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Missed Opportunities

Posted on May 21st, 2024

Dave!I've mentioned more than a few times here, I try really hard to not have regrets in life (okay, I've probably mentioned it several times... give me a break, I've been blogging for over 20 years!). It's just not worth it to pine away over something you did or didn't do, something you said or didn't say, or somewhere you went or didn't go. Just be happy with what you got out of this life and not worry about the rest. It happened. Or didn't. What more can you do without the ability to travel in time?

That being said...

This is not to say that there aren't things I wish could have happened or not happen for one reason or another. Missed opportunities, if you will.

As an example... I really wish I had visited the Aspen Hard Rock Cafe when it was open. It would have been so easy to do. So easy that I kept putting it off so I could hit the more difficult ones in foreign countries. But then the cafe closed with little warning and my plan to visit every US cafe evaporated. That really sucked. It haunted me for years. Now-a-days, when I've pretty much given up on visiting Hard Rock properties, it's like... meh.

As another example... I really wish that I had visited the infamous "Star Wars Hotel" (AKA Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser) at Walt Disney World in Florida. I'm a huge Star Wars nerd, and the immersive properties of the hotel seemed like something I would have enjoyed. But it was ungodly expensive, and I just couldn't afford it. My plan was to wait until the newness wore off and the price would (hopefully) drop a bit when Disney needed to draw in more visitors.

Except rather than lower the price when they weren't getting enough visitors, Disney CLOSED THE HOTEL! I was bummed. Just like the Aspen Hard Rock, I had missed my opportunity forever.

And then I saw this video by one of my favorite YouTubers, Jenny Nicholson, detailing her totally fucked and busted experience at the doomed attraction. It's four hours, but time well-spent...

Holy shit!

Thank God I didn't have thousands of dollars to throw away on this awful experience. Knowing my luck, I'd end up with a worse stay than Jenny, and it's not like Disney is going to give you your money back if they failed to accomplish what they promise. At least I assume that's the case. If you go to one of their theme parks and an attraction you were dying to ride is broken down, you don't get part of your ticket price back. Unless you're an influencer with huge social media reach, apparently.

So, yeah, absolutely no regrets when it comes to Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.

As it should be.

   

Representational Governmental Discord of the Heart

Posted on March 28th, 2024

Dave!It always amazes me how people think that the entirety of a country wholeheartedly believes in their government and supports them in everything they do.

And it's like... do YOU wholeheartedly believe in YOUR government and support THEM in everything THEY do?

No?

So why should it be any different in other countries?

I've never found this to be true in any place on this earth I've visited. Yes, some countries have a government that better represents the majority of the people they serve, but even then there will be those who don't agree with what's being done in their name. But here's the thing... no matter where I've been, I've always been able to find a way to relate to my fellow earthlings, at least in general.

I have been warmly invited into the home of a man who hates America. Literally. Would not cry a single tear if the country would implode after the way our government meddled in the affairs of his country. And I'm not imagining things here. He actually said it to me with a smile on his face. But he doesn't hate Americans. At all. Just our government (for which I think he pities us)... and, to be fair, he has justification for it.

But, once invited into his home, the politics of our countries never came up. We talked about our lives, our work, our families, where we live, and a dozen other topics that resulted in smiling faces and laughter. Because, at the bottom of it all, we are both human.

Too many people in too many countries are losing sight of this very basic fact, and it doesn't bode well for humanity. There is history which makes relations between some peoples difficult... very difficult, even... but it's never impossible.

Person to person, anyways.

I drank tea and had a great chat with a guy who despises my country with fervor. I guess miracles can happen. When governments are left at the door.

   

Greed is Killing a Titan

Posted on March 5th, 2024

Dave!Growing up in Washington State, you can't help but be very aware of Boeing. It was founded in Seattle just over 100 years ago, and it's tough to grow up here and not know somebody who was touched by the company in some way.

Well, at least until 2001, when Boeing moved its HQ to Chicago (and then subsequently moved to Arlington last year). Since that time, this once-great titan of industry has had its share of problems.

And it turns out that they were bigger problems than I could have guessed, for all the reasons that I should have expected...

Sad. Horrifying. And oh so predictable.

Who I feel bad for are the many Boeing workers whose jobs are in jeopardy because of decisions that were entirely outside of their control... and airlines like Alaska Air who trusted Boeing to put out a quality product that's safe and reliable.

Not to mention all the passengers and crew whose lives are put into danger because Boeing management cares more about making a buck than human lives.

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Categories: News – Politics 2024Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

DRIVE INTO THE LIGHT, CAROL ANNE!

Posted on February 23rd, 2024

Dave!Work lasted quite a bit longer than expected, which was fine except it meant that I didn't get home until dark. Driving in the dark is something that I don't find as thrilling as I once did, which means that I value the precious light for as long as it lasts.

EVEN WHEN IT IS SHINING DIRECTLY IN YOUR FACE!

THE SUN... SHINING DIRECTLY IN MY FACE!

But it does make for some pretty scenery when you look to the side though...

Pretty sun shining on a pretty rock wall that looks like it's out of Utah or something.

I did get to have some of the greatest pizza on earth though, so there's that.

And... well... yeah. Home again. And exhausted.

But I'm having leftover pizza for dinner.

And for breakfast tomorrow. And probably lunch too. Because I bought a whole, giant, extra pizza to bring back with me.

Which is the nicest memory I have of the trip considering that the "upgraded river view" that I was given ended up being this...

The foggy look out my hotel window.

I need sleep.

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Categories: Travel 2022+Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Slow Excitement

Posted on February 22nd, 2024

Dave!Blergh. Had to drive to Spokane today.

The older I get, the more driving three hours straight wipes me out. I can get through it just fine, but once I arrive I'm beat. You can pretty much write off the rest of the day (which is why I drive over the day before work starts).

But anyway... near the start of my journey, there's always a decision to be made...

GO LEFT   GO RIGHT
  Slightly more interesting... a few ghost towns and a little scenery to look at.     Boring as hell.
  Slower, takes longer.     Faster, 70mph nearly the whole way.
  Two lane, and you're guaranteed to get stuck behind somebody going under the speed limit.     Takes you to a four lane highway, easy passing the whole way.
  More easy-going.     You might die. Drivers are aggressive as fuck and don't give a shit.
  Gas up in full, because most gas stations are abandoned.     Occasional gas station opportunities.

Now, 20 years ago... even 10 years ago... there was no question I would be turning right. Of course I would! I can save 15 minutes or more! And I've got a dedicated passing lane! Why wouldn't I?

But now? It's a genuine dilemma.

Yeah, still I want to get there as quickly as possible. But I'm resistant to "boring" now that I'm in my declining years. I don't want to spend my remaining years driving through "boring." So I turned left so I get to see things like this...

Dean's Drive-In is now closed.

Dean's is a famous burger stop about a half-hour outside of Spokane. It looks like they got tired of repairing the roof, said "fuck it," and decided it was easier to build a massive canopy over everything. I stopped for fries and a huckleberry shake a few times, but it had shuttered so I couldn't this time (apparently I missed it by 5 months, since they closed last September). Sad. I'm guessing that they could never recovered from COVID like so many restaurants that closed.

But anyway...

When I got to Spokane I threw everything into my hotel room, then had to make a beeline for River Park Square so I could get a replacement power adaptor. Apparently my ancient one that's been around the world with me decided to die.

By now I was tired and hungry, so I decided I would just eat at the upscale burger chain across the street. I don't particularly like them, but I know they have food options for me, so whatever. I went in. Waited and waited and waited. Finally went into the bar. Was told to sit anywhere, which I did. The wait staff proceeded to wait on two tables that came in AFTER me... then decided to check on other tables before I even got a menu. Well fuck that, I left. Instead I decided to get an Impossible Whopper, but the Burger King I knew was shuttered when I got there. So I decided to drive along the main drag to see if anything appetizing jumped out at me, and ended up at... a different Burger King! Which thrilled me, because the Impossible Whopper I had was twice as delicious and half the cost if I had gone to the fancy place.

INTERESTING TO NOTE: In addition to the accident on the highway to the right that was so bad that it jammed up the highway I took on the left, where there ended up being another accident. Then there was another on the way to Burger King... and another on the way back that was really, really bad (don't run red lights, kids).

Spokane must have more auto accidents per capita than anywhere else in the USA. And so now I am back at my hotel and feeling dead, which is not great because I have to be on-site early in the morning. Fortunately, the gift shop had ice cream DIBs, which I totally deserve after this shitty day I've had.

I wonder what the odds are that I'll get a good night's sleep tonight?

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Categories: Travel 2022+Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 843

Posted on February 18th, 2024

Dave!The snow has all melted, and ... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Mean It! It’s a beautiful song to begin with. But when LANY's lead singer comes in with that hook at 2:47... how do collaborations like this happen? It’s perfect...

Can't believe this track is off Lauv's debut album.

   
• Winner! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...

@jamieandblake Keep them guessing 😅 #funny #viral #fyp ♬ original sound - Jamie and Blake

I hope he at least didn't have to pay.

   
• Patagonia! I don't have very many regrets in life. But the few I do usually revolve around missed opportunities when it comes to travel. Not having been to India yet is something that I very much regret, for example. But bigger regrets are having gone places but not having enough time to see and experience more of the area. My photo expedition to Antarctica was incredible. A true bucket-list-worthy item that I will remember forever. And yet... I sure wish I would have had more time so I could visit Patagonia. But I had new kittens back home that I worried about. A mom in a memory care facility that I worried about even more. And two weeks away was already more than I could take (or afford).

   
• Streaming Services Are Shit! Cutting cable/satellite was one of the happiest things I ever did. I fucking HATED having to buy bundles that included channels I would never watch and commercials I was forced to suffer through on top of the huge monthly bill. Streaming allowed me to pay for exactly what I wanted to watch and was ad-free. Then, fast-forward to today, and we're back to bundles and fucking ads (unless you pay an absurd amount of money to get rid of them. Not only that, but the amount of content you get is shit too. Which brings us to this...

God. It's so bad that I'm to the point where I subscribe to one service ad-free each month, cancel it, then move on to the next ad-free service. And I know I'm not alone. It used to be that I cared about supporting services that produced content I wanted to watch by subscribing every month. Now I don't give a shit. Fuck 'em. I will pay when there's something they have that I want to watch. For the rest, I pay for YouTube Premium, which is ad-free and has endless content. That's enough.

   
• Marvel! Today I watched Assembled: The Making of The Marvels and am sad all over again that the movie underperformed. I love Brie Larson as Captain Marvel. Her first movie was SO good. Her part in Avengers: Endgame was flawless. And while there were some serious problems with The Marvels, it was still very entertaining. I loved the power-switching concept that drove it. — I want to see Captain Marvel again. I need more Carol Danvers. I hope that Marvel Studios brings her back somehow. And Photon. Teyonah Parris is a frickin' gift. How awesome would it be to get a limited series which explores her light powers in a cool and interesting way. And of course Ms. Marvel. I didn't particularly care for her limited series, but she was absolute gold in The Marvels. That Iman Vellani could capture the wonder of what her character was experiencing so perfectly is the heart of the entire film...

But my favorite part of the documentary was Laura "LOOK AT ME, I'M WACKY" Karpman on sound design. Makes me want to re-watch the movie just to have a better appreciation for her work on it. And of course I thought the special effects were glorious. =sigh= I am so bummed that super-hero movies are imploding. I love love loved having so much content and watched it all. I would love to have a new Marvel movie every month. Like the comics. But now it's all being scaled back, and there's really nothing out there to replace it for me. I waited so long for something like the MCU to happen. I don't want it to end.

   
• Housed! It is so weird having spent a month watching every episode of House and now it’s over. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that there are no more episodes to watch. But anyway… the final season was a bit of a mess, but I loved the show. Ten thoughts… 1) I think it’s probably a good thing that the show didn’t have a ninth season. They did everything, and it was time. There’s only so many times you can say “sarcoidosis.” 2) That being said, I want a spin-off with Chi Park. I love her character and want more. Even though they didn’t know what to do with her, and came up with the idiotic Chase love scenario. 3) I missed Cameron after she left. But Cuddy was the one that I cannot believe wasn’t there for the last season… and the way they got rid of her was insulting and stupid. 4) Robert Sean Leonard better have gotten an award for playing Wilson, because damn. 5) I think that Omar Epps probably didn’t get enough credit for his role. He was memorable despite his character being buried most of the time. 6) While I loved Taub when he was in doctor mode, they spent WAY too much time on his stupid personal life. 7) Thirteen was my favorite character. Partly because they made her so interesting, but mostly because Olivia Wilde played her so beautifully. 8] The saddest moment to me was Kutner, not Wilson, because Kutner was all reactions by the characters, and we will never know what he was feeling. 9) I would have liked to get more of the detective guy, Lucas. He was just so… together… and I love that they didn’t feel the need to make him a mess like everybody else. 10) I really do think that the writers backed themselves into a corner with Greg House. It’s like they felt him being a mess was his only quality, and he never really gave him the opportunity to be anything else (even when he was with Cuddy). Fortunately, Hugh Laurie was just so GOOD in the role that it didn’t matter. He made the character fascinating to watch no matter how much the writers were intent on sabotaging him. — BUT ANYWAY... A really good show that I’m kinda sad I didn’t watch as it was airing, because that way it probably wouldn’t have seemed as repetitive with the medical diagnosis jargon. GRADE: A- (though the final season was probably more of a C+).

   
Until next Sunday then.

   

Love Languages

Posted on February 15th, 2024

Dave!I love languages almost as much as I love travel.

I watch a lot of videos and follow a lot of accounts which talk about languages, so "The Algorithm" is constantly feeding me more language content. Which just goes to show that it's not all bad, because cool stuff like this is what I want to see on the internet...

This guy is awesome! I love people who know things.

I missed two on the list. The same one he did #10 (which I wouldn't have thought of, even with three strikes available) and #9... which I should have thought of, but I didn't because I wasn't thinking of the other countries that also speak it (which is silly because I absolutely knew this).

For somebody who loves languages as much as I do, you'd think that I speak a slew of them. You'd think wrong, unfortunately. But it's not for lack of trying...

  • German. My great grandmother spoke German, so I thought it would be fun to learn how to speak it. This would be in Middle School, and I have long since forgotten all but the basics, which is sad because I've been to Germany a lot.
  • Spanish. Studied it in high school. I still use a bit from time to time, but to say "I speak Spanish" would be a gross overstatement. I dabble. And I can understand it being spoken far easier than trying to speak it myself.
  • Japanese. I studied it because I love Japanese cartoons and comics and wanted to try and understand Japanese language and culture so that the anime/manga would be more enjoyable. This was an off-and-on endeavor during high school. But then became an obsession when I started traveling to Japan for work and to see friends I had made. For a while in the early 90's I was fairly fluent. I could hold my own in a basic conversation so long as people weren't speaking too fast. Now-a-days? I have a tough time remembering much of anything. A lot of words, but grammar has gone right out the window.
  • French. I loved the idea of being able to speak French, but it was way past my ability to grasp. Five or six months before my second trip to Paris, I did nothing but listen to Pimsleur language tapes. It was a wasted effort. I managed to speak basic phrases and be understood, but it never really gelled, and my comprehension was awful so I gave up. On the plus side the French people, who have a reputation for being "rude," were incredibly nice and supportive of my feeble efforts in mangling their lovely language. I never met a single French person who was anything but kind to me.
  • Italian. I started studying Italian once my Japanese was pretty good. I wanted a second language and thought it might be an easier alternative to French. My passion for visiting Italy and eating Italian food sealed the deal. It was nice to be able to have basic conversational skills (especially the three times I took my mom) but I didn't use it enough to really have it take 'hold.
  • Swedish. For my first trip to Sweden, I studied really, really hard to learn the language. I had this fantasy that I would be all cool and be able to chat up hot Swedish women. I tried it out on some friends I was meeting and was immediately told "English is fine, please don't do that." Because of course their English was better than mine. I think I remember maybe five words.
  • Portuguese. During the time I spent visiting Spain (5 times in 6 years), it was always my goal to tag on a trip to Lisbon. And so I did. I wanted to have a little bit of Portuguese in my head so I could enjoy it more, and studied quite a lot. Alas, the people I tried to speak to had zero interest in entertaining me. They'd even pretend to not understand me... even when I was certain that I was pronouncing everything correctly. I gave up on that real quick.
  • Russian. After visiting countries like Poland and Romania where I was at a serious disadvantage by not knowing any of the language (English is not as ubiquitous as in other European countries), I decided that I would study Russian before a planned trip to St. Petersburg in 2013. I was not going to mess up an architectural dream-trip by not being able to communicate. So for nine months I studied. Which was insanely difficult because Russian, which I was told would be easier than Japanese, is not a simple language for Westerners to wrap their head around. But I pushed through and... had a visa problem and only made it as far as Helsinki. St. Petersburg would have to wait. Then, eight years later, I had a work opportunity where knowing Russian would be helpful so I started looking at it again. I'm far from fluent because... well, unless you're born speaking it, Russian is just next-level tough. But I have built a bit of a vocabulary and am not entirely helpless, so that's nice. I'm probably going to stick with it for a while because the difficulty gives my brain a workout and can hopefully keep me sharp in my declining years.

And that's it. Studied a lot, know nothing. The story of my life, really.

If I had tons more time to spare and the brainpower to handle it, I'd love to learn Mandarin. That seems as if it would be a real door-opener when it comes to work projects. And of course visiting India is still sitting on my bucket list, so learning Hindi would also be nice. Realistically, however? English, a smattering of Japanese, and Russian is probably it for me.

   

Bullet Sunday 841

Posted on February 4th, 2024

Dave!I am banging this entry out early because I have a house to clean, but better early than ever... because an all new Very Special YouTube Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Strangers! The meat of this excellent video story is about 10 minutes long. It is absolutely worth your valuable time to watch. Especially if you want to know what this experiment we call "life" is all about...

I've seen feature-length movies that didn't work this hard. Brilliant.

   
• Crash! Remember when police officers stood on the driver's side to talk to you when you get pulled over? Thank heavens they changed procedure and switched to the passenger side, or this officer would have certainly been killed...

Wild. It's just wild to watch it happen. Even more wild that nobody as hurt. And you have to wonder what happened. Was somebody looking at their phone or what?

   
• We Are the World! It's interesting how USA for Africa came together. I mean, not shocking because it's pretty much what you'd expect, but it's exciting to watch as the dominoes started to fall and people were getting involved. If you have Netflix, this documentary is gold. Especially if you like music...

I actually think there was likely enough material to make a second part, because the stories behind having so many legends in a single room are undoubtedly endless.

   
• Power! On Friday I mentioned the Marques Brownlee Waveform Podcast where they were talking about the Apple Vision Pro, and they mentioned a relaxing "game" called Powerwash Simulator. I played this at a friend's house, but don't actually own it, so I had no idea what all it contains. Basically, you select a dirt object in the game, then power wash it until it's clean. That's it. When you wash all the dirt and grime off the object you selected, you finish the job and "win." It turns out that one of the things you can wash is the Perseverance Mars Rover! I've fast-forwarded to that part of this review (5:45 minutes)...

And look! The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is there too! How cool is that? If I had a Vision Pro and Powerwash Simulator was available, I'd buy it just for this.

   
• Attendant! I learned very early on when I was flying constantly about how being a flight attendant works. There are all kinds of excuses as to why their pay doesn’t start until the cabin door closes, usually having to do with making sure that their maximum legal hours worked doesn’t expire in mid-flight after a delay. But it’s all bullshit. I 1000% support flight attendants earning a living wage for the work they do, and excuses are just excuses. Airlines can find a way to pay these hard-working people fairly for the work they do...

   
• HOT! Hot Ones is a surprisingly deep interview that runs at a brisk pace while buying into an absurd concept of eating hot sauce. And regardless of how you feel about John Oliver and his politics, he has some really funny moments... and some surprisingly astute observations... that aren't straying into political territory...

It just goes to show that John Oliver has some very smart takes the go beyond politics.

   
• Tay Tay Today! The bat-shit insane conspiracy theories that Fox "News" is drumming up over Taylor Swift don't concern me. It's the fact that some of their viewers actually buy into the conspiracy theories. They don't even make any fucking sense. Like if Taylor Swift says anything AT ALL that's political, she's an evil Biden puppet. But all the "musicians" who show up on Fox "News" to talk Conservative politics are real patriots? Jesus Christ. Taylor Swift hasn't said shit. But apparently Conservatives are shitting their pants over the idea that she could, and so they want to jump in front of it. Anyway... Seth Meyers has a look down the rabbit hole of Taylor's existence, and it's worth a closer look...

Anymore doesn't our reality seem like a fucking bad movie?

At the beginning of each year I don't make resolutions. Instead I make a list of dreams for the next 365 (366 in 2024) days. I'm not talking about pie-in-the-sky dreams of unrealistic fantasy that are unachievable, but dreams which can actually happen. High on that list is that Taylor Swift continue to trigger people in all the best ways. Because apparently this is something that is badly needed. And you know what? January just ended and I'm just going to check that one off my list. Whether she's just existing... or watching her boyfriend play football... or she's being accused of being a demon in league with satan... she triggers more ridiculous people on a daily basis than I could ever hope for. And I love you for that, Taylor!

   
Now I need to get back to cleaning my wreck of a house. See you next Sunday with more bullets.

   

All Y’all

Posted on February 1st, 2024

Dave!I've traveled through The South many, many times.

And I don't just mean I took a few vacations to New Orleans and Disney World and flew into Atlanta for work, then flew back home (though I did that too). No. I've been around. I've driven between Austin, Dallas, and Houston a lot. I've driven around Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida a crazy number of times. And it's not just the major cities. I've stopped in numerous small cities and towns in those states and also on drives through Kentucky, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina.

So, yeah, my familiarity with The South is far from a passing one.

Which is why I howled when I saw this (NSFW: here's a link in case TikTok is being a jerk)...

@erichwithanh I have never known the second to be used in any other context 😳 #fyp #language #yall #south #slang #humor #jokes #local ♬ In the Mood - Glenn Miller

This is painfully accurate.

Because when I break out the "All y'all" this is where my head is at.

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Categories: Travel 2022+Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

To Pee or Not To Pee

Posted on December 26th, 2023

Dave!As I mentioned on Saturday, driving over the mountains is always a crapshoot in my neck of the woods. My drive Seattle-side was a piece of cake. A beautiful drive, actually. No complaints.

The drive home, however?

Kinda maybe I guess?

The most direct path that I drove on Saturday was now "Traction Tires Required" with chains required only for trucks. I have very good tires, so that didn't bother me. The idea that people who have zero clue how to drive on snow, slush, and patches of ice would likely bother me very much, however... so I took a less direct route over two mountain passes which were both listed as being "bare and wet". Sure it takes 30 minutes longer to drive that... but it would likely be a lot less aggravating, and possible safer as well.

The first pass was great because there are multiple lanes. Very easy to pass those wanting to go 20 miles under the speed limit for some reason (as seen by my dashcam)...

Over the mountain pass I go on multiple lanes!

More multi-lane fun!

But the second pass has a single lane most of the time. You get an extra lane going up the pass in either direction, but if you're coming down the pass and the person ahead of you is going 20 miles under the speed limit... then you're going 20 miles under the speed limit as well...

Single-lane purgatory!

This wouldn't have aggravated me much... if not for the fact that I had to pee really, really bad the last hour of my trip behind somebody who was behind somebody driving painfully slow for no reason.

Oh well.

I made it home without peeing my pants, although my cats were pretty upset that I waddled past them to the bathroom without giving them pets.

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Categories: Cats 2023, Travel 2022+Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

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