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Venice: Gondola

Posted on March 22nd, 2011

Dave!The quintessential "Venice Experience" is to take a gondola ride. I've never done it because the cost is outrageously expensive... about $120 for 35 minutes. For that kind of money, I'd rather take a ride of an entirely different kind.

But, alas, Venice is sinking and all that, and I didn't want to regret that I never rode in a gondola when I had the chance. So I didn't think about the money and decided to go for it.

Worth every penny.

It may be touristy and trite, but it really is the best way to experience this remarkable city...

Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride

Gondola Ride

The gondoliers have a fairly tough job that requires quite a bit of skill...

Gondolier Manouverings

Gondolier Manouverings

Gondolier Manouverings

Gondolier Manouverings

If you're ever in Venice, save some money for a gondola ride, it's worth the price.

There are two problems which plague a photographer in Venice. 1) Everything is leaning or warped or crooked, so trying to line up shots can drive you a little crazy. And 2) The stupid pigeons are everywhere and mess up a surprising number of shots you're trying to take. I've got dozens of photos that ended up being bird photos...

Bird flies into my shot of the Doge's Palace door!

Dodge's Palace Door

When I was last in Venice, I went to the top of the Campanile Bell Tower where I got this incredible panorama shot of the city. But it was rainy and dreary, and I longed to take another panorama in better weather. Like today. Which was sunshine and blue skies as far as the eye could see.

The problem is that something has changed since I was here last. There are heavy metal grates in place, so I couldn't really move my camera enough to take a panorama. I don't remember how I did it last time. Perhaps the grate is new? Or maybe they used to allow you to climb the stairs up past the observation deck and that's closed now? I can't figure it out. I guess I should be thankful that I've got one, even though it's in bad weather. Oh well. It's still a nice view...

The Campanile Bell Tower in Venice

Entering the Campanile

View from the top of the Campanile

View from the top of the Campanile

View from the top of the Campanile

After goofing around St. Mark's Square for a while, I decided to explore the area north of Rialto. It's there that the only McDonald's in Venice is located, and I wanted to use their free WiFi. Except the WiFi wasn't working, so I ended up going to Mickey-Dees for nuthin...

McDonald's Venice

Annnnd... I'm done playing tourist for the day. Time to seek out the perfect Venetian restaurant for dinner.

   

McLawsuit

Posted on December 15th, 2010

Dave!I'm a vegetarian.

Because I'm a vegetarian, I am not a huge fan of McDonald's. The one thing McDonald's made I could eat... the TOTALLY AWESOME McVeggie Deluxe... should have been expanded to every McDonald's in the world. Instead they removed it from the menu at the one place you could get it: the wonderful Times Square McDonald's. Oh well. I still stop by for McFries every once in a while, because they're some of the best fast-food fries you can get. They used to have the best fried pies you can get, but now they have shitty baked pies. Bummer.

Anyway... despite my not being a fan of McDonalds (nor being a fan of the subsidized cheap beef they use which is destroying the planet) I still believe they should have a right to sell whatever they can get people to buy. Even if it is unhealthy dead cow products. I may choose not to eat their vegetarian-hostile crap, but a lot of people like it so good for them. If eaten in moderation, there's nothing wrong with treating yourself to a Big Mac every once in a while.

And then today I read in The L.A. Times that McDonald's is being sued because "The Center for Science in the Public Interest" feels the toys in their Happy Meals unfairly entice children into "eating food that can do them harm"...

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey contemplates a Happy Meal box

   
The lead plaintiff in the case, a mother of two from Sacramento, goes one step further by claiming McDonald's "uses toys as bait to induce her kids to clamor to go to McDonald's."

Uhhhhhh...

The word you are searching for, YOU MORON, is "no."

That's right... if you don't feel McDonald's is healthy for your kids and don't want them eating there, JUST SAY NO! When I was a kid I clamored for a flamethrower. My parents, WHO ARE ACTUAL FUCKING PARENTS THAT CHOSE TO RAISE THEIR KIDS INSTEAD OF HAVING A RESTAURANT DO IT FOR THEM, felt a flamethrower could be detrimental to my health and told me "no."

Idiotic bullshit like this drives me fucking insane.

Kids "clamor" for all kinds of crap that can "do them harm."

It's the job of the parent to read labels and research products and do all the stuff parents do to protect their kids from harm. Yes, the parent! If a frickin' cheap-ass toy is enough to totally usurp your parenting authority, you've got bigger fucking problems than a stupid Happy Meal. I hate to think what lawsuit is coming next. Are you going to fucking sue JC Penney for distributing a toy catalog because it entices children into clamoring for toys that aren't healthy to your bank account? Are you going to go after Pop-Tarts because they put Hello Kitty on the box to entice kids into eating toaster pastries that aren't healthy to HUMANITY? What the hell? Do parents want ANY responsibility in raising their kids any more?

The word you are searching for is "no."

If you don't know how to use it to keep your children from harm... or use your brain to figure out a healthier alternative to placate your kids over a frickin' toy... you might want to consider putting your offspring up for adoption. Odds are they'll be a lot better off.

   

McPie

Posted on April 7th, 2010

Dave!I've been thinking a lot about pie recently.

It all started when I went through the McDonald's drive-thru last week and wanted something to eat with my French fries. As I read through the menu looking for non-meat options, I landed on the McDonald's apple pie and felt my heart sink. McDonalds' apple pie sucks ass. Compared to my grandmother's apple pie, all apple pies suck ass... but McDonald's is a new low in apple pie suckage. Especially since they switched to their awful "baked" pies in 1992. Prior to that, their pies at least had the benefit of a crispy goodness that can only come from deep-fat-frying.

I ended up getting a OREO Cookie McFlurry with my fries because I just couldn't handle the disappointment.

But my longing for deep-fried fast-food pie has lingered.

Mostly because I know that most foreign countries have McDonalds that serve fried pies. I've had fried McPie in Hong Kong, France, Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, and other countries too. Never mind that McDonalds was Made in America, foreign countries get the good pie.

Why Americans suffer in silence.

BUT I CAN BE SILENT NO MORE! I WANT FRIED McPIE BACK IN AMERICA!!

DAVETOON: Bad Monkey with a McDonald's Fried Pie.

I don't care about health care reform or tax spending or national debt or any of that long-term crap anymore. All I care about is fried McPies for the American people NOW.

I realize that McDonald's probably started baking their pies out of some kind of misguided attempt to create something healthier to eat... but people don't go to McDonalds to eat healthy, and they certainly don't order pie for the health benefits. So let's cut all the pretentious bullshit and people what they want.

McDonalds owes us that much.

McDonalds owes us fried McPie.

   

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