Posted on March 11th, 2014
I am watching a new show called Believe off my DVR. It seems to be a "girl with special powers on the run" rip-off of Steven King's Firestarter, except it's total shit... which is surprising given the fact that it was created by Alfonso Cuarón and is being produced by J.J. Abrams. Right now a little girl just started screaming her head off which is exactly the kind of thing I go out of my way to avoid in real life. Why somebody would think I want to listen to this crap as entertainment is beyond me. What's next? A man stares at the camera while chewing with his mouth open and clipping his fingernails?
HELPFUL HINT: If You are creating a television series, try not to actively annoy the ever-loving-shit out of your viewers. And if you do, don't expect them to hang around.
Which is advice I should have given myself when it comes to writing in this blog.
But at least I don't make my viewers sit through a bunch of commercials. That's gotta count for something, right?
Posted on September 13th, 2013
20min shuttle ride + 2hr waiting + 4hr 15min flight + 1hr 25min layover + 2hr 15min flight + 3hr time change = 13hr 15min of travel on no sleep.
I can't quite remember where, but somewhere along the way I lost my sanity. I'd be upset about that, but I'm just too tired to care anymore.
Remember when I used to love Earl of Sandwich?
When I would travel hundreds of miles out of my way to eat there?
When I would wax poetic over every sandwich consumed in my blog?
When I would visit the same Earl restaurant and get the same sandwich every day I was even remotely near one of their locations? Sometimes twice a day?
I used to describe their food as "orgasmic" and "my favorite sandwich on earth" and "so good it's worth risking your life to have one." Their "Earl Veggie" was a dream come true... packed with lettuce, tomato, onion, olives, feta cheese, and their amazing Mediterranean dressing (I skipped the roasted red peppers and cucumbers)... all served on bread so delicious that you couldn't help but make yummy noises while you ate it.
But then, for reasons I can't even guess, they discontinued the "Earl Veggie" and replaced it with a boring-ass Caprese sandwich.
For a while there, I was able to get back the "Earl Veggie" I loved by paying extra money to get an alteration with added ingredients... "I'll take a Caprese Sandwich. No mozzarella. No basil. No Vinaigrette. Add Feta Cheese, Lettuce, Red Onion, Kalamata Olives, & Mediterranean Dressing." — Sure it sucked that I was paying more for the same sandwich, but it was so delicious I didn't care... no harm, no foul.
But then they stopped making the Mediterranean Dressing.
And now they don't even have onions any more (unless they're grilled). Yes, you read that right, a sandwich shop with no onions.
So tonight when I went over the International Plaza's Bay Street, I made a pitiful attempt to get my sandwich back by ordering a Caprese with NOTHING on it... add lettuce, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and Italian Dressing. This grotesque mockery of a sandwich is what I ended up with...
Despite the staff being eager to please, it was pretty disgusting and barely edible. They forgot the feta, which is the entire point of the sandwich. And instead of a drizzle of Italian Dressing for flavor, they literally flooded my sandwich with the stuff. It soaked into the bread and was dripping out every time I tried to take a bite. There was barely any veggies inside either, with one pathetic leaf of lettuce, a few scattered olives, and three tomato slices.
How the fuck do you go from having the greatest sandwich I've ever tasted in my life to having a barely edible monstrosity that I have to force myself to choke down? The best thing about my meal was the baked potato that came with my sandwich, and it wasn't even hot.
And it's not just the discontinuation of the greatest sandwich I had ever eaten that's the problem, just look how Earl of Sandwich sandwiches have degraded over time...
The bread, once buttery and wonderfully flaky, has become more like a typical crusty sandwich roll. It still tastes great, but it's not the magical experience it once was. And just look at the size! I was more than a little shocked when I opened my sandwich to see how much it has shrunk. I know the photos are all different scales... but compare the logo dots on the wrapper. I'm betting the current sandwich is a good inch shorter and half-inch slimmer than it used to be. Which makes it all the more disappointing that the amount of sandwich toppings has been so grossly reduced. The veggies used to be piled high. Now? There's barely anything to be found on the sandwich I got.
All I can say is that I hope the meat sandwiches are faring much better for the carnivores out there, because the vegetarian options fucking suck. And if you had told me two years ago that I would ever be saying something like that about Earl of Sandwich, I would have slapped you across the face and screamed "LIAR!!!"
I just don't get it. Really I don't.
But oh well. One less thing I have to worry about when I travel.
Posted on July 31st, 2013
When last we left our intrepid hero, his car was making heinous rattling noises.
The only mechanic shop I know in Spokane is Dee's Auto. So in-between work and checking out of my hotel, I gave them a call. They said that muffler & exhaust were out of their expertise, and I should give Muffler Mart a try.
How refreshing to have a mechanic send business away rather than charge you to take a look at something they know they can't fix, then make you pay for a referral.
Muffler Mart ("Three Old Guys and One Kid Work Here!") very kindly squeezed my piece-of-crap car in for a look after only a short wait. They found that my exhaust system was in great shape, and the racket was just a screw that had gone missing (I can so relate to that). They replaced the screw and refused to let me pay them for their time.
How refreshing to have a mechanic not try and sell you something you don't need, but instead apply a band-aid to your car's ouchie at no charge.
Am I in the Twilight Zone? Not one, but two honest mechanics?
So... when my muffler actually does need to be replaced, I guess I'm driving 3-1/2 to Spokane. Muffler Mart is exactly the kind of business I want to support with my hard-earned dollars.
In other news, this happened...
Yes. iPhone will not work because it is too hot to use.
UNLESS YOU NEED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY CALL! THEN IT WILL WORK PERFECTLY FINE!
I guess 9-1-1 calls have magical heat-defying properties.
Lesson learned. Don't leave your iPhone in a hot car even for just a little while.
Posted on November 18th, 2011
...an incredibly crappy day.
My biggest fear when flying out of the valley this time of year is that the weather will turn bad and close the airport. The forecast called for snow, so I went to bed last night not knowing if it were going to be enough snow to crap all over my travel plans.
Then this morning I woke up and saw that not only was there no snow falling, but we actually had blue skies! Sweet! No worries then!
Until I got to the airport and found out that Horizon Air canceled my flight to Seattle because "the inbound plane was experiencing mechanical difficulties."
Uh huh. The far more likely scenario is that a plane on a much more popular and profitable route experienced mechanical difficulties, and so our plane was pulled to service that route. Thus screwing everybody in Wenatchee trying to get to Seattle for their connecting flights.
I used to fly out of Wenatchee for all my trips... probably two to five flights a month. But eventually I gave up because I got sick and tired of the numerous delays and cancellations. Without reliable service, how the fuck can I plan for anything? Far better to drive over to Seattle so I can be confident of making my flight than to rely on Horizon Air to get me there. They've failed too many times. But I didn't want to miss getting back in time for Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house, which meant I needed to fly.
So for the first time in a long time I booked a ticket on Horizon Air and, naturally, got completely and totally fucked for my trouble.
Weather cancellations are understandable... expected even. But mechanical? AGAIN?
And so I had to haul ass over the mountains in an attempt to make my flight.
Which I did. Barely.
So much for an easy and relaxing travel day. Usually one has to be taken hostage during an armed bank robbery to experience this kind of stress.
It's all my fault of course. This is what I get for living on the outskirts of civilization.
Posted on June 19th, 2011
It's a busy busy Bullet Sunday!
If I were smart, I'd blow off blogging today so I could get caught up with work. Oh well. Blogging is a tough habit to break. Even when it's bad for you. Especially when it's bad for you.
• Holiday. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Including mine...
• Cheesy. I think it aught to be a law that companies who make low-fat and fat-free cheese products should be REQUIRED UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH to label their products with giant warning labels like they put on cigarettes...
I am tired of accidentally buying the wrong cheese at the store because I'm in a hurry and don't notice the beautifully-integrated low-fat declaration. If there were an offensively large warning label requirement, I'd be less likely to mistakenly purchase this crap.
• Batmobile. Batman is my favorite comic book hero. By far. He doesn't have any super powers, so the stakes are always higher for him than say.... Superman. How Batman compensates for being merely human is those wonderful toys he uses to fight crime. The most famous of which would have to be the Batmobile. As Batman's vehicle of choice, it's taken a lot of different forms over the years. Some good. Some bad. Some meh. Kind of like the latest Batmobile designed by Gordon Murray(!) for the new Batman Live touring show. In the right light, it's kind of sexy...
But in the wrong light... such as, say... DAYLIGHT... it looks kind of boring and lame...
Still, it is a step above the massive tank-like "Batmobile Tumbler" from the current Batman films, I guess. I mostly didn't care for the theatrical and goofy nature of the Tim Burton movies, but I think he had the best Batmobile on the big screen so far.
• Flush. I am sick of all these commercials touting "Flash" as an awesome "feature" on the Android Tablets. Flash sucks. It's battery-draining, crash-happy, annoying bullshit and I hate it. Apple choosing to dump the buggy shit from its iPhone, iPod, and iPad was one of the best things to happen to the internet, because it's forcing web developers to stop using Flash and turn to modern HTML 5 elements instead. I am reminded of just how smart Apple is every time I visit a Flash site on my MacBook and it either crashes or sucks my battery dry.
My favorite thing to do is fill out crash reports whenever Flash crashes (which is a lot)...
Not that it's any news to Apple... hell, they're trying their best to kill Flash. But I'm easily frustrated and a total smartass.
• Cloudy. Speaking of Apple competitor suckage... why is buying music from Amazon such a frikin' joke? It's an awful, awful experience. It's so mind-boggling horrible that I'd rather pay $1.29 for a song from Apple than to suffer through buying the same song for 69¢ from Amazon. And now that they force you to go through their "Cloud Drive" for everything, a bad situation is even worse. Partly because their "Cloud Drive Player" is shit and stutters and stalls every time I try to listen to a song. But mostly because you can't just download your music when you want. You still have to use Amazon's unbelievably crappy downloader utility, which is just fucking stupid. Apple's iCloud service won't be ready until July (Mac) and September (iOS), but it's bound to be worth waiting for given Amazon's terrible solution. Guess I'm in no danger of turning in my Certified Apple Whore credentials any time soon.
And now I think I'll eat cookies and watch episodes of The West Wing. After all these years, it remains some of the best television ever aired.
Posted on June 15th, 2011
For people like me who believe that everything happens for a reason, life can be a bit puzzling from time to time. Especially when something bad happens. A part of you is going "Well this sucks! But it apparently needed to happen, so here we are." While another part of you is going "What the fuck did I ever do to deserve this shit?"
Today I was saying "What the fuck?" quite a lot.
Which is to say that I understand that everything happens for a reason, I just refuse to accept it (albeit temporarily).
Hoping for a better day tomorrow.
Posted on December 20th, 2010
Yay! It's a lunar eclipse!
Boo! I live in shitty Central Washington where it's overcast and snowy.
So when I run outside to look at the fabulousness occurring, this is what I see...
Which sucks, because THIS is what everybody else gets to look at...
It reminds me of the "super spectacular" total solar eclipse that happened when I was in Middle School... probably, oh I dunno... 1979 or 1980. Our school didn't have fancy tinted plastic viewers so you actually got to LOOK at the sun being eclipsed. Oh no... we got to poke a small hole in a piece of paper and hold it up to the sun so a beam of eclipsing light shined on a piece of paper. This is how I got to see the awesomeness of the "once in a lifetime big event"...
Which sucks, because THIS is what everybody else got to look at (right before they got super-powers)...
It's like I'm in Middle School all over again.
Middle School so totally sucks.
UPDATE: For anybody who missed it like me, there's a fantastic video over at Vimeo!
Posted on April 4th, 2010
It's Bullet Sunday on Easter Sunday! Bullets and Eggs... could there be a better combination?
• HAPPY EASTER! To all my friends who celebrate this day for whatever reason, I wish you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful Spring. My day was nice enough... dinner at grandma's house... but my car ended up covered with bird crap. And I mean covered. There is so much bird crap on my car that I'm fairly certain I could fertilize half the apple orchards in the valley. I didn't have enough quarters for a car wash, so now I'm driving the PoopMobile. Kind of an ominous start to my Spring, but it is what it is.
• THRILLER! Say what you like about the freakish nature of Michael Jackson but, after watching his final appearances on the This is It DVD, there's no denying the guy was a true musical artist. I am only a casual fan but have to admit I was amazed watching him prepare for his farewell tour. Even if you only like one or two Michael Jackson songs you owe it to yourself to see this film...
• UPS SUCKS! Yesterday I was supposed to be in Seattle hanging out with friends and family. But a freak snowstorm descended, canceling my plans. So long as a winter storm warning is in effect, I can't risk being trapped in Seattle while I'm still trying to get caught up with work after my vacation. Since I was going to be home, I was asked to help with an emergency. An iPad demo unit which has to be on its way to Europe on Monday wasn't going to arrive as planned, and a software developer friend of mine asked if I wouldn't mind sending my iPad out instead (then he would send his iPad to me next week when he got it). Of course I didn't mind at all. The only problem was that I live in a small town where Saturday Delivery isn't available, and I wasn't expecting my iPad to be here until Monday. So I called UPS to tell them to please route my iPad to a UPS Store in a nearby city that has Saturday Delivery. I could drive into town, pick it up, transfer the software, and then ship it out again no problem.
Except it WAS a problem. UPS refused to do a damn thing.
They wouldn't reroute the package. They wouldn't even contact the local UPS station to have them take it to the UPS Store. They wouldn't even let me drive to the actual station and pick it up there. They didn't offer any solution at all.
What fantastic customer service.
I'm amazed that I've done this with Fed-Ex a couple times before and they never even hinted that it was a problem. Fed-Ex just took care of it, and I never gave it a second thought. But to UPS it's massive drama and an overwhelming ordeal that they can't (or won't) help you with. They just don't care. Which meant my friend... a small tech developer just trying to stay in business another damn day... had to drive eight hours round-trip to solve a problem that UPS could have fixed in just a few minutes if they had even a hint of customer service.
So, lesson learned. If you want a company that actually gives a flying fuck, ship with Fed-Ex.
UPDATE: And so one of the voicemails I ignored at work this weekend was from my local UPS station trying to contact me to see if I wanted to have my package delivered to an alternative address or meet a driver to pick it up. This is exactly what I wanted to do all along, but was assured by the UPS Customer Service line that it was impossible. Apparently the local stations actually do give a crap about their customers, they just don't have any support from corporate. This is so frickin' typical of big businesses now-a-days that I can't even pretend to be surprised.
And, on that happy note, I'm off to wash clothes. How exciting is THAT?
Posted on November 15th, 2009
Oh boy! It's Bullet Sunday once again! This will have to be a quick one, because I have got a lot to do before I fly out again on Friday.
• iTunez! I have a laundry list of things I hate about Apple's "iTunes Music Store" (particularly after the last shitty upgrade they forced on us)... but dealing with App Store update insanity is currently the thing pissing me off most. It's just so damn irritating the way that the process never... NEVER... makes things easy on you. You're constantly being interrupted with bullshit alert messages that are so astoundingly stupid that you have to wonder if Apple is being staffed by morons. Take, for example, the "You Are Downloading Age-Restricted Materials" alert...
Yes, I know. And the reason I know is that I get this dumbass alert EVERY TIME I UPDATE MY APPS! Can't iTunes REMEMBER that I'm an adult so I don't have to go through this shit each time? And what's truly asinine is that the apps themselves are not adult-oriented... it's just that they access the internet where adult-oriented stuff might pop up. And it's not like underage kids are going to see this and go "Oh, I'm only 16, so I guess I'd better stop the update" either. I feel safer already!
And what about mystical crap like the "You Have Already Purchased This Item" alert...
Yes, you stupid pile of FAIL!, I want to download the shit I've purchased! Why WOULDN'T I want to download it. ESPECIALLY IF IT'S AN UPDATE TO SOMETHING I ALREADY PURCHASED?!?! I mean, SERIOUSLY?
And then there's my FAVORITE message. It's the "The Item You Tried to Download is No Longer Available" alert...
If it's no longer available, then why try to download it? But the biggest problem? THEY DON'T TELL YOU WHICH FUCKING APP IS THE CULPRIT! The error appears again and again and again until you manually download each app until you figure out which one is no longer available so you can manually delete it from the session. It's about the stupidest damn thing I've ever seen out of Apple. IF IT'S NOT AVAILABLE, THEN STOP TRYING TO DOWNLOAD IT YOU WORTHLESS PILE OF CRAP!! Can't you just eliminate it from the update session AND STOP BOTHERING ME?!? Completely stupid. BEYOND completely stupid. This is a bug of epic Microsoft proportions, and a total embarrassment to Apple.
The iTunes Music Store is so hopelessly idiotic now that it begs the question... DOES APPLE EVEN BOTHER BETA-TESTING SHIT ANYMORE? EVER?!? This is amateur hour stuff, and it's starting to really piss me off.
• Gleek! After listening to the non-stop raves from practically everybody, I finally broke down and watched the latest episode of Glee on Hulu entitled Wheels. Before I get into the horrors I was subjected to, I should preface this review(?) by saying that I can't stand musicals. It freaks me out when people suddenly break into song and dance for no particular reason, and the ... unreality... of it all drives me bat-shit insane. From what I understood, Glee was different because it was about kids in glee club, so there's context for all the singing and dancing crap. Except... the first thing I see? Some guy in a wheelchair starts mangling Billy Idol's Dancing With Myself then, you guessed it, starts wheeling around his school where nobody seems to notice that he's singing his guts out the whole time. Nobody says a damn thing...
It's not at all freaky that nobody notices I'm singing!
Guy in the wheelchair kind of set the tone for the "Breakfast Club" theory of random casting, except they took it to the next level. Handicapped Kid, CHECK... Jock Kid, CHECK... Gay Kid, CHECK... Bad Boy Outsider Kid, CHECK... Black Kid, CHECK... Asian Kid, CHECK... Spoiled Jewish Princess Kid, CHECK... Stupid Blonde Kid, CHECK... Pregnant Kid, CHECK... Down Syndrome Kid, CHECK... it goes on and on and on. It's as if they told the casting director "Give me one of everything!" so it would make the writing as easy as possible. Which makes sense when you start noticing that everybody gets double-duty BONUS FEATURES!! Pregnant Kid, for example, is also Slutty Bitch Popular Christian Kid, who is terrorizing her current boyfriend to pay her for pregnancy support when she knows that the real father is actually (drumroll of un-shock) Bad Boy Outsider Kid! And don't forget the teachers! Lawful-Good Glee Club Teacher simply must have his stereotypical nemesis with Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher...
We're the stereotypical bitches of Glee!
The only part of the show that was remotely interesting to me was Down Syndrome Girl, which may seem a little too "Corky" from Life Goes On, but actually kind of works. Too bad they had to go and spoil it by building a hokey mystery as to why Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher could possibly want to put her on the cheerleading squad (especially when the predictable answer is a retread plot device that has been used in a billion other television shows for faux-drama heartstring pulling)...
ZOMFG! Why is the Chaotic-Evil P.E. Teacher being so nice? Yep! Exactly why you'd think she is.
And, of course, what would the show be without the big musical number finale? We'll never know, because the writers are just that predictable. But to be EXTRA tacky and manipulative, lets take the Featured-Kid-Of-The-Week cliche (Wheelchair Boy) and build a musical number of love and acceptance... by making everybody sing Proud Mary in... you guessed it... WHEELCHAIRS! Wheee...
Uhhh... yeah. Really, really, didn't like Glee. Didn't "get" it at all. Though, to be fair, I am not a part of its target audience of musical-lovers. Except... even without the musical numbers... the stereotypes, cliches, predictability, and gag-inducingly obvious emotional manipulation would kill it for me. Oh well. It's perfectly okay that everybody doesn't like the same things. On the contrary, in this case it's critical for maintaining my sanity.
And that will have to do it until next week...
Posted on November 14th, 2009
The reason I try to avoid saying anything negative about people, places, and things is because no matter which person, place, or thing you badmouth, it's going to be somebody's favorite. The reason I know this is because people badmouth my favorite things all the time.
There are exceptions, of course. Even a cursory review of my past blog entries would reveal that I fail miserably when it comes to not saying negative things. Here's just a few of my failures...
• Internet Explorer
• Ann Coulter
• Nancy Grace
• Bill O'Reilly
• Rosie O'Donnell
• David Caruso
• Stride Gum
• Spelling Bees
• Jared the Subway Sandwich Whore
• President Bush
• Dick Cheney
• Pat Robertson
• President Obama
• Hillary Clinton
• Orly Taitz
• 12 Grain Bread
• FOX News
• John McCain
• Tony Danza
• Kelly Osbourne
• Dr. Phil
• Judge Judy
• Martha Stewart
• Pat O'Brien
• Paul Marx
• Mayor Greg Nickels
• And many others...
But here's the thing. I don't apologize for any of it. I feel what I feel then I write what I write. If I offend somebody because I've badmouthed their favorite thing, well... it's my blog and that's really too bad. They don't have to read it. Because unless I've gotten the facts wrong or said something that was interpreted wrong, I'm not going to apologize for how I feel about something.
Which presents a problem when somebody emails me saying I should apologize for hating on the television series Dollhouse because it was their favorite show and now it's been cancelled.
Um, yeah... while I do feel bad because my favorite shows seem to get cancelled all the time... am I sorry enough to apologize for saying I think Dollhouse is (was) a steaming pile of crap?
Not really, no.
I will apologize for not trying harder to avoid saying anything negative about people, places, and things though.
I'll work on that right after I dump out this Ronzoni Bistro "Rotini with Tomato Basil Pasta" which is probably the worst pasta I have ever eaten in my entire life. Seriously, if you want to know just how bad pasta can taste, by all means go try a bag of this heinous stuff.