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Pieces of Shit Being Pieces of Shit

Posted on October 15th, 2021

Dave!"Well, shit, I'm alive. The COVID booster didn't kill me. So I guess I have to go into to work."

Zero side-effects from the third Pfizer shot. Which worries me a little bit... how do I know that it did anything if there's no side-effects from my immune system getting charged up with COVID-fighting instructions? Though I didn't have side-effects the second time either (only the first, where I had a fever for three hours and soreness in my arm for three days).

In my county here in Central Washington, there's been 102 COVID deaths out of 10,912 total cases since tracking of the pandemic began. Right now they say that 638 people have tested positive in the first half of October. When I check the CDC site, it says that the eligible population here in my county is 73.6% vaccinated and 34 new people have been admitted into the hospital. If it's accurate, that's really good news. Given the number of anti-maskers out and about, I really expected us to be under 50% vaccinated. Some counties east of me in Idaho and Montana are 40-some-odd-percent, which is pretty scary. But not as scary as those counties sitting at 20% once you head over to the Dakotas. Holy shit. It's like a COVID incubater in some parts!

Which is how we end up with COVID variants like Delta, Beta, Gamma, Lambda, Mu, and the variants of those variants. It's all pretty crazy when you consider that the virus will only become more communicable and deadly as it changes to survive.

But that's nothing compared to the heinous level of idiocy coming out of the mouths of pieces of shit like Marjorie Taylor Greens, who is just the worst...

@dr.eric.b

##covid ##covid19 ##pandemic ##mask ##vaccine ##fyp ##hiv ##lgbtq ##politics

♬ original sound - Eric

God she's awful. There's really no level to which this horrific excuse for a human being will stoop. I am disgusted to my core.

I'd say that I can't wait for her to get COVID, but you just know that she's been vaccinated. Pandering to her base with this hipocritical bullshit is how she stays in office.

   

Pfizer Booster Super Anti-COVID Powers Activate!

Posted on October 14th, 2021

Dave!I qualified for the Pfizer booster shot and I leapt on it like a starving lion.

Ever since they announced that the Pfizer vaccine lacked the long-term protection that Moderna offered, I was waiting for my chance. Don't get me wrong... it still does a great job of protecting you from death... it's just that breakthrough cases for the vaccinated can have harsher symptoms than expected. And "harsher symptoms" are something I can't really afford to risk.

And so, I made the appointment at the local clinic's drive-through site (a fiasco in itself, that I'll write about below).

For my previous vaccinations, I went to the mass-vaccination site. For my first dose, barely anybody was there. For my second dose, nobody was there. But at the smaller clinic drive-through, there were at least a dozen people getting shooted. That was unexpected and nifty.

My vaccination card along with my filled out questionnaire to get my booster.

I can hear it now... “Holy shit, dude! You’re stupid enough to get a THIRD vaccination? You’re going to die for sure now!” — Which is what I’m guessing all the people who said I’d be dead by September after my initial vaccination are going to say. Because of course.

AND YES I ASKED FOR DOUBLE LIZARD DNA!!!

UPDATE: SHIT! NOT ONLY DID I NOT EXPERIENCE ANY PAIN OR SIDE-EFFECTS ALL DAY TODAY, I ALSO DIDN'T START TURNING INTO A LIZARD PERSON! THERE GOES MY DREAM OF JOINING THE ELITE LIZARD PERSON CABAL THAT RUNS THE WORLD!!

And now for the absolute absurdity it took to confirm my appointment (which I made by phone this morning).

Holy crap I wish Confluence Health would move away from MyChart.

It is the most inanely frustrating system to deal with. Nothing makes sense.

They send me an email to check in for my appointment. I click on the checkin link button. I then get taken to their website WHERE THEY WANT ME TO VERIFY THE EMAIL ADDRESS THAT THEY JUST SENT THE CHECKIN LINK TO?!? WHAT THE FUCK?!? And so I click the link to be sent a code that verifies my email... AND IT NEVER COMES. So, essentially, I can't check in as requested by email because they can't verify the email? And I know that if I call tech support the solution will be "check your spam folder." It's always "check your spam folder." Like people don't already know to do that by now. And it's not just MyChart. The Confluence Health website is shit too. Wanna login to MyChart? Well, first you have to scroll down and find the MyChart link. Then you go to the MyChart page and have to scroll all the way down the page for the "LOG IN TO MYCHART" link. Why not just put that fucking link at the top of the home page so people don't have to do all this work? Or, better yet, PUT THE LOGIN AT THE TOP OF THE FRONT FUCKING PAGE! They want you to use MyChart to save on staffing costs, but make it a hassle to do so. Which begs the questions... does anybody at Confluence Health use this shit themselves? Of course not. If they did then it would be a hell of a lot less shitty.

At least one would hope so.

Oh well. I finally got my booster.

I'm assuming that since a ton of people aren't getting fucking vaccinated that COVID will continue to mutate in the anti-vax people and we'll have to get annual boosters like the flu vaccine to handle that shit.

Which ain't fun, but it beats sucking on a tube of horse dewormer.

   

Cinematic Theatrical Pass

Posted on October 7th, 2021

Dave!There are so few movies that I'll go to the theater to see. All the Marvel Studios movies... maybe one or two others each year... that's it. The theater experience is so horrifically awful that suffering through it is asking too much.

And then there's the pandemic.

Is any movie worth getting sick and potentially dying to see? Not for me it isn't. And even though theaters require masks, you just know once the lights go down that anti-mask, anti-vax people won't be complying.

And it's tough. Because just look at what's coming...

  • No Time to Die
  • Dune
  • The French Dispatch
  • Eternals
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • The King's Man
  • The Matrix Resurrections

It's a slate of movies from two years piled into the final three months of 2021. All of which I would have likely seen in a theater if COVID wasn't out killing people.

Now, two of them... Dune and The Matrix Resurrections... will be on HBO. Not the best way to see movies that were built for the big screen (especially Dune, which looks positively epic), but something is better than nothing...

A few weeks ago I took a flight. I wasn't comfortable doing so but I got through it. And the reason I got through it is that, unlike a theater, an airplane has flight attendants walking down the aisles making sure everybody kept their mask on. Which is to say that there's no "getting through it" when it comes to the movies for me.

I want to see Eternals more than just about anything.

Except not dying.

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Maui: Day One

Posted on September 11th, 2021

Dave!Flying on 9/11 is an interesting concept, to be sure. Couple that with flying during a pandemic and... well... yeah.

My day started at 3:30am because I had an early flight. This wouldn't have been a problem except my cats sensed that something was going on last night and both of them took turns wanting to be petted. For two hours. So instead of going to be at 9:00pm, it was more like 11:00pm. A smarter person might have locked them out of the bedroom so they could get some sleep, but I think we all know that I'm not that guy.

All things considered, today was an uneventful day.

I don't know what I was expecting my first flight in two years to be like, but it wasn't the smooth sailing I got. Made it to the airport. Got checked in. Made it to Seattle. Got my PRE-CLEAR wristband to get me into Hawaii. Got upgraded to First Class. Had an easy flight over the Pacific Ocean. Easy trip to the hotel. Arrived in time for a nice dinner. If I hadn't had to wear a mask the entire time, this was a trip like a hundred others.

No anti-masker meltdown. Nobody being dragged off the flight in handcuffs. Nobody being an asshole even. Just everybody doing whatever they had to do to get to where they were going.

Nice.

Mask Required Airport Sign

Maui Palms

Bird in the Beach Bushes

Beautiful Maui Beach

My PRE-CLEAR band managed to survive the trip, so I'm just going to leave it on...

Beautiful Maui Beach

And now for some sleep. It's been a very long day.

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Maui: Day Zero

Posted on September 10th, 2021

Dave!I'm off to Maui for a "celebration of life" ceremony for one of my best friends to scatter his ashes in the waters of a place that he loved. We've had many adventures together in Hawaii. We got certified to SCUBA dive in Maui together. We took a hop over to Kauai to be chased by wild boars... and have even had a guy with a shotgun tell us to get off his property when we made a wrong turn. Along with friends, we've been all over the island, and it only seems appropriate that his ashes end up there.

Originally it was discussed for the Spring of 2020. But COVID. So then the Fall of 2020. Then the Spring of 2021. Then (finally) got planned for Fall of 2021 (which seemed sensible at the time since the vaccine was so widely available... but we all know how misinformation turned that into a fucking shit-show). And so here we are. Getting ready to fly over to Maui tomorrow.

The road to get to The Garden Aisle has been long. And made difficult in order to keep everybody safe as the COVID Delta Variant continues to explode.

In theory, meeting the requirements are a simple matter. But in practice? Not so much.

First of all, Hawaii requires the AlohaSafe Alert app be on your phone and enabled. This is actually pretty smart, because if you've come into contact with somebody who has a COVID diagnosis entered into the system, it will anonymously let everybody know who was in their vicinity. Smart. Assuming people keep it turned on AND enter their diagnosis into the system. Two failure points that will most certainly cause AlohaSafe Alert to be rendered useless. But it's required, so whatever.

Second of all, Hawaii requires a negative COVID test result within 48 hours or proof of vaccination to enter the state... unless you want to quarantine for a couple weeks. I'm vaccinated, so no problem there. I uploaded photos of my vaccination card to the travel.hawaii.gov "Safe Travels Program." No confirmation. No verification. No nothing. Apparently you need a digital pass in order to take care of this on top of the card scans? Who knows.

So I got a digital pass with the VaxYes app, thinking I could link that to Safe Travels. Nope. VaxYes is worthless.

So then I tried to get a CLEAR HealthPass via the CLEAR app. There were some initial problems, but I managed to get it taken care of and linked to my Safe Travels account just fine. Perfect. I can now fly into Hawaii.

BUT THEN... Oahu and Maui announced that they would require negative test results or vaccination proof to eat at restaurants and bars via the state-sanctioned CommonPass. No problem. I download the CommonPass app thinking I can just use my VaxYes, CLEAR, or Safe Travels pass to get that set up. NOPE! In order to use CommonPass, you have to have received a SMART Health Card. But the only way you can get a SMART Health Card is if your vaccination site offered it. My vaccination was from the Washington State Department of Health, and they don't offer SMART Health Cards (of course not... Washington State NEVER is on top of tech shit like this). Which means I have no way... none... of getting CommonPass for eating in restaurants or bars when I'm in Hawaii. Hopefully I can just show one of the other fucking passes I've had to get and that will do. I'll also bring my physical vaccination record card (which is a pain in the fucking ass because whomever designed this stupid shit made sure it doesn't fit in a fucking wallet).

So, essentially, it took two websites, four apps, and my vaccination card to get me this far. And I still have absolutely no idea how any of it works or even if any of it will work.

I guess if I show up in Maui and they refuse to let me in or decide to quarantine me, I'll finally find out that it didn't work.

So fingers crossed.

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Bullet Sunday 728

Posted on August 29th, 2021

Dave!So much good entertainment news this week, but I'm keeping my expectations in check... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Old Guard! My favorite movie of 2020, by a large margin, is getting a sequel! Starring Charlize Theron and based on the comic book of the same name, I literally can't say enough good things about it...

The Old Guard teaser poster.

Apparently everybody's coming back, though a major shift at the end of the movie adaptation have me wondering if the follow-up movie will attempt to adapt the story of the follow-up comic book, Force Multiplied.

   
• Atomic Blonde! And speaking of Charlize Theron... her other amazing film, Atomic Blonde, is not getting just one sequel... it's apparently getting two!

Atomic Blonde Movie Poster!

This is phenomenal news, because the first movie was a spy thriller unlike anything I had seen before. I only hope that whomever picked the songs for the soundtrack comes back to select them for the sequels, because that just made an incredible film even better.

   
• Dark! And I'm not done with awesome entertainment news! Yet another amazing movie has a television series sequel in development... Dark City! But it gets better! Original director Alex Proyas is going to be working on it!

Dark City Movie Poster!

I remember the original film very well. A friend and I had made a trip to Seattle and had some time to kill. There was a theater near our hotel so we decided to see a movie. Nothing looked interesting to us, but we eventually settled on Dark City because it at least was supposed to be science fiction, which we both liked. Nothing could have prepared us for what we were going to see. It was an absolutely fascinating story and had some of the most stunning visuals of any film I had seen up to that point. Visuals, I might add, we've seen copied in any number of films (there were times watching Doctor Strange that I couldn't get Dark City out of my head). No word as to whether any of the original characters will be returning, but

   
• Happy Little Trees! I finally got to the Bob Ross documentary on Netflix. I was most pleased that they acknowledged that The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross was preceded by The Magic of Oil Painting with Bill Alexander. They were essentially the same program using the same technique... except Bob Ross was ASMR personified. I remember when I was a kid how upset I was that Bill Alexander was replaced with the new guy, but ultimately fell in love with Bob Ross just like everybody else did. I am fairly certain that I saw every single episode of both series, and was a huge, huge fan...

Bob Ross Magical Painting!
From PBS. But, just in case... © ® ™ Bob Ross Inc. so I don't get sued.

The documentary was quite good, but I didn’t learn anything new from it. I was well aware of the battle between Bob Ross and The Kowalskis, and was hoping that we would finally get their side of the story. But nope! They opted out and provided a weak-ass statement, which only makes me believe that they are awful people who didn’t honor the wishes of Bob Ross and tried to cheat everybody out of ownership of what they were left after Bob Ross died (not to mention the awful things they did to steal from other artists). Such a shame. With all those millions of dollars there was plenty of money to go around while still honoring Bob Ross’s final wishes. UPDATE: Bob Ross Inc. Responds to Netflix Doc.

   
• Eeelie! DAFUQ?!? CAN SOMEBODY CONFIRM THIS?!?

@colethesciencedude

We Don't Know Where Eels Come From #science #funfacts #learnontiktok #fyp #education

♬ Horror, suspense, weirdness, ghost, UFO - Zassh

It's like... I don't even know how to respond after watching this.

   
• Sheep! "A sheep farmer stuck in lockdown in New South Wales who was unable to attend his aunt’s funeral has honoured her memory with the ultimate tribute: a love heart made from sheep."

The innovation of people to escape the confines of the horrors of this never-ending pandemic provides hope amongst the ignorance and selfishness that plagues us.

   
• Value! "Spread the word. This has to stop." — People really are the worst...

@zbojones

Please share, this has to stop ##fyp ##MicroRaveWithRoni ##MyTeacherWins ##stopjudging

♬ original sound - Zac Brady

And just as a sample of what this guy has to deal with...

@zbojones

It’s a mindset people ! ##fyp ##pumpkinseason ##loveyourself ##ChewyChattyPets

♬ OkkkAaayyy - BOY2FLY 🕺🏾

Jesus, humanity. Do fucking better.

   
Any more attempt at bullets and I'd be shooting blanks. So until next week...

   

The United States of July

Posted on July 1st, 2021

Dave!And... just like that... the year is half over.

And on a frickin' Thursday of all days. After having 2020 pass so slowly thanks to a COVID-mandated hallscape, we're back to time flying by again, I guess?

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My So-Called Quasi-Normal Life, Now in Progress

Posted on May 10th, 2021

Dave!My official "Vaccination Complete" date was last Wednesday on Cinco de Mayo. That was two weeks after my second dose. It was my intent to go out for dinner... sitting down in an actual restaurant... but it never ended up happening. I watched television with Jake while drinking margaritas and Pacifico.

But tonight was the night.

Now that my sister and I are on the vaccinated train, she stayed over last night... the first time in a year-and-a-half... and we decided to celebrate by going out to dinner. It was so wonderful. The last time I ate out in a restaurant was probably early December 2019, and I forgot how nice it is to leave the cooking to somebody else and just enjoy being out of the house again.

Afterwards we went to a favorite Redneckistan bar for beer and pulltabs. Oh... and I played video-trivia games! I for 100% certain caught COVID from touching the screen for an hour, but it was worth it because I got high score!

The screen from a video trivia bar game showing myself taking all five top scores!

It's a strange feeling having people in my house again. Before the pandemic, my home was a revolving door of houseguests and good times. During the pandemic it was just day after day after day of me and my cats watching television.

Life is not "back to normal" yet. Probably won't be for years. But it was sure nice to get a glimpse of "normal"... if only for one evening.

   

Bullet Sunday 712

Posted on May 9th, 2021

Dave!We may not be at heard immunity yet (if ever), but life goes marching on... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Mom! Happiest of Mother's Days to all the moms out there. The more time goes on, the more grateful I am to have had the best mom ever looking after me...

Mom and Me

We were best friends from the start and I love her around the world and back.

   
• Hoth! Anybody seen Star Wars: Biomes on Disney+ ?!? Gorgeous! Just a 12-minute screen saver of various planets from the Star Wars universe...

I am addicted and want more... more... MORE! There are other planets that would be so cool to see! If you have Disney+ tune in and be mesmerized! Then demand another episode! The two ship fly-through videos (for the Millennium Falcon and a Star Destroyer) are also wonderful to look at.

   
• Vaccinate! The New York Times has a fascinating article on how Pfizer is manufacturing their COVID vaccine, and I encourage everybody to give it a read.


Image from The New York Times

Incredible stuff. mRNA vaccines seem more like magic than science, and future prospects for the technology are bright indeed.

   
• Honnold! Every New Year's Day, I have a checklist of things I do. On that list is to check and see if Alex Honnold... a free-climbing genius... is still alive. I'm a huge fan, but not always able to keep up on what he's up to. As of a week ago, I know he was alive because he did a video for GQ Magazine where he looks at climbing scenes in movies. It's fantastic and well worth your time to watch...

"He doesn't get tired though because he's Tom Cruise!" And here's the original one I watched...

"Oh my goodness gracious... he just fell to his death!" Alex is entirely too nice for this cruel world!

   
• Trek! I am rewatching the first JJ Abrams Star Trek movie... you know, the one with ALL THE LENS FLARE ALL THE TIME... I just got to the point at the start where Lil' Spock is beating the ever-loving shit out of the Vulcan kid that called him mom a whore. All while his classmates look on in horror. And I realize something. JJ Abrams completely and totally defined Spock in three scenes... something it took a dozen episodes of the original television series to do...

Lil' Spock beating the crap out of a fellow student.

And this follows on the heels of him doing the same for James T. Kirk. Say what you like about the reboot, but Abrams was absolutely brilliant in introducing the Star Trek Universe to people who may have been unfamiliar with it. If you didn't know Kirk, Spock, and McCoy at the beginning of the movie... you certainly did by the end. No easy feat.

   
• Clark! I was a huge Tom Clancy fan back in the day. Read all the early books he wrote. They were entertaining diversions with increasingly ridiculous stories... reaching peak absurdity when Jack Ryan became president. I stopped reading a couple books after Executive Orders and never got into the books that were added after Clancy died where other authors wrote them. I thought the three movie adaptations with Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford were pretty good. The Ben Affleck and Chris Pine movies were forgettable. Though I have (mostly) enjoyed the John Krasinski Jack Ryan series on Amazon. And now we have Without Remorse with Michael B. Jordan as John Clark...

Despite the story starting off with a tiresome and antiquated "fridging" that could have easily been changed, it's a darn good movie. Jordan has the chops to sell the character both emotionally and as an action star, and his path of revenge is glorious. If you like this kind of thing, it's worth a look on Amazon Prime streaming!

   
• Borders! I absolutely love stories like this: Belgian Farmer Accidentally Moves French Border.

   
And that's a wrap on my Sunday Bullets. Hope your Mother's Day weekend was a good one!

   

Cinco de Vacunado

Posted on May 5th, 2021

Dave!It's been two weeks since my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Which is to say that I am now fully vaccinated. Though with all the mutations that are happening, this could be short-lived. Right now they are saying that the vaccines do very well against the new strains... keeping people out of the hospital and away from death. Tomorrow something new could come along to change all that. In fact I would expect something new to come along and change that. This ain't over, and I can easily see how we'll need an annual booster to handle new strains just like we have with the flu shot.

In the meanwhile though? I am going to eat in a restaurant!

Maybe. I think. The plan was to go to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate my being totalmente vacunado on Cinco de Mayo... but that's looking unlikely now because I've got a list of things to do that's a mile long. But I will be eating at a restaurant that's taking proper precautions one day soon.

Preferably one that makes a mean margarita.

Just me entering Phase One of getting my life back.

   

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