Posted on July 11th, 2010
Annnnnd... scene. It may have taken me a while longer than expected to finish up today, but I finally managed to get most everything completed before my deadline tomorrow. It has been a difficult three weeks, but I've somehow managed to survive. Barely. I don't think I have many bullets in me this Bullet Sunday, but here we go...
• hAx0rEd. After reading about a massive number of WordPress blogs being violated, I checked out the WordPress install at my other blog and found out that I was among them. After changing all my passwords, removing all the offending hacks, reinstalling all my system files, and running through my database looking for malicious code, I finally called it a night. Only to find myself hacked AGAIN five hours later. This resulted in me taking rather drastic measures to secure everything a second time but so-far, so-good.
• Realty. My new favorite show is Selling New York on HGTV. It's kind of a reality show about realty, where brokers show amazing properties that regularly cost millions of dollars. Along the way they have to deal with finicky clients, unrealistic expectations, and interesting situations that can only be found in New York City. As for me, I just like living vicariously through people who have such obscene amounts of money that they can even afford to look at real estate like that.
• 20/20. Today's (final) word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "human." And nothing quite captures humanity quite like Michelangelo's breathtaking works...
The human emotion he can coax out of a piece of stone is pretty miraculous.
• Finale. Just in case there's anybody interested in which twenty random songs from my iTunes library were responsible for my meme assignments, here they are...
Annnnnnd... I'm spent. Looking forward to better days ahead.
At least they had better be.
Posted on July 10th, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "chemistry."
Well, the valley is on fire. Again.
The blaze here near my town is mostly contained tonight, but the bigger fire up Swakane Canyon has reached 3,000 acres (and growing). And now there's a fire in Entiat as well. I can only guess somebody decided to play with leftover fireworks or something. What's worrisome is that we've still got two months of summer left, and the hottest days have yet to come. I can only hope that it doesn't get as bad as last time.
Anyway... "chemistry" was not an easy assignment, but eventually I figured out what to do...
NaCl is the chemical composition of... SALT!!
It's... The Bonneville Salt Flats!
Interestingly enough, I passed on visiting the flats once because I thought it would be terribly boring. But then I was on a road trip driving through the area back in 2001 when we decided to stop and take a look. It was surprisingly cool. I had big fun just running around on the brilliantly white surface and gazing out at sparkling salt for as far as the eye can see.
All I needed was Buckaroo Banzai's Jet Car, and my life would have been complete at that very moment.
Which raises the question: Buckaroo Banzai... great movie... or greatest movie?
Posted on July 9th, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "many."
After this weekend, it's all over. I'll either complete my many projects before Monday's deadline and emerge victorious... or I will crash and burn horribly and be buried beneath the wreckage.
Except I'm mostly done, so victory is pretty much assured. I've been killing myself for the past three weeks, so victory had better be assured.
When thinking about what photos to use for today's word, I didn't even have to dig. A series of photos I took while in Shanghai immediately came to mind, as I remembered the many red ribbons decorating the city.
Most of the time they're in a wishing tree. People write their desires on a ribbon, tie it to a coin, then toss it into the tree as an offering to the nature spirit living there to grant their wish. My favorite was this beautiful golden tree at the Yuyuan Market Street...
But you can also find them tied around temples on statues, doors, trees, and such...
So many wishes.
I wonder how many of them come true?
In other news, I've decided to re-read James Clavell's Noble House for the millionth time once I'm caught up on Monday. I've been thinking about it ever since I posted that photo from Hong Kong four days ago, and posting photos from China today has only confirmed it. I never tire of reading the thing...
Ooh... time for cookies in bed!
Posted on July 8th, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "love."
And I decided to take it to heart and show some love to myself for a change. I made plans, made time, and made decisions that benefitted me today. Sure it's selfish, but I've been working so hard for so long that I think I've earned it.
It was a great two hours.
After that, I needed to think of something other than myself to love so I could post an appropriate photo.
I decided that I love breakfast. Mostly because I so rarely have the time to have a good one. Like this order of Banana-Macadamia French Toast I had in Maui a while back...
Or this fantastic Scrambled Egg Breakfast Burrito I ate for Carb Appreciation Day a few years ago...
Or these sweet Mickey Mouse Waffles I found at Walt Disney World...
Breakfast is awesome!
But tomorrow it will be a can of Coke as I rush out the door, as usual.
If I really loved me, I'd make time for breakfast.
Posted on July 7th, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "move."
I spent most of my day moving... down the highway... so this was an easy one.
Usually, I drive over the day before I have work in Spokane, spend the night, then start fresh in the morning. But time is so scarce now-a-days that I couldn't afford to do that. So I drove three hours over. Worked for 25 minutes. Ate at David's Pizza for 20 minutes. Then drove three hours back home. All in one day. It's not an ideal situation, but the work is critical and must be performed in person, so whatcha gonna do?
I constructed a rig out of an old GPS window mount to hold my iPhone. I then use a photo app that lets me take a photo with a simple tap to the screen. This allows me to easily snap photos of my journey safely, since I don't need to look at the display to shoot. Occasionally I stop and relocate the mount to my side window just to mix things up. Most of the photos end up looking like crap, because they're not composed in any way, but I do end up with enough shots to tell a story of my day...
In other news... I finally got around to watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tonight...
Hands down one of the best films I've seen in quite a while.
And I'm including the awesome MacGruber, so you know I'm serious.
The Swedish film is actually called Män som hatar kvinnor ("Men who hate women" in English) but it's based on Stieg Larsson's 2005 book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In some ways, the movie title is more appropriate, because the story has some rather shocking violence in it. Fortunately, it's anything but gratuitous, and serves a very necessary purpose to the plot (a shamed journalist is hired to solve a 40-year-old murder where things aren't as they seem, and gets help from a remarkable and unexpected ally).
It also has one of the best revenge scenarios I've seen since Kill Bill.
What's amazing is that the two sequel novels in the "Millennium Trilogy"... The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (2007) have already been filmed. In fact, remarkably, all three books were filmed as a six-part mini-series for Swedish television and aired in 2009. Apparently, both sequels are coming to the USA this year as a theatrical release in bigger cities first, then on video at the end of the year. Sweet!
Due to the massive success of the books here, Hollywood is planning American adaptations, with actors like Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney rumored as leads. It's an interesting idea (though central plot elements seem like they'd need changing if the story is relocated domestically), but the originals are so good that it seems a bit pointless. Unless you factor in American's hatred of reading subtitles, in which case it makes perfect sense. Oh well.
In any event, if you can handle a bit of violence and can read subtitles, the movie is worth a look. If you're a Netflix customer, you can even watch it instantly!
Posted on July 6th, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "clocks."
Tonight I crossed a major milestone that left me with a vague sense of light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully by the end of the week my life will return to semi-normalcy. Until the next time. Which is pretty much what the past two weeks of my life have been about. Time. Mostly the lack of it as I struggle to have a life and still get all my work done.
Which brings us back to clocks. The first clock that comes to mind is, of course, Big Ben!
But I kind of fell in love with the Astronomical Clock in Prague...
Isn't she beautiful?
In other news, I am bitterly disappointed that Lindsay Lohan got away with a mere 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab... and even more disappointed that she'll probably only serve a fraction of that time. I was really hoping for the death penalty, which is what you'd have thought she got when you see her reaction...
BUT WHAT ABOUT MY COCAINE?!?? ©2010 by Getty Images
I am sick and fucking tired of wealthy idiots and worthless whores continuously flaunting their many violations of the law and getting away with it. These morons live without consequence, which is grossly unfair to the public at large. I cannot fathom why society puts up with this bullshit and doesn't demand that the law apply equally to everybody.
Which is to say that I am horribly jealous I'm not one of these privileged persons.
Maybe one day...
Posted on July 5th, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "promises."
About the only promise I feel like making right now is that I will never, ever eat another Hot Pockets product again. Last night after eating their Three Cheese "Stuffed Crust Pizzeria" pockets for dinner, I ended up about as sick as I've ever been. It was if my insides decided to explode non-stop from both ends, with paralyzing cramping as a bonus. I felt like I was going to die which, given the agony I was enduring, would have been a blessing...
I was still not fully recovered this morning. So I guess what they say about Hot Pockets is true. So horrible.
Anyway... this is supposed to be a photo meme, so here you go...
This is a photo of Master Fortune Teller I visited in Hong Kong Central. I asked him how long it would be before I returned to Hong Kong, to which he promised "next year."
That was in 2005.
I haven't been back since.
So much for promises.
Which is a shame, because I really like Hong Kong, and would very much like to visit again. If, for no other reason, so I could eat buttery McCorn and FRIED McPies again...
Mmmmmm... FRIED McPies!
Posted on July 4th, 2010
Hooray! It's a Bullet Sunday dedicated to three people I loathe on this Independence Day!
• Larry. One of the single worst interviewers on the planet, Larry King, has announced he's retiring. I have never, ever, understood his appeal. Every time I've seen one of his shows, I'm left wondering if he even knows who he's interviewing, since half the time he seems completely bewildered as to whom he's talking to. As if that wasn't enough, he's always looked like some kind of pervy alien to me...
Here's hoping that Larry's replacement is somebody who's worth a shit. If CNN is going to get all the interesting people to interview, it would be nice if the actual interviews weere worth watching.
• Night. If there were ever an example of somebody who started with a bang, then faded to ridiculousness with an even bigger bang, it would be M. Night Shyamalan. Even though I figured out the "twist" in The Sixth Sense well before the reveal, I still enjoyed the film... mostly because of the performances which were terrific all the way around (in particular Toni Collette, who totally sold her unsellable character). I didn't necessarily think Shyamalan was genius for it, but I did think there was some talent there. Then came Unbreakable, which was a film I loved. I loved the story. I loved the performances. Sure there were some spots that did their best to sabotage the ideals of a non-super-hero super-hero film, but it was a good movie, right up until that awesome reveal at the end that is dropped on you like a bomb by Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson being all amazing and stuff...
Unfortunately, every single thing that M. Night Shyamalan has released after this film has been stupid as shit. Signs? Stupid, nonsensical shit. The Village? Stupid, predictable shit. Lady in the Water? Stupid, self-indulgent shit. The Happening? Stupid, stupid, STUPID shit. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson after The Village, but I keep going back for reasons even I don't understand.
Until now. Because Shyamalan's latest film is based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, which is one of my most favorite cartoons ever...
There is no way I am going to watch as something I care for so much is utterly destroyed by Night's hackery. And, not that I really needed to go there, but the pitiful 8% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes only confirms that it's yet another stupid as shit film in a chain of stupid as shit films. Netflix has the REAL Avatar on Watch-It-Now, so I'll just watch that instead. What is it going to take for movie studios to stop giving M. Night Shyamalan millions of dollars to crank out more crap films? Aren't there other filmmakers out there more deserving?
• Mel. I find it scary that Mel Gibson has turned into the very racists he made fun of while playing Riggs in Lethal
Unfortunately, I'm quite sure that racist tirades like Mel's recent N-word meltdown are anything but rare. Reprehensible stuff like this goes on all the time behind closed doors of all races, religions, and creeds. But Mel Gibson's celebrity status has made him somebody with influence, and this is not the kind of crap that deserves the spotlight. Hopefully these repeated offenses will be enough to bury the asshole back to obscurity.
• 20/20. Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "wrong."
Something that I've always thought is very wrong is when restaurants and butcher shops use happy animals to advertise their meats. Which basically means that the animals are inviting you to eat them... like in Restaurant as the End of the Universe. The cutest suicidal animals are in Asia...
And I don't think this needs any explanation...
And now, before I go, something mostly right...
Happy 234th Birthday, USA!
Posted on July 3rd, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "mystery."
Mysteries don't interest me much. Sure I like an occasional film or book with mysterious elements... but when it comes to the grand scheme of things, there's no burning desire in me to seek out mysteries and solve them. This is unfortunate, because ancient mysteries seem to be a big tourist attraction no matter where I go. Over the years I've been to a lot of so-called "mysterious places," and appreciate them as interesting remnants of the past, but that's about it.
Places like Newgrange...
And, of course, the Egyptian Pyramids...
But the mysteries surrounding these places pale in comparison to a modern-day mystery that is going on right now... how in the hell can a film which has a romantic triangle involving a choice between necrophilia and bestiality be considered "romantic?" I've never understood the fervor surrounding all this Twilight bullshit, but the whole "Team Edward vs. Team Jacob" crap has me completely baffled...
Stupidest vampire and werewolf ever. Where's Professor Van Helsing when you need him?
In other news... I like the way that my iTunes "Genius Mixes" arranges Third Eye Blind's Blue on top of Eve6's Horrorscope in order to paint in the top of the manga babe's head... WITH FIRE!!
Bwah ha ha haaa! Sweet!
Posted on July 2nd, 2010
Today's word in the TWENTY/TWENTY meme is "concern."
Right now, my main concern is that I will collapse of exhaustion before my projects are completed. There's only so many 18-hour days you can work before your brain starts to rebel. This afternoon I forgot how to double-click with my mouse. I'm pretty sure that hallucinations are just around the corner. This is a darn shame, because I've got another week of this torture before I can even think about getting back to my usual 12-hour work days.
But this is an image meme, so a run through my photos turned up this...
Which only elevates my concern that a lack of decent sleep will make me stabby.
And this would be very bad week for that...