Posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007
I've been watching my new Mission: Impossible... The Complete First Season DVD set whenever I can. It's amazing how well the series holds up after 40 years. I was totally addicted to the reruns when I was a kid, then hopelessly disappointed by the Tom Cruise films as an adult (M:I is supposed to be about TEAMWORK... TEAMWORK!). It's pretty sweet to see that the original show is just as good as I remember... and Barbara Bain is just as smokin' hot as I remember (literally, she smokes cigarettes constantly).
I've decided I don't feel like writing tonight. To explain myself, I offer this...
Why are people are still listening to this crazy asshole? If God is truly talking to Pat Robertson... how could he ever be wrong in his predictions? Wouldn't he have to be right 100% of the time for people to actually believe his shit? When he says "sometimes I miss" doesn't that imply that GOD is missing too? Or maybe... just maybe... he's a total nut-bag fraud. Anyone? Anyone?
Argh. Time for another spoonful of Pepto Bismol and bed.
But before I go... Over New Years, I reorganized and catalogued my DVD collection with a program called "Delicious Library." I've owned the program for almost two years, but never had the ambition to actually use it until now. I ended up loving the way it works so much, I've decided to review it in an extended entry...
→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2007
For Macintosh whores like myself, tomorrow is the most important day of the year because it's time for MacWorld!
I both love and hate MacWorld. Love it, because Apple is probably going to introduce some cool new stuff. Hate it, because I'm bound to want all the cool new stuff... and it's always expensive.
Last year, I live-blogged from the keynote for the introduction of the iToast toaster...
That was fun and all, but this year there isn't a live feed of Steve Job's keynote speech, so I guess I won't be live-blogging anything. Heck, I can't even find out if they will be re-broadcasting the Stevenote afterwards. As a Mac whore, I find this depressing.
I've become one of those people that qualifies everything I say "as a Mac whore."
This reminds me of a former co-worked who qualified everything he said "as a Christian."
He was a nice enough guy, but the condescending way he constantly presented his Christian opinion as being superior to everybody else drove me insane. You could even be saying something nice to him, and he'd find a way to turn it around and make you feel inferior...
Dave: Hey, good luck with your class!
Christian Guy: As a Christian, I don't believe in luck... I believe in Jesus!
Even when you are obviously joking around, he's there to look down at your heathen ass...
Christian Guy: I wanted to go to the party, but everybody was acting freaky, so I left.
Dave: POD PEOPLE! They've been replaced by alien clones!
Christian Guy: As a Christian, I can't accept the concept of alien life.
It got so bad that I dreaded being in even simple conversations with him for fear of what might happen...
Dave: I can't decide if I want a Gordita or Chalupa from Taco Bell...
Christian Guy: As a Christian, I don't believe in Chalupas because they are fried. Gorditas are baked as God intended in Ezekiel 4:15... "I will let you bake your bread over cow manure instead of human excrement."
Christian Guy: BURN IN HELL, CHALUPA-EATER!!
Fortunately, he quit the job after only a few weeks and took his holier-than-thou attitude with him.
And since I brought it up...
As a Mac whore, I prefer to think of Jesus as a Mac user.
UPDATE: Hey, I was right!
Posted on Tuesday, January 9th, 2007
Yeah, I just knew this MacWorld was going to be financially devastating.
Looks like I'll be dumping Verizon this June and signing up with Cingular. Verizon has excellent quality and fairly decent customer service and all... but... dang... how can you say no to THIS...
The specs over at Apple are AMAZING.
It kind of sucks that there's a six month delay before you can buy it, but something tells me it will be worth the wait.
Besides, it will give me time to save my pennies... all 50,000 of them... so I can actually afford the thing when it's released.
Posted on Wednesday, January 10th, 2007
But that would have been my favorite part...
Posted on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007
Would Microsoft Windows sufferers who are still using Internet Explorer please just stop it? Go download Firefox or Opera or whatever, and start using a real web browser instead. I am tired of spending hours and hours tracking down the crap-load of bugs and quirks unique to Internet Explorer so that web pages display properly. It seems that every time I get to the end of a project, I find stuff that renders beautifully in regular browsers, but end up looking like crap in IE...
It's a real pain in the ass, so if everybody on the internets could just stop using it, that would be great.
Oh, and since the new Windows Vista version of Outlook f#@%s up HTML emails, if you would switch to Thunderbird or some other email client while you're at it, I'd appreciate it.
This sucks ass. Blogography has been fragged with a scrolling bug in IE for ages, and I've got no time to fix it because I'm too busy fixing everything else.
Why does Microsoft hate us so much?
Posted on Saturday, January 20th, 2007
I went and saw Babel tonight. It was an interesting film, but not very entertaining (that came later, when I got home and watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle on DVD again). I also bought Barack Obama's book The Audacity of Hope to read on the plane for my upcoming trip. I liked his first book, Dreams from My Father, and have enjoyed every interview and appearance of his that I've seen, so I'm looking forward to it.
Most importantly, however, I had a Veggie sub at Quiznos for dinner. Since people are telling me that ketchup and pizza sauce don't count a vegetables, I figured this would make everybody happy. My sandwich totally had lettuce, tomato, olives, and everything!
But going to Quiznos always raises a question. Am I the only one who sees Quiznos Bread Bowls and thinks of skeet shooting?
Bread Bowl Skeet Shooting would be totally sweet!
Lastly, in sadder news... for the past couple of days, my MacBook Pro's hard drive has been making crackling noises. I assumed this was a bad thing, and immediately backed up all my data. Then this morning half my files were inaccessible and the hard drive was grinding. Time to call Apple for some help.
What a difference good support makes...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Thursday, January 25th, 2007
You would think that I would be due some good karma after all the crap that I've been through this week.
You would be wrong.
It seems that karma isn't done raining shit on me just yet, which is always a good sign just as you are about to leave the country. It's at times like this that you start thinking of "mechanical difficulties" happening over the Atlantic and having to land in Greenland or something. Not that I'm badmouthing Greenland... I'm sure it's a perfectly lovely place in the middle of winter... it's just that I'm not ready to visit there yet.
Take arriving at my hotel, for instance. If you were forced to choose one, which of the following horror stories would you least want waiting for you...
With nothing better to do, I decide to go to the mall and get my hair cut. That's when I notice a brand new Johnny Rockets has opened up at the food court. My favorite restaurant! I love Johnny Rockets! But it's me we're talking about, so guess what happens...
Yeah, it's D again. Why would you serve somebody a burnt bun with their hamburger? It's insane. Just throw the shit away... don't ruin a customer's dinner over something that costs 25¢! I have eaten at Johnny Rockets all around the country (and once when they had them in Japan) and have never had a bad meal until today.
At this point, I was terrified to get my hair cut. What else was going to happen? Would they accidentally stab me in the eye with the scissors? Would they scalp me a bald patch on the back of my head? What? Turns out it was none of those things. They somehow managed to cut my hair without inflicting any major damage.
Not wanting to press my luck, I decide to go buy me a new iPod Shuffle Clip and call it a night. I really wanted to buy a new "regular" iPod, but I'm waiting for them to add a bigger screen so I can watch videos. In the meanwhile, I'm perfectly happy with a new Shuffle. I think "cute" is the word that best describes it... and you just can't prepare yourself for how tiny it is... it's shorter than a jumbo paperclip!
Here's hoping things start looking up for me in the morning.
Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
This is probably one of the worst days ever, even though I got a new router and have internet access again.
For reasons I won't dwell on, it became necessary for me to have access to Microsoft Windows Vista. My POS Dell PC (which imploded a few months back) didn't seem to want to install it, so I was left with the option of either buying a new Windows machine, or installing Vista on my Mac (something I swore I would never do). Since time was of the essence, and the idea of having to buy a new PC filled me with dread, I decided to just bite the bullet and defile my Mac with Microsoft's latest abomination of an OS...
I used a Mac program called "Parallels" which allows you to run Windows right along with Mac applications on the same screen. It's not the best Windows experience, but it is the most convenient. It allows you to start up Windows and shut it down almost instantly, which is pretty slick. Windows apps even appear in your Dock...
This does nothing to make me feel better about running the Windows OS on my beautiful Mac, however. I just feel so... unclean. Kind of like I need to drink a bottle of Scotch to forget or something.
Anyway, I've put a superficial review of Vista in an extended entry. In summary, it sucks ass. If you want the details as to why I feel that way, feel free to read onward.→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, March 4th, 2007
Unexpected travel plans have decided to invade my Sunday.
Ordinarily, this would be a good thing, because I could vent all my frustrations about air travel and have them neatly aligned in bullet points. But I don't feel like writing that, let along reading it, so perhaps it's time for Bullet Stories instead of Bullet Points? I dunno... maybe it's being stuck in a hotel room with nothing good on television that's making me all sentimental.
• The Brutality Reality.
Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm the kind of guy who likes to solve his problems with violence. The kind of brute-force, don't-bother-me-or-I'll-kill-you kind of man who simply refuses to put up with the stupidity of others.
When the people ahead of me in line for airport security don't bother to read the dozen signs telling them to remove any liquids and have their ID ready, I bitch-slap their stupid asses and push my way through. When the man sitting behind me on the plane won't shut up and keeps bumping my seat, I turn around and punch him in the face. When a bitch tries to cut in front of me as we disembark the aircraft, I kick her rude ass to the floor then walk over the top of her. When some sandwich-eating hippie keeps dropping sprouts onto the floor at baggage claim, I push his face to the floor and make him lick it up, then laugh as he runs off crying with a bloody nose. When my luggage doesn't show up for 30 minutes and then appears on the wrong carousel, I climb through the luggage corridor and start beating random people with my suitcase. As I strut out of the airport, I'm secure in the knowledge that I am a total bad-ass who doesn't take shit from anybody...
...at least until I put on some lip balm to protect myself from those chaffing Chicago winds and call my mommy to let her know that I have arrived safely. Suddenly reality comes crashing down as I'm crying about how I'm tired and my tummy aches and people are mean and I couldn't find my suitcase and I wish I were home in bed. But then mommy tells me everything is going to be okay now, at which time I can go back to pretending I'm one tough bastard again.
• Flexible for Money.
When you were a kid, do you remember when you dropped a coin that rolled under the table how you didn't even think about what to do... you simply threw yourself to the ground and went crawling after your money? It didn't matter if it was just a nickel or even a penny, you chased after that shit.
And now, as you grow older, do you notice how the value of the dropped coin you're willing to chase after keeps getting bigger and bigger? At one point you stopped crawling after pennies because, after all, it was just a penny. Soon after, nickels weren't worth bending over for. In no time at all, dimes are more trouble than they're worth. With age comes the realization that the time, effort, and energy required to retrieve dropped money requires careful calculation. Is the quarter that just fell out of your pocket worth the risk of straining your back while bending over to pick it up? What can you get with a quarter now-a-days anyway?
Today I dropped a dollar bill while pulling my iPod out of my pocket. As I stood there watching my money gently tumbling down the sidewalk in the breeze, it then occurred to me that I must be an old man now because I had no desire to go after it. Then suddenly, in a desperate bid to reclaim my childhood, I went chasing after my dollar. Just as I bent over to pick it up, my $180 Oakley sunglasses (one of those ridiculously expensive purchases you try not to regret) fell out of my jacket pocket and got a nice scratch on the lens. Standing there with a dollar in one hand and my ruined sunglasses in the other, I threw the dollar bill into the air and walked away having learned a valuable lesson.
Sometimes you've just got to tell your inner-child to go fuck themselves.
• The Mac Club.
It used to be that traveling with a Macintosh PowerBook put you into an elite club. You see another Mac user sitting across the aisle and would share a smirk of superiority that instantly bonded you with a total stranger. Your Mac made you special, and it was something only another Mac user could appreciate. These moments of brotherhood were a rare event to be treasured, and being a member of The Mac Club made you a better person (if only in your own mind).
Except now Macs are everywhere. As you sit in the airport looking around, nearly half of the computers have that familiar glowing Apple logo staring back at you. The Mac Club's power came from its exclusivity, and those days are fading fast. Despite your joy at the Mac's new-found popularity, you aren't feeling as special as you once did.
But then you turn on your PowerBook, see that a few people have left comments on your blog, and suddenly find yourself feeling more special than a silly old machine could ever make you feel.
• A Real Conversation.
It occurred to me this afternoon as I was ordering my veggie burger at Johnny Rockets, that talking to my waiter was about the only conversation I've had all day. I checked in for my flight this morning at a self-service kiosk. I arrived at my hotel for check-in and got my room key from another kiosk. I got my cash from an ATM. I set up my appointments via a website. I bought my CTA train pass at yet another kiosk. I traveled 2/3 the distance of these continental United States and my only interaction with a human all day was to say "I'll have a Coke please" to the cabin steward on the plane. After dinner I went to see the movie Norbit, purchased my theater ticket from still another self-service kiosk, and proceeded to get more than a little depressed about it all. People simply don't interact with each other much anymore.
At the end of the night I decided to take an expensive taxi back to my airport hotel instead of a cheap (but long) ride on the Blue Line. Thinking I'd try to put a halt to the world's effort at insulating me from humanity, I struck up a conversation with my cab driver. As the discussion goes on, I am so thrilled to be talking to somebody... to really be talking to somebody... that I almost had him circle the airport a few times before dropping me at the hotel.
With more gratitude than he can know, I hand over my fare and a generous tip to the driver. I wish him a good night and, unlike so many times I've said it to strangers, this time I really mean it.
Posted on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
I don't get sick very often, for which I am most grateful. On those rare occasions I do get sick, I don't like to talk about it. I can't stand listening to somebody else's health problems, so why would anybody want to listen to mine? I've just never understood these people who like to get together and discuss all the bizarre crap that's wrong with them. Especially in public. I'm always the guy wanting to scream "NOBODY CARES IF YOU HAVE HEMORRHOIDS, BITCH!" whenever I come across these absurd conversations which people happily have in restaurants or the mini mart. Some things should be kept private.
But I just can't help myself.
Last night I had the worst case of flaming diarrhea farts ever...
Seriously. There were moments I didn't know what was going to happen, and other moments where it felt like my ass was on fire. The entire evening is a blur of one horrible moment after another. And the worst part is that I have no idea what caused it. Nothing I ate could explain the drama going on in my bathroom. No Super Bean Burritos. No Cabbage Milkshakes. No Double Prune Danishes. No Pints of Guinness. It was a total mystery. My ass was rebelling against some unknown offense that I still don't understand.
When I finally went to bed, it was because there was nothing left in me to expel. The only thing I was filled with was dread at the thought of waking up and having breakfast the next morning. What if it started all over again? As a safety precaution, I consumed a bottle of Pepto Bismol and a half-box of Imodium.
But everything turned out akay in the end (heh heh). I woke up, had breakfast, and my day was pretty much normal.
If only I could erase the memories.
In less nasty news, OMFG! Geeks of Doom is reporting Variety as saying that we're going to be seeing a Lego Batman videogame in 2008! Just when I think that the Lego Star Wars videogames were about as cool as things can get... this happens. The Lego Batman toys are super-sweet (combining two of my favorite things ever!), and I can't wait to see how they translate into a game. Just hearing this makes me want to start playing Lego Star Wars all over again.
I mean, holy crap! It's Lego F#@%ing Batman... IN A VIDEOGAME!!
And that's all she wrote.
Unless you want to read about how confused I am by the configuration of Adobe's new "Creative Suite 3" bundles, which I've put in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, April 15th, 2007
I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm irritable. And it's time for Bullet Sunday!
• Driven. You're driving back from the Seattle over the mountain pass with your iPod set on shuffle and piped into the stereo. Suddenly the rain stops and the sun starts to come out. Everything is fresh and green and the air smells as if the world is brand new. Then Etta James' beautiful voice comes over the speakers singing At Last, and suddenly you realize that you're glad to be alive. For a few minutes anyway. Then some moron pulls in front of you going 10 mph under the speed limit and you're stuck behind them for 20 minutes wanting crash into their stupid ass... not even caring if you survive, just so long as they die in a ball of fire. Isn't it strange how life can turn on a dime like that?
• Panera. I took a photo of my most favorite sandwich at Panera Bread yesterday. Behold the glory that is The Mediterranean...
I wish I had another one right now, because the only thing I have to eat here at home is chocolate pudding.
• Leopard. Apple announced that the next version of OS X, code-name Leopard, has been delayed four months, moving to an October release date. This is a bit of a shame, but better late than Vista. At least I'll have my iPhone to keep me occupied come summertime...
• Repaired. Finally scraped the money together to have Saturn repair all the damage that Midas did to my car when they "fixed" it last. Sure I'm poor now, but at least I don't have to stare at that stupid "Service Engine Soon" light anymore. Not having my car backfire when I turn the engine off is pretty sweet too. If only Saturn would have installed rocket launchers and a flame-thrower, the ride home wouldn't have been quite so bad.
Now it's time for dinner. Looks like it's going to be chocolate pudding and a can of 7-Up tonight.
Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2007
Now, before I go all crazy here, let me just preface this entry by saying that, for the most part, I love Adobe products. I have been using them from the very, very beginning, and simply could not do the work I do without them. Not only that, but I love Adobe as a company as well... they continue to support the Macintosh platform with day-and-date releases with Windows, and that goes a long way towards winning my heart.
That being said, Adobe's latest version 3 release of their amazing Creative Suite of products (which includes such giants as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, Acrobat, InDesign, and more... depending on the bundle version) has pissed me off greatly.
I go to install the shit, wait fifteen minutes for everything to load up, then am immediately greeted with a notice that my serial number for CS2 isn't authorized to upgrade to CS3, even though I purchased the proper upgrade. WTF?!? Yet another case of loyal, paying customers getting shit on by software companies under the guise of "combatting software piracy." Except everybody knows that software pirates ALWAYS end up getting around this crap, so it's only legal customers who end up getting fucked.
This means I have to call Adobe Customer Service, get put on hold for 15 minutes (with crap "music"), then have to wait another ten minutes while they verify my upgrade is valid. Then I have to offer up a "verification code" and get a "response code" so that my software can be authorized. What a fucking joke.
And, of course, I can't use the same response code for my second authorized laptop install this morning... I have to call and go through the entire ordeal again over a shitty phone line connection to India (or wherever) that I can barely hear anything on.
Fuck you very much Adobe.
Even though your customer service agents where incredibly nice and a pleasure to speak with.
Anyway, now that the crap is installed, it's time to start bitching! Though not right away, because the first thing I notice is the new icon set Adobe is using. Great icons? No. But they are a huge, massively huge, improvement over the incomprehensible artsy shit we got in CS1 and CS2 (which I wrote about here). For starters, you CAN ACTUALLY TELL WHAT THE ICONS ARE REPRESENTING NOW...
As for the rest of my initial Adobe Creative Suite 3 impressions, I've dropped everything in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Monday, June 11th, 2007
I don't know why, but tourists tend to stand out more in Seattle than they do in other cities.
It's not that the tourists are any more or less annoying here, they just seem to be badly out of place somehow. And I'm not talking about the superficial things like walking around with cameras, maps, and guide books and stuff, it's just something in the way they move and react that doesn't feel right. Could just be me, but when I bring it up with other people... even friends who are here being tourists themselves... they get what I am talking about.
Though, just like everywhere else on the planet, you do run into the occasional stupid tourist. People who show up with no clue as to where they are or what they are doing. A classic example could be had as I was standing in line at hotel registration this morning. Two dumbass bitches cut in front of me (with one of them screaming "I JUST NEED TO ASK A QUICK QUESTION!!") and yelled at the front desk guy "IS THERE A STARBUCKS NEARBY? WE WANT COFFEE!!"
To his credit, the guy was really professional and told them that there were shops on either side of the hotel. This was really nice of him, because my reply would have been something more like "BITCH, YOU ARE IN F#@%ING DOWNTOWN SEATTLE! THERE ARE ABOUT TWENTY STARBUCKS WITHIN A FIVE-MINUTE WALK OF THIS HOTEL! JUST TRIP YOUR STUPID ASS OUT THE DOOR AND OPEN YOUR F#@%ING EYES!* Which is actually kind of an understatement. Asking where to find a Starbucks in downtown Seattle is like walking into a strip club and asking where the titties are, because they're all around you...
Map taken from the totally cool FindByClick site.
On the bright side, I sure do have a nice view from my hotel room. Since I will be sitting here all day working, that's pretty sweet. The monorail track is right below my window, so I get to watch the trains go back and forth...
In other news, my personal hero Steve Jobs delivered the keynote address to a crowd of Mac developer whores at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference today (you can watch a video of it here). There wasn't really any revolutionary news coming out of San Francisco this morning, just more pretty demos of the next MacOS (code-named Leopard). Overall, I remain impressed, and can't wait until October to get my copy.
But one piece of Leopard is available today... the beta of Apple's Safari web browser. It's pretty cool, adding long-desired features like movable tabs, resizable text entry boxes, and inline search...
Apple has also released a version of Safari for Windows which may turn out to be a really smart move. If a nice chunk of Windows sufferers start using Safari, perhaps web developers will work harder to make their stuff more compatible with my browser of choice. I question as to whether this can actually happen, but I guess it's worth a try.
Anyway, I have a Johnny Rockets' Streamliner Burger with no grilled onions (add cheese) calling my name for dinner, and then I need to rush right back so I can try to get some sleep before a very busy day of work tomorrow.
Gee... does anybody know if there is a McDonalds in Seattle for breakfast in the morning?
* Please excuse the harsh language... I've been watching HBO's "revolutionary" and "ground-breaking" new show John from Cincinnati. I find the show's story of a child-like stranger who changes people's lives to be boring, predictable, and a total rip-off of the film/show Starman. The only thing "revolutionary" and "groundbreaking" is that the characters say "f#@%" about ten times in every sentence. Which, I suppose, is to be expected from the producers of HBO's previous overly-profanity-laden series Deadwood. Bleh.
Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
Ooh! Looks like I might be getting an iPhone after all. They've finally released the service pricing, and it turns out that it's only $10 more than I pay now. Even better, I get more minutes (plus rollover minutes!) and unlimited data for my money. Cool!
Of course, I'll want to try an iPhone in person before I sign on the dotted line, but things just keep looking better and better. The initial reviews have the positives outweighing the negatives, and some of the big questions (battery life, scratches, MS Office attachments, etc.) are being answered with good news. I want one pretty bad now.
I am such an Apple whore...
But with unlimited data access, can you really blame me? I mean, damn! Knowing I can surf the internet for important information at any time... for as long as I want... is pretty sweet!
Wow. The internet is like the most awesome thing ever! Thanks for putting it in the palm of my hand, Steve Jobs!
And in other nifty news... PARIS IS FREE! w00t! Now my life can go back to normal!
IN YOUR FACE, NANCY GRACE! Now why don't you shut the frak up you crazy bitch! And the next time your hypocritical skank ass decides to judge people, why don't you look in the mirror first... GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!!
Posted on Saturday, June 30th, 2007
I try really hard not to be a whiny little bitch on my blog. Honestly, I do. The fact that I am rarely successful at it is not for lack of conviction, but circumstance. Such as waking up this morning and having to read a bajillion people talking about how cool their new iPhone is.
Of course, I wouldn't know.
Despite the fact that I am a Total Apple Whore, I don't have an iPhone yet. I won't even get to look at one until I'm in Seattle next week. Needless, to say, I'm a little sad about that...
I've read so much about people and their love of their iPhone that I can almost imagine what it must be like to have one... but then I glance over at my piece of shit mobile phone and realize that my imagination isn't that good.
Sigh. I guess I'll just go over to Apple.com and look at iPhone pictures for an hour or two...
Posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
Firstly, to all my friends and family reading this who know about the situation here in Seattle... thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and positive energy. This has been one of the longest days in my life but, despite all the delays and the waiting, everything turned out with the best possible results we could hope for.
Waiting, as they say, is the hardest part.
In an effort to distract my head, I put in a very full day. First I went to see Transformers, which was pretty freakin' cool. I love that they never cheated you out of a transformation or a battle. You see everything. And there are few things better than watching giant robots beat the crap out of each other...
Where the film failed me was in the utterly pointless deviations from the actual story. By the time we got to Sam's mom talking about masturbation, I was just plain pissed. It wasn't funny. It wasn't interesting. It was just needless distraction. Why? And then there's the whole military sub-plot that goes nowhere. Why? But worst of all... John Turturro, who I actually enjoy as an actor, plays a character "Agent Simmons" who was so unbelievably annoying and stupid that he very nearly ruined the movie for me. Why? Somebody needs to be in the editing room with Michael Bay so they can slap him upside the head when he makes stupid decisions to include crap like this, because otherwise it was pretty good flick.
Then I went to see Fantastic Four 2, which was better than the awful first film, but still a far cry from what a Fantastic Four film should be. The only real reason to see the movie is for Silver Surfer, who rightfully kicks ass...
I found myself almost wishing that the Fantastic Four weren't in their own film so I could see more of him. That's pretty sad. Overall it was mediocre, but I was glad to have seen it.
And, of course, I stopped to take a look at the iPhone up close and in person. And, of course, it's just as amazing as everybody says it is. And, of course, I want to have an iPhone now more than ever before. Everything about it is just cool. Particularly the screen and web browser, which is mind blowing...
Blogography looks great, and is totally readable in horizontal mode, even without zooming...
A pity that they're sold out absolutely everywhere.
But not surprising.
Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2007
And It's just a frakkin' cool as I knew it would be...
Amazing how handy it is to have Google Maps and the entire internet with me everywhere. I find myself turning to iPhone constantly, and I've only had it one day. Heaven only knows what my life will be like once its been fully integrated. Sure AT&T's EDGE network is painfully slow, but do I really care when I'm out in the middle of nowhere and need driving directions? To get un-lost, I'm happy to wait a minute for a map.
What really gets me is how great this is for a version 1.0 product, and I can't fathom what cool stuff Apple will be adding in the next update. iPhone is an incredibly functional and useful tool that's a joy to use. And, get this... the phone quality is not sacrificed... calls are SO much nicer than with my old P.O.S. mobile phone. Now that I have iPhone, I can't imagine going back to anything else.
Side note: Dave's wish list for iPhone 2.0: GPS functionality that integrates with Google Maps. Automated voice dialing.
Anyway, on my way back from work, I passed through Thomaston, Georgia, and couldn't resist stopping at the local Piggie Park drive-in for a grilled cheese sandwich and some fries...
My sandwich was a very reasonable $1.35!! I can't remember the last time I paid under $2.00 for a sandwich...
The place has been around since 1950, and is very popular. Even at 2:00, the place had a steady stream of customers. At the lunch hour it must be over-run...
And from the "totally tasteless but funny department," I saw this sign for a mailing service today...
Tonight will be my first night in four days where I'll actually have time to get some decent sleep. Needless to say, I am looking forward to that. The only thing that worries me is the impending thunderstorms which iPhone says are due to hit both Georgia and Wisconsin for the next couple days. I wonder what the odds are that I'm going to be stuck in Atlanta? Given my luck, the airport will be completely destroyed.
Oh well. It's not like I'll care... I'VE GOT MY iPHONE, bitches!
Posted on Tuesday, July 31st, 2007
I am a total Apple whore, because Apple has actually earned my unwavering love and devotion over the years. I love their high-quality products, think they've created the best computer user experience on earth, and never think twice about buying their stuff because it always exceeds my every expectation. Until something went terribly wrong.
I am not a big fan of bluetooth headsets, especially when they're being worn around when no phone call is taking place. As I've mentioned, I think it makes people look like they're a Star Trek Borg or a Giant Dick...
But they are handy to have when you are taking a long drive, and so I went ahead and bought Apple's specialty headset for my iPhone. It's pricey... $129... but I figure it's worth it if it will allow me to be safer while on the road. The unit was on back-order for several weeks, but finally arrived yesterday.
If I were reviewing Apple's iPhone Bluetooth Headset, I could sum up my experience in four words... Steaming Pile Of Shit.
Seriously. Worst. Apple. Experience. Ever...
When it arrived, I followed the instructions and "paired" the headset with my phone by using the included charging cradle. It's all very cool, because the iPhone then displays the battery level of both itself and the headset. Except the pairing doesn't work. I would pair them, even confirm they were paired in the iPhone settings, but nothing works. The phone would route sound to the headset, but no sound would come out.
Referring to the inadequate documentation, I followed all the steps they offered... unpairing/re-pairing. Resetting the phone. Turning settings off and on. Blah blah blah blah. Eventually, some magical combination got the headphone working, even though the sound quality was not very good. Even worse, the unit does not fit in my ear very well (even with the foam pads they include). Any vigorous activity would cause the thing to fall out. Figuring that this was probably the way all Bluetooth headsets worked, I gave up and went to bed.
Only to wake up and find that the headset had run out of battery overnight.
After charging it up again, I had the exact same problem as before. The stupid thing would NOT play sound, even though the iPhone says it was sending the call's audio to it. I played around for an hour, following all the troubleshooting tips like last time, but never could get it to work again.
Well fuck this.
There is no way I am keeping this $129 piece of crap, so I go online to the Apple Store to arrange a return. Except, for reasons I cannot possibly fathom, Apple doesn't accept returns online for defective crap...
How incredibly stupid is that? With no other choice, I wait for my lunch break to call AppleCare as requested.
After welcoming you to AppleCare support, the computerized voice starts its spiel. Ordinarily, I don't mind automated systems, because they often prove to be more efficient at routing calls than real people. AppleCare's robot, however is particularly stupid. Here is what I remember from my first call...
APPLECARE: Just say the name of the product for which you need support. For example, say "Mac Pro" or "iPod."
DAVE: iPhone Bluetooth Headset.
APPLECARE COMPUTER: I'm sorry, I don't recognize that product...
DAVE: iPHONE BLUETOOTH HEADSET!!
APPLECARE COMPUTER: I'm sorry, I don't recognize...
APPLECARE COMPUTER: The wait time for an operator may be several minutes. I've found that I can help most calls...
APPLECARE COMPUTER: So I can route your call properly, please say the name of the product you are needing help with...
DAVE: FUCK OFF!
APPLECARE COMPUTER: Okay, what kind of iPod do you have? For example, say "Shuffle" if you are calling about an iPod Shuffle.
APPLECARE COMPUTER: I'm sorry, I don't recognize that product...
When somebody fucking says "OPERATOR," that's the point when the automated system needs to IMMEDIATELY put you in the queue for an operator. Don't keep trying to convince people to use your stupid shit if they can't get it to work in the first place! This is remarkably bad form, and a true surprise from Apple, whose service is usually impeccable.
A second call to AppleCare, and I get myself put in the iPhone Support queue... for 52 minutes... AT WHICH POINT THE SYSTEM HANGS UP!!! FIFTY-TWO MINUTES ON HOLD FOR NOTHING!!
What the hell?
This time I call The Apple Store, hoping I can return it directly where I bought it and bypass AppleCare. No go. The system immediately transfers me back to AppleCare... where my call is answered on the first ring! WTF?!? Then everything proceeds as it usually does, with my getting the immediate, friendly, competent service I'm accustomed to when calling Apple. They process my return in a few minutes, and I'm good to go.
So I guess it nets out like this: Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset: surprisingly bad. AppleCare Support: good as usual (once I finally got there). Not surprisingly, this bump in the road hasn't soured me on Apple much. I guess everybody screws up sooner or later. Perhaps because I am so ecstatically happy with my iPhone, it's easy to ignore my bad luck with the headset? This is easily the best mobile phone I've ever had, and I love it more every day. And, despite numerous warnings about AT&T's wireless service (or lack thereof), I've had excellent coverage everywhere I've been with it... certainly no better or worse than my previous service with Verizon.
Anyway, I do find it comforting to know that my Apple Whore status remains unchanged.
It's kind of nice to be a total whore from time to time.
Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2007
I was just flicking through channels and see that BravoTV is airing Eddie Murphy: RAW... except they are silencing all the curses. This makes the jokes incomprehensible, and renders the entire show 50% silent. Why even attempt run a censored version of Eddie Murphy standup? It makes no sense.
Anyway, earlier today I mentioned on a message board that had I re-watched Battlefield Earth this weekend and was surprised that it wasn't as horrendously terrible as I had remembered. Sure the acting was mostly awful and the makeup on the Psychlos was embarrassingly bad (their "hands" didn't work, and looked like giant mittens)... but it had good FX, a passable (if implausible) story, and was decent mindless entertainment. Whatever...
A couple of hours later, some dumbass leaves this enlightening response...
"Don't be such a fag. Battlefield Earth sucked and that's a FACT!!!
I ignored his obvious struggle with his sexuality, and went on to explain that Battlefied Earth "sucking" was an opinion, not a fact. Believe it or not, there actually are people who like it, and the flick did receive a few positive reviews by the critics. But, much like Bill O'Reilly, the moron simply could not distinguish between opinion and fact. The conversation immediately degenerated into idiocy, at which point I took my leave. I'd rather give up than waste time with inane crap like this.
Much like I've given up on the antiquated and stupid state of patent law. I've written about the absurdity of the US patent system before, but without using curse words. Today I feel like writing about it again, but this time I can't be as generous in watching my language (much like Eddie Murphy in RAW)...
If you're not afraid of the word "fuck" and aren't bothered by mindless ranting, then feel free to proceed...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Monday, August 13th, 2007
Well crap. Mike Wieringo has died.
I'm a regular reader of his blog, and loved the way he treated his fans to numerous sketches and drawings on a regular basis. So imagine my shock and sadness when today's entry was a notice that Mike had passed away.
I realize that 99% of people are going to be saying "Mike Wier-who?!?" and have no idea who he is, but to comic book fans, this is a crushing blow. Mike Wieringo was an incredibly gifted artist who I envied on just about every possible level for his talent. If I were to describe his drawing style, I think "economical" sums it up nicely. The guy had this uncanny ability to use just the exact amount of line-work necessary in his art, and was never compelled to scribble in anything unneeded to camouflage his shortcomings... mainly because he didn't have any shortcomings. This stylistic approach gave him a beautifully clean style of drawing, which he enhanced with an exaggerated perspective that made everything he drew leap off the page...
Mike's Art for Fantastic Four #509
My favorite work by Wieringo was his collaboration with Mark Waid on The Fantastic Four. I treasured every issue they worked on, and consider their run to be among the best FF stories ever made... right up there with the Lee/Kirby originals. I've re-read my trade paperback collections of those issues numerous times, and it is never lost on me just how much humor, imagination, and humanity that Wieringo managed to inject into those stories. Boy will he be missed.
I'm feeling lazy, so it must be time for... One Sentence Commentary!
The new iMacs... Sublimely beautiful, fairly powerful, and ultimately well thought-out.
The new Apple keyboard... Initially confusing, ultimately delicious... I love mine!
Karl Rove is retiring... Good riddance, you evil fucker.
John From Cincinnati cancelled... Did anybody like this horrible mess of a show?*
Merv Griffin dies... "So I came to Europe to kill... and it's really worked out very well for me!"
SCO doesn't own Unix... Sucks to be you, losers!
Ugh. I am really, really behind in my blog reading. And my email. And my work. And my comics. And my television shows (BURN NOTICE!!). And my snail-mail. And my laundry. And my life, I guess. Where does the time go?
*And wasn't that like the WORST season-ending episode ever? I still think that John Monad was actually Shaun Yost from an alternate-reality future with a scrambled brain, but that's just the comic book geek in me talking.
Posted on Monday, August 20th, 2007
My work schedule keeps changing. One minute I've got two days before I start... the next minute I've got two hours. This makes any grand adventure out of the question, so I decided to just wander down toward Milwaukee and catch a movie or something.
But first, breakfast.
Since it was 11:30am before I got my work situation figured out, I missed my breakfast window of opportunity... but still wanted breakfast. Remembering that Cracker Barrel serves breakfast all day, I decide to see if there's a location near me. Thanks to iPhone, stuff like this is simple...
And, just like that, iPhone pops up with the nearest Cracker Barrel down on County Line Road Q in Menomonee Falls (if Apple ever adds a GPS unit, that would eliminate step 2...hint, hint). Have I said how much I totally love my iPhone?
After a plate of eggs and corn bread muffins with a side of grits, I consult iPhone once again to see what movies are playing at the AMC down at the Mayfair Mall. Turns out that Superbad doesn't start until 1:40, so I decide to take a look at the new Apple Store at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale before I go. I have no idea where that is but, once again, iPhone comes to the rescue with detailed maps and driving directions, complete with traffic status. How did I ever get along in life without it?
The Glendale Apple Store is nice enough, but it turns out that Bayshore Town Center is a kind of elitist-fascist shopping area with a "Code of Conduct" posted at the entrances. Rules include "no congregating in groups of more than four people" and "no profanity" and "you must carry photo identification" and "no unauthorized photography." This kind of scary crap made me feel very much out of place and unwelcome, so I decided to bail. But not before screaming "FUCK YOU BAYSHORE TOWN CENTER" at the top of my lungs and taking this completely unauthorized photo of the Apple Store there...
Surprisingly, this anti-conduct behavior did not cause a swarm of security guards to come beat me up and kick me out of Bayshore Town Center as I expected. It's too bad, because then I would have REALLY had something to blog about.
Then I was off to the much more sane and friendly Mayfair Mall, where I arrived just in time to see Superbad. Except not really. Once the twenty minutes of commercials, advertising, previews, and crap had aired, THEN I got to see the movie.
Superbad was pretty darn funny, and seeing Michael Cera on the big screen just makes me miss Arrested Development all the more. Oddly enough, however, I found the main story-line with Jonah Hill to be kind of annoying... it was the sub-plot with two cops played by Bill Hader (funnier here than he's ever been on Saturday Night Live) and Seth Rogen (who co-wrote Superbad) that completely stole the show for me. Funny, funny, stuff... McLovin.
Almost as funny as when I went to pick up my rental car yesterday and saw that two guys had decided to ignore the warning signs, arrows, and big-ass spikes so they could exit through the entrance gate...
I hope that they purchased the full insurance coverage option on their rental. But I'm guessing that they probably didn't, because once I got inside I noticed them in a heated discussion with the manager. I think that they were actually trying to blame him for their mistake, so good luck with that guys!
And now I'm at work. But I can't hook my laptop up to internet here for some reason, so heaven only knows when I'll get to post this (my schedule has me working straight through until 9:00am). Bleh. Maybe I can escape for a midnight "lunch break" or something.
UPDATE: And so I run back to my hotel where I will have internet to post this, and decide to stop at McDonald's for a large fries and a chocolate shake. But when I get to my room and open the bag, I see that my large fries is only HALF-FULL!!! Frickin' rip-off McDonald's bastards! Is nothing sacred?
Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2007
On top of having the ebola virus (or whatever), I find myself to be in a really cranky mood. I was forced to leave work early because my eyes would not stop watering, and so now I'm even farther behind than ever. Just writing this blog entry is a huge effort that's probably going to take forever. Since I am mostly incoherent, I should probably just lay down some bullet-points full of whining and be done with it.
• Desktritus... Avitable has picked up on a meme whereas you share a photo of your desk. Of course, anything Avitable does seems to propagate through the blogosphere like a wildfire, meaning that if I don't participate there must be something wrong with me (even RW is doing it!). The problem is that there IS something wrong with me and I'm at home sick. This means I can't snap a photo of my nicely-organized work desk... oh no! I have to use a photo of my home desk, which is pretty much a disaster area that should be condemned...
Here you go Avitable, you bastard!
0) Business cards from people I will never contact, 1) A stack of books to read (probably recommended by Vahid), 2) A bottle of melatonin, 3) A pencil cup with my Maui shark keychain and assorted pens, 4) A plastic bag with a defective camera lens in it, 5) Two tarot card decks (I'm making my own Bad Monkey Tarot, and need them for reference), 6) An unused plastic rain poncho I got from Disney World, 7) A shot glass from my trip to the Hard Rock Lisbon, 8) Coin cups from the Hard Rock Casino Las Vegas with loose change inside, 9) My Rosetta Stone French course, 10) My Mac G4 Cube that I can't bear to get rid of, 11) A container full of Lego pieces, 12) A spare blanket from my car, 13) A container with Farscape trading cards and autographed photos of the cast, 14) A bag of rejected shirts from the Artificial Duck Store, 15) A box of souvenir crap from my trip to China, 16) A bag with an original Chris Ware print from a trip to Chicago needing to be framed, 17) A container filled with Japanese manga comics, 18) A tube with a poster from my trip to The Vatican Museum, 19) A hardcopy of my book, 20) A stack of comics I've read and need to file away, 21) A mess of cables and a LiveStrong bracelet, 22) A voodoo doll from my trip to New Orleans that really works, 23) My Sully plush from Monsters Inc., 24) My old Nintendo DS, 25) My Batman alarm clock that Karl gave me at TequilaCon, 26) My iPhone and glasses, 27) My MacBook Pro, 28) Old film negatives that I need to send in for scanning, 29) Comics to read, 30) Buttons left over from Davecago2, 31) Comics to read after I have a few more issues.
Yeah, that's pretty bad. But, in my defense, I've been traveling and working a lot and haven't had much time to clean it up around my home.
• Theft... I am constantly getting emails from people telling me of dumbasses who steal stuff from Blogography and try to pass it off as their own. Whenever I confront these idiots, it's always the same story... "I just wanted to share it with my readers!" Well, if that's all you wanted, then why not link to the original source? Or, if you simply must post it on your site, why not at least credit where you took it from? Otherwise, you're nothing more than a douchebag thief, passing off somebody else's work as your own.
My Creative Commons license is very generous. As long as you aren't a commercial site making money off my stuff, go ahead and take anything you want... as long as you credit me as the creator with a link to the source material. If you don't credit the source, you're breaking my copyright and the law. If you post my material on a site whose primary function is selling advertising, that's a commercial site and your're breaking my copyright and the law (even if you credit the source). It's not rocket science, it's the difference between right and wrong, and I'm tired of it. If you are totally incapable of saying anything original and have to steal all your content, then just give it up you thieving hack.
• NBC... I pay for DirecTV, so I don't buy many television shows online. I prefer to wait for the DVD. The only exception are those times I miss an episode, or I'll buy shows just to have something to watch when I'm stuck somewhere without entertainment. This is why Apple's iTunes Store is so great... it's so easy to buy a shows whenever you want. The $1.99 price tag is a bit steep for what you get, but I'm willing to pay the money for the convenience of it all. Except now NBC Television has decided to pull out of the iTunes Store because they want $4.99 per episode, and Apple (quite rightly) said no. IS NBC OUT OF THEIR FUCKING MINDS? Let's take a look at current options for obtaining television programs. As an example, I am using the first season of NBC's hit program Heroes...
Who in their right mind would pay $4.99 for a television show that's of low quality, has DRM crap encoded in it, is more expensive than a DVD set loaded with extras, comes without any storage media, and is more expensive than even HD-DVD? NOBODY! That's who! Digital delivery of files is the cheapest possible method of distribution with practically no benefits (except convenience) yet the legal options for buying it always cost the most. That is totally fucked up. Fuck NBC. Fuck them up their stupid, greedy asses. And bravo to Apple for not caving to idiocy, and being willing to lose money rather than compromise to a no-win situation.
• Adobe... After having had to get my MacBook repaired because of a TSA agent dropping my battery on it and denting the case, something was wacky with the hard drive and I had to reformat it. This is no big deal, I keep full backups of my data, and I don't mind reinstalling my software. Unless that software comes from Adobe. Because of their new online activation bullshit, I ended up having to call in to get technical assistance so I could access software I PURCHASED DIRECTLY FROM ADOBE. This idiocy is meant to stop software piracy, but all it does is piss me off (meanwhile, cracked versions of the software are available on BitTorrent, which means that it doesn't stop piracy in the first place). What kind of company purposefully initiates a scheme whose only effect is making their loyal customers hate them? Why do I pay these idiots to treat me like a criminal?
• Finale... Eh, that's enough bitching for one day. I'm going to see if a couple of tubs of chocolate pudding will make me feel any better.
Posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2007
Except for the fact that I'm coughing my head off at random intervals for no apparent reason, and still feel tired all the time, I'm finally kinda back to normal.
Except for these bizarre food cravings I keep having. Out of nowhere I'll suddenly be dying for some random food... like saltwater taffy... or beef jerky... or a fifth of Jack Daniels. Or, more likely, a fifth of Jack Daniels with saltwater taffy and beef jerky. It doesn't make any sense. I mean, saltwater taffy sticks to your teeth, I don't eat meat, and my alcohol of choice is Jägermeister. So why?
The answer is simple.
I didn't survive my sickness. It killed me. I died.
AND NOW I AM BACK FROM THE DEAD AND CRAVING HUMAN FLESH!
Well, not really human flesh, but I sure could go for a donut. A Dunkin' Donut with pink frosting...
A pity that there's no Dunkin' Donuts anywhere in Washington State.
I guess I'll just have to settle for that fifth of Jack Daniels.
And now, because I was recovering yesterday and didn't feel like writing...
And, before I forget, since I've been emailed about it a dozen times...
The only question now is... what will I spend my $100 in Apple-money on?
Hey. Wait a second...
DAMN YOU STEVE JOBS AND YOUR BRILLIANT $100 APPLE STORE CREDIT PLAN TO ROB ME OF SIXTEEN-THOUSAND-SIX-HUNDRED-AND-SIXTEEN DOLLARS OF MY HARD-EARNED MONEY!!
If it's even possible, I think I love Steve Jobs even more than I did yesterday... that evil genius bastard.
Posted on Friday, September 28th, 2007
Apple released a really nifty iPhone upgrade last night. One of the coolest new features is being able to buy music directly from your iPhone over wireless networks. It's really easy to use, and iPhone transfers your purchases back to your computer the next time you sync... sweet! They've also made some other improvements, like increasing the speaker volume (which was badly needed) and adding some shortcuts to make using iPhone easier. I love that iPhone can be improved and upgraded like this, and can't wait to see what Apple comes up with next!
In celebration of iPhone's new upgrade, I'm releasing some of the wallpapers I've been using on my own iPhone. A few people have been asking about them for a while now, and so I've put them in an extended entry (scroll to the bottom and click "continue reading"). As if there wasn't already enough reasons to own an iPhone, here are twelve more...
But before we get to the wallpapers... here is a wrap-up of the new shows I've seen for this new season, ranked from best to worst...
And now for iPhone wallpapers...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Saturday, October 27th, 2007
MacOS X 10.5 Leopard is mine at last.
It's been a while since I had looked at the Leopard Developer Build, but the finished product seems pretty much the same to me. After working with it for a few hours, I can say that I am pretty happy with the upgrade. There are several new features and cool tools that make the $199 I spent for the "5 User Family Pack" worth the money (it's $129 if you are upgrading a single machine). Most of my problems with Leopard are aesthetic in nature (the new folder icons are heinous and indistinguishable, the new Dock is a mess, and the new translucent menu bar is confusing, to name a few)... this is probably a good thing, because they will be the easiest to fix (just waiting for a new version of CandyBar!).
So way to go Apple! After how badly Microsoft wrecked Windows with Vista, it's nice to see that Mac users aren't going to be suffering the same fate. I'm loving Leopard...
And now it's time to put the computer away and go play...
Posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
This is my obligatory entry dedicated to Apple's latest release of MacOS X version 10.5, code-name "Leopard." As a Certified Mac Whore, it's unavoidable.
Yet, I realize that most everybody reading this probably doesn't care about my Macintosh obsession, so I am also publishing pictures of a freaky-ass fountain that was built on Piazza Navona in Rome. It's the Fontana di Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune) and no matter how many times I see it, I still freak out...
The sculpture features a bad-ass god of the seas (Neptune) battling an octopus while naked sea-nymph babes ignore him. That much I get. Well, not entirely, because it doesn't make much sense that the god of the seas would go around stabbing octopuses for no apparent reason, but whatever. This part of the statue is relatively sane. What bothers me is everything else. Starting with the freaky little kid playing with a crab on the head of some kind of water demon...
Well, at least he was playing with the crab before his arm got broken off. But still, WTF? That's some pretty freaky shit right there. Almost as freaky as the kid who's trying to rip the tongue out of a horse that's leaping out of the water...
What the horse is doing in the water I have no idea. And from the look on his face, neither does he.
Usually I would attempt to make some kind of story out of all the bizarre stuff that's going on, but I've given up here. Apparently Neptune throws some crazy-ass parties.
And now it's Leopard time. In an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, November 4th, 2007
Las week I had to skip Bullet Sunday so I could attend Avitable's Halloween Bash, but I'm back and fully-loaded this week.
• Sewn! For those who asked, YES I made my own Halloween costume for Avitable's party, and I have pictures to prove it! When I was 13, my grandmother taught me how to use her sewing machine, and so I borrowed it from her to make my "Holo-Virus Rimmer" garb. Despite not having touched a sewing machine in over 20 years, I was able to pick it up again fairly quickly. I started with a McCall's pattern for a Wizard of Oz Dorothy dress, then modified it so it would fit by using an old shirt I had laying around as a sizing guide...
The main part of the dress was pretty easy to make, since it was just a big tube sewn to a kind of "vest"...
The tough part was making the sleeves, because they had to be big and puffy. The pattern's instructions were all crappy and vague about how to do this, so I used hundreds of straight pins to tack it all together. After that, I just ran the sewing machine around them and hoped for the best. This worked surprisingly well...
But the hardest part of the costume by far was the bonnet. Again, I used hundreds of pins to create the gathers and hold the elastic in place so I could just sew over the whole thing. To create the pigtails, I butchered a "Rapunzel" wig and braided it over some wire when I got to my hotel room in Orlando (can you imagine trying to get that through airport security?)...
All that was left was to put on some combat boots I bought when I was in Seattle and wear Mr. Flibble on my hand (if you want a Mr. Flibble of your own, you can get them on sale at WHO North America)...
• Wonder! Question of the day... If the WonderWorks attraction ever goes out of business in Orlando, what do they do with the building?
As I was walking past WonderWorks on my way to lunch at Johnny Rockets last Saturday, it occurred to me that it's not like they could take a giant up-side-down building and turn it into an Applebees or something. Might make a good giant upside-down McDonalds though. I've driven past WonderWorks many times, but have never gone inside... preferring to spend my time at DisneyWorld and Universal Studios instead.
• Strike! Uhhhh.... yeah, I totally support the writers on this one. If Hollywood big media is making money off of material being distributed on the internet, then writers of that material deserve to get a cut. The argument that no money is being made with digital distribution is absurd but, even if it were true, a percentage of nothing is nothing, so what's the problem? I remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached quickly on this (and other issues), because I needs me my TV. If the strike drags on and we end up with nothing but crappy reality shows, I'll go homicidal.
• Birthday! Hey! Today is Hilly's birthday! Drop by her blog and wish her a good one!
• Cut! My sliced finger is feeling much better, so thanks to everybody who was asking about it. I cleaned the wounds pretty good with hydrogen peroxide, so no infection! Anybody who has to put together metal shelving should know that the turned-over edges are still totally sharp and should be avoided.
My final bullet point is stuck in an extended entry because it's a rebuttal to a comment I got on my Macintosh Leopard ramblings from yesterday. And now that this entry is done, I'm off to work... yay!→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on Sunday, November 11th, 2007
Freezing my ass off in Central Washington on this cold and dreary Bullet Sunday. I guess it's time to pull the blankets out of storage.
• Mean. For anybody who cares, yesterday's entry about mean people sucking was not because somebody was mean to me... it was because I saw some total douchebag be mean to somebody else. I didn't even know the person, but watching them visibly deflate because of such unwarranted cruelty was too much to take.
• Mac. Speaking of mean... Apple's new-found success is causing them to be a little mean and more than a little cocky. First of all, Leopard's icon for any PC's on your network is a piece-of-junk CRT monitor showing the "Windows Blue Screen of Death". It's built right into the operating system...
And now, the latest batch of Get-A-Mac ads are borderline-cruel in making fun of all the people (like me) who have dumped Windows Vista and downgraded back to Windows XP because it sucks less...
Ordinarily I would find these things funny (because the truth always is), but I can't help but think that this new attitude is going to come back and bite Apple in the ass. When they were an underdog, it was semi-forgivable. But now that Leopard is a run-away hit, Mac sales are growing more every day, the iPod has taken the world by storm, and the iPhone is kicking ass... well, the only thing people like more than an underdog coming out on top is watching them fall. Somebody should remind Apple about this before things go too far.
• Blu-Ray. I have finally chosen sides in the Hi-Def DVD war and, for me, it's Blu-Ray over HD-DVD. It all came down to one thing: Ratatouille is only available on Blu-Ray. This animated masterpiece by über-director Brad Bird (of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles fame) simply begs to be seen in hi-def. I can't imagine buying such a sublimely beautiful film in "regular" DVD, so it was finally time to bite the bullet...
• South Park. Once again, South Park is riding on the edge of pop culture by spoofing on Guitar Hero. Just when I think that the show can't possibly continue to be relevant after 11 years, they find some way to prove me wrong. Frickin' hilarious...
• Cinema. Is it just me, or are there no really good movies in the pipeline? Now that I think about it, the only really good movie I saw in recent memory was Ratatouille back in June. Transformers (the last movie I saw) wasn't too bad, but that was back in July. And now what have we got? Love in the Time of Cholera? Really? Give me a break. I liked The Golden Compass as a series of books, so maybe it won't suck too bad when it's released on December 7th. And then the 21st of December sees the release of a National Treasure sequel and Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd... both of which might be worth a look, but I hardly think my socks will be blown off. Here's hoping the mysterious "Cloverfield" project will live up to the hype come January 18th, because Batman: The Dark Knight won't hit until next summer.
Anyway... adding my thanks to those who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces this Veteran's Day.
Posted on Friday, November 23rd, 2007
Four days ago Apple sent me an invitation to a "shopping event" at their online store. When you read the fine print at the bottom, it says that the sale starts at 12:01am on November 23rd. But not really. Because I went to the store at 12:01am and all I got was a sign saying that the store was closed because it was busy being updated.
But that turned out to be a lie too. It's now 12:45, and the store is still down...
Normally, the Apple Whore Apologist in me would just assume that they were having some temporary problems updating their store and needed a little extra time to sort it out. No big deal.
But the recent mean-spirited ads and attitude taken by Apple which make fun of Windows' many failings while claiming that Apple is perfect because everything "just works" has me thinking different.
Now I'm thinking that Apple is being run by a bunch of douchebags, because of things exactly like this. They are not perfect... sometimes their shit does not work... and sometimes they have embarrassing moments where they show failings of their own. Like right now as I sit here waiting.
And if a long-time Apple Whore who worships Steve Jobs, loves Macs with a passion, and buys everything Apple makes (like me) is starting to get pissed off because of their smack-talk backfiring... what must the general public think of Apple when stuff like this happens?
Apple needs an attitude adjustment very, very quickly. Because continuing in this direction cannot end well.
UPDATE: And finally, at 12:55am, the store is back up. But the "sales event" where Apple invites you to "save big" is pretty pathetic. Save 7% on an iMac? Save 5% on an iPod nano? Save 9% on an iPod Classic? Whoop-de-frickin'-do. In my mind "BIG savings" is 20% minimum, and even that's lame for a Black Friday event where other retailers are going crazy with massive cuts of 25% to 50% (or even higher) with their sales. Apple does offer bigger discounts on 3rd party items... but no better than the everyday discount price you'd get from places like Buy.com or Amazon (the one exception being a whopping $202 savings on a Xacti digital camcorder... why, I have no idea... a mistake, I'd guess).
Worth the 55-minute wait? Hardly. I'm a sad Apple Whore right now.
Posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
Well that sucked ass. One trip down, three to go before the end of the year (and still three more in January). I'm so happy I think I might die. If I don't drop into a sleep-deprived coma first.
I keep re-living the horror of having to sleep in a bathtub Monday night. And every time I do, I think back to Tyrone the seeing-eye dog and how he had to stay all scrunched up under two people's feet for 3-1/2 hours on a plane and wonder if doggies retain memories of bad things in their lives, or if they just forget about them the minute they've ended. If that's the case, I really envy dogs.
A lot of crap happened in the past three days and, since I haven't been around, so we're going to catch up bullet-style...
• Mind the Gap. As an American bloke fascinated by foreign accents, I have no problem admitting that I'm a little smitten by the lovely voice of the London Underground announcements every time I visit. Turns out the lovely woman who creates them, Emma Clarke, was recently fired because of some comments that came out of a series of spoof Underground announcements she did for her site (and don't overlook her blog, which is great). This makes me very sad, and I hope that this terrible mistake is soon rectified so I can be happy again...
• Olympical. Turns out not all international news is bad. Beautiful Vancouver, BC (my neighbor to the north) has just released the mascots for the 2010 Olympic Games, and they're great! Whoever came up with the idea of using a sasquatch as mascot is a frickin' genius. I cannot wait until they start selling Quatchi plush toys...
• Macintosh Bargains. Just dropped a nice chunk of cash at the European-Indie Programmers "Give Good Food to your Mac Promotion," which has a line-up of incredible Macintosh programs at ridiculous bundle prices (anywhere from 30% to 70% off depending on how much you buy). These are not crappy bottom-drawer apps that nobody wants, they're all high-quality, totally professional releases you can't live without! I bought an even dozen... some I probably don't need but, at 70% off, I couldn't resist.
• Kindling. Finally got to play with an Amazon Kindle digital book. It's worse than I thought, which is pretty bad. In a day and age where the bar for stunning design in physical structure, user interface, and usability has been set so incredibly high (thanks Apple!)... how can companies release such total crap and think people won't notice? Here was an opportunity to finally get digital book distribution just the boost it needed to go mainstream, and Amazon totally dropped the ball. Tragic. If you are considering the purchase of one of these DRM-laden, hideously expensive, ugly-as-sin monstrosities... I highly recommend seeing one in person before parting with your hard-earned money.
• Daisies. Yet another amazing episode of Pushing Daisies is unfolding tonight. I sure hope the rumors of the writers strike being settled are true, because I needs me the new television shows! Death by pink goo... what a way to go.
And with that, I should probably get some sleep. I've got a full day tomorrow before heading out again.
Posted on Sunday, December 23rd, 2007
It's Bullet Sunday from the City by The Bay. Originally, I wanted to fly back home today, but there were no flights available, so I had to wait until tomorrow. Oh well. It's hard to complain about getting to spend a free day in San Francisco.
• Lost Luggage. My missing suitcase was found and everything worked out okay after all. This makes me happy, because the last time I flew into San Francisco and my luggage was lost, I never saw it again.
• Kentucky Girl. Once I had clean clothes at last, I took BART into the city so I could have lunch with Kentucky Girl today. It went something like this...
Well, not really... but we did have sandwiches made by San Francisco's slowest deli where she tried to kill me with a potato chip. And then I took KG to Chinatown so I could introduce her to the crack cocaine substitute known as Golden Gate Fortune Cookies. After that, we shopped for crappy gifts and wandered around laughing our asses off until we ended up back at the BART station where we went our separate ways. Until we meet again my partner in cookie crime.
• Vending Hell. I was going to grab a couple of slices of pizza for dinner, but didn't end up in a pizza kind of mood. I then decided to enjoy a hotel vending machine dinner and have a big breakfast instead. Armed with a stack of dollar bills, I headed to the vending vestibule and found... nothing good at all. Not even a Snickers. It was all weird brands of chips and cookies and crap. After trying a few bags of "snacks" and finding them repugnant, I suddenly find myself in a "pizza kind of mood" after all. But it's too late now, so I guess I'm having fortune cookies and a Coke for dinner. Good thing I bought four bags of them.
• Death Scene. Bad Robert called to ask me if I had bought the Blu-Ray 5-disc set of Bladerunner (I had) and whether or not I had checked the fifth disc because there were manufacturing errors (I hadn't). After he told me that he was watching yet another version of the movie, he mentioned that Rutger Hauer's death scene was one of the best ever filmed. I agreed, at which point I had to mention that the most shocking and disturbing death scene I've ever seen in film was in Galaxy Quest when Quellek (Patrick Breen) dies while Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) tries to comfort him after he's been shot. I was not expecting such a sad and touching moment in a comedy film, and it's haunted me ever since. Yet another reason I think Galaxy Quest is one of the most perfect (and underrated) movies of all time...
"By Grabthar's hammer, you shall be avenged!" Photo taken from The Questorian Site.
• Beauty Beholder. And so I'm sitting here enjoying my fortune cookies and Coke when suddenly a commercial for Dell's XPS "all-in-one" iMac killer shows up on my television. They keep talking about how beautiful it is and I nearly choke to death laughing my ass off at the absurdity of it all. I mean... I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and aesthetics are all subjective and stuff... but this janky piece of plastic is supposed to be beautiful?? It's got all these freaky angles with ugly chunks hanging off of it, and looks like ass...
IT'S STUNNING BECAUSE WE SAY SO, DAMMIT!!
When you look at the stunning curves and elegant simplicity of the iMac, the Dell just looks like a cheap piece of 1980's junk in comparison...
I know I'm a Total Mac-Whore and everything, but this is just hilarious. Why is it that nobody can design a good-looking computer except Apple? Surely Dell can afford to hire designers who are capable of making an attractive computer for PC users? Or do they think they can just say something is "beautiful" and it makes it true? I'm stunned alright.
And now I need to pack my suitcase so I can fly home in the morning for one night only. The jet-set lifestyle I lead is so glamorous.