Posted on October 30th, 2014
I hate to sound like a broken Apple-bashing record here but, in all seriousness, things have gotten so overwhelmingly bad that I'm feeling as frustrated with Mac OS and iOS as I ever was with Windows.
First of all, quality control is total fucking bullshit. I am running into bugs within minutes of installing updates... MINUTES! And these are not esoteric one-in-a-million-users bugs, but problems so basic and ordinary that I cannot fathom how they get missed when Apple is testing their shit (they DO test their shit, don't they?). So far as I know, my set-up on my iPhone, iPad, and Macs are fairly typical. I am not running any hack software of any kind. I am not on a custom network or using a VPN. I am not using terminal tweaks or altering the system software at all. I'm just trying to get through my damn day without a crash or running into some idiocy that makes my life difficult. But that's almost impossible now-a-days with even the simplest of tasks.
Like using email.
I have four email accounts. One personal IMAP account. One work IMAP account. One charity work IMAP account. One ThriceFiction IMAP account. All four are synced using Apple's iCloud. Except they're not. If I make changes to an account... or add an account on one of my devices... or delete an account... or change any account information... it's supposed to sync up and make changes on all my devices. But it doesn't, and I have no fucking clue why. Not that Apple makes it easy to figure out what you're doing with your accounts anyway. In what has to be one of the most inexplicably stupid-ass design flaws ever, there is no single place to go to manage your accounts. There are THREE. The first two can be found in the Mail menu...
There's the "Accounts..." option, which opens up a panel from the System Preferences.
There's also an "Add Account..." option, which opens up a sheet on your main mail window. This is ten flavors of stupid, because you'd think that if you wanted to add an account, you'd click on the "Accounts..." menu option and just add it there (which you certainly can). But Apple has it as a separate menu item, duplicating functionality for no reason that I can tell.
And then things get really strange.
Click on "Preferences..." and you now how account management options in a third place...
WHAT THE BLOODY FUCK?!??
Seriously, what in the hell is going on here?
Does Mail have its own set of accounts separate from the system preferences accounts? Or are they pulling from the same place? If they're the same... GOOD LORD, WHY ARE THEY IN TWO PLACES? If they are separate, are they all syncing with each other? Which ones are synced to iCloud? How do I control what goes where? Does the "Add Account..." option in the Mail menu add to the system prefs or to Mail? Or both? This is absolute madness. To duplicate shit in multiple places, each with different interface, is utterly confusing and just bad design. This is the type of stupid shit I have historically expected from Microsoft... but Apple?!?
And the idiocy doesn't stop there.
Apple is known for creating wonderfully handy and useful ways of doing things which are so great that people switch platforms just to take advantage of how well thought-out a computer experience can be. One of my hands-down favorites is the ability to switch SMTP email servers within a Mail message from email to email. As somebody who travels often, this is an absolute godsend, because some servers I use don't work remotely. Elegant, simple, and infinitely useful...
So guess what Apple eliminated in Mail for their latest OS, Yosemite?
Yes. The ability to switch the SMTP server on the fly is now gone. If you have multiple servers associated with an account, Mail will just keep trying all of them until it finds one that works. The problem there is that my default server WILL LOCK ME OUT if they get too many network errors. This means that I now have to remember to go into email preferences and change the default SMTP server before I compose an email when I am on the road. Which I often forget to do, which means that I get locked out of my work connection over and over and over again.
This is just fucking insane.
Why did Apple remove such an astoundingly handy feature?
Did it clutter up Mail's composition window too much? Did they think it was too confusing even though it didn't even show up unless you allowed more than one SMTP server to be used? Was it simply forgotten when they were re-coding the app for Yosemite? Who the fuck knows? And it's not like there's any way you can call up Apple and ask them. At the very least you'd think that Apple would put this as an app preference instead of deleting it entirely, but I've come up empty looking for it.
And don't even get me started on the hideous mess of trying to get SMTP servers assigned in iOS. Just look at this bullshit...
Any idea why servers are showing up multiple times? If there are different settings between the duplicates, any idea how to tell what's different between them? Not even an Apple Genius could figure that one out.
I am so frustrated dealing with Apple idiocy like this every single day that I'm about ready to fucking burn all my Apple crap and become a luddite.
Not that they'd give two shits. Apple knows what's best for you, even if they don't, and if you don't want to accept that you can piss off because they've got billions of dollars and don't have to care.
Which makes two of us.
Posted on January 4th, 2014
Posted on July 30th, 2013
Yesterday was not a great day.
Today wasn't much better.
Partly because once things start to go wrong, they always seem to continue to go wrong... but mostly because I had an exhausting 3-1/2 hour drive awaiting me at the end of my work day. As I have written many times before, the journey to Spokane is long, boring, and filled with mostly nothing. Which is not to say that I have anything against Spokane itself... it's actually a pleasant and interesting city... it's just not so frickin' mind-blowing that I want to spend 3-1/2 hours driving here.
But... work... and all that.
About 2/3 of the way to Spokane is an exit for the city of Washtucna, Washington. I have never been there. But every time I drive by the exit sign, I find myself saying "Washtucna" out loud over and over again in an attempt to find the proper pronunciation, all the while wondering what the city might be like. Today was no different...
When all of a sudden...
RATTLE! RATTLE! RATTLE! RATTLE!
Apparently my muffler and/or exhaust pipe has now come loose from the frame of my car.
As I said, once things start to go wrong, they always seem to continue to go wrong, because I had already been having problems with my piece-of-shit automobile. And now I have new ones.
So... as you can see by this map, I was not exaggerating about the vast expanse of nothing going on in the Central Washington Columbia Basin...
There was nowhere I could pull off I-90 and travel to where I could be assured of there being an auto repair shop... certainly not one that would be open at 6:00pm. All I could really do was keep going and hope my car didn't fall apart before I got to Spokane. And all the while I was having to listen to...
RATTLE! RATTLE! RATTLE! RATTLE!
Luckily for me, my car held together.
Like the Millenium Falcon, but not really.
And so I did what any normal person would do after driving 3-1/2 hours with a car that's falling apart. PIZZA!!!
Car repairs can wait until tomorrow.
Posted on November 12th, 2012
Don't let that calendar fool you ... because a delayed Bullet Sunday on Monday starts now...
• Help. Long-time blogging friend and celebrated author NYC Watchdawg has written a post over at his Social Medic site about supporting medics who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy. If you want to help The Big Picture by contributing to a very worthy small piece of it, here's your chance. You'll be helping those who help others (and continue to help others despite their devastating losses) to help themselves during this very difficult time of their lives. Even if you can't donate, any efforts to spread awareness would be much appreciated!
• Investigation. My expedition with Paranormal Georgia Investigations was a great time last night, as expected. And while I didn't capture any evidence with my camera like last time, I did take some photos of the creepy interior of Old South Pittsburgh Hospital. Of course, they don't look half as creepy when illuminated by a camera flash, but still... pretty creepy...
Not too bad on the outside... in the daylight, anyway..
I liked documenting all the toys left out for the ghost children to play with. This is one lonely rocking horse.
I'm pretty sure this bunny was dead. Totally non-responsive.
I took this bear away from a naughty ghost child and let him go for a tricycle ride.
One sad bear. You'd be sad too if you spent your time in a cold, dark hospital with ghosts.
I volunteered to use my medical skills to remove an appendix or something... there were no takers.
Leaving my mark in Graffiti Hallway with all the professional paranormal teams.
I also tagged the scary dorm room that Muskrat and I got to stay in. We bad! We bad!
Keep in mind that in the dark, while looking for ghosts and stuff, it's quite a different scene than shown here all lit up in a photo. But that's part of what makes the experience so interesting! I'm excited to see what data the PGI team captured of doors opening by themselves and other nifty stuff. Hopefully they'll make their way through the evidence pile soon so I can post a link.
• Medicinal. I've mentioned a couple of times that I carry a "Travel Medicine Cabinet" with me when I'm away from home... whether it's a month... or even just a day. Since I never know where I'll be or what I'll have access to, I choose to be as prepared as possible for any scenario. From allergies, colds, and diarrhea... to lost fillings, cuts, and motion sickness. Heck, I don't even get motion sickness... I just keep it with me in case somebody else I'm with gets it...
Tonight I was very, very glad that my kit contained "Hearos" ear plugs. Let's just say that my hotel neighbors are crazy-loud with their nocturnal activities... and I was in no mood to listen to it. If there's one thing to learn from the Boy Scouts (other than "thou shalt not be gay"), it's to always be prepared. I can't tell you how many times that's paid off for me.
• Petraeyal. Like most people, I am a bit sickened by the massive CIA Overlord / Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus scandal that's rocking the headlines right now. Yes, he's a fucking scumbag that cheated on his wife with another fucking scumbag that cheated on her husband... but we don't know all the facts there, and it's none of my damn business what he does in his fucked-up private life. No, the sickening part to me is the FOX "News"-led conspiracy crap that this was some kind of scheme by President Obama to keep Petraeus from testifying in the hearing concerning the Benghazi attacks. Which, naturally, I learned from watching The Daily Show...
Yeah, no agenda there. Pathetic. I mean, seriously? America's best line of defense against a network that rips this country apart by spreading more lies and disinformation in a single day than North Korea does in a decade is a COMEDY SHOW? At some point, you really have to wonder how we've survived this long.
• Foxy. This will come as a shock to nobody, but I don't watch the FOX "News" channel outside excerpts that get torn apart and mocked on The Daily Show. Their "Fair and Balanced" credo is a crock of shit, and they are the epitome of the partisan hackery that's ripping this country apart. Just like nut job Keith Olbermann on the Left, I long for the day FOX "News" fades into irrelevance on the Right.
And because I don't watch FOX, I was completely unaware of the bat-shit crazy un-reality bubble they created around themselves with the delusion that Mitt Romney was not only going to win the presidency, but was going to dominate the election in a landslide. Until I saw their coverage on Election Night. Since I was convinced that President Obama would get his second term, there was no place I wanted to be watching except FOX. And seeing it all unfold there was a revelation. Everybody there was certain Obama would lose? Really? This made everything even more entertaining than I had imagined... until Karl Rove went into denial, at which time it just became sad. The entire network was dedicated to getting Romney elected, and they completely failed.
And while I get no pleasure seeing people genuinely upset that their candidate of choice was not elected... I fully admit to experiencing an entirely new level of Schadenfreude watching FOX News implode. And now, thanks to the wonderful people over at Pundit Shaming, I can relive the heady days of denial over and over again.
Which is almost as fun as watching Ben Afflek (YES, THAT BEN AFFLECK!) masterfully tear apart the afore-mentioned Keith Olbermann on Saturday Night Live back when people actually gave a shit about Keith Olbermann...
Schadenfreude is so not pretty. But I just don't care!
And, on that shameful note, I suppose I'm off to bed. Goodnight everybody!
Posted on May 2nd, 2012
I've always liked The Hulk, because I think that he's a character everybody can relate to. Many-a-times while reading Incredible Hulk comics I thought about the rage monster inside of every one of us that's barely contained and ready to burst out at a moment's notice.
Then I have to wonder what it would take to push me over the edge and unleash the beast.
Watching FOX "News" and their near-continuous stream of exaggerations, half-truths, and outright lies to push their agenda would come close. Not so much because they do it... they're hardly unique amongst news organizations for that... it's more because they claim to be "fair and balanced" when clearly they're full of shit...
I mean, WTF?!?
Hulk not mad. Hulk confused...
A fucking COMEDY CHANNEL is having to fact-check one of the most popular news organizations on the planet?
Something has gone very, very wrong. And that makes Hulk angry...
And you won't like Hulk when he's angry.
UNLESS... you are watching The Avengers movie, which opens nation-wide on Friday! I mean, seriously, with the exception of a few douchebags writing negative reviews so they can get some attention, everybody is LOVING this film!
If only DC Comics could get their shit together. Because, with the exception of an awesome-looking finale to the Batman trilogy with the upcoming Dark Knight Rises, they got nuthin'. To think that they could have built on the success of Batman and unleashed amazing Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash films... culminating in a frickin' JUSTICE LEAGUE movie... well, it's almost heartbreaking. Green Lantern was lame, and what little I've seen of Man of Steel is looking awful.
Oh well. Between Marvel Comics movies and FOX "News" I guess we've got enough popular fiction to keep us occupied for a while.
Posted on September 13th, 2011
Posted on August 29th, 2011
Twenty-some-odd years ago, Pontiff-hating songstress Sinead O'Connor was on fire as she released her second smash album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. I remember thinking at the time what a great title that was. As somebody attempting to lead a life guided by Buddhist principles, not wanting what you haven't got is an important concept to buy into.
But it's also a crock of bullshit, because human nature is all about wanting the stuff you don't have.
And I don't mean material goods either (though here in the United States we've built an entire culture around that). What I'm talking about is wanting health when you're sick. Wanting peace when you're in conflict. Wanting calm when you're in turmoil. Wanting love when you're mired in hatred. That kind of stuff. Wanting those things isn't really a bad thing at all.
Or so you'd think.
Apparently wanting something like food when you're hungry is wanting too much.
At least according to the conversation I overheard. Two women were discussing school starting up again and started railing on the free-lunch program. Such chatty gems as "Those kids need to learn that there's no free lunch in life!" (ha ha ha) and "We already pay for their food stamps, we have to pay for school lunches too?"
I can only guess that these pathetic excuses for human beings follow the Rush Limbaugh Theory of Child Hunger.
And I can't for the life of me understand what makes these people tick.
If they were talking about adults, I guess I could attempt to rationalize such callous behavior... but hungry kids? Like a child has any control over their situation. Like it's their choice that there's nothing to eat for whatever reason.
Look, I totally get not wanting to pay taxes for crap that you don't approve of. As a vegetarian, I highly object to the meat industry getting billions in subsidies for a substance that I feel ruins the planet and makes people unhealthy. Yadda yadda yadda.
But, I ask again, hungry kids?!?
You don't need to go to a horror movie to see monsters anymore. They're all around us.
Posted on August 4th, 2011
After a week, I can't say that I'm a big fan of Apple's new "Lion" OS.
At least not yet.
So far for me it's been a buggy, slow, crash-prone pile of crap. But so many people are raving about it that I'm sure it's just some legacy stuff from four years ago that's lurking on my hard drive and causing problems. Doing a clean install tomorrow should fix things right up.
At least it had better.
Because I am sick to death of having to reboot a minimum of twice a day... and if I get one more "Application Not Responding" freeze I'm going to go all homicidal...
In the meanwhile I've got one last task left to do tonight before I wipe my hard drive. After that? Say good night, Gracie.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to a Very Special Episode of...
... nah, that would be telling!
UPDATE! Wheee! In the 35 minutes it took me to complete my project, my MacBook froze twice, had to be rebooted once, and started sporting really odd behavior in the Finder with files popping up which could not be deleted unless I restarted it...
WHY THE #@$% NOT?!? IT'S NOT BEING USED... HELL, IT DOESN'T EVEN REALLY EXIST!!
I hope everything goes well tomorrow so I don't have to set my laptop on fire.
Posted on August 2nd, 2011
I didn't get to bed until around 2:30am this morning, so I had it in my head that I would attempt to sleep-in until at least 7:00am. This plan was foiled when iPhone decided to beep with a text message at 6:30am. It was Bad Robert saying "Ever have to poop but not want to get out of bed? This is America. We should have a solution for that."
This lead to a texting debate as to whether it would be cheaper to develop the "Bed Toilet" or simply hire a maid to clean up after you each morning. I was firmly in the "Bed Toilet" camp because I can't fathom paying somebody to clean my poop from the sheets. Bad Robert says he'd wear diapers to avoid embarrassment, which speaks volumes for his mindset on such matters.
This is my dream bed, obviously.
Now, you would think that coming up with the toilet bed would be the highlight of my day.
But this afternoon I got an email with photos from a friend-of-a-friend's wedding in New York. One of the images was of the groom and groom holding up the wedding invitations I designed for them. They looked incredibly happy. And the fact that I was a tiny part of making that happen had me walking on air.
For about ten minutes.
Then I was looking through my news feed and ran across presidential candidate Rick Santorum being a complete and total asshole. Again...
“States do not have the right to destroy the American family. It is your business,” Santorum said. “It is not fine with me that New York has destroyed marriage. It is not fine with me that New York is setting a template that will cause great division in this country.”
Then I look back at a photograph of two guys on their wedding day with smiles as big as the world on their faces.
They're not "destroying" anything.
They're not the ones "causing a great division" anywhere.
They're just living the American dream by pursuing happiness. And they're doing it without hurting anybody. It's piece-of-shit Rick Santorum that's causing a great division in this country. He's the one destroying marriage by thinking so little of it that gay matrimony could possibly have any effect on it.
The only person "destroying the American family" here is Rick Santorum.
Which, of course, means that he loves cock.
"YOU MUST BE THIS BIG TO RIDE"
Why else would he so vehemently attack the gays if not to distract people from the fact that he's craving a big ol' cock sandwich? As history has shown us again and again and again, those who lash out the hardest against homosexuality are those people who end up being homosexuals.
Because two guys in New York who love each other very much are starting a new life together.
To them, Rick Santorum's self-loathing hater idiocy doesn't mean shit.
Posted on June 5th, 2010
Nobody can see every movie ever released, so when they declare a film to be "the worst movie ever," what they are actually saying is that it's "the worst movie I've ever seen." Still, given the number of movies out there, this is still a pretty bold statement.
To me, the worst movie ever used to be a Renny Harlin flick called Born American. The tagline on the posters was "Freedom is just a word...until you lose it." It was a Reagan-era flag-waver about three college students vacationing in Finland who decide to cross the Russian border as a joke. Unfortunately for them, they are spotted by the Russian army. They then get captured and tortured as suspected spies... something they consider unjust because they're Americans, dammit! Eventually they escape and, in the process, kill people and destroy a Russian town. The movie was utter shit and made no sense. It was meant to portray Soviet Russia as a nation of monsters, but the only monsters in the film were the Americans. Can you imagine if the situation were reversed and it was the Russians who were caught on American soil blowing up towns and killing people circa 1986? But movie audiences are stupid, so it was easy to cover massive gaps of logic with patriotic "Russia is evil" rhetoric. Born Americans was so bad it made me embarrassed to be American.
But that was then.
Now a new movie has taken its place... Rolland Emmerich's 2012.
Worst. Movie. Ever. Truly excrement on just about every level. First of all, it's a film made for idiots. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because even intelligent people can have great fun turning off their brain and enjoying a stupid flick. Heck, there are a lot of stupid movies I really like. But 2012 goes so far beneath stupid that it's fucking insane.
Heaven only knows I wasn't expecting much, but I was hopeful. Sure Emmerich unleashed such turds as 10,000 BC and Universal Soldier and The Day After Tomorrow and that shitty Godzilla remake. But he also did Stargate, which I liked quite a lot.
And yet nothing could prepare me for just how awful this film could be.
Yes, the special effects were stunning in places... breathtaking even... but the story and events were positively asinine. Oh noes! The earth's core is heating up and the world is going to end! Let's pile up catastrophic spectacles and wild-ass coincidences and see if anybody notices that it's all window dressing bullshit!
What's truly perplexing is that 2012 managed to attract some real talent... actors like John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, and even Dr. Phlox(!). But it doesn't matter. Even the best actors on earth couldn't save this steamer. Events are so contrived and manipulative, that it feels like you're being force-fed a load of bullshit. And while I could give a dozen examples to illustrate this, the most offensive is the cracks that open up as the earth goes into spasm. They always... always crack across that "perfect spot." Like EXACTLY BETWEEN the fingers of God and Adam in Michelangelo's famous painting in the Sistine Chapel ..
In some films, this might be interpreted in a number of ways. The original painting has God giving life to man. So maybe this is symbolic of man's abandonment of God, creating a rift between them. Or maybe it's meant to be ironic... the painting depicts God giving life to man, now all mankind is facing extinction. Or perhaps it's allegory for religion in general, illustrating that even God can't help you when the world ends. Etc. Etc.
But attributing such deep thought to anything in 2012 would be absurd.
I know this because earlier in the film, Amanda Peet is shopping with her boyfriend when he says something cheesy and ridiculous like "I don't know honey... I feel like there's something pulling us apart..." just before a crack opens up directly between them...
Yes. This movie is that fucking stupid.
But even that's not the reason I loathe the film so vehemently.
As I said, this film was made for idiots. And because idiots don't have the intelligence to think for themselves or figure things out on their own, filmmakers like Roland Emmerich have to design their films to appeal to the lowest common denominator. They insert obvious clues in order to tell the audience how they should think, feel, and react. More often than not, these clues come in the form of a character. Somebody in the film whose only purpose is to help an audience of idiots know when to laugh, cry, get mad, or be scared. A douchebag moron to spell it all out.
In the case of 2012, we get this piece of shit...
First it's the "Oh no, we're doomed!" look. Then the "Hooray, we're saved!" elation. It's so pathetic and absurd that seeing it makes me want to punch somebody in the face. Starting with this asshole...
I hate characters like this. Fucking HATE THEM!
And yet they're becoming more and more common in movies... and more and more blatant in their manipulations. It's getting so bad that pretty soon movie directors will just add subtitles which say things like "THIS IS SAD SO YOU SHOULD CRY NOW" and "THIS SCENE IS WHERE YOU GET ANGRY" and "THIS CHARACTER IS A BAD GUY."
Which is pretty much what 2012 is all about. Telegraphing audience instructions with blatant eye candy and shameless manipulation for no practical purpose... including entertainment.
The Blogography Movie Rating System...
Which brings us to...
Dave2 rating for 2012 (2009) —