars started hydroplaning and losing control, so everybody slowed down to a more appropriate speed and everything was fine.
Until some dumbass came ripping down the highway at top speed, skidding through the water while weaving in and out of traffic. As he attempted to pass me, he slid so close to my car that I thought I would lose my side-mirror, but I managed to turn and brake quickly enough that I didn't get hit. That I nearly ended up in the ditch didn't mean anything to the asshole, and he sped off to even more dangerous encounters as horns were blaring around him.
The hospital was in the opposite direction, so I have no idea why he was in such a hurry, but I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually ended up killing somebody.
Oh, excuse me, murdering somebody.
Because driving like a psychopath in such bad weather conditions is an intentional bid to kill someone... there would be no "accident" here. And yet, even such a reckless regard for safety (including his own) didn't seem to register as he was skidding all over the road.
Which makes me think about the old "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you do it?" question. No, this asshole driver probably isn't going to end up responsible for killing millions of people... but do the numbers really matter when murdering even one person is a tragedy? Everybody is important to somebody.
And so there I am behind the wheel watching in horror as some dumbass is skidding all over the place while other drivers try their best to avoid him. And it occurs to me that I don't have to go back in time to kill this asshole and save lives... I could follow him home and kill him right now!
Not that I would actually do it, of course. But what about the person that would? Like me, they come to the whole "kill Hitler" quandary and then, unlike me, decide to do society a favor and eliminate the bastard driver. What about them?
So drive safe everybody. It's not just an accident that can kill you.
And speaking of something that can kill you...
Pizza Hut in the Middle East has introduced "Crown Crust Carnival Pizza" where cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets are baked into the crust!
GENIUS! It almost makes me wish I wasn't a vegetarian. And I lived in Kuwait. And I had a deathwish.
It's only a matter of time before they start putting chocolate cake in the crust so you can have pizza and dessert at the same time. I can't tell you how happy I am to be alive during an era of such magical culinary innovation. But it's pretty happy.
This is one of those times where every cent of my paycheck was already spoken for.
Which would usually be upsetting, but it's a direct result of spending a week goofing off in Europe after having just gotten back from two weeks vacation, so I'm perfectly okay with it.
Even so, you can imagine my excitement as I was rearranging books on my shelves only to have a 1000 Korean Won note fell to the floor. It had apparently been used as a bookmark. Or maybe I just stuck it between some books because it was pretty and I wanted to flatten it out for a souvenir...
However it got there, the only thing running through my mind now was... MONEY!
But how much? Maybe $20... probably more like $10... but wouldn't it be cool if it was $100? I had no idea, so I rushed to fire up a currency conversion app on my iPhone.
Only to discover that 1000 Won is 89¢ in US money. Which, coincidentally enough, is almost exactly the same as when I was last in Seoul back in September 2004. That's not as good as the $1.10 I would have gotten in November of 2007... but certainly not as bad as the 64¢ I would have got back in March of 2009.
In any event, whether it's $1.10 or 89¢ or 64¢, that doesn't do much for my cash on hand. Especially once exchange fees are paid.
Thank heavens for credit cards, because it's time to shop.
With the exception of grocery stores, it's getting to the point where I rarely shop at brick-n-mortar stores any more. Everything I need to buy is purchased off the internets. But I got a $10 coupon back when I paid for my eye exam at Shopko (where everything is always on sale!) and it's expiring today, so I decided to stop in and see if I could spend the $50 required to use my coupon. Sure I'm poor just now, but you gotta spend money to save money!
I ended up buying new bed sheets (on sale!) and a PUR water filtration pitcher (on sale!). This was just enough to get my $10 savings, so I was pretty happy.
Just for kicks, I checked pricing when I got home... only to find that even with the $10 coupon, I ended up paying $1.30 more than if I had bought online (and that includes shipping!). Add in money for gas and my time and I definitely lost-out on the deal.
Oh well. Live and learn.
But I'm pretty sure I learned that already.
For years now I've been buying ridiculously expensive bedsheets under the impression that they were better to sleep on. Egyptian cotton. 1200 thread count. Sateen finish. Etc. Etc.
But last week as I was sweating my balls off during a surprise heatwave, I had an epiphany. Say! These fancy sheets aren't really more comfortable! For one thing, the high thread count and sateen finish seems to trap the heat, making me sweat, which then also becomes trapped. Blech.
Then I remembered back to the sheets I had as a kid. Back then, I didn't give a crap about thread count and finish... the only thing I cared about was what was printed on them. I had Snoopy sheets. Star Wars sheets. Lots of different sheets. They were cheap, shitty, and I slept like a rock...
So when it came time to spend my Shopko gift certificate, I went looking for the crappiest sheets I could fine. They're like... 15 thread count... or whatever. And the finish is rough... almost sandpaper rough. I don't know where the cotton comes from, but it's probably not Egypt. It's probably from like... Trenton, New Jersey or something. Overall, it's like sleeping on steel wool. But they breathe more and feel a bit cooler, which is probably the most important factor for me.
And maybe after a hundred more washings they might just get softer.
My neighbor seems to spend most of his free time detailing his car. Every time I see him he's washing it... waxing it... buffing it... touching it up... polishing it... or otherwise taking care of it. And it's not like it's a vintage Corvette or anything. It's just a Ford Explorer. But he takes real pride in making sure it's kept in the best shape possible. Even if he doesn't drive it very much.
And then there's my car.
I would just as soon set the piece of shit on fire than wash it.
In fact, I have no idea when the last time I washed it even was. It's been years, I'm sure. The only time it ever gets clean is when it rains. Or it snows and the snow melts. All other times it's dusty and dirty and looks like it's been abandoned. Which it pretty much has.
Oh sure... I think about driving through the car wash every once in a while. Usually after just having seen my neighbor working on his rig. But the thought is fleeting and I've forgotten all about it the minute I turn out of the driveway. What's the point, after all? It's just going to get dirty again.
When it comes down to it, I don't care about my car. I never have. So long as it gets me from place to place, I don't care what it looks like or how it runs or what people think about it. If I believed that material possessions defined me in any way, this would be a major point of embarrassment. But, well, ya know... attachment leads to suffering and all that.
And then I saw a review of the 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet cross my feed reader today...
Gorgeous photo by Porsche, taken from Motor Trend
Some possessions possess you. I know this one would certainly possess me.
Which is why I'm glad I don't have $108,950 burning a hole in my pocket. There are so many more things I'd rather do with my time than to rub my Porsche with a diaper every waking hour of every day that I wasn't driving it.
Unless, you know, somebody wanted to give me one.
I can buy my own diaper.
There's a family of quail that live along the road where I turn into my place. So every time I round the corner onto that road, I slow way down. You never know if the quail will be wandering around, and I don't want to squish one. In my heart I know it's probably going to happen one day, I just don't want to be the one responsible.
Today when I turned, there were three of them bobbing along the side of the road. As usual, they got all panicky with a giant car heading towards them and started dashing around. One got really lost and turned in front of me, so I stopped and waited for him to find his way back.
Which is when a car rounded the corner behind me and screeched to a halt.
I couldn't see the little quail yet, so I didn't budge.
It couldn't have been more than 10 seconds, but the car behind me hit the gas and swerved around me, horn blaring.
This caused the little quail to run back to the bushes on the side of the road, so I continued on.
And then spent the next half-hour trying to figure out how one would go about convincing quail to relocate to a new, less dangerous, home.
My life would be so much easier if I didn't mind grinding a few quail into the pavement from time to time.
If it weren't for the one good thing that happened today, I'd be a complete wreck.
Because there's only so long you can beat your head against the wall and scream in frustration over all the bullshit that piles up over the course of a day. In other words... it's a Monday.
And that's the Big Picture, isn't it?
Nothing happens over the weekend, so everything that could possibly go wrong will come to a head on Monday. Perhaps the problem might have been spotted last Friday, but nobody wants to think about anything on Fridays except the upcoming weekend, so Fridays might as well not exist. Which brings us back to Monday. Again.
And Mondays always get me thinking about those awful Garfield cartoons that I loved at first... but eventually grew to loathe because they got so repetitive, lazy, and boring. Garfield the cat has thousands of reasons to hate Mondays, and the people writing and drawing Garfield for Jim Davis have reiterated this a billion times in a zillion different ways...
And every damn time they came up with yet another stupid-ass "Garfield Hates Mondays" joke I wanted to scream at the newspaper "YOU'RE A FUCKING CAT, BITCH! HOW IN THE HELL IS MONDAY DIFFERENT FROM EVERY OTHER DAY OF THE WEEK THAT YOU DO NOTHING BUT EAT, SLEEP, AND SHIT ALL DAY LONG?!?"
Which, I suppose, is the genius of Garfield, because releasing that kind of frustration is exactly what comic strips are supposed to do.
Irony can be so ironic sometimes.
I overheard something yesterday that made my head explode.
After I calmed down I thought "Well, at least I have something to blog about tomorrow!" and moved on. Except writing about the situation has proven impossible, so now I don't know what I'll do. Probably sleep on it for a while and see how I feel next week. Perhaps time will provide the proper perspective I need to express my thoughts without going into a profanity-laden meltdown.
Right now it's difficult to think clearly.
So I guess I'll just wish everybody a Happy Hummus Day and move on...
And, speaking of hummus, did you know that Shiny and Faiqa have started up with NEW episodes of Hey That's My Hummus? Totally worth your time to take a listen.
I've become a little obsessive-compulsive trying to pinpoint that exact moment where things started to go horribly wrong. You'd think that having a blog would make this easy but, since I never write about the more personal aspects of my life, it really doesn't. The blog entries are a terrific walk down memory lane, yet woefully incomplete. Superficial ramblings rarely provide any clues as to what was going on below the surface, and that's where the answer lies.
But then I spotted a picture of myself when I was in Portland on August 29th, 2008.
This triggered something in my head, but the image was too small to figure it out. So I spent a little time going through backup archives and tracked down the original photo.
Sure enough, after looking into my own eyes, I was able to put the pieces together and figure out exactly where the turning point was...
It was three days before this picture was taken. Even if I didn't realize it at the time.
Time to let go of the past and move on.
"Astigmatism is an optical defect in which vision is blurred due to the inability of the optics of the eye to focus a point object into a sharp focused image on the retina. This may be due to an irregular or toric curvature of the cornea or lens."
I know that 40 is just a number but, when it comes to how old you are, it's a pretty important number. Because that's the age most people notice things starting to go wrong. I've been luckier than most... except when it comes to eyesight. My eyes went very bad very quickly in my teens and then just kind of stuck there. My prescription has been the same for decades.
And then I hit 40 and astigmatism struck.
Well, not really... it had been happening for years... but it was 40 when it started to be a problem. Things were blurry and I couldn't focus well. Straight lines weren't quite straight. And it was all because my cornea was no longer shaped to focus properly, instead scattering the light on my retina...
And so it was finally time to do something about it.
Long story short? I'm wearing glasses more often than contact lenses now. In addition, through trial-and-error I've found a contact lens I like for those times I don't want to wear glasses. If you're dealing with astigmatism and care about the details, I've put my notes in an extended entry.
Otherwise... try to avoid turning 40, if you can manage it.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
I've been working pretty much constantly for four days now. My brain feels fuzzy and I think it stopped working properly around 6:30am this morning. This was confirmed 90 minutes later when I arrived at work and didn't remember how I got there... despite the fact that I was sitting in my car.
And now, fifteen hours after that, my brain is starting to melt. So I figured I should probably write a blog entry while I still have a few neurons left.
Sooo... if somebody can tell me how to work this toaster, I can get started on this here broccoli Cadillac.
Last night as I was sitting down to dinner, I had some unexpected pains shooting through my groin. "Well, this can't be good!" I said out loud to nobody in particular.
And, sure enough, it wasn't... because a couple hours later it felt as though I was pissing razor blades through my urethra. "That's funny," I mused... "I don't recall buying a diseased crack-whore recently!" Though, to be fair, my memory isn't quite what it used to be, so I went to bed wondering if I was going to end up with a prescription for penicillin and a frowny-face in my medical record next to some exotic STD.
Then, sometime around 4:00am, I awoke to agonizing pain shooting through my John Thomas.
Seriously, it felt as if my unit had been sliced open... turned inside-out... and then had lemon juice poured on it.
Hobbling to the toilet, I was fully expecting my wanger to explode into shredded streamers like a party popper...
Image from Yatego Shopping.
But instead... a kidney stone dropped out, and the pain instantly subsided.
Yes, somehow I had a kidney stone and never even knew it. That's because usually a kidney stone starts causing excruciating pain long before it gets to the end of the line...
Usually, I am in total agony as the stone travels from my "Dual Water Filters" (kidneys) to my "Water Bucket" (bladder) all the way through the "Sensitive Tubing" (urethra) and out my Massive Nozzle (wiener)... which can take days. This time I didn't feel a damn thing until the bastard made it to my "Sensitive Tubing."
Which is very odd (but totally welcome because it saved me several pain-filled days in bed). Guess I'm just lucky that this got cleared up in time for me to take an early drive over to Seattle for work this morning.
But was it alone? Or can I be expecting a buddy to start causing hideous amounts of pain any minute now...
Well this ought to be exciting...
As far back as I can remember, I've had a bit of an obsession with pirates. This led to an infatuation with their "skull and crossbones" symbol, which I've been drawing on my stuff for decades. Ultimately, it kind of became my personal symbol, and was even part of my signature at one point.
So, on a trip to Maui 26 years ago when the idea of getting tattoos was floated, I knew exactly what I wanted... the skull and bones.
It never happened, but the idea of getting a tattoo was planted.
But there were always excuses. "What if I change my mind in five years and regret getting skull and crossbones?" or "What if a total stranger gives me a crappy tattoo?" So I never got one.
And then I slowly came to realize that I hadn't changed my mind in 26 years as to wanting a skull and crossbones for my ink, so I probably wasn't going to change my mind five years from now.
And then I started seeing the amazing stuff that my Facebook Friend Michael DeMatty was posting to his wall, and all my excuses vanished. So today was the day...
Now, I'm not nearly macho enough to pull off a badass "realistic" skull and crossbones... but a DaveToon skull and crossbones? Definitely more my style...
I couldn't be happier with it...
And so at long last... after 26 years of dreaming about it... I finally have my first tattoo. Thanks to Michael at Black & Blue San Francisco for working so hard to make it happen!
ZOMG! WHAT HAVE I DONE? WHAT WAS I THINKING? I CAN'T BELIEVE I MADE SUCH A TERRIBLE MISTAKE!
How could I have forgotten to pack my lucky boxer shorts?
This will be a tragedy that haunts me for the rest of my life. If my plane goes down on the flight home Monday, at least now you'll know why.
And now for some questions/comments that have popped up since getting a tattoo yesterday...
• Why not Bad Monkey? Six year ago when I was joking about getting a tattoo, I thought it would be funny...
But the only serious option I ever considered was the skull and crossbones. Bad Monkey would make for a cool tattoo, and maybe one day that will happen. But first it's got to be what I've been wanting for 26 years. In any event, I think Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey would approve...
• Where'd you get that design? I drew it. Which is kind of odd, because I was pretty dead-set against designing my own tattoo for the longest time. But Michael encouraged me to send in my ideas, and eventually he kind of led me to where I needed to be. Ultimately, it kind of makes sense, so I'm glad things ended up that way. But it was not an easy process. I drew dozens of different versions before I had answers to the questions that were keeping me up at night... Bones behind or bones under? Eyepatch or no eyepatch? Cheek bones or no cheek bones?
No eyepatch. Yes to cheekbones. Bones under so it would fit better on my skinny arm. In the end it couldn't have been any other way.
•It's bigger than I thought! I get that a lot, thanks. OH... YOU MEAN THE TATTOO! Yeah, at first I had pictured something around 2-inches tall. But Michael said that I should take a look at something bigger, so I made cutouts at my hotel that morning and played around with how the sizing would look. I quickly found out that he was absolutely right... the bigger I made it, the better I liked it. This was the opposite of how I thought it would work on my bony arm, but it felt right. Eventually I printed out four different sizes of big and let Michael pick which he felt was the best fit. It turned out so badass awesome that now I can't imagine I ever considered it having it inked so tiny.
• Did it hurt? No. Not even a little bit. I was the first person to think that I'd be sobbing uncontrollably and screaming like a little girl, but it never happened (at least not during the tattooing). The outlining felt like somebody was dragging a needle across my skin, scratching it. The filling-in felt like somebody was dragging a popsicle stick across my skin. It didn't hurt at all. I was told that eventually it would feel like I had a bad sunburn, but that never happened. Then I was told it would sting in the shower when water hit it, but that never happened either. If it weren't for being able to look down and see it, I wouldn't know that I had it done. I chalk it up to my mutant healing factor, because this is apparently not typical.
• Weren't you nervous? No. And I wasn't excited either. The whole time it felt like this was something that had already happened and I was just reliving the moment. I can't explain it any better than that, but it was a bit surreal how unaffected I was over getting something permanently marked on my body. I guess I knew it was meant to be all along.
• How long did it take? One hour, forty-five minutes after we decided where it should be placed and got the stencil applied.
• Will you get another tattoo? It's strange... after wanting this so badly for 26 years, I thought that finally getting my skull & bones would get it out of my system and I wouldn't think about tattoos anymore. But now that I have it, all I can do it think about how I would like to add something to it and expand the design down my arm just a bit... or try something different somewhere else. Maybe the feeling will pass but, as of right now, I can't imagine not getting another piece of ink.
Annnnnd... it's time to get out and enjoy the incredible weather going on here in the Bay Area...
Years ago (I forget how many) there was a gas crisis which caused fuel prices to skyrocket. Nothing like what we're going through today, but it was enough to really put a dent in my wallet. At the time, I had to drive 25 miles roundtrip each day for work, which ended up being around 550 miles a month, 6,600 miles a year. When I sat down to calculate my car's gas mileage, it ended up being around 28-31 mpg for my daily commute. That works out to my buying 200+ gallons of gas each year just to get to work and back (give or take). Factor in that I was also driving to work on many weekends... and sometimes making the trip twice in a day when I had an appointment or something... and it was a lot of money being spent.
So I made the decision to move closer to work.
Now I drive 2-1/2 miles roundtrip, which is a tenth of the gas being burned and the money being spent. Even when gas prices (eventually) returned to normal, I was thankful to be saving so much bank. Now that gas prices are astronomically high again, I'm even more thankful that my commute is so blissfully short. The time saved is just icing on the cake. I wish that I didn't have to drag so much crap back-and-forth, because I'd love to start riding a bike to work and using -zero- gallons of gas. But I'll take what I can get.
For the longest time, I was kind of an asshole whenever people would lament how much money they wasted driving to work each day. "Why don't you move closer to work or get a different job?" I'd say. This would usually result in excuses like "I can't afford the housing near where I work!" or "I love my home!" or "My wife doesn't want to move!" or "I don't want to quit my job!" or whatever. I was pretty unsympathetic, and would always say something along the lines of "Well, then it's your choice to spend the money on gas, so don't cry about it!" And though I was saying it as a joke, deep-down I really meant it. Don't like spending money on gas? Then move closer to work. If it's more expensive to live there, then you have to decide where you'd rather have your money being spent. Granted, our public transportation options here in Redneckistan suck, so there's not a lot of alternatives to driving... but, still, don't whine to others about what you've chosen from the options available.
Now-a-days, however, things have changed.
Gas prices are high and the job market is horrible and the bottom dropped out of the housing market. Those who may want to move cannot do so because there are no other jobs or their home's value has dropped so badly. Even if they managed to sell it, they'd have to pay the bank to get out from under the loan they took out. People are in the horrible position of owing more on their home than their home is worth. They have no choice but to ride it out... no choice but to keep their expensive commute.
And so now there's really nothing I can say to people who complain except "I'm sorry."
I'm saying that a lot now-a-days. Somebody loses their job... loses their house... complains about the cost of their commute... it's always "I'm sorry"... "I'm sorry"... "I'm sorry"...
And the words feel completely inadequate, because these have all become devastating blows that end marriages... destroy careers... ruin lives... and otherwise makes a lot of very good, honest, decent, hard-working people end up miserable, alone, and afraid. And then, just when things can't get any worse, they get used as a toilet in a political pissing match between asshole candidates who don't give a flying fuck about anything except getting elected and burying their opponents in the process.
Somehow we let this become our new normal.
It's no longer about how we can come together and build something that's great, it's all about how we can divide people and let hatred mire us in something that's failing. We've bought into a system that's more interested in destroying than creating, and now all of us are paying the price.
And I'm just tired of it. I'm tired of having to say "I'm sorry" because there's nothing else I can say.
Fortunately, this is a system which is ultimately unsustainable, and that's what gives me hope to carry on.
It's only a question of when.
And if I'll be lucky enough to see it happen in my lifetime.
I've been working 18-hour days since Wednesday, straight through the weekend, and into today.
This afternoon it finally caught up to me. I haven't felt this bloody awful in a very long time.
So now I am attempting to make up for some much-needed rest by taking some sleeping pills and heading off to bed at 10:00pm. Maybe if I force myself into a chemically-induced coma for eight hours, I'll snap back to my normal self... or at least get close enough that I can function.
The only problem is that all I can do is think about the work I'm not getting done, and the idea of getting so far behind is keeping me up at night.
All I really want in life right now is an off switch.
Me in Iceland.
After 18 hours traveling.
"You've had insomnia for as long as I've been reading your blog. When was the last time you remember getting a good night's sleep?"
This afternoon I barely managed to escape death when I jumped out of the way of a car that tried to run me down in the parking lot.
Well, maybe not "death"... but certainly "injury." And probably not really "tried" but more like "accidentally"... but the big picture is this: The car that nearly hit me had a big ol' bumper sticker on the back which said "SEE BICYCLES."
Which has me wondering if I should slap a big ol' bumper sticker that says "SEE PEDESTRIANS" across my ass...
And now for something interesting... that bright yellow "SEE BICYCLES" bumper sticker that's popping up everywhere was actually created by a guy in the city just down the road from me. Apparently he is a cyclist who was injured by a pickup truck back in 2004, and is now trying to raise awareness and make the roads safer for cyclists.
There's something to be said about a guy who takes personal tragedy and uses the experience to try and make life better for others.
If only there was a way I could turn the tragedy of this crappy frozen burrito into making life better for others.
I was an hour late getting to work because I was having a bit of a waffle crisis this morning.
Once I finally got there, it started dumping down rain. This was very bad timing on the weather's part because there's a parade going on downtown this evening. Apparently the rain eventually realized its mistake, as it retreated before the festivities began. Since I had no plans to attend the parade I shouldn't have cared about the weather one way or another, but was kind of glad I didn't get drenched going out to my car when it was time to go home.
I live just five minutes from work. But Since I had three errands along the way, it took me two hours to get home.
I should say that usually I live five minutes from home. Thanks to half the town being closed off for the parade, tonight I lived fifteen minutes from work. I guess this means my errands lasted only an hour-and-forty-five minutes, but it sure seemed like two hours.
Now that I'm home, it was time for inevitable frozen pizza dinner.
I say "inevitable" because frozen pizza takes no thought or effort. It's the microwave popcorn of Saturday-night dinner. Or it would be if microwave popcorn wasn't already the microwave popcorn of Saturday night dinners. If only I had microwave popcorn I wouldn't have had to settle. But the idea of fighting parade traffic for a trip to the grocery store was more than I could bear after the nearly two hours I spent just getting home.
It's at times like this when I'm safe at home while people are fighting for their lives in a parade that I think about how Katy Perry totally ripped off her Fireworks super-powers from the X-man formerly known as "Jubilee." Somebody at Marvel Comics should sue...
And by "sue" I mean "ask Katy Perry to appear in the next Avengers movie." Because, seriously, everything that Katy Perry touches turns to gold!
And now I suppose I should finish polishing all those imaginary trophies I won in that desert submarine competition. Tomorrow I have to do this all over again (sans parade) and that tarnish isn't going to remove itself.
Please remind me to pick up some microwave popcorn so I can have a decent dinner tomorrow night.
During the "Dot Com Explosion" of the late 90's I knew more than a few people who amassed considerable wealth in a very short amount of time. This did not include me, however, because I was becoming increasingly involved with the Buddhist studies I had stumbled upon a decade earlier. Material wealth was something that took a distant back seat to my spiritual wealth back then, so chasing the buckets of money was not a priority. Even so, it was an interesting period in my life precisely because of all the money that was to be had.
And the randomness of where the money went.
Some people I knew stumbled into shit-loads of money almost by accident, but were smart enough to turn it into a personal fortune while the gettin' was good.
One guy... a kid, really... was pulling down thousands of dollars a week just making simple banner ads in his spare time. He not only earned enough money to completely pay for his college tuition, but had enough left over to pay for a bug chunk of his sister's education as well.
Another guy got a full-time job with a massive salary working from home on a corporate website. This occupied so little of his time that he ended up getting two additional "full-time" work-at-home-jobs... all of which he held at the same time. After six months he had enough money saved up that he started his own business, which he ran successfully for nearly a year before selling it for a staggering amount of money. This would be a cool story in itself, but it's made all the more incredible when you know that he kept all three of his "full-time" jobs that whole time!
Still another guy made huge, huge money because he owned a "worthless" low-rent office building that his family had purchased decades earlier. He inherited it after his dad died and had tried to sell it several times without success... until the neighborhood became a hotspot for dot-com start-ups. Luckily for him, he quickly learned the value of what he had, and was able to milk it for incredible profits... before finally selling it to a big company that bought it only so they could tear it down and build their new headquarters on the land.
Money was raining down from the heavens at an incalculable rate, and a lot of people became incredibly wealthy chasing it.
But not everybody.
Some people, try as they might, could never manage to get their piece of the pie no matter how hard they tried. They would start up one failed business after another trying to figure out where the money was... but never managed to find it.
These were some of the most bitter, angry, resentful people I've ever met. And the most educational, as they clearly confirmed that my embracing anti-materialism was the right path to be on. This was never made more clear to me as when I joined a group of them at a housewarming party thrown by a guy who was making bajillions of dollars in dot-com cash. He proudly showed off his incredible new home, only to be cut-up from one end to the other the minute he left the room. At one point some guests were discussing the "horror story" that was the kitchen decor. I found this funny... and said so, which lead to this conversation...
"You actually like that ugly mess?"
"Well, it's not my taste, but he's clearly happy with it. Since he's the one that has to live with it, what should it matter to anybody else?"
"Because he has the money to hire a decent interior decorator and still chooses to have an ugly kitchen!"
This was good for a group-laugh, which was fascinating to me...
"Well, fortunately the only thing wrong with him is something that can be fixed by a coat of paint... we should all be so lucky."
The implication of that statement went right over their heads (thankfully), but stuck with me for a very long time. Even when I strayed off the path of anti-materialism because I realized that some "stuff" made my life much more fun. Like a
Eventually the dot-com bubble burst. Some people who made a lot of money ended up losing a lot more.
This, I'm sure, was a time of glee and much rejoicing by all the bitter, angry, resentful people who were so tortured by the monetary success that eluded them during those heady days. Finally, at long last, those who succeeded where they had failed were "getting what they deserved!"
The irony being that all the bitter, angry, resentful people were getting exactly what they deserved, even if they didn't realize it.
Which is why I am trying hard — so very hard — not to be bitter, angry, and resentful that Justin Bieber's new album, Believe, has just become the year's top-selling debut... despite being filled with songs that I loathe so badly that I can barely listen to 10 seconds of the 90-second preview snippets on the iTunes Store without gagging.
Fortunately, Matt & Kim, a band I love more than buckets of money, just released a new single to keep me on my path...
Life. Is. Good.
This morning as I was walking towards my car, I heard loud ruffling... then felt something smack me on the side of my head. When I looked up, I saw a large quail flying up to the carport roof. "Help. I'm being attacked by a giant quail." I yelled.
Nobody came running to rescue me.
The bird just sat there glaring at me as I slowly backed away.
So I got into the car... slowly... then drove off.
Things just went downhill from there. And when I finally came home from work, I admit I took a good look around, thinking that the big quail would be there waiting for me. But he wasn't. Apparently he had other people to terrorize.
As if the evil geese weren't enough to worry about. I swear, sometimes living in the wilds of Redneckistan is enough to drive me crazy. I may be a vegetarian, but right now I'm wondering which is more delicious... quail or goose. Forget Turducken, it's time for Gooquaiken.
Assuming they don't get me first.
I cut my foot. My car is making a funny noise. My wireless router is dead and my network is down. I had to re-book my upcoming flights because of a schedule change. The zipper on my new suitcase is broken. I just found out that Tower Prep is most definitely not coming back for a second season. I lost the $40 I got from the ATM yesterday. I'm way behind in my work. And I'm out of chocolate pudding.
It's a Monday.
And since I don't feel like re-living my pain by blogging about it, I'll just share a cool sale I found on an app I like. If you'll ever need to access your Mac or PC remotely from an iPad or iPhone, there's a great solution that's currently on sale. Read on...
Ooh... look! I'm working in Photoshop on my Mac...
Actually I am on my iPad at home working in Photoshop on my Mac back at the office...
This is nothing new. I once assembled, designed, and sent an email campaign on my office Mac from my iPhone while standing in line at Disney World 2500 miles away. Remote access from computer-to-computer or device-to-computer has been around for quite a long while. What's different is how much better the tools are getting. For somebody like me who travels a lot, this has been a Very Big Deal. And now the cream of the crop in remote access has released a new version, the amazing Splashtop 2, and it's on sale for a limited time...
Works as advertised. If anything, they under-sell it. You'll need to pay for an "Access Anywhere" account to use the automated login connection... it's a total bargain at $9.99 a year / 99¢ a month.
Here's a link to the iOS app for iOS-to-Mac or iOS-to-Windows. (Reg. $9.99 NOW $2.99 for a limited time!)
Here's a link to the Mac app for Mac-to-Mac or Mac-to-Windows. (Reg. $19.99 NOW $2.99 for a limited time!)
If you need to remotely access a Mac or Windows machine from an iOS device, I give Splashtop 2 my highest recommendation.
I don't want to see a world that's so bleak and devoid of color right now.
Fortunately, there are other places to look...
...or so I would imagine.
I worked from the moment I got up at 7:00am to this very minute where I've climbed into bed at midnight. I am so hopelessly behind that I should be working still, but there's a limit as to how long you can stare at a computer screen without going crazy. Though I did take off a half-hour for dinner and an hour to go Gold Brick hunting in LEGO Batman 2... so there's that. I probably shouldn't have wasted time with a video game, but flying around Gotham City as little LEGO Superman is too amazing to pass up...
And every time you take off for the sky, that brilliant John Williams theme song from Superman: The Movie starts playing, which is awesome in twenty different directions.
Here's hoping LEGO Batman 3 is not far off, because it will be very interesting to see how they plan on topping this game.
And now I should probably at least try and get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be another insane day.
Well that sucked.
A part of me is wanting to say that I need a do-over. But who in the hell wants to repeat a Monday?
So I will just go to bed and hope for a much better tomorrow.
"Get used to disappointment."
—The Man in Black
No matter how many friends you have... no matter how large your family... no matter how hard you work to build relationships with everybody... the number of people you can actually count on when the chips are down is almost always shockingly small.
Fortunately, I am not speaking from personal experience, but am merely an observer of a situation that's driving me insane. Everybody who should be jumping in to help just... aren't... for some reason. Which means somebody is being left to twist in the wind all alone who deserves much better.
I am far too removed from things to jump in.
And yet I did so anyway, sending a small gift with a note that said "Hear you're in a tough spot. Keep your head up and don't let the bastards get you down."
Today I got a reply which was filled with heart-felt thanks... and an interesting perspective on the situation.
"When you're on the rise you're happy to have friends who can share in your success. But a part of you knows the day will come when you stop rising and start falling. What you don't know is how many of your friends will choose to share the ride back down. Those are the true friends you know you can count on no matter what. I never expected that I would end up having no true friends."
It's enough to make you want to jump out a window. But then he mentioned that he's finding new friends he didn't even know he had, which has made an otherwise horrible experience somehow liberating.
We should all be so unfortunate.
And by "unfortunate," I mean "lucky."
Because you never know when your liberation is at hand...
Yesterday morning I went out to my car only to see a cricket perched on my rear door. Worried that he'd be leaving his cricket family and his cricket friends if he went with me to work, I tapped near him so he'd move. He didn't budge. I blew on him so that he'd jump off, but he just got irritated and turned away. So I poked him gently thinking that would do the trick, but he just took a couple steps and re-planted himself. Apparently, he was dead-set against leaving. I thought surely getting in my car and slamming the front door would convince him to bail, but no. "Okay then, little buddy, I guess you're taking a trip downtown."
The drive is only five minutes, but it seemed a lot longer because I was always checking on my passenger in my rear-view mirror. Surprisingly, he hung in there all the way to work and was still clinging to my car when I exited it. So I pulled out my iPhone to take his picture, and that's when he decided to jump off.
Of course. They always move just as you go to take a photo. Why didn't I think of that to begin with?
My guess is that he caught his cricket girlfriend cheating on him and just couldn't bear to be around her neighborhood one damn minute longer. Perhaps he thought a change of scenery would do him some good, and my car was the fastest way to get out of Dodge. No wonder he was so determined.
In any event, I hope he's happy in his new home. There's a tiny park across the street, so maybe that's where he ended up. Maybe he'll find himself a new cricket girlfriend and live happily ever after.
There are times I think I'd like to jump on a car passing through town and set sail for a change of scenery myself.
But I get bored on long car trips.
Guess I'll look at the television for a while and see where that gets me.
Given the horrible wildfires burning near Cle Elum (just an hour away from me), I loathe to complain about something so relatively petty... but holy crap does coming home to a 94° home suck ass. Since the air conditioner broke, evenings are just miserable, and trying to sleep in this heat is nigh impossible. But at least I still have a home to come home to. Dozens of people in Kittitas County are not so lucky. I try to remember this and be grateful... but it's just sewww hawwwt!
Which once again makes me realize just how badly I take for granted all the wonderful luxuries I am privileged to live with.
Like air conditioning.
And a place to sleep.
I have air conditioning again.
This is, of course, fantastic. There's nothing quite like coming home to a cool house on a hot day.
The only down-side being that I no longer have an excuse to eat chocolate ice cream cones for dinner...
Except the excuse that I have a strange disease I picked up while traveling abroad which requires me to eat chocolate ice cream cones for dinner or else I'll die.
Spanky is a name I've given to a cat that hangs out around the complex where I live. Nobody knows where she comes from or who owns her, but she's always hanging around. She's a very friendly cat, so everybody is always happy to see her. Some of us have kitty treats on-hand in case we run into her. I keep treats in my car, because often times she'll follow me as I head to work in the morning... or greet me when I come home.
But the thing about Spanky is that she's kinda become lethargic and unmotivated. Sometimes she'll be walking across the parking lot to see me, but plops down for a nap half-way there. It's like she's pretending he just got shot or something. The first time it happened I went running up to him to see if she was hurt. She wasn't. She just decided she didn't want to walk any more, and the middle of the parking lot was as good a place as any to drop for a rest.
Most mornings I stop to pet her for a minute, only to get a scornful "That's all I'm going to get, mutherfucker?" look of derision when I walk away.
This morning she actually meowed at me as I turned to go, which was new. She used to follow me if she wanted more petting. I can only guess she gets no attention at home, which is why she's always around our complex. And now that Spanky's accustomed to all the attention she gets here, she complains when she doesn't get as much attention as she would like.
Much like bloggers who are upset that commenting and reader interaction are at an all-time low. Their readers are spending their time Facebooking and Tweeting instead of commenting, which has convinced more than a few bloggers to hang it up (or drastically cut back). And that's fine. I get it. Despite having more traffic at Blogography than I've ever had, I don't get more than a handful of comments any more either. But that's not excuse enough for me to close-up shop. Because, as much as I've enjoyed interacting with my readers and finding new friends through blogging, I've always blogged for myself first. Blogging is an outlet for being creative and keeping track of stuff that happens in my life, and I'm not going to give that up just because I'm not getting as much comment attention as I would like.
But, just like Spanky, I fully admit that I have become a bit lethargic and unmotivated.
I put in 18 hours at work yesterday. And that was after having worked the entire weekend. This morning I had to get up at 4:00am for more work. It's quickly getting to the point where I don't even know anything else. Work is all I have right now.
And that's okay. I'm really not complaining about it. Better than being out of work, certainly... and it's not going to be this way forever. But coming home and trying to find something to blog about after you've been doing nothing you can blog about is not easy.
It's getting harder all the time.
And I'm not sure what to do about it.
Maybe I'll just drop down and take a nap in the parking lot while I wait for people to come along and feed me treats while they rub my belly. It seems to work out okay for Spanky.
Tonight I had a craving for a cheese & potato chip sandwich. And since I didn't have any cheese, potato chips, or bread (not to mention toilet paper), I decided to go to the grocery store. Something I most definitely did not want to do, but at least it wouldn't be crowded at 8:30 at night.
As usual, I found tons of other crap to buy... meaning a $10 run to the store ended up costing me $60... but whatever. I had my ingredients for a cheese & potato chip sandwich, so I drove back home.
Where I almost ran over Spanky the cat.
As I mentioned last week, she likes to plop down in the middle of the parking lot for no reason. But I always assumed she went home at night (wherever that is). Now I know she doesn't. Spanky totally hangs around the complex in the evenings too.
This is a very bad situation, because the cat is the exact same color as the pavement and very difficult to see after the sun goes down. I was practically on top of her before I realized she was even there. And she never bothered to move. I eventually had to back up and drive around her.
After grabbing my bags of groceries I went over to tell her that she needs to move so she doesn't get run over, but she was having none of it...
Spanky did not like the flash from my iPhone... nor does she like to have her picture taken.
And then she started rolling around in an attempt to get a belly rub...
Cat aerobics. On the pavement. In the middle of a parking lot. At night.
And since it is impossible to resist giving a belly rub to a cat, I had to drop all my groceries and give her one.
And now I know I'll be losing even more sleep because I'll be worrying about Spanky getting run over. Some of the people living in this complex are not the best drivers.
Stupid kitty. =sniff=
Well this sucks...
While looking through some old photos, I ran across one that scared the crap out of me. How is it that any parent could possibly think that these heinous "Raggedy Ann and Andy" dolls make a good toy for kids? I mean, seriously, JUST LOOK AT THESE THINGS...
If I had these minions of satan staring at me from a shelf in my bedroom, I'd probably end up permanently scarred from the nightmares.
And from pissing myself.
Because clearly Raggedy Andy is the inspiration for Pennywise the Clown in IT...
Put a sailor hat on Tim Curry, and there you have it...
I guess some parents just enjoy the idea of tormenting their kids.
Welcome to my nightmare...
Honestly, I tried to come up with something better than I wrote last year. I tried last night. I tried this morning. But I just couldn't do it. Everything I have to say I said 365 days ago, so I'm just going to reprint it and hope that the me from the past can speak where words are failing me in the present.
Originally Posted on September 11, 2011
I deleted my blog from ten years ago so I can't tell you with any certainty what I was doing back then. I might have a vague idea over a span of some weeks or months but, if you were to pick an individual day, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what was happening.
For every day save one, of course.
I was working as a consultant and running late for a meeting on the morning of September 11, 2001. I didn't have time to turn on the television, nor did I have time to turn on my computer. I went directly from my bed to the shower to my car for the 20 minute drive to work. When I arrived, I vaguely remember some talk about an airplane crash as I walked through the lobby. But, for all intents and purposes, I was completely unaware of what had happened three hours earlier at the World Trade Center.
It wasn't until I walked into the conference room and saw the television replaying footage of The Twin Towers collapsing over and over again that I knew of the horrific events unfolding in New York.
And, like most everybody else on the planet, that news coverage became my life for the next several days.
As the tragedy would become our lives for the next ten years.
Because those iconic structures may no longer be with us... but they're not gone either. I watch a rerun episode of Friends, and there's the Towers in an establishing shot. I pop in my DVD of Eddie Murphy's Trading Places and the Towers are there. I read an old Spider-Man comic book and there they are again. I look through old photos and...
But that's me.
For those directly affected. For those orphaned or widowed. For friends and family of those who lost their lives. For those who now suffer from the debilitating effects. For those whose lives were forever changed. For so many people, I'd imagine it's quite different. They don't need a TV show or a movie or a comic book or a photograph. Their reminder is everlasting.
As is their pain.
I'm sure at some future date when all the people who were alive to remember the world before 9/11 are gone, perhaps the nightmare will start to fade.
In the meanwhile, we remember.
Because we need to remember.
Because it's impossible to forget.
Because our hope for peace must prevail.
And so the smoke was even worse today.
I woke up with a raw throat, swollen eyes, and a stomachache so bad that I had to crawl... crawl... out of bed. After force-feeding myself a handful of antihistamines and a box of antacids, I crawled back into bed where I stayed for another four hours.
Needless to say, this is not the best place to be for somebody like me right now...
And so I peaced-out of the valley and fled to the coast where I can actually breathe.
Hopefully sometime soon the wildfires will get under control so I can go home again.
Funny... I don't feel super lucky...
No... wait a second... I totally do feel super-lucky!
Have a safe and fun weekend everybody!
Looking at photos of back home makes me even more glad that I've escaped to the coast. Can't believe how bad the smoke has gotten... apparently our air quality has been rated "hazardous" now. Hope everybody back in the valley is staying safely indoors.
Because we just can't get enough, we took a trip up to Newcastle again. I absolutely love it up there. The day started with beautiful clear skies, but eventually ended up being even more beautiful overcast skies...
The first time I went to Newcastle, a man standing at the urinal had his pants all the way down to his ankles. It makes me worry that one day I'm going to walk in and see a guy stripped down to take full advantage of the body moisturizer they inexplicably offer at the sink...
It may be mostly smoke-free over here, but the air pollution is making its way over the mountains up high, making pretty pink skies...
Here's hoping I get to go home tomorrow, though I admit it'll be tough to leave.
So this is what hell is like.
The inversion that was trapping smoke in our valley lifted on Saturday, which means the air was clearing up yesterday. Unfortunately a new inversion descended last night, which means all the smoke was back by the time I got home this morning. The minute I rolled over the mountain pass, my heart sank as I saw a massive haze obliterating the countryside.
So here we go again.
Misery. I knows it. I sit at a desk staring at a computer screen with eyes swollen, watery, and itchy. My throat is raw because my nose won't top running no matter what I do. I spend every other moment trying to decide if I need to run to the bathroom. The moments in-between are spent trying to figure out what I do when I get there... puke or poop. I am doped up on everything from ibuprofen and Pepto Bismol to antihistamines and Imodium. When all I want to do is take a handful of sleeping pills and go into a coma until it's all over.
Why I react to smoke this way, I have no idea.
Hopefully I can last six days until I blow this popsicle stand.
And so on top of everything else, I have laryngitis now.
The icing on the cake of my day, really. Pretty much just want to climb under the bed and stay there. But the show must go on. And on. And on.
And on my way to work...
And on my way home...
You'd think that Washington would be running out of stuff to burn by now.
Though, even if it's not... for the sake of all those people whose homes are in danger here (not to mention all the animals that are being displaced by the flames)... it would be great if the state would stop burning for a while anyways.
Being able to speak again would be nice too.
You know how once things start to go downhill they continue to go downhill... but faster and with less control?
I found myself saying "Are you kidding me?" quite a lot today. I am amazed how people seem to have -zero- sense of responsibility anymore. They just don't seem to care how their actions affect other people. They break promises at the drop of a hat and never seem to give it a second thought... no matter how many people were counting on them.
And now I'm thinking of joining the irresponsibility party. Why should I continue to honor my promises and obligations if nobody else is going to?
Oh yeah... I'm not a piece of shit. That's why.
Second verse, same as the first.
Monday really can't come fast enough.
Orlando was ridiculously hot and humid. Any time spent outdoors was miserable.
Which is why a part of me was actually happy to come back home.
At least until I went out to my car this morning and found frost on the windows. And started wearing a jacket. And threw a couple of blankets on my bed. And swapped short-sleeve shirts for long-sleeve shirts in my closet. And made sure my boots and gloves were unpacked.
So now I'm wondering if I was a bit too hasty in wanting to leave Florida.
In another month I'll be certain of it.
One year ago today I was in Fiji. I had been out snorkeling with sharks, sea snakes, and fish. I had been on a boat following a pod of dolphins. I was heading to shore when my mobile phone beeped with a message. I didn't look at it because I rarely get texts when I'm traveling, and usually when I do get a text it's bad news.
Eventually I looked. It was a text from my brother. Despite the fact that I had prepared myself for something less than good, I was completely unprepared for what I saw...
Steve Jobs was gone.
And because of the time difference, I was hearing the news while in the future and half a world away.
It would have been nice if this cheat in time and space would have lessened the blow, but here I am a year later and it still hurts. One of the people I most admire on this earth and whose work has had a huge impact on my life isn't around anymore.
There's never going to be "just one more thing" ever again... and some days it's more than I can take.
Flowers left at the Sydney Apple Store.
Maybe next year will be easier. But today I can't imagine that there's any amount of time and space that will make me feel better about waking up and remembering that Steve Jobs is no longer here.
Today when I checked my grandmother's mail, a small DVD package fell out. The interesting thing about it was not that she doesn't own a DVD player to see it... but that it's a movie promising to fill you in on "what the future holds."
And what a future it is...
I don't know about you, but I am totally stoked that the future is going to look like a heavy metal album cover! How fucking awesome is that? A bunch of cool stuff that doesn't even exist today is going to be coming soon!
Needless to say, I ran to my DVD player to pop this bad boy on my television. I didn't even make popcorn I was so excited.
Unfortunately, there were no dinosaurs and winged lions to be found. It's just a recording of a guy giving a sermon on the same world-ending Bible prophesies that people have been sermonizing for the past 2000 years ("No, seriously! This time it is REALLY happening!"). Having read The Bible and studied The Book of Revelation, I found the movie to be pretty boring, so I turned it off and watched The Avengers again. That movie is so kick-ass that I can't watch it enough times!
Which made me realize that they really should have gotten Josh Whedon to direct Revelation Unleashed. Maybe he would have put The Hulk and Iron Man in there to fight the bears, dinosaurs, lions, and leopards. And that future? I would totally watch that.
I try not to get bogged down by the bad things in life. Shit happens to everybody, it's a part of living on this planet, and there's nothing you can really do but accept it, deal with things the best you can, then move on to better times.
But then you have a day where so many things are going wrong at the same time that you can't help but feel defeated.
Last night I felt a cold coming on. Sure enough I woke up this morning in miserable shape with a hell of a cold setting up shop in my sinuses.
Things just went downhill from there.
After work I had to drive into Wenatchee to pick up something for my grandmother. There I was driving down the road... I go to shift into third gear and... there is no third gear! Apparently my transmission just blew, so I pull into a restaurant parking lot to call AAA.
And now I'm without a car...
You will note that there are three tow trucks in that photo (a dark grey one is hiding behind the yellow one jacking up my car). This is because there was a FRICKIN' TOW TRUCK DRIVERS MEETING going on in the restaurant where I parked my car.
What a hilarious coincidence!
But the best part? Of the half-dozen trucks that showed up for the tow truck convention, the guy who came to tow my car wasn't there for the meet-up! Maybe he went back there to join in the fun after having towed my piece of shit to the garage, I dunno.
And now I get to wait for the repair shop to open in the morning so I can find out how much it will cost to fix my pile of junk. I'm guessing at least $1000.
Which means I will probably end up buying a new vehicle since the last thing I want to do is sink more money into the heap of crap that is my car. So much for living in a paradise without a car payment. I suppose it was good while it lasted.
Time to take some cold pills and veg out in front of the television while I wait for something new to go wrong.
The night, after all, is still young.
Today was the third annual "Wear Purple for Spirit Day" where lots of people will go purple in support of LGBT youth and speak out against the bullying they must endure.
I have exactly one item of purple clothing which I save for this day... an old Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt from Maui that I bought in the late 80's (back then, I guess purple was an acceptable fashion choice). I wear it on Spirit Day each year to remind me of the horrors that kids have to go through just for being themselves...
Of course I am against bullying of any kind, because there are an awful lot of kids who aren't gay that still get ruthlessly persecuted day in and day out just for being different. I have no idea why we humans have evolved into creatures that feel better about themselves by making others feel worse, but it's something we need to overcome.
In the meanwhile, I guess we wear purple in the hope that one day we won't have to.
I really, really don't like being sick.
And over-the-counter medication is not doing it for me.
I need to make friends with a doctor who can hook me up with the good stuff. And by "good stuff," I mean something that will put me in a medically-induced coma for 3 or 4 days until this cold has worked its way out of my system...
Scientists are making incredible medical advances every day. But the common cold is still here.
AND WHERE IS MY FRICKIN' FLYING CAR?!?
The way I get over a cold has been the same for over a decade... 1) Overdose on Vitamin C. 2) Stay warm. 3) Drink lots of liquids. 4) Take whatever pills needed to get 10+ hours of sleep each night.
The first three things are what gives you body the ability to repair itself while you are sleeping half the day away. And it totally works for me. I can get rid of a cold in 3 days... 4 days tops. When I am unable to get the 10+ hours of sleep, the damn thing can drag on for a week or longer, so lots of rest is clearly key to fighting a cold. At least for me...
And, sure enough, my cold "broke" last night at around 9:30, four days after it had started. There I was watching television, and CRACK! My sinuses split wide open, letting me know that my cold was over. I spent most of today clearing the crap out of my lungs, which means I'll be good to go by tomorrow.
When I will be flying to Europe.
Here's hoping I don't catch another cold in the 9 hours it takes to fly over the Atlantic.
Because flying home from Cincinnati on a plane full of sick people last week is how I caught the one I just got rid of.
New shifter cables and $650 in repairs and I'm back on the road.
Looks like I can start bitching about how much I hate my car again...
But not today.
A lot of people have a lot bigger problems.
Fortunately, there's something we can all do to help.
Today I wasn't in a very happy place.
All day long it felt as though I was barely containing my rage... that I was going to snap and go all "Dick Jones" on people at a moment's notice...
"YOU'VE JUST FUCKED WITH THE WRONG GUY!!!"
But now I'm home and eating hummus, so I think everything will be okay.
Remember when you were a kid in school and your entire week was spent looking forward to Saturday? On days like today, it's pretty much all I can think about.
I need to go back to when Saturdays were all about watching cartoons and goofing off.
I have always hated wearing glasses. The frames are distracting in my field of vision and the lenses get smeared way too easily. So once I got my first pair of contact lenses, I was hooked. There was no way I was ever going back to stupid glasses ever again.
Or so I thought.
But then my eyes worsened, and contact lenses weren't giving me vision as good as they once did. I tried several different brands and styles, but to no avail. The best I could find were a disposable astigmatism lens, but they made my near-vision drop out completely.
And so now I'm back in glasses again, which give me pretty good vision near and far... certainly better than any contacts I tried...
Except I still hate them.
Because no matter how often I clean my glasses, it always seems as though I'm looking through smeary, dirty lenses with a nasty frame getting in the way. Apparently my brain has lost the ability to ignore such non-essential visual information.
Or maybe it's an ability I never had.
Because, come to think of it, I've never been able to ignore such non-essential visual information as Carson Daly or those stupid ads that networks put on top of their television shows...
Life is pain.
Anyone who says different is trying to sell you something.
But, more often than not, it's because somebody is trying to sell you something.
For some stupid reason I just drank two huge glasses of water without thinking that I'll be heading to bed in about 20 minutes. I can only imagine that I'll be waking up in the middle of the night at least once this evening.
The only way things could get worse for me would be if something goes terribly wrong with that Three Bean Chili I had for dinner.
Getting old sucks ass.
There can be no better indication of this than having things go randomly wrong for no particular reason. Like tonight when I went to get up out of a chair and found that my back was out. How in the hell did that happen? I mean, when I was younger, I'd have to attempt to pull a car out of a ditch to throw my back out. And now? Sitting.
Ideally, I'd join a gym and strengthen my back (and everything else) so that crap like this doesn't happen. But I am usually so busy that just finding time to go to the frickin' bathroom is a challenge.
Perhaps I should start wearing diapers and use the time saved from not going to the bathroom to work out.
But I digress.
The primary consequence of an injured back is that you can't get comfortable. Ever. Unless you take pills, in which case your brain is able to ignore the pain. Unfortunately, your brain ignores everything else as well, so any attempt to work while under their influence is futile. Which is why I usually chose to be uncomfortable. I may not be as productive, but at least I won't spend my entire day staring at a computer screen trying to remember what it is I am supposed to be doing with it.
Which is usually what happens when I sit down to blog, but never mind.
Well, gee. Guess I shouldn't have told all my friends I hate them, quit my job, sold all my stuff to buy cocaine, and gone on that bitch-slapping spree after all.
Stupid armageddon end of the world doomsayers.
I mean, really. If you can't trust the nut-jobs who keep predicting we're all going to die... who can you trust?
I guess I should have learned my lesson after Harold Camping got armageddon wrong three times...
Speaking of Harold Camping... have his followers put him to death yet for having violated Deuteronomy 18:20 as a false prophet? No? Anyone? Anyone? Of course, Pat Robinson's followers haven't killed his false-prophesying-ass yet, so I guess I shouldn't hold my breath.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
— Han Solo
It appears that FOX "News" has been so successful for whipping up a frenzy over a "War on Christmas" that doesn't even exist that even sane people can no longer ignore it.
I say "sane" because you'd have to be fucking crazy to entertain the notion that such a war is happening, or that Christmas is in any danger whatsoever of being eliminated any time soon. And while I have no problem in people believing in imaginary things, the absurd leap in logic required to even conceive of such idiocy is so far beyond rational thought as to be laughable...
When somebody says... "Our government is supposed to represent all people of all faiths, so I don't think it is appropriate that government institutions should be displaying items which celebrate religious holidays of specific faiths." It is somehow interpreted as... "WHAT DO YOU MEAN A POST OFFICE CAN'T PUT UP A NATIVITY IN THEIR LOBBY? THAT'S VIOLATING OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!! YOU ARE ATTACKING CHRISTIANS!!! THIS IS A WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!! Oh, I'm next in line? Give me a dozen Madonna and Child Christmas stamps with baby Jesus on them!"
When somebody says... "I say 'Happy Holidays!' because there are several religious celebrations this time of year, and I want to be sure that I'm including everybody in my well-wishing!" It is somehow interpreted as... "THE HOLIDAY YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IS CHRISTMAS!!! WHAT?!? PEOPLE CAN'T SAY 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' ANY MORE??? THAT'S VIOLATING OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!! YOU ARE ATTACKING CHRISTIANS!!! THIS IS A WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!! There can't be religious freedom if people are allowed to acknowledge holidays other than Christmas during the month of December!"
It goes on and on.
Sure you can always drag out some nut-job exception, but the vast, vast majority of non-Christians in this country have no problems with people celebrating Christmas. No sane person wants to destroy this kind of personal freedom in a country based on personal freedom.
All they want is the freedom to celebrate their own religion.
Or to not be forced to celebrate any religion at all, as the case may be.
And yet everything always gets turned into some kind of personal attack on the front lines of this mythical battle. Some kid is told they can't wear a "Merry Christmas" shirt to school, so the parents go ballistic and start screaming bloody murder about an attack on their religion and a War on Christmas. And yet... these parents would likely be the first people to condemn a kid who wears a "Celebrate Satan" shirt to school on Halloween who comes from a family that practices Satanism. Granted, this is an extreme example, but it's not misrepresenting the situation. Religious freedom always seems to be a one-way street and, all too often, a battle cry of "religious freedom" is leading the charge when attacking religious freedom. Apparently there's no hypocrisy in saying "You can practice whatever religion you want... so long as it's just mine!"
And, yes, I think sometimes it goes too far. I think it's stupid to call a "Christmas tree" anything but a "Christmas tree" when it's obviously meant to be a "Christmas tree." Political correctness is being taken to absurd levels in an increasingly stupid number of situations. But pointing out stupidity does not a war make.
In the meanwhile, Christmas is everywhere. You can't really escape it.
Maybe people who don't celebrate Christmas should start declaring themselves prisoners of war?
The problem is, those who keep pushing the idea of this fucking idiotic "War on Christmas" don't seem to be taking any prisoners. And why should they when they've got God on their side?
Okay. Okay. I take back everything I said yesterday.
Clearly there very much is a "War on Christmas," and Google is leading the charge?
It was definitely a "laugh out loud" moment for me when I read how somebody has posted a complaint to Google that their Santa and Snowman "Emoji" characters look sad, thus destroying the jolly feeling of the holidays...
Personally, I think the snowman looks happy enough with his arms up like that, but okay.
At first, it seemed like Apple was getting a pass because their Emoji characters look happy...
But then somebody brought up that Santa has brown eyes instead of blue eyes so, you guessed it, WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!
Then somebody brought up that the Snowman is wearing a fez hat that is worn in some Muslim countries so, you guessed it, WAR ON CHRISTMAS!!!
I tried to point out that Emoji originated in Japan where most people have brown eyes, but nobody was listening. I tried also to point out that the Snowman wearing a fez is merely an internet tradition based on what got dreamed up by somebody back when the Unicode standard was being created, but nobody was listening either.
ZOMG! THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS IS REAL, PEOPLE!!!
This morning I got a ride to the airport not knowing if my flight would be canceled or not. Freezing fog back home limited visibility to a quarter-mile, which is well under what's required to land. Add that to the fact that last night's flight was cancelled, and you can see how sitting at SeaTac was a somber affair for me. At least the airport was relatively calm thanks to it being Christmas and all.
But, by the time my flight was to leave, the fog had lifted, so we took off under a "weather advisory" which means the plane would return to Seattle if it couldn't land. Lucky for me the visibility was over ten miles, which was plenty, and we were on the ground before I knew it.
It's a Christmas Miracle, I suppose.
Despite the high price of a last-minute ticket, I ended up being very glad I flew instead of drove. The mountain passes have been all kinds of messed up since I left, and the route I would have driven over Stevens Pass ended up having some fatalities due to heavy snowfall (and is currently closed).
And here is where I settle down for a long winter's nap.
At least I hope so.
If I can just get a decent amount of rest... a mere six hours of sleep, perhaps... that would truly be my Christmas Miracle.
Hope your holiday was a happy one!
For those who only read one of my posts each year... or anybody wanting a recap of the past year here at Blogography... this post is for you! I've jettisoned loads of the usual junk so this entry is "mostly crap" instead of the "total crap" they usually are.
It wasn't a bad year. Finally made it to South and Central America. Finally made it to The Keukenhof after years of visiting the Netherlands. Got to see Matt & Kim again. Oh... and didn't kill anybody again. And, as usual, any year you don't have to kill somebody can't be all bad, right?
• Found out I'm my own worst enemy...
• Warned the world that Newt Gingrich's presidential plan to colonize the moon would lead to freaky-ass space bitches that turn into freaky-ass space monsters...
• Congratulated the Republicans for re-electing President Obama by nominating Mitt Romney as their candidate...
• Live-Tweeted the first time I cut my own hair...
• Explained how politics in Washington State work...
• Tried to understand how YouTube comments work...
• Celebrated Valentine's Day by myself...
• Accidentally had an amazing day exploring Kansas City...
• Took a cruise that went through the Panama Canal...
• Got to visit adorable baby sloths in Costa Rica...
• Went to Hell... with chickens.
• Returned to Key West, one of my favorite places...
• Worried about Rick Santorum having a massive repressed gay breakdown over giant pink balls...
• Visited the DutchBitch, where she took me on a wonderful tour of bulb fields in the Netherlands...
• Finally had the DutchBitch take me to the glorious Keukenhof Gardens...
• Attended Bitchsterdam 3 with some really great people...
• PATATJES MET!!!...
• Flew to Hamburg so I could see the sights... including MINIATUR WUNDERLAND!...
• Have a child that's acting a little light in the loafers? You can fix that right up... just beat the gay out of 'em!...
• Said goodbye to Mr. Maurice Sendak and Where the Wild Things Are...
“Oh, please don't go—we'll eat you up—we love you so!”
• Finally decided to get the tattoo I've been wanting for 26 years, thanks to Mikey at Black & Blue Tattoo...
• Explained what I do to be able to afford to travel the world.
• Became really poor when I bought the single most amazing computer I have ever owned.
• Decided to take a short, relaxing vacation to the Bahamas, man...
The view from my room pretty much sucks, doesn't it?
• Spent my time in the Bahamas getting drunk, running into a tree, and ending up with a sunburn and a hole in my pants...
• Fell in love with Rafalca, Mitt Romney's dancing horse and tried to understand how one transports a horse to The Olympic Games...
• Exhibited THRICE Fiction at the Portland Zine Symposium...
• Found out what happened to Raggedy Andy after all these years...
• I TOTALLY GOT TO FLY IN THE MICKEY MOUSE PLANE, Y'ALL!...
• Took a trek on the wild side at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom...
• Watched the wildlife outside my window while staying at Disney's amazing Animal Kingdom Lodge...
• Flew to Atlanta so I could SEE MATT & KIM LIVE IN CONCERT...
• Attended Mr. Fabulous and Turnbaby's amazing Hollywood Nights party.
• Visited the steamy Creation Museum in Kentucky...
• Flew to DutchyLand for 48 hours so I could visit the new Hard Rock Cafe in Brussels...
• Totally didn't gloat over having called the election ten months ago...
• Threw caution to the wind and went ghost hunting at Old South Pittsburgh Hospital...
I took this bear away from a naughty ghost child and let him go for a tricycle ride.
• Decided to give dips a try while in rural Georgia...
• Celebrated marriage equality coming to Washington State.
• Watched Bad Monkey protest anti-primate bias at IKEA...
Pretty spiffy. It never seems that I do much in a year until I take a look back at it.
Hope 2013 is a great year for you.