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We Have a Fear of Peace Problem…

Posted on September 1st, 2022

Dave!Traveling the world is not the only way to have a more open perspective concerning the people living on it. But it definitely helps. If there's one thing that I've taken away from my travels, it's that the vast, vast majority of people on this planet just want to live their lives in peace. They want to have a place to life. Have food to eat. Maybe pop out some kids and raise a family. But above all, they want to not have to live their lives in fear. Unfortunately fear is a highly effective tool to control people, so our lives are governed by fear.

They hate us, so you have to hate them more.

They want what we have, so you have to destroy them before they take it.

We deserve to have what they have, so we need to take it.

Our lives are more important than their lives, so they don't deserve to live.

It is an endless cycle of hatred and fear which keeps powerful people in power and people without power in line so that powerful people maintain their power.

In all honesty, I thought that the advent of the internet would severely cripple the ability of people to use fear as a motivator. "Surely once people see that there is no reason to hate other people since everybody around the globe basically wants the same thing out of life, powerful people will lose their grip on us!" I thought.

To say that this was not the case is a gross understatement.

Turns out the internet was just another tool for powerful people to control us with hate and fear. Even worse, it allows non-powerful people to have a global audience for their hate and fear.

And so it has all escallated to such obscene levels that I'm wondering if we can escape it before we destroy ourselves. It's nice to hope so... but reality says we probably won't.

Which is such a shame.

Because all that the vast, vast majority of people on this planet want is just to live their lives in peace.

   

Hulk Out for Pizza Time

Posted on August 18th, 2022

Dave!Turns out I only thought I was exhausted yesterday. Because today I found out exactly what "exhausted" really means.

Last night I was quick to take a nap because I knew I was going to wake up to watch the series premiere of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law that debuted on Disney+. Probably a mistake, but I didn't have to be to work until 9:00, so no big deal, right? (SPOILER ALERT: It would indeed turn out to be a big deal). I'm going to reserve comment on the show until we get past this origin episode... but my first impression was very good. I love Tatiana Maslany, and she brought everything you could hope for to the role. A guest appearance from The Hulk didn't hurt matters (where we also get a lingering question answered from the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings credits scene...

But anyway... Could not get back to sleep after hulking out, which ultimately lead to me getting a whopping three hours and twenty-eight minutes of sleep (according to Apple Watch). It didn't help that there were people in the neighboring hotel room who were making lots of noise and slamming doors until 2:30am. Thankfully work went very well, because if things went badly and a fully-functional brain was required, I would have been in deep trouble.

After work I stopped for a road pizza at David's...

PIZZAAAAAAA!!!

And then I was on my way. Three hours of nothing but this...

Boring open road in the Great Basin of Washington State

Could be worse. It could have been five hours of nothing but that.

   

I’ve seen things, you people wouldn’t believe.

Posted on August 17th, 2022

Dave!I am beyond exhausted.

Today I had to make the three-hour drive to Spokane for work... something I haven't done in quite a while. Years even. For decades I had to drive it at least once a year, if not multiple times. But given the general weirdness of the world and the way things like COVID keep popping up, it just hasn't been in the cards until now.

If there's one thing I can count on every time I make the trip, it's two things.

  1. I will see some new construction that will make me think "WTF?" In the past this has included everything from a new chain restaurant very close to where another one already exists... or places I've been going for years suddenly bulldozed under... or something you just don't expect (the massive new Amazon warehouse outside of Spokane, to name one).
  2. I will see some wacky-ass driver doing something so ridiculous and/or dangerous as to defy belief.

Sure enough, I was not disappointed.

The construction would be a new Mormon Temple just outside Moses Lake. This is a city between Seattle and Spokane which is quite literally in the middle of nowhere, and probably has around 20,000 some-odd people living there. It would not surprise me to know that Moses Lake has a Mormon church because loads of cities large and small have LDS churches... but a full-on temple?!? In Moses Lake?!?

Mormon Temple in Moses Lake under construction.

To put this into perspective, this is only the fourth temple in the entire state. There's one in Seattle and one in Spokane (as one would expect) and a third one in Richland (which serves the Tri-Cities area of about 300,000 people). But frickin' Moses Lake?!? And it ain't no matchbox place of worship either... it's looking like it will be substantial. Which means that Moses Lake must have a pretty healthy number of Mormons residing there. Go figure. Still... kinda weird given how church attendance keeps falling year-over-year.

As for the unbelievable driving crap? Pretty much what you'd expect.

Probably the most dramatic was when a line of us were passing a motorhome in the passing lane... when an asshole went zooming past all of us in the right lane... got to the motorhome... then 1000% cut in front of a car to get back int the passing lane. Which was fucking stupid on every level because then he just ended up stuck behind the same car that was in front of us passing.

And boy was the person he cut in front of mad.

Not that I could blame them. Such recklessness could have caused a major accident. I saw the person who got cut off go grinding on the asshole's bumper... then zoom ahead of them and cut them off. Which was actually a dangerous thing to do, but sometimes we lose our minds when an asshole ruins our day, so I can understand it.

And now it's time to collapse so I can get up for work in the morning.

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It’s the Greek Fries for Me

Posted on July 14th, 2022

Dave!Yesterday before I went back to my hotel and worked the night away, I stopped by the 7-11 because I needed a Coke Zero and a bottle of water. Except the place was packed, so I went next door to a place called "Momo's Kebab." They had a Coke cooler visible through the window, and that's all I needed.

When I walked in, the place smelled like what I thougt heaven probably smalls like.

I saw that they had a falafel pita and Greek fries on the menu, so I figured I'd go for it and save myself the trouble of figuring out what to do for dinner.

The falafel sandwich? Incredible. Five out of five stars. The melange of flavors and seasoning is everything you could want, and it looked beautiful...

Beautiful Falafel Pita

BUT THOSE GREEK FRIES THO!!!!

Beautiful Greek Fries

If I had to use a single word to describe them, I think it would be "orgasmic." Probably the best I've ever had. Flawless. Eleven out of five stars. (they looked more amazing than that photo, but I mixed them around before I thought to take a photo).

It's a darn good thing that I live 2-1/2 hours away from Momo's, because I would double in size from eating these daily.

Indeed, I've just arrived home after a long drive and it's taking all of my willpower to not drive back over to Seattle so I can have some.

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Home. At Last. Again. Barely.

Posted on June 30th, 2022

Dave!On my way home, I got behind a driver who was driving 5-10 miles per hour under the speed limit and veering off the side of the road from time to time. Frustrated that they were obviously not paying attention to the task at hand, I decided to pass them. But as I was passing, they decided to speed up. Immediately I had gone from having plenty of room to pass... to having a car coming from the other direction approaching fast. I has a decision to make.

So do I...

  1. Slam on the brakes and risk this guy being a total asshole who would then also slam on his brakes, in which case I'd be trapped and then dead.
  2. Speed up even faster to pass.

I picked option 2 and floored it. I managed to get around them with plenty of time, but the car coming from the other direction had veered off the road anyway... and I couldn't really blame them. I would have likely done the same. And OF COURSE the asshole slowed right back down to below the speed limit again... proving that Option #2 was the correct choice. The driver was just a sadistic asshole who would cause a horrific accident because they didn't want to be passed.

What the fuck?

There was a time I enjoyed driving. That hasn't been the case in years. Other drivers on the road are sadistic assholes who simply don't pay attention. They're texting... or doing their nails... or playing Scrabble... or what-the-fuck-ever. And it's not enough to try not to cause an accident, there are people like this asshole today who are actively trying to cause them!

And the downfall of humanity stays the course...

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An Unintentional Cheapskate

Posted on June 29th, 2022

Dave!I wish I knew how to abuse my work expense account.

Most people are likely to eat out at expensive restaurants, stay at expensive hotels, and live like they're not paying for it all. Because they're not. But I've never been like that. I stay at reasonably-priced lodging and eat the same food I'd eat if I were paying for it...

BREAKFAST: Egg & Cheese Biscuit and a soda at McDonald's.
LUNCH: Impossible Whopper ($3 for Whopper Wednesday!) and a soda at Burger King.
DINNER: Avocado Eggrolls (an apetizer) and a glass of water at Cheesecake Factory.

I spend a fraction of the money I'm allowed, but it's exactly what I want to be eating. Heck, I'd go so far as to say it's what I'm thrilled to be eating. Which is to say that an expense account is wasted on me. Maybe if I wasn't a vegetarian I'd be loading up of steak, lobster, and caviar, but I sincerely doubt it.

You'd think that I'd at least stay at a hotel with decent WiFi (which this DoubleTree most definitely does not have). This place is as slow as frickin' 300 baud dial-up back in the pre-history of the world. I'd use my phone as a hotspot, but my hi-speed allotment was blown when the internet was down at my house on Monday, so it's also as slow as frickin' 300 baud dial-up back in the pre-history of the world.

Oh well. I did get warm cookies when I checked in (which this DoubleTree most definitely does have). That's not nuthin'.

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Travel. Work. Forget.

Posted on June 28th, 2022

Dave!For the longest time I've been telling people that I haven't traveled for work since September, 2019. And I could have sworn it was true. But it isn't. The last actual work trip I took was the day after Christmas, 2019. Before that I was in New Orleans for work in October, and the work trip before that was to Las Vegas in August. Which is to say I didn't even travel in September of 2019!

I get all confused because, pre-pandemic, I traveled a lot for work. Like a lot a lot. I have no idea why a prime work/travel month like September was a blank slate, but I probably had something personal going on. It happens.

Fast-forward to today, and I have my first work trip in 2-1/2 years. I didn't have to fly, thank heavens, it was just a drive over to Seattle this afternoon where I will be for two nights. I don't think I want to fly now that people don't have to be tested or wear masks and COVID is mutating into some shit that's more serious (which is disappointing, because the new variants were actually getting weaker for a while there).

The weirdest part about this trip is not that I'm actually traveling for work again.

It's that I had forgotten what it's like to be around STUFF again.

Oodles of great restaurants... tons of great stores... loads of great places... and they're all so close! A mall with one of my favorite stores (The Container Store) is a five-minute drive away. A Cheesecake Factory with those frickin' amazing Avocado Eggrolls is a five-minute drive away. Heck, a frickin' Burger King with my beloved Impossible Whopper is just a five-minute drive away! Everything is just so ridiculously close in a big city. Where I live, Burger King is almost a half-hour away.

It's all so... great.

Except I am seriously missing my cats. Leaving them has never been easy, but it's even worse now that I'm with them every day. Poor kitties probably think I've abandoned them.

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Unbearable Consequences of Consequence

Posted on April 25th, 2022

Dave!Since I had to work all weekend, I was under this deluded fantasy that I would be able to put in a half-day today. Which I really need, because there is so much stuff that needs to be done at home. Stuff that I've been putting off for weeks. Like laundry. Like cleaning the house. Like putting together furniture. Like tying up the flowers in my back yard. And the list goes on and on and on.

Spoiler alert. I was in the office right up until 5:00 and then worked for another three hours when I got home.

In two days I will have to start turning my underwear inside-out because all my clean pairs will be gone. They would have been gone long ago, except I've got huge amounts of underwear and socks left from my back-to-back travel days. Sometimes I'd be gone for weeks, dropping by my car in the airport parking garage only long enough to grab a suitcase with clean clothes before catching my next flight. You can't do that unless you've got four weeks worth of underwear on standby.

Well, clean underwear, of course.

Which is in dangerous short supply for me just now, as noted.

   

Bullet Sunday 759

Posted on April 24th, 2022

Dave!Don't you dare touch that dial... because an all new, all YouTube Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Heartstopper! Easily one of the best series I've seen so far in 2022, Heartstopper (Netflix) is about the most adorable TV show you'll find. What really got me is how much of the lives of young people today are invested in immediate feedback from texting. The struggle to put your thoughts and feelings in short little messages... the frustration of not knowing what to say... and the agony of sending something and immediately regretting it... we had absolutely nothing like this in school. Maybe note passing. That's it. The game is entirely different today...

What amazes me most about this show is how many opportunities they had to fall into the Hallmark trap of letting a misunderstanding sabotage their entire relationship, but were actually more adult about talking things out than adults are in Hallmark movies. Refreshing! There's also a guest star playing Nick's mom who may not be a known face to American audiences, but she was a major "get" across the Atlantic, and I was SO happy it wasn't spoiled in the trailer. Worth a watch. 100% Dave Approved television.

   
• Hard Rock Park! I don't have many regrets. But I do regret that I never made it to Hard Rock Park. The year that it opened, my travel calendar was packed, but I had plans to visit the following year. Alas, it closed after a single season. It would become "Freestyle Music Park" for another season before closing permanently. One of the most unique things to ever come out of Hard Rock and I missed it! Then I ran across a couple videos about the park, and regret not making it even more...


Boy. I wish somebody would rescue all that material and published it in a book or something. I could have spent hours going through all that!

   
• Miriwoong! Few things are as sad to me as a language dying out. Because it means an important part of humanity's culture is lost, because in so many ways language is culture. Or at least a very good symptom of it...

I've long been fascinated by languages, and Miriwoong is an example of exactly why I'm fascinated.

   
• Giza! Holy cats I love videos like this. And, let me tell you, that walk into the pyramid is something I will never forget. It was hot, stuffy, and claustrophobic for sure, but it's the fact that the passage could collapse behind you and leave you trapped inside that's the real scary part. What would they do? Rip apart the pyramid to save your life? Yeah, probably not...

Manuel Bravo is a YouTube creator I've never heard of before. But I subscribed after 2 minutes in on this video, only to find his entire channel is magic. Give it a look if this kind of stuff interests you.

   
• Bud! The fact that John Oliver releases short videos like this on the weeks he's off to tide you over until his next show is why his YouTube Channel is a must-subscribe...

I mean. Holy cow. The dogs got super-powers?!? Where have I been?

   
• Space! If you're not excited to bits about the James Webb Space Telescope, it's because you don't understand it properly. Lucky for you, Marques is here to drop some knowledge...

I have gone through so many rabbits in learning about what this incredible telescope is going to do for our understanding of the universe, and all of it is positively mind-boggling.

   
• History! The Statue of Liberty is one of those things that we kinda take for granted. It's there. It's been there for a while. France gave it to us. But there's so much more than that. For a very cool glimpse into all things Lady Liberty, this video is worth a watch...

   
And that's it for year another fascinating Bullet Sunday. Tune in next Sunday where I may... or may not... have even more interesting things to share!

   

In Absence of Travel

Posted on March 21st, 2022

Dave!For decades... 30 years plus... I've traveled on the week of my birthday. Partly because I just don't want to be home to celebrate an occasion that I don't celebrate, but mostly because it seemed like a nice treat for myself for surviving another year. In years when I could afford it, I've left the country. In other years I find something a little more domestic. And it's been great.

The hard part these past two years have been seeing my Facebook feed packed to the rafters with all my past travels... all the while knowing that I'm not going to be going anywhere thanks to the pandemic.

Oh well.

Could be worse.

Though looking at the shit-show this world has become, I guess it is worse?

And, to be honest, I'm not sure my heart is in travel any more. Certainly not to the extent that it used to be. There are still some places I'd really like to go, but will I ever get there? As time marches on will I even care? And if I ever do care enough to travel again (and if it's ever safe enough to travel again), will the places I want to go even be available to me? It's always been my dream to visit St. Petersburg. But, well, you know...

In other news... the Netflix Marvel shows are now on Disney+. I found this out when I tried to log in and they asked me to set up a ne profile so that I can watch shows not meant for children.

And so I've been rewatching the three seasons of Daredevil we were lucky enough to get. One thing that's immediately apparent is why Marvel Studios didn't bother to recast Matt Murdock & Kingpin for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio are sublimely perfect in the roles. Anything less would be a step backwards...

Though what's going to come of it, who knows? A new season of Daredevil on Disney+? A new Daredevil movie? More appearance in other Marvel Studios movies and series?

Hopefully all of that.

   

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