Posted on Wednesday, January 4th, 2017
Every ten years or so, discussion starts up on dividing Washington into two states. It never really goes anywhere... mostly because it can't go anywhere... but we'll get to that in a minute.
But first, here we go again...
Early last December, dumbass politicians from Spokane (the biggest city in Eastern Washington) announced they wanted to split Washington in half and officially create a new state called "Liberty." The argument being that we here in the East are tired of godless liberal politicians in Seattle telling the people of Redneckistan how to live their lives, and we need to go our own way.
The statement is not completely unfounded, but it is stupid.
Eastern Washington has about twice the land but one third the population of Western Washington. This means that State government doesn't give a shit about Redneckistan, because the people who get them elected are west of the Cascades. It doesn't take a genius to guess who politicians are going to spend their time, effort, and money keeping happy. This creates eternal conflict between East and West which, four years ago, I summarized in a cartoon that went like this...
That's pretty much my home state in a nutshell.
The problem is that Eastern Washington can't just up and decide to split off from the state. First we'd need a majority of Washingtonians to support it. Then we'd need an act of Congress to actually do the deed. And while I'm sure there are plenty of people in Western Washington that would just love to tell Redneckistan to fuck off and don't let the door hit your ass as you leave... I can't imagine that a majority of people on either side of the state would want the split. Nor can I imagine Congress supporting such a thing.
Hence the "stupid" part of the equation.
Which is where dumbass politicians keep wasting everybody's time and money with idiotic bullshit like this. And, in what seems to be a growing trend, there are actually people here in Redneckistan totally buying into it even though a split would be against their own self-interest.
A moot point given that it ain't gonna happen, but frustrating just the same.
Fortunately, Washingtonians always have something they can come together and rally behind...
Yes. Go sports teams, go.
Posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2017
If I had a nickel for every time I've heard somebody tried to use "The Bible" as their argument... when they clearly have no idea what they're talking about or what The Bible is actually saying... I'd have a lot of nickels.
And it drives me insane.
You would think that people would make an effort to understand a book they're (purportedly) devoting their lives to, but that's apparently asking too much. Rarely can you find somebody who can name The Ten Commandments... let alone put what scraps of Scripture they think they know into Biblical context.
This exchange on Tell Me Everything is a classic example...
But so very typical.
Posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2017
There's hope for 2017, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• WALL! And so now The American People are going to have to pay for President Pussy-Grabber's idiotic Mexico border wall. As if there were ever any doubt. Can I just have the $25 instead? Giving everybody in the US $25 would be just as effective as this HYSTERICAL LEVEL OF DUMBFUCKERY would be in protecting the country. Look, it's not going to work. It's not going to stop drugs. It's not going to stop illegal immigration. And it's FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO BUILD THIS BULLSHIT IN THE FIRST PLACE... JUST ASK ANY ARCHITECT! — And Trump's 8 Billion price tag is a joke. It's going to run billions over that in costs AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. And the price doesn't even include the outrageous cost of maintaining such a wall... which is BILLIONS more. This is absolutely one of the most stupid fucking things I have ever heard of. It's a security blanket for total morons, and we're all going to have to pay the price. And if you honestly believe that Mexico is going to reimburse us for the final cost of something that doesn't even work? You need a serious reality check.
• Home! I'm a big fan of unique houses, and just when I think I've seen it all, something cool like this comes along...
Yeah... I'd have figured out a way to have a bathroom up there, but other than that? What an awesome place to call home!
• LARSENNNNNNN! I head to Antarctica for a photography expedition in 324 days. After wanting to visit for decades, I finally decided to throw finances to the wind and go this year because every time I see Antarctica in the news, it's because another chunk of the ice shelves is breaking off. And scientists are saying another massive chunk is about to go...
A map of Larsen C's iceberg by MIDAS/Swansea University/Aberystwyth University
Now I'm just hoping that enough of Antarctica holds together for me to see it come December...
• This is It! If you're into cheesy Norman Lear comedies from the 1970's, then have I got a treat for you. Netflix has used that same framework to delve into contemporary issues by remaking One Day At A Time with a Cuban twist. It's a glorious trip back in time that's about as well-done as comedy gets...
As if that weren't enough, they had Gloria Estefan remake the theme song with a latin twist...
I really, really hope that this critically acclaimed show gets a second season. There's a lot more to be said.
• Maui! I was saddened to learn that the Hard Rock Cafe in Maui closed this past week. This was my very first Hard Rock, and is what got me into traveling the world to visit 165 more of them (and counting!). It had the perfect location at the end of Front Street in Lahaina, and was about the most laid-back cafe you could hope for when vacationing in Hawaii. From my DaveCafe blog...
While vacationing with friends in Maui (circa August 1990), we were wandering around Lahaina looking for a place to eat. As we came to the end of the Front Street tourist shopping district, one of us spied a place called “Hard Rock Cafe” in an unassuming building across the street. It sounded like fun, so away we went.
Little did I realize how my life would change after that moment.
At the time I remember thinking “The Hard Rock Cafe is such a great idea… it’s like eating in the middle of a Rock-n-Roll museum!” I hadn’t seen anything like it, and was so impressed I bought a couple pins at the gift shop. When we went back to Lahaina a few days later, I ended up buying a denim jacket that I still have today.
When I got back home, I discovered that there were 22 other Hard Rock Cafes around the world. But none of them were in Seattle, which is why I hadn’t heard of them before. Some were in places I might visit one day (San Francisco, New York, Chicago)… but others seemed like impossible destinations I’d never see (Reykjavik, Stockholm, Singapore).
How wrong I was.
As time went on, I started traveling more and more, and managed to see some Hard Rock Cafes along the way. Pretty soon I found myself traveling to places specifically to see the cafes there. By that point I was becoming obsessed, and set a goal to visit 50 properties before the end of the year 2000, 10 years after my first visit in Maui. That I did in December of 2000 when I vacationed in Rome, Italy. I always thought that once I reached my goal, that would be the end of it all, but I was wrong again. I kept going, visited properties around the globe and adding to my growing collection of pins, T-shirts, and glassware.
I owe a great debt to the Hard Rock Cafe for exposing me to places I probably never would have seen if not for their restaurants, hotels, and such. Amazing places like Warsaw, Poland… Bali, Indonesia… and Lisbon, Portugal (to name a few). Even nifty places here in the USA that I never would have gone to if not for checking another cafe off my list. I may go for the Hard Rock, but I always stay for all the other wonders these places offer.
And there are still so many places yet to see.
You will be missed...
And, while we're on the subject...
The original Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas (in front of the Hard Rock Hotel) has also closed. Probably because they opened a second cafe on The Strip, and there wasn't enough room for two of them. This is a shame, because the original had a much better "Hard Rock feel" to it... as opposed to the "Hipster Lounge" style that they've got going now.
Ah well. Progress and all that.
I'm outta bullets, so have a good week, everybody!
Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2017
Though Trump was never mentioned by name, Meryl Streep's speech at The Golden Globes clearly condemned his horrendous mockery of disabled Pulitzer Prize-Winning investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski.
Trump says he never did that. Would never do that. And he was merely imitating the reporter "groveling."
Anybody who has seen the video (and understands the context of the video) knows that this is a complete lie. Our President Elect was clearly mocking the reporter. There is no other way of interpreting it.
Photos from CNN video and an uncredited article at Heavy, which summarizes everything.
How such an outright disgusting act wasn't a dealbreaker for his campaign, I will never know. Or understand.
Because this right here encompasses everything people should loathe about Donald J. Trump... and everything that's wrong with him representing our country.
I guess his supporters believed this obvious lie from a sea of his obvious lies, and mocking a disabled person was something they could overlook?
Not that lying is exclusive to Republican candidates by any means... politicians will be politicians, after all.
But there are some things that should be impossible to overlook.
Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2017
Tonight one of my worst fears nearly came true.
I went out the front door to drag the trash can from my driveway to my house. After I finished, I went back to open the screen door and noticed that I had left the front door behind it slightly ajar. For some reason I glanced down before opening the screen door and saw... Jake. I pounded on the glass to scare him the hell out of the kitchen before going inside. And then broke out into a cold sweat when I realized that, had I not seen him, it's likely he would have darted outside. The little bastard.
I have done everything I can think of to keep the cats out of the kitchen for just this reason. I even bought "scat mats" to discourage them from stepping foot inside. Touch the mat, and they get an electric shock. That worked for all of two days. On day three, they just started jumping over it...
Eventually they learned that I would yell at them if I caught them in the kitchen... so they started only doing it at night when I was asleep. After I realized what was happening, I had my security system alert me if there was motion in the kitchen after I go upstairs for the night.
Eventually they learned that even if I wasn't in the room, I could still yell at them if they went into the kitchen if I were home... so they started only doing it when I was away at work. After I realized what was happening, I bought an alarm that would sound if there was motion in the kitchen when I'm away from home.
Eventually they learned that even if I wasn't in the room and wasn't home, there was still punishment for going into the kitchen... SO NOW THEY ARE DOING IT WHEN I AM HOME SO THE ALARM DOESN'T SOUND, OUTSIDE SO I CAN'T SEE THEM, AND DOWNSTAIRS SO I AM NOT ALERTED?!? I mean, come on... exactly how many contingencies do I have to plan for before all bases are covered?
Living with cats is enough to drive one insane.
Especially since the little fuckers still pretend to respect the boundaries that have been set for them. When I'm getting them breakfast in the morning, they wouldn't dream of stepping foot into the kitchen...
But there's no question that they are planning their next kitchen break-in. Conditioning by reward and punishment is never cut and dry where cats are concerned.
Also not in question? How Trump is going to react in any given situation.
If you say or do something which displeases future Lord President Trump, you get the stick...
If you say or do something which pleases future Lord President Trump, you get the carrot...
Never mind that there are plenty of American companies in competition with LL Bean who have done nothing to deserve LL Bean getting preferential treatment and free advertising from their soon-to-be-president. But they didn't donate enough money to Trump to merit such treatment, so tough luck, I guess. Maybe if Lands' End were to put Trump's face on the cover of their next catalog proclaiming him "The Best President Ever!" they too will have Trump telling everybody to buy their stuff.
Which is a disgusting abuse of power by the president, but not entirely unexpected.
I live with cats. Nothing is unexpected to me.
Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2017
This morning I started out the same way I begin every Martin Luther King Jr. Day... by listening to his beautiful I Have a Dream speech in its entirety.
As always, those words have proven relevant and timely in oh so many ways.
A couple days ago Representative John Lewis says he feels that President Elect Trump is an illegitimate president and that he won't be attending the inauguration.
Trump fired back, responding to Lewis by saying he's "All talk, talk, talk - no action or results."
Now, say what you like about Representative Lewis's remarks. You can agree with him. You can disagree with him. Whatever. But to attack somebody who has been at the forefront of The Civil Rights Movement... who marched with Dr. King and was one of The Big Six... who has fought tirelessly for human rights... who has been beaten, jailed, and paid for his activism in blood... to say such a man is "All talk, talk, talk - no action or results"... is the height of ignorance.
Not that ignorance is unknown to Trump, but still...
What's even more disturbing than the President Elect being this stupid is that 74,000+ people "loved" his Twitter dumbassery.
If you're one of them, may I suggest you get yourself a copy of Volumes 1-3 of Representative Lewis's wonderful March graphic novels, which tells the story of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from his perspective. Which is a fairly important perspective since, you know, HE LIVED IT...
And, while you're at it, perhaps you could buy an extra set and send them off to "comedian" Rob Schneider, who felt the need to explain Martin Luther King Day to Representative Lewis...
I don't know if starring in such films as Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and The Hot Chick could be considered a benefit to humanity... so perhaps Rob Schneider has done him part... but still...
You can get the entire March trilogy at Amazon by following this link.
Posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
I first became a fan of Betty White when she played Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show... and proceeded to fall in love with her over her many game show appearances through the 1980's. Then The Golden Girls came along and everybody fell in love with Betty White. She's been an American icon every since.
And today she's 95 years old!
Which got her an interview with Katie Couric...
Happiest of birthdays to you, Betty!
Posted on Friday, January 20th, 2017
Back in 2008, I was an enthusiastic Obama voter. His advocacy for Hope and Change was a message that resonated with my loathing and disgust of the political machine that's been destroying this country for decades. I wasn't necessarily convinced that anything would change for the better... he's still a politician, after all... but I was hopeful that he would at least try and improve government transparency as he had promised in his campaign.
I was disappointed almost immediately. His seat in The White House wasn't even warm before President Obama's administration was classifying documents on ACTA instead of making them public as any government promising transparency would have done. The ACTA discussion was considered a "matter of national security" which was (and still is) fucking bullshit.
Obama and I were off to a bad start.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
But I kept telling myself anything was better than MIA/POW traitor John McCain and the shockingly idiotic Sarah Palin... even though a part of me wondered if that were true. Sometimes you're better off with the devil you know, and I had come to know the devil that is John McCain very well through my MIA/POW advocacy.
This is not to say that I didn't respect and admire Barack Obama as a person. Despite my many disagreements with how he ran things, I honestly think that he felt he was doing his best to represent the American people both at home and abroad. Needless to say, being President of the United States of America is one of the toughest jobs in the world, but President Obama always seemed to handle it with a grace and humanity that belied the horrendously difficult decisions he was called to make every day. He's a true leader who inspires people, which wasn't easy when his political rivals were determined to fight absolutely everything he tried to do and smeared him with hate and lies every single day.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
When it came to his re-election, I went candidate shopping. President Obama had proven a disappointment when it came to transparency and lobbyist reform, so maybe there was somebody else willing to take up the cause? My favorite GOP candidate was Jon Huntsman Jr., but he was (predictably) eviscerated by his own party, leaving us with Romney/Ryan... both of whom I loathed. Instead of voting for Obama as I had done in 2008, I ended up voting against Mitt Romney in 2012.
And so... another four years of President Obama. Maybe since he didn't have to worry about running again, he'd get around to his promises from the first time around?
Not so much.
If anything, government transparency worsened as Obama's administration ramped up drone strikes, expanded spying on American citizens, and made an overall heinous mess of foreign policy that was bad in ways even his most fervent detractors never saw coming. My opinion of President Obama took a dramatic downturn. Partly because I could not grasp how he was failing so badly... but mostly because I didn't understand why he was failing so badly. Sure, Republican opposition to absolutely everything made Obama less effective than he could have been... but things going sideways everywhere from Syria to Israel was clearly in his court.
Despite it all, I still liked the guy. Probably because he made it so difficult to dislike him...
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Obama has always been warm, funny, kind, genuine, and, in so many ways... patriotic... in his service of the USA. Yes, he did some decidedly unpatriotic things, but I'm saying that as an outsider looking in. I don't know what he knows or what information he had that compelled him to make those decisions I didn't agree with. All I know is that there is no doubt Barack Obama cared for his country. And he did so even when his country didn't love him back. When they questioned his citizenship. When they said he was going to declare martial law, round everybody up, and put them in FEMA camps. When they accused him of planning to take everybody's guns. When they labeled him a Muslim terrorist. The list goes on and on. And yet he ultimately managed to rise above it all and become a great president. A few of my favorite hits...
Of course his biggest accomplishment is probably serving two terms without some outrageous personal scandal erupting... quite a feat for a politician!
My admiration for President Obama is only eclipsed by my pride for our First Family. Michelle Obama was the epitome of beauty, style, grace, and heart. She used her position to advocate for those Americans who needed it most. Whether it was veterans in danger of becoming homeless with the Joining Forces Initiative... or children being inundated with unhealthy lifestyles and foods with the Let's Move! Campaign... or girls who were excluded from education around the world with the Let Girls Learn Initiative... our First Lady put in the work to improve the world. That she was also a mother to two wonderful girls who represented their country beautifully (even under the most heinous of circumstances) is just the icing on the cake. When it comes to a First Family, we really lucked out. My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your service.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
And, naturally, the past eight years wouldn't have been the same without "Uncle Joe" Biden by his side. I never gave much thought to the Vice President all these years, but all that changed when I started reading about his tragic history... a history so devastating that I can't fathom how Biden continued to function, let alone serve his country. That such an enduring friendship between President and Vice President managed to come of it is remarkable given the toxic state of American politics (and is a friendship deeper and more heartwarming than I could have guessed). Many thanks, Mr. Vice President.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
We may have had our differences over the years, but that in no way diminishes my appreciation, gratitude, respect, and love for President Barack Hussein Obama, 44th president of The United States of America. I suspect that I will miss you every single day for the next four years.
From the bottom of my heart... thanks, Obama.
Posted on Sunday, January 22nd, 2017
Don't despair that The Age of Darkness is upon us, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Inauguration! No, I didn't watch it. The last thing I felt like doing was celebrating a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, sexist, hypocritical bigot ascending to the highest office in the land. I did see photos in my newsfeed, however, and thought our new First Lady sure was lovely...
Photos from The Associated Press
Though she seemed to be channeling Jackie Kennedy's fashion sense...
But, hey... if you're going to copy somebody, copy the best! Which is apparently what Trump's team did with the inauguration cake.
• Melania! I should confess that I have serious concerns for Melania Trump. What bothers me most is how badly our new First Lady has been slut shamed throughout the campaign because of her past. From all indications, she is doing her absolute best to be respectful to the role she has to play. She was radiant and classy at the inauguration. She seems genuine and sincere about living up to her obligations. She has even said she plans to use her new position to address such horrors as cyber-bullying. What more do you want from her? Go ahead and bash her for swiping First Lady Obama's speech or Jackie's clothes... or whatever... but not for her past, which was hers to live. In all likelihood, Melania Trump may well be the only thing that's half-way decent to come out of the Trump presidency, so cut her some slack.
Because her husband sure doesn't seem to. Facebook was exploding over the fact that President Trump seemed happy to ignore his First Lady at every opportunity. Given how nervous the poor woman appeared, this was kind of shitty... but not surprising. At The White House transition, he didn't bother waiting for her before bounding up the steps... then ignored her when it was time to go inside. Fortunately, President and Mrs. Obama were there to help...
Contrast and compare the same moment from the Bush/Obama transition (45 seconds in)...
And then there's this gem...
Stay strong, Mrs. First Lady!
• Size Matters. President Trump's obsession over the size of his crowd at the inauguration has me laughing so hard I almost can't breath. He even has his press secretary wasting valuable time admonishing the media over it. Like there's nothing more important for him to focus on right now other than how YUGE his crowds were? In all seriousness, YOU'RE THE PRESIDENT OF THE FUCKING UNITES STATES OF AMERICA, YOU PATHETIC PRICK! Is this the kind of petty dumbassery that's going to dominate your presidency for the next four years? Can you imagine the reaction by Republicans if President Obama were to spin his wheels over this kind of inconsequential bullshit? How fucking embarrassing for this country. Our Cheeto-Faced-Ass-Clown-In-Chief must have a penis the size of a Tic-Tac if something this idiotic has him so riled up. I can't wait until President Trump decides to compensate for his small dick by blowing off his YUGE nuclear arsenal. BWAH HA HA HA HAAA! We're all fucking doomed.
• Size Matters? In other news on crowd size... 20 Million Muslims March Against ISIS and The Mainstream Media Completely Ignores It. Because covering such a massive demonstration doesn't fit the media narrative that ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS! How can people complain that Muslims aren't condemning Muslim extremists when something like this is out there?
• Size Matters! And then there was the Women's March on Washington (and numerous other cities) which was an attempt to remind President Trump that the women-folk aren't going to go quietly into the night as their rights are threatened. Whether it's defunding Planned Parenthood where many women in poor and rural communities are able to get care... or restricting access to abortion as guaranteed by The Supreme Court... or continuing to marginalize women when it comes to fair and equal treatment in the workplace... ladies everywhere were marching. Even in Antarctica...
Photo Credit to Linda Zunas
And that's all seven continents.
It would be nice to think that President Trump could take ten fucking minutes away from blowing himself on Twitter to use the march as inspiration to start taking women's issues seriously, but I think we all know that's not going to happen. Between shitting all over our military by saying rape is to be expected for women who enlist... to saying it's hard for women to be attractive if they don't have large breasts... to bragging about him sexually assaulting women... well, his record is pretty clear. And pretty disgusting. March on, ladies.
• Mantra! I keep seeing Republicans condemning people for not rallying behind President Trump "for the good of the country." Which is hypocritically insane given how they did nothing of the sort when President Obama took office. Both times. The unhinged reaction to Obama was based on outlandish shit that was mostly fantasy. The reaction to Trump is based on outlandish shit he's actually said and done. And while I usually attempt to take the high road and "rise above" when faced with this kind of crap, don't expect it this time around. Unless President Trump suddenly rejects all past action to become a shining beacon of tolerance, acceptance, equality, liberty, and freedom... he just doesn't deserve it.
Which is why I'm trying to come up with a song that I can use as a mantra for the next four years. I think I have it narrowed down to two...
It will either be this bit of genius from the movie Popstar by The Lonely Island...
OR... perhaps this classic from Lily Allen...
And that's bullets for this Sunday. Fortunately President Obama never got around to taking our guns, declaring martial law, outlawing Christmas, enacting Sharia Law as a Secret Muslim, executing white people, putting everybody in FEMA camps, forcing everybody to get gay married, starting up death panels... or turned out to be The Antichrist... so I might just be back with more bullets next week.
Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2017
I touched on this yesterday, but the shit is really getting out of hand.
The loathing lobbied at both our former and current First Ladies has reached a level of toxicity so terrible that I'm almost afraid to login to Facebook or open Twitter.
Michelle Obama is one of the most beautiful, accomplished, and classy First Ladies to have ever graced The White House. The horrific racist comments and extreme levels of hate she endured on a daily basis breaks my heart. And yet she rose above and survived eight years of those who would demean, disrespect, and dismiss her. Michelle Obama is a role model of strength and conviction that has inspired the world in more ways than can be counted, and I am ever so grateful to have had her as a part of our First Family.
And now? Melania Trump looks like she's doing her level best to respect her new position and act with grace, dignity, and class. And yet her pick for a husband and past career choices are going to be wrapped around her neck like a boat anchor for the next four years. My heart goes out to her, and I truly hope that she has the strength to endure the hateful attacks that I keep seeing thrown her way over and over. I may loathe President Trump with the heat of a thousand suns, but he's earned that. From all appearances, First Lady Melania Trump has done nothing but try to be a good wife and mother in the face of overwhelming pressure. Her reasoning, her past, and her choices are hers. Until she proves me wrong, I'm just going to accept that she's done the best she can with her life and focus on the shit that actually matters.
But it doesn't end there.
Just as Sasha and Malia were the victims of disgusting attacks by their father's political opponents, now it's Barron Trump's turn.
Barron is 10 years old.
He's a 10 year-old kid.
I'm pretty sure he never signed up for this crap. I'm almost positive that he was never consulted over his father's words, actions, or political policies. He's just trying to be a kid under circumstances that would crush the strongest of adults... at 10 years old. His wealth and privilege aren't even on his radar yet. And nobody knows what his future holds. For all we know, he could abandon it all and become a monk... or dedicate his life to helping the poor... or use his wealth to benefit those in need. He is in a rare position to literally do whatever he wants with his future. Until he proves me wrong, I'm just going to accept that he's doing the best he can with his life and focus on the shit that actually matters.
And, needless to say, there's a lot of shit going on that needs focus right now.
Posted on Sunday, January 29th, 2017
We're all gonna die! Because an all-new Trump-inspired Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Chicago! I could fill this entire Sunday with the psychotic insanity of President Trump's first week in office... but there's numerous places doing a better job than I ever could (like here, here, here, here, here, and here). And yet... it's hard to say nothing in the face of current events. I mean, come on, the guy declared his own inauguration day "National Day of Patriotic Devotion." That alone puts Donald Trump's presidency in vivid relief. But, of course, he didn't stop there. One of his tweets, in addition to showing that he doesn't know how "quotes" work, called out Chicago for their "carnage." Which he will fix by sending in the Feds if they don't handle it to his satisfaction...
Always screencap Trump's tweets... he might delete them.
An interesting aside here...
The FBI released crime data the other day for the first half of 2016. Chicago's murder rate wasn't even in the top 10 among large cities. pic.twitter.com/ra2lyYHbd9— Brad Heath (@bradheath) January 26, 2017
So why does President Trump keep picking on Chicago when there are bigger fish he could call out? Obama, of course. That's where his political career started. It's also where it ended, as that's where President Obama gave his farewell address (Trump claimed two people were shot and killed while Obama was speaking, which turned out to be yet another lie). Trump's obsession with his predecessor will put Chicago in his crosshairs for all eternity. Might as well get used to it...
Except I will never get used to it.
• Protest! For people who think the Muslim Ban Protests are a overreaction... I disagree. Had Donald Trump not banged the anti-Muslim, xenophobic drum so constantly and consistently at all stages of his nomination and election, would the reaction to his temporary, selective ban be seen as something other than a "first step" to deporting and banning Muslims from the country permanently? We will never know. All we have is the hysterical ramblings of Donald Trump from which we can base our interpretation of Donald Trump's actions. Better safe in protest than sorry in despotism, I always say.
• Apples! Just a reminder... Steve Job's father was a Syrian refugee...
• War! Scariest story this week: China military official says war with US under Donald Trump 'becoming practical reality'
Smoke 'em if ya got 'em, everybody!
• Love! With all the horrors awaiting me every time I access the internet, it's nice to see something pop up that's actually good news for once. This is a sweet story that had me wondering for the millionth time how homophobic dumbasses like Michelle Bachmann can spout the kind of hatred she does. These guys could have very easily been killed just for being who they are. That they would somehow CHOOSE "evil homosexually" under such circumstances and endure what they had to go through for four years is insanity. That's adding idiotic complication to something so simple as two people falling in love...
Though I admit that I did laugh when they got that check for $25,000. It's a lot of money, of course... but in Seattle's housing market? LOL! Good luck, gentlemen!
• Welcome! The Netherlands welcomes President Trump!
America First! Yes! But the Netherlands, second. Tremendous.
And... here's to surviving another week!
Posted on Monday, January 30th, 2017
It's going to be a long four years.
Posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
It's going to be a long four years.
Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
It's going to be a long four years.
Posted on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
It's going to be a long four years.
Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2017
It's going to be a long four years.
Posted on Sunday, February 5th, 2017
It's the laziest of Super Bowl Sundays, because an all-new Video Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• The Right God.
• Our Reality.
• Our Reality, Redux.
• What About This Guy?
UPDATE: Here's the full story of Dan Lasko, as told to Pedigree...
Bullet Sunday will be back next week. Assuming there's a Sunday to put bullets on.
Posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2017
Stop what you're doing, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Stuff. This PBS article entitled Sorry, Nobody Wants Your Parent's Stuff is a must-read if you're going to be the one cleaning out the house of a parent, friend, family-member, or loved-one after they pass on. It perfectly describes the sad reality I have been facing with my mom and grandmother's stuff. It's not like it's anything luxurious or expensive... but it's nice stuff that I assumed somebody would want and use. Nope. Can't even give it away... let alone sell it. And I tried absolutely everything I can think of. Dishes, furniture, knick-knacks... all of it ends up in the garbage, because I don't want to leave behind junk nobody wants when I kick the bucket. It's tough to make that call... but the memories aren't there for other people, and getting your head around that makes it easier to do what must be done.
• Reality. I'm just going to leave this link right here, because apparently there are people who need to see it: No One Wants to See ISIS Defeated More Than Muslims
• LEGO Dimensions! Way back in 2015, I reviewed LEGO Dimensions, which combines physical LEGO toys with the adorable puzzle-filled LEGO video games that I've been playing for a decade...
For the most part, I liked the game despite the tedious way that the LEGO toys have to be moved around on the "puzzle pad" to get through the levels... and the fact that you can't play 100% of the game unless you buy the toys required to play some areas that are locked off. For example, I don't care about LEGO Ninjago toys, and don't care if I play the Ninjago World that's in the game. But the main story has some spots where you have to have a Ninjago toy in order to use their "spinjitsu power" to unlock the door for a side-quest. That's pretty shitty. Eventually LEGO got tired of people (rightfully) bitching about this, and came up with "Hire A Hero" so that you can pay LEGO studs in-game to use a character that has a power you need to open a door (or whatever). It's a great solution when it works (sometimes I get to a place that I need to Hire A Hero but am not given the option for some reason). Even so, I'm kind of done with the game. OR WOULD BE IF THEY WOULD STOP RELEASING SUCH AWESOME ADD-ONS TO THE GAME!!! Lately LEGO has been killing it. The Mission: Impossible Level Pack was loads of fun. Ditto for the Adventure Time Level Pack, which was so faithful to the cartoon that you feel like you're INSIDE THE CARTOON. And they didn't stop there... they've got add-ons coming for everything from The A-Team and Knight Rider to Gremlins and The Goonies! Yes, the game-play is more of the same, but there's something about these unlikely but awesome add-ons that keep me playing.
• Akilah, Obviously. If you don't know who Tomi Lauren is, consider yourself lucky and skip this bullet. But if you do know who this moronic piece of shit is, then here's the ever-dreamy Akilah dropping the mic... on her head...
Akilah's entire YouTube channel is gold. I highly recommend checking it out.
• Poor. According to Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia, being born into poverty is apparently a punishable offense. No surprise there. Our government has been doing this for decades. Eliminating living wage jobs then giving power to companies to exploit those caught in the fallout is essentially creating poor people then punishing them for being poor. But, hey... so long as the rich get richer, we'll continue to get the government they purchase for us, so carry on.
Except to say... I wonder if this STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLE even comprehends that, to kids, EVERY LUNCH IS A FREE LUNCH SINCE KIDS DON'T HAVE JOBS AND EVERYTHING IS PROVIDED FOR THEM. Probably not. STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLES are STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLES for a reason. This is not a bipartisan issue. I hope that people in Georgia wake up and vote out STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLE Jack Kingston for the good of all humanity.
• God Help Us. When even Iran... IRAN... can find humor in your president, you know you're in trouble...
The whole Trump presidency is just one horror after another, and it simply does not stop. Every fucking day there's a new disaster to pile on an already massive pile of disasters. It's quickly getting to the point where even Republicans are going to have to denounce President Pussy-Grabber if they value their jobs... or if they value avoiding World War III.
So many bullets, so little time... until next week, then!
Posted on Sunday, February 19th, 2017
Stop what you're doing, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Phone Home? Are you an American who travels internationally? Or a foreigner visiting the USA? Then here's an article for you: I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again. Neither should you. We're quickly coming to a point where personal privacy and freedom is being tossed right out the window. It's only going to get worse.
• This Guy. Thank heavens John Oliver has returned from hiatus to save our sanity...
And just when you think things can't get worse...
• Sorry. It would seem an apology to Sweden is in order...
Guess I'm going to have to make apology graphics for all the countries of the world. I'm confident President Trump will get around to saying stupid shit about all of them eventually...
And I thought George W. Bush was a fucking embarrassment.
• Merry Marvel. The little promos that Marvel is releasing in anticipation of the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok have been really funny. This past week they released Team Thor: Part 2...
The surprising thing is that the next Thor movie isn't here until NOVEMBER! Before that we've got Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on May 5 and Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7. If you haven't seen it yet, Team Thor: Part 1 can be found on YouTube.
• Gerrymandering. Yes. It's time to stop this fucking bullshit...
We get the government politicians buy for us. Time to start giving a shit.
• PAY! PAY! PAY! As I mentioned a while back, LEGO addressed complaints about having to buy additional toys to complete a mission by adding "Hire a Hero" where you can have temporary access to the toy you need... for a price. A price that gets more expensive the more often you need it. But... hey... beats having to buy a LEGO set you don't want, right?
As I found out by playing the LEGO Dimensions Knight Rider fun pack, you need the LEGO Dimensions Mission: Impossible level pack because the 30 seconds you get for "Hire a Hero" Ethan Hunt isn't long enough to solve one of the puzzles. And now I find that I can't really completely LEGO Dimensions A-Team fun pack without the LEGO Dimensions Adventure Time level pack because the 30 seconds you get for "Hire a Hero" Finn the Human isn't long enough to solve one of the puzzles.
I PITY THE FOOL WHO MAKES ME BUY MORE SETS TO COMPLETE THE SET I JUST BOUGHT!
Needless to say, this is pretty shitty. When you "Hire a Hero" you should get to keep that hero until the puzzle has been solved. Anything less is just going right back to a massive paywall that's incredibly unfair. But... there's money to be made, so whatever. Guess buying one toy will never be enough.
AND I AM DONE WITH BULLETS FOR THE WEEK!
Posted on Sunday, March 12th, 2017
Thank heavens I'm taking half-a-day off work, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Stop the Insanity! Make it permanent... abolish it... split the difference... I honestly don't give a fuck. Just make it so that we're not dicking around with the clocks twice a year. This stupid shit... this utter madness... has got to end...
Seriously. If Trump wants to do ONE FUCKING THING that will benefit humanity in a way that every other fucking thing he's done has not... GET RID OF THIS IDIOTIC BULLSHIT!!!
• Healthcare. Finally. Broken down so even I can understand it! The puzzling way Republicans want to replace the individual mandate, explained with a cartoon.
• Wonderful. Do I dare get my hopes up after DC has shit the bed so many times now?
It could be incredible. If... only if...
• Loneliness. A sobering article that makes for an interesting... albeit more than a little depressing... read: The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness...
Illustration by Mario Zucca / Boston Globe
I don't know that I'm "lonely" so to speak. But most of the people I'm closest to don't live near me, and that can be difficult.
• Olive Garden. I had no business laughing at this as hard as I did. The whole concept of people in Olive Garden commercials acting like they've never seen a restaurant... or food... before, is epic...
I dare say that President Trump existing has made Saturday Night Live the funniest it's been in years. Even for sketches that don't feature President Trump.
• The Most Important Thing You'll See All Day. Yes. You can resist authority. In some cases, you're obligated to resist authority. Like when you are being lied to and your rights are being violated by authority. The video below is in three parts. Watch all three of them. Know your rights...
And here's a follow-up interview (good information, terrible sound)...
Have a phone with video capabilities? Film everything. Always film everything when it comes to the police. Even if you support the ideal of law enforcement (as I do)... Always. Film. Everything. Even when it's not happening to you. Because the police are not above the law and you just never know.
Note that the guy who filmed the video, Jesse Bright, tried to handle this without going public. All he wanted was an apology for having been lied to and illegally searched. Only after he was deterred at every turn did he released to video... not for personal gain, but to let everybody know what their rights are. He has no interest in any officers being punished or fired or anything. He just wants this critical information out there. Good for him.
I have a card in my wallet and in my car with the following statement:
Statement If Stopped or Questioned by Police or any Government Official
“Officer, I Assert My Fifth Amendment Rights As Stated On This Card”
Pursuant to the law, as established by the United States Supreme Court, my lawyer has advised me not to talk to anyone and not to answer questions about any pending criminal case or any other civil, administrative, judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory matter. Following his advice, I do not wish to talk to anyone about any criminal, civil, administrative, judicial, investigatory or adjudicatory matter, without my lawyer present. I waive no legal rights, nor give any consents, nor submit to any tests or other procedures, without my lawyer present. I ask that no one question or talk to me, without my lawyer here to advise me. I do not wish to answer any questions. I want to see my lawyer. Please call my lawyer immediately.
See: Miranda v. Arizona, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), Maness v. Myers, 419 U.S. 449 (1975), Hoffman v. United States, 341 U.S. 479, (1951), Lefkowitz
Know. Your. Rights.
And now it's time to chew gum and vacuum. And I'm all out of gum...
Posted on Sunday, March 26th, 2017
Time to burn this muther to the ground, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• The Government is Not Your Friend. In all seriousness, I wonder what it's going to fucking take before US citizens wake the hell up to how their privacy rights are being chipped away by elected officials. Our bought-and-paid-for-Senators just voted to undo internet privacy regulations, which means that you ISP can sell your browsing history to advertisers. Our privacy is up for grabs, and fuckers in the GOP are the pimps making it happen. Might want to look into a VPN to protect yourself before this gets run through the House.
• GET OUT! I'm just going to chime in with the vast majority of critics and say that Get Out is one of the best films this year...
Jordan Peele has absolutely killed it. So far as suspense thrillers go, this is a tough movie to top. Easily going to make y "Best Of" list for 2017. Go see it!
• Final Dimensions? Rumors have been swirling that my favorite game of the moment... LEGO Dimensions is getting canceled. Back in January I was dismissive of such rumors. But now? Evidence is mounting.
Needless to say... this sucks if it's true. Sucks hard. The sets that have been coming out lately are better than ever, and a lot of fun to play. More sets for properties like Beetlejuice, Powderpuff Girls, and Teen Titans GO! have been delayed, but are still on the way, so there's that. But still... I hope we're getting even more sets before LEGO hangs it up.
• Headlines. So... when you see a headline like this pop up in your newsfeed...
You have to guess... will this be some godless liberal senator scumbag with no moral values... or will it be a "family values" Christian who supports anti-gay, anti-trans legislation? Lets find out together, shall we?
Big fucking surprise. It's the "family values" Christian who ends up being the fucking pervert. YET AGAIN! It's always these assholes getting caught texting things like "I'm gonna fuck you like a good little boy if you keep calling me daddy." They can't seem to help themselves. Which is why every fucking time I see some politician asshole going out of their way to shit all over LGBT equality, I automatically expect they're fucking pedophiles. And history seems to back this up.
• Assemble! Oh goody. Justice League looks like a total rehash of Batman vs. Superman... incomprehensible action sequences strung together with boring shit nobody cares about...
At least Zack Snyder is consistent with his suckage.
• Gubermint! There's so much fucked up shit going on with our Trump-infused government that I could fire off another fifty bullets just to touch on it. But doing so will probably make me want to blow my head off, so I'll pick just one...
You can read about it here. What a bunch of fucking monsters we have representing us. If they are willing to treat innocent animals like this, there's no hope for us. None.
So over bullets for today.
Posted on Sunday, April 2nd, 2017
You may be thinking that after 499 Bullet Sundays I'd be giving up! But never fear, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Whedon! I am beside myself with hope... JOSS WHEDON IS GOING TO DIRECT A BATGIRL MOVIE! Which is both really great... and incredibly odd. Great, because Whedon may actually end up with a seriously good take on the character... odd because you'd think he'd hit Marvel up for a Black Widow movie, since he's already played around in that universe. Especially since Black Widow is, potentially at least, a much more interesting character.
Oh well. I'll take Whedon BatGirl...
Hopefully he'll make it a fun film instead of glomming onto the absurdly shitty "dark" DC Comics cinematic disasters that Zack Snyder has crapped out of his ass. Nobody wants that.
What I would like is a LEGO BatGirl movie...
How awesome would that be?
• Homecoming. I swear... it's as if Marvel doesn't know how to fail...
This trailer looks like we're getting not only an amazing Spidey-film... but we're also getting a film that's firmly entrenched in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At last. Can't wait!
• Besson! I know I'm pining away in vain at the idea of a sequel for The Fifth Element... but I guess Luck Besson's Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is as close as we're going to get...
It certainly looks like compelling sci-fi. Here's hoping.
• Funneh. Anybody out there watching Trial and Error? I find it surprisingly entertaining and quite funny...
MURDER BOARD! MURDER BOARD! MURDER BOARD!
• Guess. Okay then... will the pedophile principal be a godless liberal from a public school... or a God-fearing Christian from a private Christian school? Let's read and find out together, shall we?
Big fucking surprise... it's the God-fearing Christian. YET AGAIN. And yet over and over again we're told it's trans persons using bathrooms that's the big danger. It's homosexual teachers that's the big danger. It's gay characters in cartoon movies that's the big danger. Anything to distract people from the actual fucking danger that kids have to face. Give me a fucking break.
• Song Like You. My current earworm...
Just 18 years old. Amazing.
And... onwards towards another 500 Bullet Sundays.
Posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017
Posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2017
Sure it's Easter, but there are other reasons to celebrate the day, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Kitty! Everything I love about cats can be found in this one clip of a kitty trying to escape the field at a Marlins game...
What a trooper! Apparently a Marlins' employee adopted the cat, who was named "Don Cattingly" in a Twitter poll.
• Kedi! And, speaking of cats...
Can't believe I have to wait until November for this to come out on video!
• Atomic! Okay... putting aside the fact that the trailer for Atomic Blonde features music by both Depeche Mode and New Order... how badly does watching this make me want to see the movie?
Charlize Theron should be in a lot more movies.
• Ragnarok! Speaking of movie trailers... how amazing is the latest Thor movie looking?
I'm part of the minority who actually likes the Thor films. The first one was really great at establishing the characters. The second stumbled quite a bit, but was still entertaining. But this? Probably the best Thor yet. Possibly one of the best Marvel films yet.
• Spicey! Melissa McCarthy is hosting SNL on May 15th. I'm hoping it's just an hour-and-a-half of her impersonating Sean Spicer, playing out the best of his ongoing fuck-ups. Verbatim. In the meanwhile, we have yet another flawless sketch from last night's episode...
What a big, beautiful slice of chocolate cake.
• Politics! The more you know about how politics work in this country, the more you think that we should burn the entire system to the ground and start over...
Politicians don't act in the best interest of those they represent because they don't have to. That's the underlying reason we're as fucked as we are.
Now go eat some eggs, you animal.
Posted on Thursday, April 27th, 2017
As I was sitting in the lobby of the tire store waiting for my flat tire to be replaced this morning, I found myself staring at a somewhat-recent(!) issue of TIME magazine.
Which is more like a pamphlet than a magazine anymore, but okay.
The cover, designed in the same style as TIME's infamous "Is God Dead?" cover from 1966, asks the question "Is Truth Dead?"...
I didn't even need to crack the cover to know the answer to that. Not only is truth dead, it's been dead for decades.
It's just that now we can all stop pretending.
Not pretending that truth isn't dead.
Pretending that we care.
Posted on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
I spend entirely too much time questioning my sanity lately.
Every time I turn on the television, any time I go online, any time I am exposed to the world... I feel like I'm taking crazy pills...
For heaven's sake... just go play some golf or something. Yes it costs taxpayers millions, but at least you aren't fucking embarrassing the country or taking us closer to World War III.
Posted on Thursday, May 4th, 2017
The hypocrisy of Paul Ryan would be comical if it weren't for the lethal consequences of all his fucking bullshit.
I could go on for pages about what a massive betrayal the new "health care" plan is for the American people, but I'm just too damned tired. So here's Seth Meyers, again, to put it all into perspective...
As for the bill itself? Jesus...
The only possible up-side to all this crap is that once people understand how anybody who isn't young, healthy, and rich are completely fucked, maybe these douchebags will finally be voted out of office.
Posted on Sunday, May 7th, 2017
It's good to be home, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Travel Day! Last night I was going to head into Denver for some dinner and bumming around after Howard's birthday party, but made the mistake of "laying down for a minute" and decided I'd rather order out pizza and watch TV. After pizza, I decided to pack up my crap, iron tomorrow's clothes, and get everything ready to go for today. Always a smart move, because I just love being able to roll out of bed, shower, and head out on a travel day. Why I don't do this more often I will never know. I guess that deep down I prefer the mad dash of getting ready in the ten minutes before my ride arrives? Who can say?
• Home! When I arrived back home today, the first thing I did was start unpacking. Jenny felt threatened by dirty clothes flying and retreated to her basket...
Jake kept trying to crawl all over me, so I grabbed his favorite blanket and finally gave in while I was sorting laundry...
Laying down was a mistake, as I fell asleep almost immediately. When I woke up, Jenny had joined in and I was covered in kittens. There are certainly worse homecomings.
• Things to do in Denver. Side-by-side on the Denver "Things to Do" rack at my hotel...
But which to do first? Hmmmm...
• Hope! As a huge fan of Greek mythology for as long as I could read, I've always had a soft spot for Wonder Woman. When George Pérez reinvented the character in 1987 by jettisoning decades of bad choices so she could be tied even stronger to her Greek mythological origins, Wonder Woman quickly became one of my favorite super-heroes. Which is why I've been awaiting her big-screen debut with absolute dread given the horrendously shitty movies DC has been churning out lately. And yet... there's hope...
Not bad. Not bad at all. I guess we'll know for sure on June 2.
• Spidey! And lest we forget that Marvel has a super-hero film of their own coming out this summer...
I mean, holy shit. I liked the first two Tobey Maguire films okay, but this... THIS... is Spider-Man! He moves like you'd expect Spider-Man to move, and it's a glorious thing to see. Cannot wait for July 5th!
• Neutrality 2. I have said pretty much all I have to say about the pig-fuckers in our government wanting to sell-out the internet to big media companies. But now that our corrupt asshole of a president is mounting a new assault, all I want to do is explode with rage. Here's a more rational response...
How the American people can be SO FUCKING STUPID as to put up with this FUCKING BULLSHIT is beyond me. But, hey... the American people elected a pussy-grabbing Cheeto Jesus as president, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
And I'm fucking done.
Posted on Thursday, May 11th, 2017
I'm going to prove how bigly smart I am by picking a fight with the FBI.
You know... the guys who know where all the bodies are buried. Literally.
Posted on Sunday, May 14th, 2017
Home is a great place to be, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Spring Has Finally Sprung! When I got back yesterday, I noticed that the beautiful dogwood tree that the previous owner planted in the front yard was starting to bloom! I think my irises are also ready to pop, but they're a lot of work to keep pretty. The tree is beautiful from start to finish with no intervention from me...
I was worried that the heavy snow destroyed it because everybody else's trees went into bloom weeks ago. Good boy!
• Sense8 Season Two! When Netflix released the first season of Sense8 back in 2015, a collaboration between The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, I was not interested. With the exception of the original Matrix film and possibly
While I ended up liking the second season more than the first, there are serious problems that kept me from loving it. First of all... despite the large cast, they introduced even more characters. Some to disastrous effect. Take for example the trans character Nomi and her partner Amanita, a pair of hackers living in San Francisco. Easily two of the most unique and interesting characters on the show (if not television itself), but this season they are essentially shoved aside in favor of a new character called "Bug" that's not only annoying as fuck, he's also redundantly taking on hacking chores that should have stayed with Nomi and Neets. Like when Nomi had to dress in heels, but fell down and knocked herself unconscious, leaving "Bug" to save the day. Like HA HA HA HA! THE TRANS CHARACTER CAN'T WALK, so let's have a man step in and fix everything. What the actual fuck? But even worse is the mindless way they keep setting up fights and absurd situations so the characters can "mind bond." Sometimes it's what makes the show fantastic (let's face it, I could watch Doona Bae kick ass all day long) but other times it's just so badly manipulative and manufactured as to be laughable (Shades of Babylon 5, Batman!). The mind-bond scenes should be organic and come about naturally... like when Sun finally goes after her brother at the end in one of the best action sequences I've seen this year. But the absolute worst thing about Season 2 is the ending... which has a half-dozen cliffhangers. Everybody must be really confident that Netflix is going to shell out $100 million for season three. Because if they don't, a lot of people are going to be pissed at how pathetic an ending we got.
• Soda Pop! This right here is the idiotic crap that has people fed up with our elected officials: Diet drinks added to Seattle mayor’s soda-tax proposal, upping revenue estimates. And you have to ask yourself... is the dipshit Seattle mayor's plan all about saving us from obesity and (now) fighting white privilege? Or is it designed to distract people from the news that he fucked teen boys? Let's allow the media to decide! And when it comes out that the mayor is also addicted to cocaine? THEN A TAX ON YOUR COOKIES TOO, YOU LOWLIFE PLEEB! All I know is that when you have to start adding a tax to a bottle of Coke in order to raise revenue, you are probably SPENDING TOO MUCH FUCKING MONEY!
• Do It Yourself! Never did I think in my lifetime that my small-town local grocery store would get self-checkout, but here we are. I guess even Redneckistan is tired of dealing with people's shit...
Oh well. I guess it's only a matter of time before we're all replaced by a machine.
• Travel Day! Yeah... you won't convince me that John McCain is some kind of hero for being the lone GOP voice asking for investigation into the president's ties with Russia. Of course I respect his service to this country, but he's a MIA/POW betrayer and a pile of fucking garbage as a senator. He and bipartisan Democratic betrayer John Kerry are BOTH a pile of fucking garbage. So get all wet over McCain if you want to... I'll just be over here reminding myself of his dishonorable treatment of those brave soldiers who couldn't come home like he did because of his actions in preventing it...
Jesus, what an asshole.
• Please Call Me Back! Is it possible for a song to have some of the worst lyrics you've ever heard... and yet you can't get enough of it? This track by the band Rey Pila is unapologetically 80's in tone and construction, which is why I like it. And yet... holy crap are these some awful lyrics. Granted they are out of Mexico, so English probably isn't their first language, but still...
I am hopelessly in a love/hate relationship with their stuff that's been posted to YouTube. Though some of their songs are pure love...
All 80's all the time over at Rey Pila!
And game over. So long, Bullet Sunday...
Posted on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
If President Obama had disclosed classified information to the Russians under any circumstances, he would have been viciously attacked by the Conservative press until the end of time.
If President Obama had said "I have the absolute right to share information with Russia" after disclosing the classified information to them, a lynch mob would have formed outside The White House within the hour. Hell, there would probably be rioting as the building was set on fire.
And President Obama didn't even have accusations about colluding with the Russians hanging over his head.
But a Republican president with all kinds of sketchy Russian ties discloses classified information to the Russians and says he has the right to do it? The Conservative press is falling all over themselves to claim that the real problem is not President Trump sharing sensitive information with Russia... but that White House staff is undermining the president by leaking classified information on his dealings with Russia to the press.
So leaks are good.
I dunno. It's most certainly bad when Hillary Clinton is careless with classified information. We all know that. THAT was enough to cost her the presidency!
So I guess it all depends on what day of the week it is.
And that you're not a Democrat, not black, and not a woman.
Or something like that.
I'd ask questions, but I don't want to be arrested. Because bend me over the Lincoln Memorial and fuck me with a tightly-rolled copy of The Constitution... this happened.
Welcome to fascism.
Posted on Monday, May 29th, 2017
In case you need a refresher: 10 Things to Remember About Memorial Day
Posted on Thursday, June 1st, 2017
And so President Cheeto Jesus has said The United States will be exiting the Paris Accord on climate change. It's all bullshit, of course. His reasonings are either outright wrong or put into a context that has them defying reality. Which leaves us three possibilities as to what's going on...
I'd start in on a rage-induced rant right now, but here's a more sensible approach from Adam Conover...
We have to reverse coarse on fucking up the planet while doing so can still make a difference. Taking giant steps backwards and giving away our leadership position when it comes to fighting for a healthier planet is about as dumb as it gets. Par for the course when it comes to our current president, but the country itself must be smarter than that.
The future of life on earth depends on it.
Posted on Sunday, June 4th, 2017
The world may be on the brink of disaster, but have no fear, because an all new edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Hey You Guys! LEGO Dimenions finally got around to releasing expansion packs for LEGO City Undercover and The Goonies. Both are excellent. Especially The Goonies, which is faithful to the source material in all the best ways. A lot of love went into this game...
Which makes me even sadder that the rumor is LEGO Dimensions is being discontinued after the Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans GO!, and Beetlejuice packs are released this Fall. Such a shame. It just keeps getting better and better with each new release.
• Free Climb! Every year on Christmas Day I check to make sure that free-climber Alex Honnold is still alive. Things like this are why: Climber Completes the Most Dangerous Rope-Free Ascent Ever...
Photo by Jimmy Chin and National Geographic
Photo by Jimmy Chin and National Geographic
For the money, I maintain that Alex is the world's greatest living athlete. I cannot comprehend how he does what he does.
• If You Were Here! The Thompson Twins are one of my all-time favorite bands. If You Were Here is one of my favorite songs by the band. If you had told me that I'd like a cover of this track, I'd say you were crazy. But then Kitty Hawk released one years ago that is actually really good...
It will never take the place of the original, but it's nice to hear a different take on the song.
• Hasan! If you haven't already taken my advice and seen Hasan Minhaj's comedy special: Homecoming King on Netflix, you need to do that right now. And, when you've seen it and start suffering from withdrawals, you'll be happy to know that he is still over at The Daily Show... stealing entire episodes with a two-minute appearance...
If you have a minute, you should watch this segment...
Assuming you can. Comedy Central's video streaming goes down so often that I'm surprised they even bother...
Seriously. Minimum 50% of the time, Comedy Central is dead now-a-days.
• Sick. Of. This. Shit! This week in the news, Fucking Dumbass Bigot Says Gays Are Like Hitler, Trans Kids Are All the Devil...
Photo from YouTube / The New Civil Rights Movement
Uh huh. Hitler. Yeah. Got it. The Nazis killed up to 20 million people. That totally equates to gay and trans people just wanting to have the same rights as everybody else and, well... existing... and such. — What a repugnant piece of shit. What a complete douche of a human being. What a fucking asshole. But one day she'll be dead and nobody will care... NOBODY WILL FUCKING CARE... so there's that.
And, lest we forget that bigotry doesn't end there, also in the news this week: Anti-Muslim Protests Planned in 23 Cities Across the Country. — As recent headlines will attest, we are in more danger from white Christian terrorists than anything coming out of our Muslim communities. But, sure, let's protest brown people because it fits the narrative being rammed down our throats from the highest levels of government. What a bunch of hypocritical fucking "religious freedom" loving dumbasses. Apparently you have the "freedom" to be whatever religion you want... so long as it's Christian.
And... back to the day's disasters...
Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2017
And so it's time once again to tune into the Apple World Wide Developer Conference keynote to find out what everybody's favorite fruit-based tech company has up their sleeves for second quarter 2017.
I have to admit, I no longer get ramped up for these Apple things like I used to. In the past, I would take a frickin' vacation day when the WWDC keynote was unspooling just so I could unpack all the Apple goodness that had been unleashed. I'd pour over every minute and blog epic breakdowns of everything that was announced.
Well, I'm still excited over Apple's stuff... they're an exciting company. But the way they keep screwing up has me less enthused than I once was. I bought into their HomeKit home automation tech, only to find out that it is a total load of crap. They keep making "pro" equipment that isn't for "pros." The reliability of their products is in the toilet, and the way they address their lack in quality is bullshit. Meanwhile Microsoft is killing it with their Surface line, easily picking up the pro design market that Apple is abandoning.
But I digress.
Rather than have to watch hours of keynote like I did, here's a 19 minute recap that tells you everything you need to know (assuming you haven't seen it already)...
And here are my reactions...
All in all... some nice upgrades in the OS and software departments, but more of the same bullshit for pro design users. A market Apple used to own, but is throwing away with gleeful abandon. Leaving me to wonder if my next computer will be running Windows. My license for Adobe's Creative Cloud Suite works for Mac or Windows, and they function the same on both systems. Food for thought.
Posted on Sunday, June 11th, 2017
Time to bask in the rosy glow of the blogosphere, because an all new edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Batman! It's difficult for me to think about Sunday bullets when my head is trying to wrap itself around the passing of original Batman Adam West. It's even tougher to try and explain how his television show influenced my childhood. Yes, the show was cheesy as all get-out, but my love of comic books and super-heroes all goes back to Batman, which I faithfully watched in reruns every day after school...
But the thing that cemented me as an Adam West fan is how the actor totally owned his character, and leveraged everybody's love of who he was to get an entirely new career as an animation voice actor. While probably best known for the Mayor of Quahog in The Family Guy, he voiced dozens of roles...
There have been a lot of famous people rushing to express their condolences, but the one we've been waiting for is from Adam West's Robin, Burt Ward. And with that... godspeed, Adam West. You will be missed.
• Black Panther! And... we're finally getting a real look at the long-awaited Black Panther movie. Like everything Marvel touches, it's looking incredible...
And, to think, we've got the new Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok movies coming soon! So great.
• LEGO CATS! What happens when two of your favorite things get smooshed into one? There is a company making LEGO Cats!
AWESOME! Thanks to long-time friend and food blogger extraordinaire, Foodiddy, for the link!
• Nail Me! Of the many tools I've invested in, my pneumatic brad nailer is one of my favorites. Being able to BAP! BAP! BAP! nails into place is a time-saving bit of wonderful I can't get enough of. There's a price you pay, however, and that's having to lug around an air compressor. For this reason, I've been dreaming of buying a nailer that is cordless and tankless... like the Milwaukee 18-Volt 15-Gauge Angled Finish Nailer...
Problem is... it's like $400, which is a lot of money.
But then Home Depot sends me an email saying it's on sale at 40% off... just $240! And that comes with a new M18 Fuel battery! Sweet! I mean, I don't have $240, so it will have to sit on my credit card with my biscuit cutter, but it's still pretty great. If you're in the market for such a thing, the sale runs through June 21st!
• NEWSFLASH: A Studio Ghibli Theme Park Is CONFIRMED for 2020. — And... guess where I'll be going in 2021? There is no way to properly express my enthusiasm for even the idea of such a magical place.
• Humanity! I think it's awful we have to make commercials to explain lessons in Humanity 101 but, if we must, this is what it should look like...
This wonderful spot on foster homes for kids is not something new for Norway, they are also responsible for this amazing commercial...
And yet I live in a country that would rather build a useless border wall that will ultimately cause more harm than good (while doing fuck-all nothing to solve drugs or illegal immigration problems) instead of put any money towards those who need it most. That's how fucked up things are now, and how far we've fallen from the basic humanity that used to define us. Shameful.
• NEWSFLASH! Jeff Sessions says he’s ‘surprised’ Americans aren’t embracing his anti-marijuana stance. I'm betting a LOT of things surprise this dumbass moron. Like electricity. And indoor toilets. And being able to bring a woman to orgasm...
Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
I am sick and fucking tired of wealthy old white men making decisions based on their idiotic, antiquated notions. Legalization of cannabis is a growing trend because THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY WANT IT, and I find it ironic that Sessions comes from a party who's all about state's rights... except when it comes to something he doesn't like. What a fucking hypocritical douche.
And... no more bullets. There's a new episode of American Gods to be watching!
Posted on Friday, June 16th, 2017
Today I just want off this sick, sad world.
Probably tomorrow as well.
Posted on Saturday, June 24th, 2017
Hope you're enjoying those lazy, hazy days of Summer, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Munneh! But, yes. By all means. Let’s invest our money in coal. Soon-to-be-obsolete coal that nobody is going to want when there are going to be far cheaper, cleaner, and more efficient ways to get our energy...
I mean, we could bring this technology to former coal towns and train the workers there for jobs that will actually matter. But, no. Because coal. Uh huh...
The sheer idiocy involved in killing off the American worker by our politicians is just astounding. We're not going to be competitive in the global job market, and we did it to ourselves by electing assholes who are more interested in fleecing taxpayers for the benefit of coal executives than creating jobs for ex coal miners.
• Kens! And so This happened: Mattel released 15 new variations of Ken Dolls... aka Mr. Barbie...
And no, your eyes are not deceiving you... there are Ken dolls with a man-bun now. I can't fathom the parent that would buy their daughter (or son, for that matter) a doll with a fucking man-bun on it, but since society is hell-bound anyway, here you go. As if that weren't enough, the Kens are available in three body types: Original, Slim, and Broad. Because heaven only knows we don't want to cause body identity issues in our children. Their dolls have hipster man-buns now, and that's enough fucking trauma for childhood.
• MMMMMMEAT! Clearly God wants everybody to be vegetarian, and this is His solution... OH, LOVELY: THE TICK THAT GIVES PEOPLE MEAT ALLERGIES IS SPREADING. From the tick's perspective, I'm guessing that people taste like chicken.
• White! "Being white in this country, I should just shoot myself." — Somebody please hand her a gun. Because this racist fucking waste of space shouldn't be raising kids... let alone be allowed to join society...
No matter how many times I see bigoted shit like this, I remain amazed. Not that assholes such as her exist... but that they feel so confident in their racist bullshit to act this way in public.
• Hope That Helps! Ben Palmer released video from one of his shows and it is everything you'd hope it to be...
Watching him troll on Facebooks is one of the reasons I am happy that Facebook exists.
• HomeShit! You know, I understand that companies can't release a winner every time. There are going to be some duds, even for the most inovative of them. I get that. Honestly I do. But Apple's HomeKit is such a festering pile of shit that I cannot fathom why in the hell they don't scrap it and start over or fix their stupid crap so it will actually function reliably. Thank heavens the only thing I was stupid enough to trust to Apple's failed system is my door locks. I wanted them on a completely separate system from the rest of my home automation for security reasons and, hey, it's Apple... right? What could go wrong?
I never dreamed the answer to that question would be everything. Apple should just do everybody a favor and kill off HomeKit instead of continuing to pretend that they give a flying fuck about home automation.
Dis be da end, everybuddy.
Posted on Friday, June 30th, 2017
My home of state of Washington has a new "Distracted Driving Law" taking effect on July 23rd. Once enacted, it is illegal to use hand-held cell phones, tablets, games or other devices while driving. Or while stopped in traffic. Or even sitting at a stop light. You have to be parked. Or a passenger.
So... if you don't have a Bluetooth interface for your car stereo or a Bluetooth earpiece? No calls for you. I'm assuming if you don't have a car-mount, no GPS maps for you either.
And, seriously, it's about time.
A lot of Washingtonians are enraged about "losing their rights" or bemoaning "the nanny state" or crying because "no politician should be able to tell me what to do"... but, come on. Look at how many accidents are happening because people are texting and driving! Since idiocy apparently needs to be legislated into doing the right thing, this is where we're at.
Yes, I will miss being able to look at texts while at a stop light... because apparently I am one of those rare people who can do that without missing the light turning green... but this is so needed. I cannot tell you how many times I've been nearly hit by somebody with their face in their phone instead of on the road. Or seen somebody driving like a moron because they're distracted by their mobile. People are dying from distracted driving, and I definitely don't want to become a statistic because somebody else was stupid.
Hopefully the idea of being fined will be enough of a deterrent to make the law effective.
Otherwise the only people obeying the law are probably the people who weren't driving while distracted in the first place.
Posted on Saturday, July 1st, 2017
Well, hey there... it's Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation!
Many congratulations to our lovely neighbor to the north...
And thank you for not taking a cue from your confused neighbors to the south and building a wall to keep us out. I don't know what I'd do without an occasional bag of TimBits.
Posted on Sunday, July 2nd, 2017
It's the Sunday before the Monday before the 4th! And there's even more to celebrate, because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Wonderful! Over the decades we've had DC Comic Book heroes make their way to the movies with persistent regularity. Batman and Superman have had numerous incarnations in dozens of films... including the recent piles of shit that Zack Snyder has unleashed upon the world with Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But what about the other hero in the DC holy trinity? What about Wonder Woman? Where's her movie? She's always been shoved aside, presumably because DC questioned whether anybody would go see her in a feature film. Heck, even Green Lantern finally got a movie back in 2011, and he's not nearly as recognizable as Wonder Woman. Everybody knows who she is.
And then, at long last, our patience was rewarded when Wonder Woman hit the big screen.
And has been completely killing it.
This week Wonder Woman trounced both Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice to become the top-earning film in DC Comics history at the domestic box office...
Stats taken from Box Office Mojo
Internationally, the film has considerable ground to cover before it eclipses Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, but the point has been made.
It's Marvel all over again, proving that good movies with second-string characters that are faithful to the source material will be more critically (and quite possibly financially) successful than crappy movies with top-tier characters that shit all over the source material. There is a reason that these characters endure. To ignore what got them there is to ignore what people want to see.
• Flash! And, speaking of shitting all over the source material in a Zack Snyder DC Comics movie... everything that's wrong with the new costume that The Flash is sporting in the upcoming Justice League film is on full display when you look at what LEGO had to do to translate it into a minifig...
I can't even tell what the hell is going on there. The Flash is the "fastest man alive." As such, his costume has always been painfully sleek and minimal in appearance. But not now. Now they've wrapped him is laughably idiotic armor plating that makes him look anything but sleek. He's the exact opposite of sleek...
I mean, COME ON! He looks like a clunky robot with an inexplicably massive codpiece! Even more clunky and robotic than Cyborg, WHO IS LITERALLY A HALF-ROBOT CHARACTER. Grotesque and more than a little embarrassing for DC, who has had such excellent translations of The Flash in previous endeavors. Particularly in their animation department...
And even their television show...
To "think outside the box" is not a bad thing... sometimes it's critical to making the leap from comics to screen work. But what we have here is a fundamental lack of knowledge about what makes The Flash be "The Flash." Which means the Justice League movie is undoubtedly going to suck ass. What a shame.
• Balls! This past week was the 30th anniversary of Spaceballs, one of my favorite comedies...
Photo from Getty Images
Over the years there have been numerous rumors of a sequel (including this past Spring), but the only thing we've gotten is thirteen episodes of an animated series. My hope is that one of these days it will actually happen.
• Vaccinate! The amount of misinformation out in the world is horrifying. Everybody has an agenda, and you can never be sure what's behind the information you're getting. But the fact that diseases we once eradicated have come back... and come back huge... should give pause when it comes to condemning vaccinations...
Scary. Too scary.
• Hjalmarsson! Though I've found it harder and harder to keep up with hockey, I nevertheless obsessed over my beloved Blackhawks as they battled their way to the playoffs last season. That Nashville took them out immediately did not dampen my enthusiasm for the team. What did dampen my enthusiasm was finding out that one of my favorites players, Niklas Hjalmarsson, had been traded...
Photo from Getty Images
The guy was a big part of what got them to three Stanley Cup wins, so I'm understandably gutted. He would throw himself in front of the puck under circumstances no sane player would, which only made me love him more. He gave everything he had to the team, and this is a serious blow to Blackhawks hockey. Yes, I know that it relieves some salary cap problems, but I can't wrap my head around a team without Hjalmarsson there. Thank you, sir, you will most definitely be missed.
• Freedom! When you use freedom of speech to speak out on the issues that are important to you but criticize others for doing the exact same thing, you're no patriot. You're a douchebag. And speaking of... I don't always agree with Chelsea Handler, but thought this was an important message to share...
Of course, "freedom of speech" doesn't mean "freedom from consequences of free speech," which is an increasingly popular misunderstanding to have... but let's save that for another holiday.
And... I gotta be to work tomorrow, so no more bullets for you!
Posted on Sunday, July 9th, 2017
The heat may be blasting like a furnace outside, but there's hope for all humanity because an all-new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Moana Three Dee! I used an Amazon gift card I got back on my birthday to buy the Moana Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-Ray set. The animation is so gorgeous that I was interested to see how it looked when rendered out in 3-D...
Turns out that it's pretty great. For the most part. The 3-D kind of falls apart when the action gets really fast, but is otherwise an amazing visual treat. The astounding quality of computer animation now-a-days is just mind-blowing. Marry that to some of the best songs to ever come out of a Disney film and you've got magic. My favorite Disney song ever would be Jermaine Clement playing a giant crab...
And who knew that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson had it in him?
Forget Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda's best work is with Opetaia Foa'i in Moana...
I prefer the 2-D version to 3-D, but the movie is so amazing that there really isn't any wrong way to watch it. If you haven't seen Moana, you need to get on that.
• Artifacts! I fucking hate Hobby Lobby. Which is to say I wasn't the least bit shocked when it was revealed that they had been caught with illegal ancient artifacts from Iraq. Undoubtedly purchased from terrorist organizations like ISIS, who are well-known to fund their terrorism by doing exactly this kind of thing. But yeah, tell me again how "Plan B" is morally reprehensible to you. Because a cluster of cells in the womb is more vital than fully-formed humans trying to survive relentless terrorist attacks? OH... THAT'S RIGHT... THE FULLY-FORMED HUMANS ARE BROWN PEOPLE HALF-A-WORLD-AWAY WHO PROBABLY HAVE ICKY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS! MAKES PERFECT SENSE! Hobby Lobby and their morally superior bullshit is utter garbage.
• Fight or Flight! More United Airlines fuckery. It doesn't matter that they "scanned the second ticket wrong"... the standby passenger is the one who should have left once the mistake had been discovered. And United's shitty solution is absurd. A voucher? That's what they offered me after I got screwed over, and I told them to shove it up their ass because I was never flying their shithole of an airline again. I don't understand why anybody does.
• Jupiter! Nine months waiting for Jupiter's Legacy Volume 2, Issue 5. Nine months. And it was about the most anti-climactic comic book ending they could have possibly given us...
Absolutely no surprises. After all the imagination that went into the nine issues prior, we get a straight-forward story that could have been created by absolutely anybody. And we had to wait NINE MONTHS for it? Nothing even remotely special. I don't know why I get my hopes up for shit anymore.
• Comma! One of my favorite West Wing episodes is titled after a Mark Twain quote: "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics." Except... Aaron Sorkin abandoned the Oxford comma and butchered it to be Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics, which changes the meaning (hey, Lies and Statistics could be the name of a book like Dungeons and Dragons or something). It drives me insane. As does most sentences where an Oxford comma would be helpful to clarify intent but instead goes unused. Every time I spot a missing Oxford comma, I can't help but assume that the writer doesn't know how the English language works. And yet... there is still debate over this crap like there should actually be a question over whether Oxford commas should be used. IT TOTALLY SHOULD! There is no penalty for using one when it's really not necessary. There can be huge penalties for not using one when you should have. Case in point? Click through to this hot mess.
• Holy Shit! I have become numb to the daily dose of horror and idiocy that comes from having President Trump in office, but his latest round of tweets has me convinced that the man running the country is one of the stupidest people on earth...
Can you imagine... can you even fathom in your wildest imagination... what the reaction would have been by Republicans if President Obama had said this? They would have completely lost their minds. Apparently it finally dawned on Clownface VonFuckstick how insane this is, because he later tweeted that he believes it "can't happen," over something he says never happened in the first place? Or did happen? Or didn't? Depending on the day. Or whatever. Ivanka is catching serious heat for being an unelected, unqualified seat-filler at the G-20 conference, but at least she can form a coherent sentence. Why not put her in charge? Because nothing could be worse than what we have now.
And that aughta do it! See you next Sunday!
Posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
It's been calculated that the cost for President Trump to go golfing in Mar-A-Lago four times is the same as the medical costs for taking care of our trans soldiers. And yet it's the money that President Trump cites as his reason for banning trans persons from service.
He also says they are a "distraction" which, given the shit-show that's his entire presidency, I find hilarious. Especially since his first tweet on banning trans service worried The Pentagon that he was starting a war with North Korea.
So much for promises...
The non-stop parade of misinformation and outright lies being lobbied at the trans community is horrible. These tax-paying citizens want nothing more than to live their lives in a way that's true to themselves and have the same rights as Americans as everybody else. And yet wealthy old white men desperate to stay in power are clutching their pearls at the thought of people they don't like being on the same playing field as everybody else. They fucking own the playing field. They fucking make the rules. They fucking referee the match. But even that's not enough. They want to determine who gets to play too.
One day... hopefully one day soon... people are going to wake up and realize that it's not "just the lesbians"... it's not "just the gays"... it's not "just the bisexuals"... it's not "just the transexuals"... it's everybody. The people ACTUALLY running this country hate everybody. They don't give a shit about you. All they care about is wealth and power. Everything else comes second. A distant, distant second. And the very minute that they feel you are no longer of use to them, you get pitched out with the rest.
It's only a matter of time.
In the meanwhile, best start speaking up for those getting shit on while you still can. It's the only way there's going to be somebody around to speak up for you when it's your turn.
Happy hump-day, everybody.
Posted on Saturday, July 29th, 2017
Time to get busy living... or get busy dying, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Sweet! Today is National Cheesecake Day! The odds of me finding decent cheesecake in the wilds of Maine are probably slim considering there aren't any Cheesecake Factory restaurants in the entire state. I'd have to drive to Boston, which is nearly five hours round-trip! But who knows? Perhaps there's some awesome blueberry cheesecake to be found 'round these parts. The question being... will I have enough energy to seek it out given that I haven't slept in two days?
• Sweeter! Also not available in the entire state of Maine? Pinkberry. Which is a major bummer, because they just added a delicious-looking Black Raspberry to their flavors list...
So not fair.
• Sweetness! Awwww...
This could be one of the best meet-cutes in history... or the beginning of a horror story to end all horror stories.
• Sweetest? In a move that I can't wrap my head around, I'm seeing posts to social media about people finding Halloween candy being put out. When it's not even August and the holiday is still three months away. Given how the leftovers go on close-out sale for the month of November, we might as well leave it out year-'round. One third of the year devoted to Halloween is absurd... and I like Halloween.
• Unsweet. Since politicians would rather tax people to death than reign in spending, we're inundated with taxes every damn day, and new taxes are never far away. Take, for example, the "Sugary Drink Tax" which adds to the cost of every soft drink (or pop, or soda, or Coke) you buy. Chicago's takes effect on Wednesday... and Seattle's takes effect in January. More cities are looking to follow suit so they can be a part of a crash-grab disguised as a way of saving citizens from obesity. It's shameless and pointless (politicians will never be satisfied with one new revenue stream when there are dozens more to be had!), but... easier than cutting spending, that's for sure. Which leads me to wonder exactly when the tax burden of everyday citizens is going trigger revolt. Could this be the one? Stay tuned.
• Sour. And speaking of bullshit taxes... Washington State's legislature is devoting $300,000 to a feasibility study of building high-speed rail from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver. Something which would undoubtedly be funded by putting a tax on the tax that's on the tax you're already taxed! And undoubtedly be run by the Washington State Department of Transportation... an organization which regularly takes projects which should be able to be completed in months, and dragging them out for years (all while creating the biggest inconvenience possible for everybody). It's a total recipe for fucking disaster. But let's spend THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS to study it anyway.
Which, in itself, is fucking stupid. We don't need a study. All we have to do is look at California and the way their high speed rail is coming along. The project is hemorrhaging money and taking much longer than originally budgeted. As if that wasn't bad enough, the projected top speed of their "high speed rail" keeps dropping below the 220mph benchmark they set. But even better? Even at the outrageous price of $86 a ticket to go from San Francisco to L.A. ... IF they manage to get a whopping 10,000 passengers to ride per day... it will STILL take 203 years to pay for itself. And that doesn't even include maintenance costs?!?
Apparently the Washington State legislature has been taking advantage of our marijuana legalization before deciding where to throw away THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS! And here's the best part... people like me who live in the Eastern half of the State and would rarely use the thing will undoubtedly be included in the taxation required to build it. Yay.
• Bitter. Holy crap where do I even start after the week in politics we've had?
Annnnnd... welcome to Shawshank.
Posted on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017
Yesterday was fairly uneventful. Woke up hideously early to make my flight out of Boston... changed planes in Seattle... and... eventually made my way home to Redneckistan. Easy!
Thanks to wildfires in British Columbia and the Okanogan, things here have become quite dire. Smoke is so thick that the entire county has been declared a hazard. THIS was my view of the valley after pulling over on the way home...
When the total eclipse happens later this month, I'm supposed to be able to see the moon obscuring 92.1% of the sun from my house. I bought viewing glasses and a filter for my camera and everything...
But, if this smoke keeps up, I won't be able to see much at all.
It'll be a real bummer if that happens.
Posted on Sunday, August 6th, 2017
I've done absolutely nothing all weekend... but all that's about to change, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Domino! I loved Ryan Reynold's Deadpool movie, finding it to be the most authentic and faithful adaptation to come out of FOX's Marvel mutants shit-hole ever. Naturally, this left me very excited over the sequel plans, which include Cable (Josh Brolin from Men In Black 3 who is also Thanos in the Marvel Studios Universe!) and Domino (Zazie Beatz from Atlanta). Both were flawless casting...
As somebody with ever-increasing amounts of vitiligo, I have to say that whomever came up with the idea of making the cinematic version of Domino be an inverse image of the comic book and use vitiligo to create her distinctive eye mark is a fucking genius!
How cool is that? Coming to a big screen near you sometime next year!
• GAME OF THRONES!!! Finally...
I've been waiting seven seasons for this moment!
If you've already seen Season Seven's fourth episode, here's a fascinating look at the thinking and special effects that went into the episode...
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
• Congressman Search and Rescue! It's funny because it is 100% dead-on balls accurate (click to enbiggen)...
Fucking politicians. But you can't really blame them. Our entire system is built to encourage corruption, so they're just playing the role we've created for them. And nothing is going to change until the system changes.
• It's a Poo! If I gave up being a vegetarian after 30 years... then ate half-dozen loose meat sandwiches... then took a massive shit... this is what I'm guessing I'd see when I looked in my toilet...
What a fucking pile of garbage. But is there anybody in the Trump Administration that isn't a fucking pile of garbage? Rather than me typing cuss-words for the next dozen paragraphs, here's John Oliver...
If you go on to watch the entire interaction between Steven Miller and Jim Acosta... go with God... because Miller's pathetic attempt at spin is so laughably idiotic as to raise genuine concern for his mental health. Apparently a requirement to govern now-a-days?
• Eagles! As a long-time fan of the American Bald Eagle, I am always touched when a new video surfaces of an eagle being rescued. Which got me to thinking about the number of times I've seen an eagle rescue video pop up, and I became curious... exactly how often does an eagle need to be rescued? A quick search on YouTube shows that it happens ALL the time! "About 608,000" hits? Insanity! It's so wonder these birds aren't extinct!
• Looking! A while back I blogged about Jake escaping from the catio the day before I was heading to Las Vegas. A surprising number of people have asked me what I would have done if I couldn't have found him before my flight. I'd think the answer would be obvious, but here it is... I'd have canceled my flight and stayed to look for him. There is no way... none whatsoever... I could have gotten on a plane knowing that Jake was outside alone. Work can be shifted. Flights can be rebooked. That's not even a blip on my radar compared to the thought of Jake getting lost forever.
Until next Sunday, then...
Posted on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
So... it's now a race.
Will President Trump's idiotic, ill-informed, and ignorant handling of North Korea doom me to nuclear extinction before the ultra-massive volcanic engine that's just been found hiding under Washington State buries me in a tsunami of molten lava?
I just don't know.
Crossing my fingers for a massive, world-ending meteor strike...
Posted on Sunday, August 13th, 2017
It's not just another day in America, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Fuck It! Fuck white supremacy. Fuck the Alt-Right. Fuck neo-Nazi assholes. Fuck all of this anti-American bullshit...
The final point is the most important... if you are silent on this horrendous shit, you are complicit with this horrendous shit.
• Trump! Called it. Though even I didn't anticipate it would happen this quickly...
Only 8 months into the Trump Presidency we are on the brink of nuclear war and Nazis are in streets of an American city. Seems about right— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) August 12, 2017
Further reading at GQ: Charlottesville Is the America That Donald Trump Promised
• Fire! If you hate me now, you'll be happy to know I'm totally doomed.
• Pierced! Food for thought...
I have yet to visit a tattoo/piercing shop that wasn't the epitome of cleanliness and professionalism.
• Defenders! Five days... five days away...
My expectations are probably too high, but here's hoping...
• Toys! It's the little things...
And, on that note, Blogography out...
Posted on Monday, August 14th, 2017
In a time where a woman is killed by Nazis on American soil, I am finding myself at a loss to deal with the evil that assaults us day after day. In a time where our president condemns Nordstrom for discontinuing his daughter's purses in two minutes but waits two days before he is shamed to condemn the white supremacist cancer eating at the heart of this country, I am finding myself at a loss to want to try.
Now, more than ever, I understand why some people just want to watch the world burn.
It would seem we deserve nothing better.
It's tough to shake the feeling that people in general... humanity, as it were... has a potential for goodness that makes us something worth saving.
Despite it all...
And the Red Sox beat the Yankees 2 games out of 3. If that doesn't make you believe in the power of good triumphing over evil, I don't know what will.
Keep hope alive, everybody.
Posted on Sunday, August 20th, 2017
There actually is something interesting happening before the eclipse tomorrow, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Defenders! How is it that Netflix can be so damn flawless when casting every single character in every single Marvel series and in writing every single character in every single Marvel series... except when it comes to Iron Fist? Danny Rand is written horribly. The actor playing him is a terrible fit for this character. I could barely make it through the Iron Fist series, and now the character made it tough to get through the newly-released Defenders series too...
Every single time Iron Fist appears in The Defenders, everything that's moving forward so beautifully grinds to a halt and turns to shit. I mean... holy crap... they got Sigourney Freakin' Weaver, who elevates absolutely everything she appears in (including The Defenders), but even she is not going to be able to save this show when such a key piece of it is shit. There was a scene between Luke Cage and Danny Rand... fucking "Heroes for Hire" that we've been dying to see... and Mike Colter is just killing it as Cage while Finn Jones can't seem to deliver a single line with any conviction or semblance of skill. It's like he's trying to channel Keanu Reeves, which wouldn't be horrible... EXCEPT HE'S CHANNELING KEANU REEVES FROM BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE. GAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!
Look, I'm sure Finn Jones is a capable actor in other roles, but his take on Iron Fist sucks. The character takes a solid 5-star show and knocks it down to four. I hope they end up doing another Defenders... the idea is too good not to... but diminish, eliminate, or replace Iron Fist with something that's a better fit. Please.
• Trolls! This. Is. Fucking. Genius.
I hope it catches on.
• Fake President! Making America... uhhh... great?... again?
So... Trump actually is accomplishing more than any other president! Finally, a truth!
• Ahnold! Just as an FYI... THIS IS HOW YOU FUCKING DO IT...
• Punch It! Seriously. I'm sick of this bullshit. We fought a fucking WORLD WAR over this. There are not "two sides" to this position. There is no "just as bad" when it comes to this. There is no confusion as to the appropriate response. We have memorials... history books... and a shitload of movies that make it quite clear...
Nothing less than 100% unapologetic, uncompromised, unconditional condemnation of white supremacists and Nazis is ever acceptable. If you don't fucking get that, then you have no business being president. Hell, you have no business calling yourself "human."
I mean, Jesus Christ... IT'S THE FUCKING NAZIS HERE!!!
• Dropt It! In a feeble attempt at ending on a positive note, this is must-see TV...
Annnnnd... I'm spent. No more bullets for you.
Posted on Monday, August 21st, 2017
And so... The Great Eclipse is upon us!
I've decided to "liveblog" the event, and will be updating this page throughout the morning as I document my triumphs and failures in trying to capture it for posterity.
If you're here late, you'll have to scroll to the bottom and work your way back up to see things in order.
Annnd... I think I'm out. Until next eclipse, everybody!
I have to say... the very best part of staying home for the eclipse has been hanging out with my kittehs. They toughed it out to the very end, and have been incredibly sweet the entire time...
Just noticed that Carl the Robovac has gone silent. I hunt him down and find out that he never made it out of the guest bedroom. The dipshit choked on a rug...
While waiting for the never-ending eclipse to... errr... end... I noticed that I still had flowers in bloom in my back flower bed. I hardly ever go in my back yard, so it was kind of surprising since all my other flowers have long-gone...
And... still going...
Seriously... is this ever going to end?
One of the things I remember most from my first eclipse (which was total here in 1979) is the funky moon shadows that appear in tree leaves. Thankful that I remembered to document the phenomena...
This eclipse is lasting forever! Cats are so not impressed...
Never got very dark. Just kind of overcast-looking... but with blue skies and sun. If that makes any sense...
After futzing around with my camera settings, I finally figured out how to get the best possible shot. Kind of a letdown, but at least I got it. Here's at the peak for my location (92% coverage)...
10:00am The solar filter for my lens is a total bust. It looks exactly the same as the uneclipsed sun... just a bright blurry ball of light. Bummer.
9:35am And, here it is... my first shot of da sun (uneclipsed)...
9:15am Look who decided to visit... FAKE JAKE! He inspected my gear, then decided to visit with the cats. Jenny, who always runs in terror when Fake Jake shows up, was a brave kitty. Maybe because I was standing beside her? Even so, I'm a proud cat-dad right now...
This is my setup. My Sony a7R Mark II with the Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS lens (and solar filter) attached...
Waaayyyyy back before there was an eclipse glasses shortage, I ordered up a "Celestron Eclipse Kit" from B&H Photo that includes a nice pair of "approved" glasses with a solar lens filter. The filter is meant to be held over the lens, but I don't want the distraction as I'm maneuvering for a shot. I decided to cut around the filter, then tape it to my lens...
The cats decided to inspect my work...
I've read various opinions on pets and the eclipse. Some say that my cats will get their eyes burned out and should be kept indoors. Some say that cats don't look at the sun normally, and they won't start now. I was going to take the precaution of locking them out of the catio, but it seems they can't get a full view from there anyway. Will be nice to have some company.
After scrolling through the eclipse-related news of the morning, I decide to take a shower. Nobody wants to have a stinky eclipse! I've decided to wear my artfully "distressed" American Eagle jeans and my favorite short-sleeve Wolverine-brand shirt.
Reading up on eclipse "best practices." I'm taking the morning off work, so there's no hurry. Three hours until eclipse time. TIME magazine has a handy eclipse tool so you can know what to expect (or know what you're missing if your skies are overcast. I'm supposed to get an eclipse at 92% coverage, like this...
I've been awake for hours, of course, but the cat's breakfast finally drags my ass out of bed. In honor of Eclipse Day, I'm having a chocolate cupcake for breakfast. I felt I had to, because there's an astronomical event and Redneckistan actually has CLEAR SKIES, which almost never happens. My cats are celebrating by dumping their breakfast on the floor and chasing dry cat food kibble around the dining room. Carl the RoboVac hums in anticipation...
Posted on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017
It was an article talking about how Antarctica is a fraud. It's not a "continent" at all... instead it's just a wall of ice around the edge of a FLAT EARTH DISC to keep the oceans from spilling off the side. The sun and moon are much, much smaller than the earth and rotate above the "disc" like yo...
Image attributed to The Flat Earth Society. Really. It exists.
This is not the first time I had heard of such a thing, but I always thought that stuff like "The Flat Earth Society" was a joke. I mean, how could it be anything except a joke? We have visible, reproducible evidence that the earth is a globe which can be witnessed with our own eyes! Astronauts have been off the planet and have seen the earth is a globe! We have actual science that proves how the earth globe works! We have frickin' satellites orbiting the planet to give us technology magic like GPS and shit!
And yet... it's no joke. An increasing number of people are tossing reason right out the window and actually believe this crap.
Then I started seeing flat earth dumbfuckery pop up again for the eclipse yesterday. To some people, the eclipse was seen as "irrefutable proof" that the earth is flat. They don't take time to understand how reality works, so they come up with stuff like "THE SHADOW IS MOVING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!" and "NASA IS TELLING YOU TO WEAR SPECIAL GLASSES SO YOU CAN'T SEE THE TRUTH!" as their "evidence."
What's most fascinating to me is the flat-earther's blinding hatred of NASA.
Over and over and over again I read how NASA is lying to us and everything they produce has been faked and photoshopped. Of course they think the moon landing was a complete hoax. How could they not? The reason they think NASA is faking everything is that they get tons of money from the government to explore stuff in space, and if they told the truth... that there is no stuff in space to explore... they would be defunded and shut down. No explanation as to how NASA manages to keep their thousands of employees on a leash... or why Russia, Japan, China, and other countries are cooperating with the NASA 'lie" when there's no reason for them to. But it's not like reasonable thinking is going to get you anywhere with somebody who thinks the earth is flat.
Aside from the common sense of a globe-shaped earth given all we know, observe, and study, I have yet to figure out how flat-earthers think that eclipses can be predicted by science if they reject all the science that allows eclipses to be predicted. I mean, seriously... how can NASA tell you in advance when and where an eclipse is going to occur if they are faking the science that gives them the information?
Here's a segment of a list maintained by Time and Date that lays out eclipses for all of 2019...
Scientists are able to release stuff like this because our solar system has been modeled. It's not some wild guess that they're making... if you go to the places they say there will be an eclipse at the time they say there will be an eclipse, you will see an eclipse. It's that simple.
I have scoured the internet trying to find an eclipse schedule as released by a flat-earther, but it doesn't look like there is anything. You're just supposed to take their word that the earth is flat even though they can't explain how astronomers are dead-accurate about the science of eclipses... and offer no explanation or "predictions" as to when eclipses on their pancake earth are going to occur.
Oh well. When I set sail towards Antarctica this December, I'll be sure to take photos of the giant ice wall.
And if you never hear from me again, you can assume that the flat-earthers are right and I've fallen off the edge.
Posted on Thursday, August 24th, 2017
I'm amazed by the statistic that only 25% of parents with deaf children learn sign language.
My friends have a deaf child and they started learning sign language right after he was diagnosed so they would be up-to-speed by the time he was old enough to communicate. They make a habit of signing all their conversations, even when speaking to each other, so that their son would never feel left out or feel that signing was abnormal. Looks like they deserve an incredible amount of credit for how hard they worked!
In other news... Kyle DiMarco is so beautiful that I am starting to re-think my sexuality. Where did he come from?
You can learn more about the Nyle DiMarco Foundation on his website.
Posted on Sunday, August 27th, 2017
The seventh season of Game of Thrones is over... but all is not lost, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Thrones! Welp... that was a riveting finale. At the very end, I mean. Despite having some great moments (I LOVE YOU ARYA!), it was actually kind of slow until that point.
I was disappointed we didn't get more Beric in this episode. He is my favorite character on Game of Thrones by a wide margin, and it was this scene that made it thus...
The fact that he can ignite a sword in flames with his blood is just icing on the cake...
Here's hoping he somehow manages to survive the show. Because...
• Grrrace! I never watched "Will & Grace" when it was on TV because Deborah Messing plays characters that are neurotic messes, and this looked to be more of the same. Then I saw the Election Special, liked it, and decided to buy the first three seasons when they went on sale at iTunes to prepare me for the return this Fall. Karen Walker is one of the best comedic characters to ever appear on television. Without Karen and Jack, this show would have been a total bomb.
I despise Will and Grace, finding them selfish and uncaring... yet seemingly unaware of how horrible they behave. They think themselves to be better people than they are. Karen and Jack are selfish and uncaring too, but have no illusion about it. Hard not to respect that. Especially when Karen is so damn funny.
• Never Gonna Give You Up! Probably the best thing I've seen all week...
As if I didn't have enough reason to already love The Foo Fighters.
• Assholery! If I don't know somebody's gender or how they identify, I use "they" and "their" and "them." It's not hard, it's not a big deal, and I'd rather be unspecific than be wrong. If your way of referring to people in this situation is to use "he-she" then you're an asshole. What do you get out of being an asshole to people you don't even know? Seriously, I'm dying to know. People are just trying to get through life as best they can with the cards they were dealt. They don't need your bullshit assholery heaped on them too.
• Rich and Powerful! HEADLINE: A Federal Judge Put Hundreds of Immigrants Behind Bars While Her Husband Invested in Private Prisons. This should surprise absolutely nobody. This is the way our corrupt system works. Wealthy, powerful people continue to exploit their privilege and position at the expense of everybody else. Just as they've bought our government, they're buying our freedoms, our liberty, and our justice. Because if we actually HAD justice, this judge would be FUCKING EXECUTED and her husband IMPRISONED FOR LIFE. But, by all means... continue to buy into the system that gives ZERO SHITS for you and allows people like this to prosper. This hasn't been a country "of the people, by the people, for the people" for a long time now. It perished from the earth the minute money became more important to us than ideals.
• Still More Assholery. Even if you are willing to put aside his many, many atrocities against people... Joe Arpaio is still a fucking inhuman piece of shit that deserves a hell of a lot worse than jail.
For Nat'l Dog Day let's remember the time Joe Arpaio's Deputies set a puppy on fire, laughing at its sobbing owner as it died a ghastly death pic.twitter.com/4bGuwUIR9u— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) August 26, 2017
And here's Trump pardoning him from a mere six months of jail time. HE WON'T EVEN DO SIX FUCKING MONTHS.
• Violence! I really do try not to advocate violence... but sometimes you need to take out the fucking trash, know what I'm sayin'? "A racist lady made some disparaging comments about black people and Colleen, who has a biracial child, decided to beat the brakes off her..."
Garbage is as garbage does.
And enough of that mess. See you next week!
Posted on Monday, August 28th, 2017
Thanks to things like "blogging" and "social media," I've made friends around the world. I know somebody who lives just about anywhere. In many ways, this is a very cool thing. Especially when it comes to travel, since there's a friendly face I can visit with no matter where I go. But there's also a down-side.
Because when disaster and tragedy strikes, odds are, I know somebody affected by it.
Such is the case with Hurricane Harvey. I have three blogger friends in the Houston area. I have a friend from work just east of there in the Beaumont/PortArthur area. I know other people in East Texas that could ultimately be affected too.
There's few things worse than watching the news and feeling helpless while seeing what's happening to people I care about.
Well, there's one thing.
Destruction from events like Harvey are terrifying and worrisome... and living with disaster looming in an uncertain future is a horrible thing to suffer through... but at least people understand what's happening.
Abandoned animals do not...
Photo by Ruaridh Connellan ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)
Photo by Ruaridh Connellan ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)
All animals know is to be hungry, scared, and confused as incomprehensible things happen to them. This poor girl was left tied to a telephone pole as the floodwaters started to rise.
I hope it was an accident.
I hope the dog was tied temporarily, and some emergency called the owner away temporarily and they couldn't get back.
I hope this is just a cruel twist of fate that has the owners as upset as I am that this could happen.
Because anything less than that makes me about as upset as I am capable of being.
Luckily the photographer, Ruaridh Connellan, has a heart and rescued the puppy from her plight...
Photo by Alan Butterfield ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)
Photo by Ruaridh Connellan ©2017 Daily Mail (UK)
I know the majority of people have kindness in their hearts for animals. I know there are a lot of people like me who would risk their lives to save their pets. But I also know there are people who would leave their animals to die if it was inconvenient to do otherwise, and that's pretty hard to take.
Posted on Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
I know that my LGBTQ friends cannot ignore the heinously vile and bigoted "Nashville Statement" (much as they'd probably like to) which seeks to deny them rights, divide them from our communities, and cast them out of our society. What I hope you cannot ignore is the ever-growing number of people like me who love you, value you, cherish you, and know that our lives are better because you are a part of it.
For those not in the know, The Nashville Statement (which does not reflect the opinion of Nashville, the city) is written by "Christian leaders" and sets out to define a sexuality "world view" that is based solely on Christian beliefs (as they interpret it) to the exclusion of all other viewpoints. It also directs those who call themselves "Christian" how to act and think when it comes to their sexuality. And... bonus... other people's sexuality too!
And, lucky for you, I read the statement so you don't have to!
Article 1 says that marriage was invented by the Christian God and only His followers get to define it. Which is fine. For you. Please feel free to define your religious constructs any way you wish, but you need to accept that this is The United States of America, and our religious freedoms allow others to do the same... whether within the confines of a "religion" or not. Your personal beliefs do not get to dictate everybody else's beliefs in a country which was built specifically to avoid exactly this kind of thing. Besides, "marriage" existed long before Christianity came along, so stop fooling yourselves.
Article 2 says no sexy-time before marriage. Which is fine. For you. But your personal morals don't get to rain shit and (judgement) down on those who do not accede to your definition of "sexual immorality." You don't get to decide what television programs, magazines, and movies can or cannot show. You don't get to decide what other people do in their bedrooms. The only decision you get to make is for your own damn genitals and what you choose to do with them.
Article 3 says that the Christian God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and fully rebukes any and all other creation myths or science which does not fully endorse their position. Which is fine. For you. But religion and faith in this country are up to individuals, which means you don't get to force your beliefs in public schools, nor do you get to define your beliefs as "science" to force it into public schools when no scientific evidence exists to support your claims (unless you're Ken Ham and define your own "science," of course).
Article 4 says that you need to revel in your biological sex, because that's who you were created by God to be... and that the differences between man and woman are not a design flaw that needs to be "overcome." And that's fine. For you. But you cannot speak for people who feel that what's in their head doesn't match up with the biological sex they were born with. You don't get to decided what others can or cannot do with their own bodies to live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. Live your own damn life and be happy you don't have to live in a society that condemns you for who you are like you're doing right here.
Article 5 Restates Article 4 in stronger terms... thou shalt not mess with the biological sex you were assigned. Which is fine. For you. But, again, your personal beliefs in no way get to dictate what others do with their lives and bodies, nor do you get to shame those who choose a path you don't agree with.
Article 6 states that any persons with biological incongruities regarding their genetalia (i.e. "God wanted you to be born a hermaphrodite") are not excluded from God's love, nor are they "incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ." Which, I guess is trying to say that if God designed an incongruity in your physical biological sex, praise Jesus. But if God designed an incongruity in your mental sexual identity, you need to deny it or go to hell? Uh huh.
Article 7 says outright that if you are a homosexual or transgender that you are in violation of the Christian God's "holy purpose," and if you continue living thusly, you're incapable of redemption. Which is juuuuust fine. For you. But don't think for one damn minute that you can use this personal position to turn society against those who have fought to find themselves and emerged victorious as a part of the LGBTQ community. You don't define them. You don't own them. You do not get to decide what rights they receive, what positions they can hold, or what standing they have in society. All your condemnation does is cost real people their happiness... even their lives... and no society, especially one designed for personal freedoms and religious independence, will tolerate your garbage.
Article 8 declares that same-sex attraction is a-okay with them... so long as you never, ever act on those feelings. Which is fine. For you. But not everybody can "live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ" while denying who they are. And for those people who choose to serve Jesus and act upon their same-sex attraction? You hold no dominion. None. Zero. Faith in Jesus and identifying as a Christian are not dependent on your approval.
Article 9 seems to harken back to Article 2, saying that any sexual desires that lead you away from marriage are bad. Like, really bad. And that there's no justification for sexually immorality leading you to immoral behavior. This is surprising given how many times that Christian "religious leaders" are caught in major scandals, only to pull out their "I AM FORGIVEN card" and carry on as if nothing happened. Apparently that's a path which is exclusively Christian, as other faiths seem to be denied such a grand loophole. Oh no. Their perceived sins are forever.
Article 10 states outright that even if you yourself are not a homosexual or transgender, that you do not get to approve of somebody else being homosexual or transgender. So, basically, if you consider yourself to be a "faithful Christian" you are commanded to be a homophobic, transphobic bigot... or lose your "I Love Jesus card." And that's... that's... that's NOT fine, I don't give a flying fuck who you are. Be a fucking bigot in the confines of your home or church if you absolutely must... but don't drag that pathetic, disgusting bullshit to where people are trying to create a loving, accepting society built on kindness and mutual respect. You know, like Jesus would want.
Article 11 is a "feel-good" affirmation of Article 10, but dictates that you are to speak your homophobic, transphobic, bigoted "truth" from a place of love. As if Articles 1-10 make such a thing even possible.
Article 12 endorses the horrific and abusive notion of conversion therapy. Because, apparently, the only way for a gay person to "walk in a manner worthy of the Lord" is for them to deny how God made them. Never mind that the notion of "choosing to be gay" is as stupid as "choosing to be straight"... the only option is literal torture. And if you elect to do this to yourself? That's, fine... I guess. For you. But to torture children so you can warp them into who you want them to be instead of who they actually are? Fuck that. Yes, they are your kids. You get to raise them as you wish and explain your interpretation of your faith to them as you wish. But you don't get to torture them into being what you want them to be. Even if it "comes from a place of love."
Article 13 says that transgender "sinners" must forsake "transgender self-conceptions" and accept their biological sex as their sex... so help you God. And... whatever. For you. But what you see as "self-conception," transgender persons see as REALITY, and you don't get to dictate a reality for them that is contrary to their experience and feelings. It's not your life.
Article 14 Jesus is Lord, accept no substitutes. And that's great. For you. But He is YOUR Lord. In a country founded on religious liberty, you don't get to force other people to accept Him as THEIR Lord. And while you "deny that the Lord's arm is too short to save, or that any sinner if beyond His reach," that's something you get to believe for yourself. Stop trying to force your beliefs on everybody else. You look like an idiot who believes your omnipotent, omnipresent, all-powerful God is too weak to enact His will as He sees fit. That kind of power doesn't need you. You're not that special.
And that's it. Some of the original text is very confusing, so I can't claim 100% accuracy on my interpretation here. But, hey, I can't claim that these bigots have a 100% accurate interpretation of The Bible, so I guess we're even.
But at least I know to capitalize God, Jesus, and Lord... and know that any reference to Them (such as He, Him, and His) are supposed to be capitalized. Apparently whomever transcribed this crap in the PDF does not.
Posted on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
The drive back home was awful. In what was just so typical, WSDOT stopped me twice on the pass for projects they'll never finish... meaning I sat in smoke for a half hour. This resulted in an upset stomach and a whopper of a headache. I do not react well to smoke.
Especially when there is so much of it...
Much to my horror, it was even worse at home than on the passes. The smoke is so thick I can't even see the surrounding hillsides.
After stopping at work for a couple hours, I ran home to check on my little monsters. And freaked out when I realized that they had been hanging out in the catio when the air quality was abysmal. The first thing I did (after a lot of petting) was close the cat door.
It did not go over well with Jake and Jenny.
Much whining and crying ensued as they tried to figure out how to open the door...
Eventually I relented and let them out for a bit. Luckily they didn't want to stay out long... they don't like the smoke any better than I do... so now I'm in a quandary. Do I keep the door closed so I can rest easy knowing they won't be exposed to air toxins? Or do I leave it open to avoid whining and crying and trust they will limit their own exposure?
Oh I'm closing the door, alright. I don't trust either of them to do anything I want them to do. Instead I distracted them with towels to play with. They love towels...
But eventually Jake started whining again.
So Jenny, ever the loving caretaker, decided to make him feel better by licking his head...
But eventually their gaze kept going back to the door to make sure it was still closed...
This upset Jenny, so Jake returned the favor...
And now... back to finishing assembling a bed, washing linens, stocking guest supplies, and getting some foodstuffs together... just in case my friends have to evacuate their home because of the fires. All I need to do is find a hair dryer and some dentist toothbrush kits in my travel supplies, and I'm ready. I hope hope hope hope that they don't have to abandon their home (I know how that feels first-hand), but I'm happy I can help if they need it.
Betweens hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and other disasters, things are sure a mess in this country right now.
Clearly God is not pleased that Trump was elected president.
Isn't how that works?
Because if I had a nickel for every time President Obama was blamed for natural disaster...
Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
Well this sucks.
I think I might be dying. At least the smoke is making me miserable enough that I feel like I'm dying.
Believe it or not, the air quality is better today that it was yesterday... you can actually see the nearby hills. What you cannot see are mountains. The sky is just white when you go looking for them...
You can kinda see hills there... but that's it...
I've been keeping the cats inside to protect their little lungs... no catio for you! They are not pleased. They just sit at the window being mad that I won't let them go outside...
Jake eventually gave up and climbed on my lap for attention...
Though it seems as thought he's finally getting wise to my photographing him...
Here's hoping tomorrow's air quality is better than today. I don't know how much more of this I can take.
Posted on Monday, September 11th, 2017
Last year I took a blogging break for several months. I was at an all-time low in my life, and sitting down to write in a blog... which was usually therapeutic... became a form of torture that I didn't want to endure any more.
But I came back to write a post on 9/11.
Then subsequently dropped off the face of the earth again for another month-and-a-half.
I've asked myself more than once why 9/11 was the trigger which compelled me to write something serious after two months of nothing. I never have an answer. Maybe it was because I had a personal story which I had been holding onto for 15 years and it was finally time to let it go? Maybe I just missed blogging? Maybe 9/11 is such a scar on my soul that I couldn't not write something on that day.
What I wrote was an entry called The Last Night of the World.
I think it will probably be my last word on the subject. For this blog, anyway. Don't ask me why... I honestly don't know. It's just a feeling.
Because while I can never forget... would never want to forget... this is how I choose to remember here.
Maybe I'll feel different about it one day. Maybe even next year.
Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2017
Today is National POW/MIA Day which is set aside to honor our Prisoners of War and remember those soldiers who are still Missing in Action. This is an important day to me, as I've been involved in POW/MIA activism for nearly 30 years.
You can read about POW/MIA causes here.
You can read about the POW/MIA Flag here.
I've written about the bi-partisan betrayal of our POW/MIA soldiers by asshole Democrat John Kerry and disgusting fucking piece of shit asshole John McCain here.
But you don't have to take my word for what a loathsome pile of garbage John McCain is, here you go...
A war isn't over until there is a full accounting of all the soldiers who fought in it. This is the very least that can be done for those who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
You are not forgotten. Today and every day.
Posted on Sunday, September 17th, 2017
Grey skies are starting to clear up, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• McDONALD'S!!! Imagine my shock when I ordered my usual "Biscuit with Egg and Cheese Only" breakfast sandwich while I was at McDonald's in Spokane this past week... AND THEY DIDN'T CHARGE ME FOR BACON THAT I DON'T EAT!
Every time I've ordered this in the past, they've rung up a "Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit" then hit the "minus bacon" button. That usually costs me $3.29 or so, which means I'm paying for bacon I'm not getting. This is not unique to McDonald's. It happens everywhere. Order a Chalupa Supreme at Taco Bell but want rice instead of beef? Most times they charge you for the beef, remove the beef from the order, then charge you extra to add rice. Want a Market Fresh Cheese Sandwich at Arby's? Most times they charge you for the beef even though they never put it on the sandwich. It goes on and on. Sometimes it's different... Taco Bell will have a "beef sub rice" button or Arby's will credit you 50¢ when they remove the beef... but this is rare. I am hoping that McDonald's is starting a trend that others will follow. It sucks to pay for something you're not getting.
• Abandoned. While I feel absolutely terrible about the people who are facing natural disaster, it's the animals trying to survive it that have touched my heart. Bad enough there are wild animals who will struggle... but at least they have a fighting chance. Abandoned pets left tied up to die, however? Not so much. This horrific, disgusting, barbaric, inhuman practice is the stuff of nightmares. Luckily, something is starting to be done about it. People who abandon pets in some areas are going to be prosecuted...
There is no punishment harsh enough for abusing, neglecting, or abandoning an animal to life-threatening conditions. None.
• Grands! Who knew that Pillsbury "Grands" frozen biscuits are actually quite decent... tasty and fluffy... when the "Grands" canned biscuits are a disgusting mess that have an acidic burnt oil aftertaste? Good to know for those times I just need two biscuits and don't want to waste food making a batch of my own...
I never thought I'd find biscuits I like better than homemade, but here they are. If you've only ever tried the canned crap, this is worth a look. They are more expensive, but worth every penny.
• Gay Cake! Well that explains it then!
That there are people out there who actually believe this shit just boggles the mind.
• It's Pickle Rick! One of my favorite programs on television is South Park. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been at the show for twenty-one years and yet, even with a few missteps along the way, it is just as culturally relevant as it ever was. South Park may be a crappy cartoon... but it skewers current events and pop culture like nobody else can, and I consider it essential viewing. A newer show that I'm in love with, Rick & Morty, is gearing up to be every bit as significant as South Park. I can only hope that it lasts for 21 years. The latest episode, The Ricklantis Mixup, is exactly why. It masterfully parodies everything from police brutality to puppet politics, yet still manages to be incredibly entertaining...
If you've got a warped sense of humor and like cartoons and sci-fi, here's the show for you. Disturbingly brilliant in ways most shows could never be. Not bad for a cartoon which started out as a Back to the Future parody of Doc and Marty.
Until next time, stay schwifty.
Posted on Monday, September 18th, 2017
After I got back from Spokane last week, I had people asking me about the mass shooting at a high school there. Problem is... the school isn't in Spokane. It's a half hour away in the city of Rockford. Some news sources are saying that it's in Spokane... assumably because it's the closest major city... but they are essentially misreporting the facts. President Trump is right for once... FAKE NEWS is everywhere!
And I don't say that lightly.
Except, whereas President Trump means "Any news that is critical of me and doesn't agree with me is fake news"... I'm talking about news that is actually fake.
Everybody makes mistakes. We're human, and news agencies are staffed by humans. But what makes news "real" is that they print retractions or corrections or updates when they make a mistake. That's what news is supposed to be. FAKE NEWS is not when newspapers make an error. FAKE NEWS is when they cover up that error or even refuse to correct it.
Take, for example this story, as reported by The AP via Yahoo!...
The headline of "1 dead, 3 injured Washington State high school shooting" may be shitty grammatically, but is accurate. Problem is... that's not what the headline originally read. When I posted it to my Facebook account, it said "Spokane high school." I believe they even listed the location as SPOKANE, WA instead of ROCKFORD, WA (I wish I had screen-capped it). At some point, they changed it. They realized they made a mistake and they posted a correction. Good, that's the way it's supposed to work. Except when I click through to the story, the only correction noted is that they spelled a sheriff's name wrong. NOTHING about the headline being changed.
THIS is fake fucking news.
And it's not just The AP/Yahoo! Here are screen-caps I did take of other news stories that said the shooting took place in Spokane as well...
Yes, you read that right... that last one is from the fucking bastion of "honest news reporting"... CNN!
But when you search now? Most of them have changed from "Spokane" to "Spokane Area" or "Washington State" or "Eastern Washington." And the couple I checked made NO MENTION that they had revised the headline because the original headline was incorrect. They're still listing Spokane as the story origin though...
This may seem a little thing. "Rockford is close enough to Spokane, so what's the big deal? It doesn't matter!" Well, it does matter. Not only because an incorrect location for a school shooting could cause undo panic and stress for anybody with school-age relatives who read such a headline... but because it is indicative of things far worse. In the rush to report the news, agencies are misreporting the news. And this has consequences.
I will now be quoting from the song New Dress by Depeche Mode...
You can't change the world
But you can change the facts
And when you change the facts
You change points of view
If you change points of view
You may change a vote
And when you change a vote
You may change the world
The lyrics are what... 30 years old? And yet... more relevant than ever. It's as if they predicted our last presidential election. Listen to the whole song, it's quite a revelation...
You can't trust anything you see or hear in the media. Everybody has an agenda. Everybody is lying, exaggerating, distorting, or concealing the truth... or even presenting opinion as fact. Some of the offenders (like FOX "News") are obvious. Most are not.
But pay no mind to that!
Posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2017
It seems as though every corner of the earth is being assaulted by some kind of disaster... from floods and wildfires to earthquakes and hurricanes, it just doesn't seem to stop.
I'm particularly troubled by Puerto Rico. American citizens who are once again getting screwed when they are needing assistance because it's not politically advantageous to help them. I cannot help but wonder if Puerto Rican citizens could vote in US elections if our government's attitudes toward them in times of crisis would change?
My home state of Washington is finally having some luck in containing the wildfires which have been plaguing us. Oregon, Idaho, and Montana? Not so much. A shocking number of fires are still burning.
Guess it's a good thing the forecasters are predicting an early, harsh winter for the Pacific Northwest then.
Though I could really use another month or two of Fall, if that's an option.
Posted on Sunday, September 24th, 2017
Autumn is here and it's going to be a great, great season, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Cassini! Okay... two things concerning the live broadcast of the NASA-assisted suicide by the Cassini space probe last Sunday...
1) NASA engineers singing as Cassini takes its suicide plunge into Saturn is the sickest fucking thing I've seen in ages...
2) NASA divided an hour-long program into two pieces, so I didn't get to see the ending because my DVR didn't know to record it. Assholes!
• Just a Bill! It looks like the heinous "Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill" is likely dead. Which is probably a good thing since NOBODY and, by nobody, I mean "nobody except wealthy old white male politicians who have their lips in a death-grip on insurance lobby cock"... wanted this bill. Except... NOW EVEN INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE WARNING THE BILL IS BULLSHIT?!? WTF? Look, something has to be done as Insurance companies pull out of ACA exchanges thanks to Republicans sabotaging them before having an alternative in place... Something has to be done. But it has to be something actually sensible instead of all the insurance lobby capitulation that ruined "Obamacare" and the same massive insurance lobby capitulation that is fucking up any GOP alternative. Fuck the insurance company profit margins... Congress needs to do their damn jobs and start saving American lives!
• Smooth! Sean Spicer's appearance at the Emmy's was abhorrent. Forget all the people in the audience laughing it up, there was nothing funny about Sean Spicer cashing in on his notorious tenure as White House Press Secretary for award show schtick. He's a fucking liar who misled American citizens every fucking day he took that podium as Trump's mouthpiece. He deserves to disappear, not cash in on such heinous notoriety. And yet... here we are. And Jay Smooth totally called it...
It didn't even take years... it took weeks. The garbage that it America's political system is alive and well in 2017. If anything, it just keeps getting worse.
• Num Noms! If you want to get your kid in the habit of sniffing nail polish, here's a good way to encourage that...
Totally won't lead to kids sniffing ADULT nail polish laying around the house. And it's impossible that will lead to kids sniffing nail polish REMOVER, right?
• Hobby Lobbyist! Let us all recite the American prayer: "You must suckle at the teat of your overlords and thou shalt not have no other teats than theirs. Disobey and you shall be cast out, fined, and imprisoned so as to discourage others from the free thought and action that leads to ruin. Profit be unto our overlords forever and forever, amen."
THIS is fucking politics in the USA... read it and weep: Thanks To Lobbying, It's Illegal To Power Your Home With Solar Panels In Florida
Honest to God, I cannot figure out what is keeping American citizens from initiating open revolt against those who have enslaved us.
And now... that garage is not going to clean itself, and I've got a car that I'm really not wanting to scrape frost off of each morning.
Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2017
"I'm not going away." — Hillary Clinton
"Well, shit." — David Simmer II
Look, I don't like Hillary Clinton's politics for a litany of reasons... not one of which have to do with her being a woman... most of which has to do with her being a notorious warhawk who ignores sage advice to devastating effect. And though I thought she would make a horrible president, I ended up voting for her because I thought Trump would be far, far worse. Then, thanks to her dumpster fire of a campaign, Trump won anyway and now we're all fucked. So... while I would never say that she shouldn't be allowed to voice her opinions and share her story... and while I would never say that she should go away while she feels she has something important to contribute to political discourse in this country... YOU'VE WRITTEN YOUR BOOK NOW... PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LET SOMEBODY ELSE WITH AN ACTUAL CHANCE TO BEAT TRUMP IN AN ELECTION HAVE THE SPOTLIGHT SO WE CAN BE RID OF THE CHEETO SHIT-STAIN COME 2020.
Photo by Reuters/Andrew Kelly
Assuming we're not in the middle of World War III by 2020, of course. In which case it hardly matters.
Posted on Thursday, September 28th, 2017
Ah the day in fake news.
Here's my current favorite making the rounds. Apparently the Seattle Seahawks cheered as they burned an American flag in their locker room...
What they don't tell you is that after burning a US flag, the Seahawks then sacrificed a puppy to Satan and took turns peeing on a Bible wrapped in a print of The Constitution. Then they all converted to Islam, swore eternal allegiance to Obama, and had a massive gay orgy before taking the field.
Hey. If you believe that a flag can be burned without any smoke setting off the emergency sprinklers, anything is possible.
Posted on Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Time won't give me time, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Discovery! I can honestly say that the new Star Trek: Discovery is shaping up to be my favorite television Trek since the original series. Rather than recycle the same old thing, they seem to be intent on taking the show in entirely new directions. Some for the better (ditching the "one big happy family" concept is refreshing), some for the worse (why in the hell re-imagine the Klingons yet AGAIN?). Tonight's episode introduces us to Captain Lorca (brilliantly played by Jason Isaacs) and the USS Discovery (with a gorgeous saucer section married to a butt-ugly triangle body) along with a rather unique premise for the show involving "space spores" which is just bizarre enough to work...
Given the exceedingly high production values, I'm not going to bitch about the $6.00 a month fee to watch the show on "CBS All Access." But, if what I'm hearing is true, CBS plans on airing the first half of the season now, then waiting until 2018 to air the rest. Thus dragging out the length of time their subscribers have to be subscribed (assuming they aren't smart enough to cancel Access until Discovery starts airing again). This is just shitty as all get out (if true) and I have to wonder if CBS realizes how pissed off people already are that they have to pay a premium in the first place?
• So Sick! I've been wanting to see The Big Sick since it debuted. I finally got my chance...
Such a good film. The fact that it's based on a true story is just icing on the cake. Other than playing Dinesh in Silicon Valley, I haven't seen Kumail Nanjiani in anything but bit parts previously (including his hilarious spot in an otherwise awful movie Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates). He's pretty fantastic, and this movie just goes to show how somebody's real life can be every bit as entertaining as fiction. If you're looking for a movie to rent, it's worth a look.
• So Sicker! Apparently co-writing and starring in "The Big Sick" is not Kumail Nanjiani's only brush with brilliance...
Joe Walsh is fucking garbage.
• Gag! And speaking of fucking garbage... Megyn Kelly is fucking garbage. For years she was a divisive shill for the far right masquerading as a "journalist," and now she's decided to reimagine herself as a non-political talk show host...
I cannot fathom why NBC hired her. Did they really think they were going to attract FOX "News" viewers?
• Tweeter! If you mine President Trump's Twitter feed there's a dose of hypocrisy to be found for everything he does...
But the Toxic Cheeto Dumbass dedicated his golf trophy to Puerto Rico, so I guess that makes all the difference?
• Just Jack Plus One! I love British comedian travel shows. As if having funny moments isn't enough, they always visit interesting places. Jack Whitehall and his father are in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam in this first season and it's great. If you enjoy travel shows... it's worth a look!
See you next week
Posted on Monday, October 2nd, 2017
59 people dead in Las Vegas. So far. We won't know the final toll until the 515 injured are in the clear.
It's not like anybody can find words to make this situation better. There just aren't any. Though the fact that everybody seems to increasingly accept mass-shootings as "the cost of freedom" in this country is a horrific ideal to subscribe to. No matter which side of the "gun debate" you're on, it's insane that one person should be able to lay waste to 574 human souls like this.
But that's America for you.
Back when I could handle firearms... back when I was a member of the NRA... back when Ronald Regan was President... attitudes towards gun ownership were very different than they are today. The NRA advocated reasonable restrictions. President Regan advocated reasonable restriction? But now? The NRA is a psychotic organization that advocates unlimited access to whatever weapons their munition company backers want to sell. And the president... well... the president is just plain psychotic.
As are the people who think that starting a discussion on curbing this madness is "exploiting a tragedy." It's when tragedy strikes that you devote time and resources towards finding a way to make sure it doesn't happen again. That's when you do it.
Except when government lobbyists are dictating the actions of the government, of course.
In other tragic news... Tom Petty died today.
The first song I ever recall hearing by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers was You Got Lucky, which was on non-stop rotation on MTV. Back when MTV played music videos...
I hated that song. Stupid Tom Petty and his stupid hat. And this reaction insured that I wouldn't give any Tom Petty music a listen for years.
Until the Traveling Wilburys super-group happened.
My love of Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison canceled out my loathing of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan enough that I became a fan of the group...
It was then that I decided I was too quick to judge Tom Petty. I liked his contribution to the Wilbury's, and decided to see if I was missing anything.
Of course I was.
Including my all-time favorite Tom Petty track... Learning to Fly...
When it came to music videos of the day, few could compare to Petty's creativity in the medium...
Then, of course, there's one of Petty's most well-known tracks... American Girl, made infamous(?) by the movie Silence of the Lambs...
So Tom Petty.
A musical artist that was quintessentially American, he will be missed.
Posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2017
As anybody who has read this blog for any length of time already knows, I support the Second Amendment. This may sound weird coming from somebody whose faith doesn't believe in the handling or owning guns, but this isn't about me or my personal choices or beliefs. If it were up to me, nobody would have guns and everybody would live together in peace and harmony... amen.
But the world is a bit more complicated than that, so eliminating gun violence is not a simple problem to solve. And, as much as we'd like to think that there is something to be done about preventing mass-shootings, our options are not as cut-and-dried as people like to think.
The reason things are so complicated when it comes to gun violence?
It's the technology.
No, I'm not going to bore you with an endless diatribe about how guns are a God-Given American Right* or that Guns Are Guaranteed By Our Constitution So We Can Protect Ourselves From Our Own Government If They Become Corrupt And Abusive**... partly because I think that is a load of horse shit... but mostly because it honestly doesn't matter.
Because it's the technology.
It's being reported that the reason the mass-murderer in Las Vegas was able to harm and kill such a huge number of lives is because he had a "bump stock" which allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like an automatic rifle. Naturally, a great many people are calling for "bump stocks" to be immediately banned. Which may actually help curb mass shootings like this in the future. At least for people who don't already own one.
But only for a short while.
Or no while at all.
The thing about "accessories" like this is that we are quickly getting to the point where you won't need to buy a "bump stock" from a manufacturer... you'll be able to download plans off the internet and 3D print one in the privacy of your own home. I don't know if current 3D plastics are strong enough for such a thing, but 3D printing with metal or super-tough polymers is just one technological step away and it's not irrational to imagine a day very soon when somebody will be able to print out whatever they want from whatever material they desire. Including "bump stocks." So ban away. It will ultimately make very little difference (which is why the piece-of-shit-NRA is actually supporting the idea). The people who probably shouldn't have them will never turn them in. The black market for them will appear within minutes. It would take decades before you could collect them all (as if you ever could). In the meanwhile? Technology.
And "bump stocks" are not the end, of course. 3D printers will eventually get larger and more accurate and be able to produce stronger, more durable prints. And that technology will eventually trickle down to ordinary citizens, as all technology eventually does. 3D printing your personal copy of an AK-47 "assault" rifle in the privacy of your own home is really not that far away. Whatever weapon you desire, from a Klingon bat'leth or a BB gun to a .45 Magnum pistol or a fully automatic rifle... it will all be within reach.
Ah, but what about gunpowder! You can't 3D print gun powder! How about we let everybody keep their guns, but ban the bullets? It's a nice thought, but gunpowder was invented by a 9th century Chinese chemist and we've gone way, way past those days. Cooking up an explosive to propel a bullet is a relatively simple matter... probably using everyday items you can find under your kitchen sink.
So... what then?
If a ban on guns won't work because there are too many out there that will never end up getting confiscated and technology is quickly getting to the point where it won't matter anyway, what's the solution?
I don't know.
But, very soon now, it won't be about the guns, no matter how badly we want it to be.****
Which is where we get to the part of the story where I put in my 2¢ on stuff...
I could go on. This is a long, difficult, complicated subject. But I think you get where I'm coming from. Banning guns outright... whatever kind of guns they may be... is a very short term solution for a long-term problem that is not going away. Not in this country where guns are as prevalent as staplers. Not in this time when technology is going to be arming people in ways we can't even dream of yet. By focusing money and effort on what makes somebody want to murder masses of people... by developing a healthier take on mental health problems... by coming up with reasonable attitudes towards what gun ownership should be... these are all things that should be obvious steps. But clearly they are not. Partly because Americans seemed content to be conditioned to think that mass shootings are "the price of freedom"... partly because we are driven to treat the underlying problem as shameful and worthy of ridicule... partly because our country's political system is corrupted by lobbyists... and partly because our politicians are sucking cock for cash.
Don't think for a minute that anything will ever change without action. Don't think for a second that our politicians will stop sucking cock for cash on their own. They've got re-election to think about. This has to come from us. This. Has. To. Come. From. Us.
Otherwise, we get the country we deserve.
And that's true no matter how you feel about guns, no matter what politial party you ascribe to, and no matter how many people die.
*Using a gun to hunt or protect yourself is absolutely a right in this country. So is collecting guns. So is trading guns like bubble gum cards, if that's your thing. For now. Because the amazing thing about the American Constitution which spells out these rights is that it can be amended or even tossed out and replaced. Not by God, but by the American people. Given it's the Second AMENDMENT to The Constitution that we're talking about here, you already knew this, right?
**Bwah ha ha... "IF" they become corrupt or abusive? That ship has certainly sailed! The reason it's horse shit to think that you'll be able to protect yourself from a corrupt and abusive government is that you won't be firing at soldiers with guns who are "coming to get you"... not by a longshot. Those days are long gone. You'll be facing endless waves of tiny armed drones. Drones that can react faster than a human and are far more difficult to hit. Not to mention being expendable.*** And this is assuming that a rogue American government wouldn't just send a missile up your ass.
***Not that our government hasn't treated the men and women serving in our military as expendable... don't even get me started.
****Lets set aside the debate over whether it's currently about the guns, since my argument is that it just won't matter in the near future. That debate gets us nowhere, because we (as a country) will never agree on it. In my opinion? OF COURSE IT'S ABOUT THE FUCKING GUNS! The whole "Guns don't kill people, people kill people!" argument is about the stupidest shit I've ever heard. Do you think the lunatic that killed 59 people and injured hundreds of others could have done so from the 32nd floor of a hotel a block away without a fucking gun? Yes, a gun is a tool to be used and abused like any other. But give me a fucking break.
UPDATE: Sadly, I've had to disable comments for this post. If you disagree with me (and many people from both sides of the debate do) that's fine. Everybody has an opinion and this blog is where I share mine. But I am getting an absurd amount of over-the-top comments, and having to delete uncivilized discourse at Blogography is getting to be a full-time job.
Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017
It's to the point where I am so far beyond embarrassed for the stupid asshole playing president that I've given up even attempting to convey the new levels of contempt and loathing I've sunken to.
God bless our fellow Americans suffering in Puerto Rico right now.
Posted on Sunday, October 8th, 2017
It may be cold outside but it's warm in here, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Miley! I've been a fan of Miley since Hannah Montana. Things like this are why...
I am so happy that she's moved past all the crazy-ass antics to focus on her actual talent. Looking forward to more Miley in the years ahead.
• Fight! Thought I'd get my money's worth out of CBS All Access and watch The Good Fight...
So THIS is what happens when you concentrate your efforts on 10 episodes per season instead of watering things down over 22. I admit that I was a bit let down by the final episode, but everything leading up to it was fantastic. Has me wanting to go back and watch The Good Wife, which I skipped the first time around.
• Papyrus! The season opener for SNL was awful... but THIS was genius!
I don't hate Papyrus as much as a number of other fonts, but it's overused and mis-used so often as to deserve a bit of hate.
• Japan! Speaking of SNL, I missed this bit of utter brilliance when it first aired. If you are a fan of the American version of The Office, here you go...
All the characters are pretty great impersonations of the originals, but Jason Sudeikis playing Jim is about as good as it gets. He is sorely missed on the show.
Photo by Bill Clark / Getty
Because of course he did. Homophobia runs so deep in these assholes that not even a brush with death will give them a new perspective on life... ALL life... not just the unborn fetuses and Christians they profess to give a shit about.
• NEWSFLASH: “Pro-Life” Congressman Caught Telling His Extramarital Boo to Get an Abortion. And it's this asshole right here, Republican Representative Tim Murphy...
Photo by J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Virulently anti-gay politicians end up caught in gay sex scandals, so why not? Virulently anti-drug politicians end up getting caught with drugs, so why not? Virulently anti-big-government politicians end up wanting to regulate every fucking thing they don't like, so why not? This is just more of the same fucking hypocrisy that drives me completely insane when it comes to our fucked up government. Fuck this asshole. He can't retire enough times.
So long for this week, Bullet Sunday.
Posted on Sunday, October 15th, 2017
Put on your Sunday Best, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Midnight Trailer! It's great how Marvel attempts to distinguish their movies in tone and look. Black Panther appears to have all the hallmarks of a Marvel Studios movie... but is very different at the same time. Kinda a sci-fi take on super-heroes with a heavy African influence...
First Doctor Strange, now this? Needless to say, I can't wait. Black Panther is one of my favorite Marvel heroes, and the fact that he's getting a movie fills my fanboy heart with joy.
• Hammer Time? You know how when you read a news headline and you think it's just too crazy to be real and it certainly has to be from some parody site? Yeah, that... Home Depot Panics Over Millennials; Forced To Host Tutorials On Using Tape Measures, Hammering Nails.
• Have Bigotry, Will Travel! America's new biggest export... hate...
This idiotic piece of shit is not a hero. She's not a marriage role model. She's just a bigot who refused to do her job. And now she's taking her bigotry on a world tour. Fuck her. Fuck her up her hypocritical thrice divorced ass.
• Jack is Back! I'm a pretty big of theTom Clancy "Jack Ryan" books... and even liked the movies despite the fact that they kept changing the actor (from Alec Baldwin to Harrison Ford to Ben Affleck). So when Amazon Prime announced they were developing a show around the character starring John Krasinski, I was intrigued. And here we go...
Interesting! Definitely something I'll be checking out.
• Gently! Last year we were treated to yet another television treatment of Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. It was insane, but in the best possible way. A dozen random threads that made no sense somehow managed to come together at the end in a way that made you want to go back and watch the whole thing over again. The show itself is really tough to describe, but here's Dirk Gently himself to make an attempt...
Season two just started. The first three minutes immediately got me addicted to the show again...
It probably helps to have seen (experienced?) the first season for yourself before heading into the second. But, if you enjoy the utterly bizarre, it's worth a look.
• Poopsie! And, lastly, just because I feel the need to not have suffered through this alone, I present Poopsie...
There's a lot of ways to sell pet food, but this is probably the most unique I've seen.
And, on that note, no more bullets today. Go make a poopsie and enjoy your week!
Posted on Sunday, October 29th, 2017
Don't fear the reaper, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Benson! Robert Guillaume passed away this last week and it got me to thinking about the various roles he's played in his long acting career. Primary of which, was "Benson" on Soap (and the subsequent spin-off), where his sarcastic wit was showcased to hilarious effect. My personal favorite role was Isaac Jaffe on Sports Night, a role which is surprisingly relevant today...
You, sir, will be sorely missed.
• Think! Cost to renew my nine Nest security camera "Nest Aware" subscriptions annually? $500. Cost to renew Amazon's new Cloud Cam security camera subscription plan annually for triple the storage time and up to ten cameras? $200. This means I could essentially buy three new Amazon cameras every year PLUS get a superior subscription service for the cost of my Nest subscription alone. Gee... let me think real hard about what I should do. What to do? What to do? It's a quandary, that's for sure...
• Balls! I made falafel for the first time!
My balls were totally delicious.
• Mickey Hotel! Disney just announced that Disneyland will be getting a brand new 700-room hotel which will open in 2021...
Compared to the amazing Grand Californian hotel across the way, it's kind of boring-looking. Not very "Disney-Special" to me.
The most interesting bit of information in the press release is not the hotel itself, but its location. In order to build the thing, Disney will be ripping out the West end of Downtown Disney. Which is currently occupied by ESPN Sports Zone, the AMC 12 theater, a Starbucks, The Rainforest Cafe and, ZOMFG... EARL OF SANDWICH! The LEGO Store is spared though...
The money that a hotel generates is probably huge compared to the royalties from everything it's replacing. With this in mind, I don't know why A) They are only putting in 700 rooms when there looks like there's room for more, and B) they haven't expanded The Grand Californian (the "Redwood Creek Challenge Trail," cool as it may be, is hardly a critical part of California Adventure, so it seems a natural to rip it out and put in another 150 rooms).
• Payola! HEALDINE: Senate votes to kill new rule allowing class-action lawsuits against banks; Pence casts deciding vote. — FUCKING PIECES OF SHIT!!! No recourse now... NONE... when big banks fuck you over. You are forced to accept binding arbitration or small court settlements instead of having your day in court. And, of course, data breaches due to shitty bank security are now basically a crime without meaningful punishment. All because the fucking Trump Administration and their Republican lackeys have their mouths so deep on Big Finance cock for cash that they don't give a shit who it hurts... so long as the big paychecks keep coming their way. And OF COURSE they are re-framing this act of utter submission to bank payola as a "good move" for consumers because "frivolous lawsuit costs get passed on to consumers." All 100% bullshit of course. We STILL end up paying... just in a different way. Meanwhile, any and all protections are now ALL THEIRS. Looks like we've got ourselves a government by the wealthy, for the wealthy.
• Harrassment! Everywhere you look, it's the same damn thing. I do not know Robert Scoble personally. All I know is that he worked at Microsoft then got famous for conducting crappy "WHO ARE YOU?!?" videos with happening tech industry people. I also know that he went into rehab a couple years ago because he was accused of shitty and harassing behavior towards women when he was drunk and high.
I also know one of these women.
Now it's coming out that he didn't stop with his shitty harassment of women AFTER he was supposedly "cured" of the things he blamed his behavior on. Typical of these types of situations, people are defending him because he's married and supposedly a "good guy." Meanwhile... there's the women whom he's sexually harassed who are having to deal with the fallout of HIS crap.
I believe them. Scoble may be married with kids and be known as a "good guy" in certain circles, but obviously that does NOT exclude him from being a habitual sexual harasser.
On his Facebook profile, Scoble has the douchey description of himself as "Authority on what is next," even though he just talks about what OTHER PEOPLE are doing. I hope "what is next" for him is somebody pressing charges. The more times that shit like this results in public shaming and even more public punishment, the more these reprehensible fuckers will think twice before being assholes to their fellow human beings.
All our times have come, see you for more bullets next Sunday!
Posted on Friday, November 3rd, 2017
I am going to do something I rarely do here at Blogography.
Post a comic created by somebody other than myself.
But I just can't help myself. This is such a brilliant, fully-realized piece of work that it must be posted here. Hat-tip to Levni Yilmaz for his genius. If you want to support his work, visit his website here or sponsor his animation project over at Patreon.
I've always pictured our current situation in this country as more of a train wreck, but... pretty much nailed it, yeah.
Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
If you ever visit Acadia and Mount Desert Island, you're bound to run across the sprawling campus of "The Jackson Laboratory." This massive facility employs 1,300 people and is dedicated to "...investigating the genetic basis of cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and many other human diseases and disorders" (according to their website).
What's weird is... I had actually heard of them prior to my visit.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA) waged a war on them earlier this year for their (mis)treatment of laboratory mice (Jackson Laboratory reportedly breeds and ships over two million mice per year to other laboratories around the world... their website has a whole section devoted to it). The conflict ended up in my newsfeed more than a couple times. PeTA alleges that a whistleblower came to them with information on how the mice were being tortured and killed. Jackon Laboratory denies it all. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It's a tough argument to weigh in on.
On one hand, whatever we can do to eliminate things like cancer and Alzheimers sooner rather than later is a very good thing.
The the other hand... torturing animals to get there is a horrendous thing.
If I had Alzheimer's and was told the cure would involve thousands... tens of thousands... hundreds of thousands... of mice being forced to live a life of torture and pain, would I take them up on it? I honestly don't know. I would like to think not.
But if somebody I loved had Alzheimer's?
Posted on Sunday, November 26th, 2017
This may be the last Bullet Sunday you're going to see for a while (depending what my internet is like in Argentina), so indulge yourself in an all new Bullet Sunday, which starts... now...
• Save It! I have spoken out a lot on this blog about net neutrality and how crucial it is to the free and open internet we all enjoy. Most Americans agree. Every time killing it is brought up, there's a huge backlash and the FCC backs down. But our current government doesn't give a flying fuck about honoring the wishes of its citizens, nor does it care about selling out the internet and fucking us over. All Trump & Co give a shit about is stripping power and liberty from the people and giving that power to big business so the rich get richer and have more control over our lives. And so... prepare yourself for the end of the internet as we know it. I don't wish harm upon any living thing... but I sincerely hope that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is repaid in spades for the evil he does.
• Dogs! Back before I was headed to Africa, I Googled for photography tips and was introduced to Will Burrard-Lucas. He is a nature photographer unlike any other, and the shots he gets are mind-blowing. Getting to actually meet him on my upcoming photographic expedition will be a real honor. One of his most recent posts was of African wild dogs photographed in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. It's incredible...
I was beyond lucky that I got to see these dogs in the wild when I was in Zimbabwe. My driver told me that his previous charges were a documentary film crew that searched for these beautiful pups for two weeks and didn't get to see a single one of them.
• Save It! Hey FOX "News"... stuff gets distorted on a curved reflective surface... YOU UNBELIEVABLE FUCKING PIECES OF IGNORANT SHIT!!! Fuck you sideways forever for propagating this bullshit...
There are people saying that this is "conclusive proof" that we never went to the moon because it's not just an astronaut's reflection in the curved surface of a helmet... it's a stagehand on the "set" from when it was being faked here on earth. Just when I think that FOX "News" couldn't possibly be a bigger pile of shit, here it is. No wonder people who trust FOX "News" and use it as their only source are as stupid as a box of fucking rocks.
• 73! Vogue's 73 Questions videos are some of my favorite things on YouTube. Yes, it's staged and rehearsed, but you do get to know some nifty facts about interesting famous people. My hands-down favorite is Lupita Nyong'o...
And today I found out that Aziz Ansari has one!
And, of course, you can't watch the Vogue 73 Question videos unless you bask in the glory that is Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour...
• Vera! I wouldn't watch Touched by an Angel... but Della Reese will always be "Vera" from Harlem Nights to me. I love that character as much as I could possibly love any movie character, and it was ALL thanks to Della...
Rest in Peace, Miss Reese... you will be missed.
• Crisis! Holy crap...
I'm more excited for this than I am to see Justice League. For the hundredth time... put the people in charge of the TV DC Universe in charge of the Cinematic DC Universe! The mind boggles at the possibility of what they could do with a big-screen budget given the amazing stuff they come up with for television every week.
• Family Values! It's like fucking clockwork. Some asshole is always getting caught with his dick in a place he tells OTHER PEOPLE they can't put their dick into. Any time I see some rabid homophobe ranting against homosexuality, I just assume it's because they're overcompensating. 90% of the time, it's true. Case in point... "State legislator Wes Goodman (Republican, obviously) has resigned after admitting he was busted having sex with a man in his office. The married conservative Ohio state lawmaker was known for his anti-LGBTQ stances." Because of course he was. Aren't they always? Hypocritical bullshit like this is getting so very tired.
• Quo! And, lastly, I leave you with the hellish buttfuckery that's become our status quo...
Time to start packing...
Posted on Monday, December 25th, 2017
To everybody who celebrates the holiday... wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Which, apparently I can do now that President Trump has taken back this beautiful phrase from the relentless eight-year war on Christmas that happened under President Obama's watch...
Oh... wait a second... like so many things that come out of Dear Leader's Twitter feed, he's completely full of shit...
No surprise that our lying asshole of a president has bought into the false narrative that there's ever been a "War on Christmas"... despite the fact that you can walk into a United States Post Office and buy stamps with Jesus on them for Christmas (as you've been able to do for decades). Here's the selections for this year...
Meanwhile, seven years ago...