Posted on November 21st, 2011
It's Bullet Sunday on Monday from the great state of Georgia!
• Hurt! After arriving at the gate of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, I was pulling my backpack from the overhead bin when some guy decided he simply couldn't wait for me to get out of the way... and pulled down his pack right into my face. He had some kind of wooden easel or tripod attached, which ended up scraping across my eyelid. So now I've got a good cut there that's nice and swollen. His excuse to being such a dick? "Sorry, I've got a tight connection." And if my eye would have been poked out? Well, he's got a tight connection, so sorry about that. I swear that manners and courtesy go right out the window when people get on an airplane. The really terrible part? This is not the first time somebody has nailed me while retrieving their crap.
• Dino! Since my work was pushed back until late Monday, this left me all day Sunday to goof off in Atlanta. I started out by visiting The Fernbank Museum of Natural History, as suggested by Coal Miner's Granddaughter and The Muskrat...
It's a very cool museum... though a bit expensive at $17.50. As a holiday bonus, a group of young girls were dancing Christmas-themed ballet amongst the dinosaur skeletons in the main atrium. I wish I could say that was the oddest thing I've seen in a museum but, alas, no.
• Shop! From the museum I went to the Lenox Square Mall so I could go to The Apple Store. Along the way, I passed the shameless PC-based copy that is The Microsoft Store. Inside there were a handful of customers and a small group of employees. Once I got to The Apple Store, however... madness. Dozens of employees were helping wall-to-wall customers. The place was packed. And while there were a lot of people just looking, a good chunk of them were buying, as customers were leaving the store with Macintosh computer boxes and Apple-logo bags at a steady clip.
This is kind of an odd turn of events given the sorry state Apple was in just fourteen years ago. I remember a time when there was a very real possibility that Apple was going to fail...
Microsoft isn't going to lose their massive PC market share over Apple any time soon, but it's nice to see how well Apple is doing now-a-days after being an underdog for so long.
• Pig! In previous years coming to Atlanta during the holiday season, I was introduced to Priscilla The Pink Pig. It's a train ride for kids that is put on by Macy's each year. As you might imagine, it's a very big deal. And, if you must know, I'm kind of obsessed with The Pink Pig...
One of these years I'm going to ride that pig. Probably because my love of Invader Zim demands it...
• Eat! Copasetic Beth and Houston's Problem were kind enough to join me for dinner at The Varsity. For anybody unfamiliar with this Atlanta institution, it's "The World's Largest Drive-In Restaurant" located near Georgia Tech. Their menu is pretty limited and not very vegetarian-friendly, but they have a "Frosted Orange Drink" that I love, so I end up eating there every once in a while...
What makes the place interesting is that employees accepting orders will start screaming "WHAT'LL YA HAVE? WHAT'LL YA HAVE? WHAT'LL YA HAVE? at the top of their lungs when they're ready for their next customer. The first time I ate here (again with Copasetic Beth and Houston's Problem), the woman at the counter yelled "HAVE YOUR ORDER IN MIND AND YOUR MONEY IN HAND" at me as I approached the counter. For people not accustomed to it, this can be a little intimidating. But, given the sheer volume of customers streaming into the place, they have to do what they can to keep the line moving...
With practice, I now know to pass over my $5 while saying "GIMME A REGULAR F.O. AND FRIES!" so I don't get an eye-roll by not being ready and not knowing how to order properly...
It's like an Orange Creamsicle in a cup, and oh so delicious!
• Sew! When I was fairly young, my grandmother taught me how to sew. She figured I should know how to hem a pair of pants or repair a tear if I had to. I was never really good at it, but I did manage to use what skills I had to make Halloween costumes and stuff...
Since sewing is a handy thing to know how to do, I've always wanted to take a class so I could be better at it. The problem is that enrolling in a class requires you to be at a certain place at a certain time and adhere to a class schedule in a way my work and travel makes impossible. Enter Whipstitch and her e-courses, which allow me to take a "virtual class" which is a lot more flexible. The reason I bring this up is that you can now pre-purchase any of the 2012 courses (including the Sewing Basics class I'll be taking) for just $99... which is up to 45% off the regular price! If you've ever wanted to bone up on your sewing skills... or learn something new with the skills you already have... you can get all the details over at the Whipstitch Blog!
And now I should probably try and get some rest since there's no telling what time I'm going to be woken up for work.
Posted on July 9th, 2011
Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person alive.
And though I tend not to use the word "adore" very much... Anissa Mayhew, whom I adore and love more than chocolate pudding... was in attendance after too many Davelantas past. We missed you.
Missed you bad.
It's hard to believe that it was two whole years ago you were nibbling on my balls* at The Cheesecake Factory you naughty minx you...
And then this year, as if to prove that we can't have an Atlanta blogger meet without somebody being in the hospital, Geeky Tai-Tai decided to get pneumonia.
Hope you're feeling better, Geeky Tai-Tai!
*Deep-fried macaroni-and-cheese balls... get your mind out of the gutter, people!
Posted on November 20th, 2010
"The venom of a black mamba can kill a human in four hours if, say, bitten on the ankle or the thumb. However, a bite to the face or torso can bring death from paralysis within 20 minutes. Now, you should listen to this, 'cause this concerns you. The amount of venom that can be delivered from a single bite can be gargantuan (you know, I've always liked that word... "gargantuan"... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence). If not treated quickly with anti-venom, 10 to 15 milligrams can be fatal to human beings. However, the black mamba can deliver as much as 100 to 400 milligrams of venom from a single bite."
— Elle Driver, Kill Bill Volume 2
When I travel, it's often for a job that occurs at a specific time whether I am there or not. Because of this, I often fly in a day early, just in case my flight is delayed or some other problem rears its ugly head (like yesterday!). This is especially necessary in winter, when travel problems pop up all the time. The bad news is that I lose a day back home where there's tons of crap waiting to be done. The good news is that if I do make it to my destination on-time, I have a day to goof off.
I awoke early so I could get my work done and head into the city for some much needed time off. Unfortunately, things didn't get done as quickly as I had hoped, and I couldn't leave until noon. But half-a-day in Atlanta is better than none. Except I had to go all the way up to the Lenox Mall to buy a new power adaptor for my MacBook when I discovered the one I brought had mysteriously died overnight. With delay piled on top of delay (not to mention waiting 35 minutes for a train!), I missed my opportunity to visit ICE-Atlanta, and instead decided to wander around downtown Atlanta to see if I could find something new to do.
So I decided to do something I haven't done in a while... go to the top of the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere: The Westin Peachtree Plaza. Given my fear of heights it wasn't exactly the funnest thing for me to do, but it was a nice day and I hadn't been up it since my first trip to Atlanta ten years ago. I probably would have gone up earlier, but was scared away by all the scaffolding as they replaced windows that were damaged by the tornado that hit Atlanta in 2008.
After ascending the 73 stories, this is what I saw...
That turquoise-looking dome is the top of the Hard Rock Cafe
Which is really the best reason to come to Atlanta.
And now it's off to work...
Posted on September 5th, 2010
So I could save money, I took a wacky flight through Atlanta which had one of those dreaded layovers that's too long to just hang around the airport, but too short to do much of anything. Pretty much a day-waster... which sucks when you're on vacation, but good for traveling on a budget.
Even though I'd only have an hour once I got to downtown Atlanta, I decided to go anyway. I wanted to pick up something at World of Coke without Lime, and sitting around a boring airport drives me nuts. This ended up being a good move because Dragon Con is in town, which provided endless people-watching opportunities. The costumes people come up with for these things are pretty impressive and, since I was downtown at lunchtime, they were all out wandering the streets of Atlanta.
Playing around with my new wide-wide-angle lens was fun too. I can get a lot of picture in a photo now...
I'll need to figure out how to take care of the freaky lens distortion when I have time to experiment a bit, but I am pretty happy with everything so far.
But the best part of my day was when I found out I had been upgraded for my flight. The extra legroom and ability to lay your seat flat for sleeping is a big plus over being shoved into a cramped coach seat for 9 hours...
A far cry from my early days of travel.
I remember 20 years ago where traveling like this wasn't even a remote possibility for me. Of course, back then I had no money left after buying my plane ticket, and ended up staying in cheap hotels and hostels with nothing more than a backpack and a bike lock to keep me company. I'd need a bike lock, because if I couldn't afford a cheap hotel or hostel, I'd take an overnight train to my next destination so I'd have a safe place to sleep. And falling asleep on a train meant the possibility of waking up to find your stuff stolen unless you bolted it to the luggage rack. Ah yes, there's no better friend for the cheap traveler than a bike lock!
And now I have to put my laptop away before the flight attendant yells at me.
Except they don't really "yell" at you in the front of the plane... but they do have a way of shaming you into doing what they want in the nicest possible way.
Posted on July 24th, 2010
When I arrived in Atlanta this morning after my redeye flight I was pretty dead. By the time I made it to my hotel I was mostly dead. The only part of me that wasn't dead was the part that was allergic to something in my room. Finally, after tossing in bed for a half-hour being all miserable with a sore throat and runny nose, I decided to take a bunch of antihistamines and see if I could catch up on some sleep.
I woke up five hours later at 2:00.
And by "wake up" I actually mean "sleepwalked," because it took at least an hour before I was able to function again.
It's a delicious "Watermelon Wheat" beer that was a special at The 5 Seasons. A fantastic way to take the edge off a hot Atlanta day!
And now, since I have to be up early for work tomorrow morning, I must bid you adieu.
My travel map for this trip now looks like this...
Posted on April 29th, 2010
I spent most of this evening attempting to get my travel schedule straightened out. Things have been so messed up for so long that I didn't think it would ever come together... but it kind of did. Several trips are still up in the air (heh heh heh) but the most important ones have all been booked.
As always, I've tried my best to pencil in a day where I can get some dinner and hang out with my fellow bloggers. If there's one good thing to come out of being away from home so often, that would be it. So, if you're near a town I'll be in on any of these dates and feel like meeting up, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get in touch with you when I can figure out a good venue...
Sometime this summer I'm supposed to make trips to Los Angeles and possibly San Francisco... so I'll post those when I can fit them in. In the meanwhile, I'm tired of looking at airline ticket sites and need some sleep.
Posted on August 2nd, 2009
It's Bullet Sunday from a rain-soaked location somewhere in Central Georgia!
• Heat. I'd rather be too hot than too cold. So you'd think that Georgia in the middle of summer would be like a dream come true for me. But it's not. I am getting really tired of sweating my ass off every time I have to go outside. In that respect, Central Georgia is no different than Central Washington, because we've been breaking 100° on a regular basis there. It's just that when I work here I have to go outside a lot more often than I do back home. Back home I sit in an air-conditioned office all day long and my ass stays intact. Which begs the question... why has nobody invented air-conditioned underwear? I find it sad that we can put a man on the moon, but can't solve the sweaty ass dilemma. Apparently, science is dead.
• Davelanta 3. As I had mentioned last night, the latest installment of the annual Davelanta blogger meet was a lot of fun, and everybody seemed to have a good time. Still can't believe that I get to meet such amazing people everywhere I go...
Just like I promised, here's a roll call of the fine people who were kind enough to spend their valuable time hanging out with me (taken from my DaveEvents Page)...
I've marked all Davelanta 2008 Alumni with an asterisk. If Mentally Rehearsed hadn't already made plans for the weekend, we would have been at a 100% repeat from last year, which speaks volumes as to how much fun a blogger meet can be. If you ever have the opportunity to go to one, I encourage you to drop everything and do so!
• Magic. Tonight while I was eating dinner, my waiter cleared the table next to mine and was taking a pile of dirty dishes back to the kitchen. As he was walking, a napkin blew off the top of the stack and slowly started to float to the floor behind his back. When the waiter noticed this, he stopped and lifted his left leg up behind him... caught the napkin on his foot... rotated his foot around front with the napkin still sitting on it... reached down and grabbed the napkin... then put his foot back down on the ground and continued walking to the kitchen as if nothing had happened. It was like a magic trick of some kind, and I felt like breaking out in applause after witnessing such beautiful visual poetry in motion. After paying my check and exiting the restaurant, I tripped over my own feet and very nearly came crashing down in the parking lot. Irony... it's what's for dinner.
• Classy. Language evolves. As an example, "awful" used to mean "full of awe" and was used much like how we use the word "awesome" in modern times. But the word evolved until it now means "something bad or unpleasant." In other words, "awful" currently has the exact opposite meaning that it used to have. This is a rather drastic example, but you get the point. ANYWAY... the word "classy" used to mean "wealthy and educated." Over time it came to mean "stylish in looks." Then it evolved further until it could also meant "stylish in behavior." In other words, you no longer need to be wealthy or educated in order to be considered "classy." And while I am sure that being wealthy makes it easier to be classy, it's certainly no guarantee. From my experience, it's just the opposite. My favorite example is flying First Class, which is filled with self-important, self-entitled, embarrassingly abusive assholes who have zero class... vs. flying Coach, which is less comfortable, but filled with a better class of people (probably because you're all bonding over mutual suffering?). I don't really have a point here, it's just something I felt like blathering on about as I confirmed my First Class upgrade for my flight home on Tuesday.
And, on that happy note, I think I will try to take a power-nap so I will have the strength to go back to work in an hour. Staying up for 20 hours straight after four hours sleep has done nothing for my mental health.
Posted on August 1st, 2009
Well today was certainly a big bucket-full of awesome win.
I spent the afternoon with Beth and Kevin, who were kind enough to go to lunch with me, then wander around MODA for a while. But the real treat was when they took me out to Stone Mountain Park. It's a pretty impressive place, featuring the world's largest piece of exposed granite. What makes it truly amazing is what you don't see... because most of this mammoth rock is buried underground. Hard to believe when you can't even fit the small exposed part into your field of vision from the parking lot...
You can take a gondola to the top, which is pretty sweet considering there was no way I was climbing the thing in billion-degree heat!
From the gondola, people look like ants crawling over the mountain...
Out on top of the rock is quite a view...
From there we went back towards Atlanta for Davelanta3 at The Cheesecake Factory where an amazing time was had by all...
Kevin, Beth, Diana, Kim, Val, Mr. & Mrs. Muskrat, Heather, and Anissa...
not pictured is Julie, who ditched our sorry asses so she could go to
a much better party with a group of much classier people!
I have to get up for work in four hours, so I'll post my recap, photos, and links tomorrow. But I do want to take a minute to thank everybody for coming. I can't believe what amazing people show up at these things, and it means the world to me that I get to hang out with y'all. How lucky am I to have made such good friends through this silly little blog?
I just hope that I didn't smell too funny after sweating off ten pounds on top of Stone Mountain.
Posted on July 10th, 2009
The first two comic books I ever bought were Green Lantern #121 and The Flash #277. I ended up liking Green Lantern best because his stories were cosmic in scope and seemed more imaginative. Whatever Hal Jordan could dream up, his magical ring could make a reality... what could be cooler than that?
How about a Green Lantern movie?
Last August there was an announcement that a GL movie was going to enter production. I was excited. Now there's news floating around that my hetero-man-crush Ryan Reynolds has beat out Justin Timberlake and Bradley Cooper for the role. Now I'm estatic. I can only hope that they REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE SOURCE MATERIAL and come up with a decent story. A Green Lantern film should be EPIC. He should battle bad-ass villains like Sinestro and Star Sapphire... not lame-ass regular-people villains that shouldn't even be a challenge. There should be aliens and space battles. There definitely should be Abin Sur and the Guardians... DON'T FUCK WITH GREEN LANTERN'S ORIGIN, OTHERWISE IT ISN'T GREEN LANTERN!!
The massive box office from the Batman and Iron Man movies should prove that you can remain faithful to the source material and still have a successful film. Hopefully the people behind Green Lantern understand that...
In other news... final dates have been set for Davelanta 3 (August 1st) and Daveorado (August 22nd)...
The Daveil went down to Georgia...
A run to the Rocky Mountains...
If you haven't already contacted me and would like to meet up with some cool bloggers in Atlanta or Denver, just send me an email at email@example.com and I'll let you know when we have details!