Something foolish you've seen... On the way to work this morning, I saw a woman walking her cat on a leash. The humiliation that this poor cat must have been feeling was priceless.
Something foolish you've heard about... In the "it could only happen in Indiana" department: A company selling cement replicas of famous works like "The Venus di Milo" and Michelangelo's "David" has been ordered to cover these classical works with clothing so as to be in compliance with Indiana state obscenity laws. The best part... the law stipulates that material is obscene and harmful to minors if "considered as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value." Yes, that's right, Venus and David have no artistic value!! Not just foolish... really, really, stupid.
Something foolish you've done recently... Spent an hour looking for a video game yesterday that won't be released until April 5th.
FQ FOOLERY: Tell us of a memorable moment where somebody fooled, punk'd, or pranked you! Given the friends I hang out with, there are so many incidents that it's difficult for me to choose. I'd say the most memorable times I've been punk'd all involve a friend who became very, very wealthy during the dot-com explosion. He was crazy before he became instantly wealthy, but became certifiable after the money started pouring in. He would think nothing about spending thousands of dollars to charter a plane to Vegas for a few friends and then buy out a suite at some swanky hotel for the weekend... that's just the kind of guy he is... (the story continues in an extended entry).
Act the fool at the FridayQ.
I was awakened early this morning by a searing pain running down my spine. I took a pill, and somehow managed to fall asleep again. When I got up to go to work, my lower-back was still tender, but the pain was in check. But after 5-1/2 hours of sitting at my desk, the pain had returned and was almost unbearable... I had no choice but to go home and take another pill.
So here I lay in bed trying very hard not to move. I have no idea what I did to get myself in this mess, but here I am.
Fortunately, I've got the first season of The Pretender on DVD to keep me company. Boy was this great television! I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it because the show became a big ol' mess in the 3rd and 4th seasons. But Miss Parker... a very bad girl indeed... kept me watching.
I want ice cream.
The best thing to come out of the U.K. since blood pudding, Red Dwarf is one of those shows I can always count on to make me laugh. The problem is that it's only shown on PBS here in the States, but rarely. On the plus side, BBC America has been releasing it on DVD, but slowly... at the rate of just two series (seasons) per year. The happy ending to all of this is that finally, after waiting three years, Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five has finally been released. It's easily my favorite of all eight seasons, and has the rare distinction of being the only series that gets a full five-stars for every episode.
It's perfect television...
My favorite of the lot is "Quarantine" which brought forth one of the most brilliant characters ever conceived on television. Mr Flibble, the killer penguin puppet...
"Mr. Flibble is very cross."
Here is just a sampling of the comedic genius we get in this episode, where Rimmer has trapped the rest of the crew in quarantine and been infected with a holovirus that's driven him quite mad...
Lister: Well we've passed the test, Rimmer. You can let us out.
Rimmer: I can't let you out.
Lister: Why not?
Rimmer: Because the King of the Potato People won't let me. I begged him. I got down on my knees and wept. He wants to keep you here. Keep you here for ten years.
The Cat: Could we see him?
Rimmer: See who?
The Cat: The King.
Rimmer: Do you have a magic carpet?
Lister: Yeah, a little three-seater.
Rimmer: So, let me get this straight. You want to fly on a magic carpet to see the King of the Potato People and plead with him for your freedom, and you're telling me you are completely sane?!?
And "Quarantine" is just one of six amazing episodes you get!
So do yourself a favor and run out to buy a copy of Red Dwarf: The Complete Series Five on DVD today! Do it now, before Mr. Flibble gets very cross indeed!
Or, I suppose you could always check back the week of the 18th and see if you can win a brand-new copy... It's just one of the many fabulous prizes being offered up in Blogography's Two-Year Blogiversary Kick-Ass Online Celebration!
I was going to make time next week to go see Sin City, but when I found out that the tightasses over at MovieGuide.org were using words like "depraved," "despicable," "abhorrent" and "evil" to describe it... well, I just had to see it immediately. That's guaranteed box office GOLD, baby!
And I was absolutely not disappointed. The film is a shot-for-shot exact translation of Frank Miller's hyper-violent graphic novels, brilliantly realized by Robert Rodriguez. While there are a few hiccups in the process, the end result is a stunning visual treat that brilliantly captures a world gone mad.
And it doesn't hurt that the film has an astounding cast of talented professionals breathing life into the characters. Bruce Willis, Mickey Roarke, Clive Owen, and dozens of others (including a never-ending buffet of hotties like Jessica Alba and Brittany Murphy)...
In fact, I dare say there isn't a poor performance in the bunch, which only accentuates how beautiful the minimalist splashes of color look over the rich black & white noir feel. So, for me, this film is simply a must-see. But I realize fully that it is not a film for everybody. The violence is pretty heavy throughout, and much of the subject matter is not very pleasant (hey, this is "Sin City" after all!).
Now I'm going to have to go back and re-read all the books again.
UPDATE: I have tried a couple of times now to contact MovieGuide.org to point out a mistake in their review, but they don't offer up an email address, and emails to "webmaster" are bounced. So I guess I might as well make the correction here, since they are not open to communication...
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
In the review, among the many violent atrocities they list is "dog eats at dead person." This is not correct. It should say "dog eats at live person!! The reason that Marv took along the surgical tubing was so that he could use it as a tourniquet after cutting off Kevin's arms and legs. That way Kevin would still be ALIVE when the dog ate at him! Since Kevin was a cannibal who would make the women watch him as he ate them, Marv took a cue from The Bible and offered up Kevin a big-old slice of "eye for an eye" type retribution. You would think a so-called "Christian" movie review site could appreciate this.
UPDATE: Thanks to "Carmen" for telling me where to find the contact information at MovieGuide.org. I had problems with their drop-down menus and couldn't see it, but they do work fine in Safari, so I was able to send them the correction.
As a graphic designer, Adobe software is a critical part of my work. I use Illustrator and Photoshop continuously every day. I use GoLive and InDesign at least once a week. 90% of everything I do has Adobe somewhere in the mix. Because of this, I love Adobe and the things they do for me.
But not really.
I loathe the fact that Adobe refuses to address the numerous bugs in their apps. Illustrator crashes several times a week and has serious clipboard export flaws that have existed for a decade. GoLive is utter crap that has such shitty CSS support that it can barely be said to exist at all (and don't get me started on the FTP server that can't go 5 minutes without crashing). Photoshop is by far the most stable, but still has pen tool flaws and other very basic problems. InDesign is by far the most messed up, because just activating it will screw up the font display of the entire system.
And are any of these problems addressed? No. Adobe is too busy working on the next version to fix problems with the current versions, and that sucks total ass because I have PAID for the current version... I am USING the current version. You need to FIX the CURRENT f#@%ING VERSION!
But despite it all, I stick with Adobe because the software really is miraculous, and I can't imagine doing my job without it.
Right now, not only can I imagine my life without Adobe software, I am fantasizing about it. All because Adobe has gone and done something worse than ship buggy software, they're punishing me for purchasing their buggy software in the first place. Adobe has gone the way of Microsoft, and is requiring mandatory activation registration for all of their future products. To be truthful, that's annoying but, given the rampant piracy out there, that's not what I have the problem with. My problem is that you can only register two computers for use with a single serial number.
But I have four computers. A work machine. A home machine. A laptop. And a backup laptop. At one time or another all of them get used, so I am totally boned here. I am not a software pirate, I am a paying customer... so long as I only use one copy of the software at a time, I should be able to activate it on as many computers as I need for my work. As far as I am concerned, Adobe is illegally interfering with my licensing of their software with this stupid crap.
I guess I can take another look at Macromedia's software to see if it can handle the job but, odds are, I'll have no choice but to bend over and invite Adobe to have their way with me. I wonder how long I can go without upgrading?
Thanks to dumbass lawmakers who refuse to abolish the twice-yearly insanity of "Daylight Savings Time," I woke up already in a rage. I've blogged about how stupid DST is several times before, and still don't understand why they don't just split the difference and leave our clocks alone... set them forward 30 minutes instead of an hour, and just forget about it... FOREVER!! Daylight Savings is STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!! Why in the heck don't they put this crap to a national vote so we can finally be rid of it? I can't imagine that anybody feels it's necessary anymore.
Sadly, things didn't improved much, because the entirety of my day has been occupied working. It's not the best way to spend your day off, but it's raining and cold outside now so it's hard for me to get too upset that I didn't get to go riding today (as I had originally planned). I think my motorcycle must feel forgotten.
One thing I did get to do was play with the depth-of-field on my camera for a few minutes, which is kind of a fun thing to do...
I'm guessing this is a Dogwood tree or something. All I know is that it's pretty and pink.
I won't even pretend to be surprised that somebody decided to take me to task for my overview of the sublime artistic vision that is Sin City. About the only surprise to be had is that there haven't been more such emails. Any time you remotely touch upon religion, it's almost a guarantee.
The short version of the letter is this: apparently everybody is entitled to their opinion, unless you are just positive that you are right and God is on your side... then, of course, everybody else is wrong and shouldn't have an opinion in the first place.
The long version is a little more complicated than that. I won't go into all the boring details, but suffice to say that movies like Sin City are destroying the moral principals God has handed down, and I shouldn't be attacking the MovieGuide.org ministry for doing God's work. Since sending a reply is undoubtedly useless, I'll just reply to her comments here for my own amusement.
I suppose the first thing I should do is provide a disclaimer that I am not a theologian. I have studied numerous religious philosophies over the years (including Buddhist, Christian, Judaic, Islamic, Mormon, Hindu, and Shinto faiths), but am not a practitioner of any of them. As a matter of full disclosure, I should also mention that I find Buddhism closest to my religious "ideal" and endeavor to apply Buddhist teachings to my daily life (but do not consider myself a "true" Buddhist). All of my religion studies were undertaken because of my love of different peoples and cultures in the world, and an effort to understand my fellow humans a little better.
Given all of that, I can say that I understand the world's major religious philosophies quite well. What I will never understand is how people practice the religions they profess to subscribe to. I do not, for example, understand how so-called Christians feel justified in bombing an abortion clinic and killing a doctor who performs abortions when killing is a mortal sin according to The Bible, and judgment is for God alone to pass. I do not, as another example, understand so-called Muslims who would blow up a building with women and children inside when the Prophet Mohammed forbids such actions. I do not, as yet another example, understand so-called Buddhists who own a gun and eat meat when Buddhist precepts discourage such things.
Ultimately, I have decided that people do not live according to any religious doctrine, but instead live according to their INTERPRETATION of said religious doctrine.
So, as a matter of respect, I fully appreciate people's religious beliefs and their opinions and interpretations of the laws that their religion demands of them. But, on the other hand, this is America. The same freedoms that allow you to practice your religion also give me the freedom to watch a movie you consider to be abhorrent (like Sin City). So if you honestly believe that I don't have the right to enjoy a movie your religious interpretation says is wrong, then go f#@% yourself.
Now, addressing the matter of me "attacking" the MovieGuide.org "ministry" (or whatever), this is complete nonsense. I only wanted to notify them of an error in their review. For Christians who find it pleasing to know about offense content and a film's adhesion to a "Christian World View" before going to a movie, then I'm happy that MovieGuide.org exists to spell it out for you. That way, I don't have to listen to you bitch and complain while I'm trying to watch the film. I have no problem with the people over at MovieGuide.org (tightasses though they may be), and wish them the best of luck in stemming the tide of Godlessness in America... unless it results in the removal of movies I want to watch, in which case they can go f#@% themselves too.
My respect only goes so far as to extend to those who would respect my beliefs in kind.
Okay, forget everything I just said... I've decided that I want to be the new Pope. In addition to wearing those cool hats and getting to be driven around in the Popemobile, I'm thinking it would be an excellent way to meet women. I mean, hey... the Pope gets AROUND. Besides, I was raised Catholic, so I think I'm like pre-qualified or something.
I wonder if when I get to be Pope I can kick all the tourists out of the Vatican Museum and turn the Sistine Chapel into my bedroom? That would be pretty cool getting to wake up every morning and have the first thing you see be Michelangelo's masterpiece hanging above you.
And, as if it weren't enough that the Pope gets to be the adored leader of millions of people, he also gets to carry around that hefty metal staff so he can kick people's asses when they piss him off. I think I'd use it to become the first POPE NINJA!
I wonder who I need to speak to in order to be put on the official Papal Ballot?
I'd like to say that today was a fabulous day filled with sunshine and merriment. But that would be a lie. Absolutely nothing has gone as planned, and it all started with breakfast.
I was out of milk, which makes digging into a bowl of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cereal no fun at all. So on the way to work, I decided to stop by the mini mart for a muffin and a carton of milk. That was my first mistake. What I thought was a blueberry muffin was, in fact, a chocolate chip muffin. I don't know who in the heck ever thought this was a good idea, but chocolate chips in a muffin suck ass. I did my best to pick out the offensive chips, but that left me with a muffin-flavored muffin which is not a good thing. They add things to muffins for a reason.
Things kind of went downhill from there, but there is light at the end of the tunnel...
Tonight is a new episode of Veronica Mars, and tomorrow is when GameStop tells me they'll be getting in my copy of Star Wars Lego for Xbox Game! If it doesn't show up, I swear I'm going to buy a PlayStation so I can finally play it. Xbox is lame now because nobody wants to carry games for it anymore. Even worse, games are always late, and some cool games (like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) don't seem to show up at all. It seems that no matter how you slice it, Microsoft always seems to end up sucking, and I guess I shouldn't have expected anything different from their Xbox (which is now the chocolate chip muffin of video game systems).
Like millions of other people, I am addicted to the television series that is Lost. It's a fantastic show that delivers lots of surprises and has a mystery tying everything together that's just too good for television (it's nice to know that the reason Alias is sucking so bad lately is because creator J.J. Abrams is putting his efforts somewhere).
Tonight is the last episode until May sweeps, which sucks ass, but we do have the benefit of knowing that a major player is killed off. This is probably a good thing, because the only conflict currently running in the show is seen in flashbacks, not the present-day stories. Lost cannot afford to become complacent. Anyway, the only thing we know is that it's going to be a male character who bites it, which means it's one of ten people. For your reading pleasure (but mostly my own amusement) I'm going to run through all of them and try to decide who dies.
For the sake of foreign readers who may not be caught up to the latest episode (or anybody who doesn't want the show ruined with my speculations), I've dumped everything in an extended entry.
Well, well, well... I just finished watching Lost and must say that it was gut-wrenchingly good. And this is despite the fact that the writers took the easy way out... the pussies (and I take absolutely no satisfaction that my guess as to who dies was correct). And now we wait for May sweeps to find out what's going to happen next.
A pity that Alias is still sucking. What the heck is going on there? I know it's been renewed for another season but, at this point, does anybody even care? The show that was constantly reinventing itself to stay fresh has become sadly stagnate. Why can't they go back to the Rambaldi prophecies and the secret organizations and stuff? Sure it's fun to watch Syndney beat the crap out of bad guys, but is that all we're going to get from now on? It's pretty sad when the best thing about tonight's episode was the commercial with Miss Piggy dressed up as Sydney advertising Muppet Wizard of Oz.
Or maybe I'm just pissed off that GameStop didn't get my Lego Star Wars Xbox Game in like they promised. The bastards.
And now for something completely different...
Your name is Robert Rodriguez. You've just completed filming Sin City, one of the more violent, adult movies ever committed to film. What do you do for your next project? Hmmm? What do you do?
Well, apparently, you start working on a flick called SHARK BOY AND LAVA GIRL!! I think I speak for everybody when I say WTF?
Oh well. I suppose he has to have something to occupy his time until he and Frank Miller start in on the Sin City sequel.
Best. Game. Ever.
I had hoped that Lego Star Wars for Xbox would be good from the photos I had seen. But until I actually played it, I had no idea. It's simply amazing. It looks amazing. It plays amazing. And it's the most fun I've had with a video game in a very long time. The last game to make me feel this way was Myst back in 1993.
Like the name implies, Lego Star Wars for Xbox is a video game set in the Star Wars prequel trilogy universe that's entirely populated by Lego. All the characters are Lego mini-figures. All the architecture, vehicles, and objects are built from Lego. When you shoot something, it pops apart into individual bricks. When you "die," you fall to pieces. It's all really clever, and I can't imagine how they ever came up with such a brilliant idea.
The game itself is made for children. It's not really violent, because it's all just toys. It's not really difficult, because it's hard to actually "die" in the game." It's also the cutest thing you've ever seen. But that doesn't mean adults won't enjoy it. On the contrary, the game is packed with puzzles and and loads of places to explore. The fact that you don't have to worry about dying every five minutes is actually liberating. You can just have fun and enjoy yourself rather than stressing out constantly.
This may be a game I actually bother to finish. There's always something new to see, and there's 50 characters you can unlock and play. There's special Lego pieces to collect so you can build your own spaceships. There's even a "FreePlay" mode where you can go back to levels you've won and play them again as different characters. Not only is it cool to have such variety keeping things fresh, but different characters have different abilities, which means you can often solve puzzles you couldn't figure out the first time through.
All in all, it's a total blast. If I didn't already have an Xbox (or PlayStation 2), I'd go out and buy one just to play this game. I hope that they eventually make a sequel so I can play through the original trilogy as well. I want to be Han Solo flying my Lego Millenium Falcon to Cloud City!
Now, if you will excuse me, I've got to get back to Naboo...
Where's the most beautiful place you've ever been? What made it beautiful to you? Edinburgh, Scotland. The architecture and atmosphere of Edinburgh's Old Town is stunningly beautiful. Every time I visit, it takes my breath away. Other beautiful places: York, England; Bryce Canyon, Utah; Barking Sands, Kauai; Bali, Indonesia; La Jolla, California; Gamla Stan - Stockholm, Sweden; Phang Nga, Thailand; Neuschwanstein, Germany; Wicklow, Ireland.
Who's the most beautiful person you can think of? What makes them beautiful to you? Well, my obvious choice would be Elizabeth Hurley, who is one of the most physically beautiful creatures on earth. But beauty can transcend the physical, which is why I find people like the Dali Lama to be beautiful as well. Other beautiful people I've grabbed from my pictures folder: Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Katie Holmes, Kelly Hu, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie.
What's the most beautiful object you've ever looked at? What makes it beautiful? Hands down "The Pieta," Michelangelo's statue masterpiece... it defines beauty in art to me, and is so powerful that just standing before it is a religious experience. Other beautiful things: my motorcycle, Van Gogh's Starry Night, Petronas Towers, Diego Rivera's The Flower Carrier, my PowerBook Titanium G4, and one of Michelangelo's many, many other master-works, the Sistine Chapel.
FQ LIST: Tell us ten more beautiful things! When you think of "beauty," what one thing comes to mind for the following words:
Beauty is everywhere at the FridayQ.
The Lego Star Wars for Xbox game may be built for kids, but I was wrong about it being easy. Sure it started out that way, but not anymore. I got stuck on The Phantom Menace section with the pod racing and had to move on to Attack of the Clones section. Then it took forever to figure out how to defeat Jango Fett. So now frustration is starting to set in a bit, because kids who find this game easy are a lot smarter than I am when it comes to video games. I am determined to beat it, however, which means it's a good thing I only get 4-5 hours of sleep each night!
Given my Lego Star Wars addiction and the workload I've had recently, there really isn't much else in my life right now. TiVo is overflowing with TV shows I need to watch, and NetNewswire is so packed with unread blogs that it's probably going to take over an hour to work my way through it. And then I almost forgot to put up my FridayQ entry yesterday, which would have been embarrassing.
Oh well. Another week to beat the game, and then I can get on with my life again.
But I digress. The real reason I am writing this entry is to help spread the good news that Veronica Mars has been renewed for a second season (thanks to wyk for the email letting me know... you made my day!)...
Color me shocked. Television this good is usually canceled.
I spent nearly the entire weekend catching up on work, which was a bit of a bummer. What little time I did have away from the office was spent helping out the local museum. When I finished up, I was walking back to my car when some random hippie guy came up to me...
Guy: Hey, how's it hanging... do you know where I can score some weed here?
Me: Errr... no.
Guy: Thanks. Take it easy.
At first I was a bit puzzled because I do not look much like the type of guy who would know where to buy drugs. But when I got home I realized that today I not only looked like a guy who would know where to buy drugs... I looked like the type of guy who would sell drugs. I really should put a little more effort into my weekend grooming habits and attire. Or maybe I should just start selling drugs on Saturdays and Sundays as a hobby. That would probably be easier.
And now that the weekend is nearly over, I've decided to get everything together for my Two Year Blogiversary Kick-Ass Online Celebration! It's only a mere eight days away, and I've still got quite a bit left to do. One minor setback happened this week when two of the prizes promised me suddenly evaporated. This leaves a nasty gap for one day's winners that I'll have to work on. But that can wait until tomorrow.
I need a bag of Double-Stuff Oreos. Sometimes after a rough day of working and not selling drugs there's nothing like Oreos and milk before bed to make everything better.
This morning I was awakened by the sound of rain pouring down outside my window, and a strange sense of déjà vu.
It's going to be one of those days.
This morning I was awakened by the sound of rain pouring down outside my window, and a strange sense of déjà vu.
It's going to be one of those days.
I pride myself on exceeding all expectations with my clients. When you hire me, I go the extra mile... ten miles, even... to make sure you are happy with the decision you made (brilliant though it may be). I put my every effort into churning out work you'll love. I endeavor to come in on (or under) budget. Whatever you need, I'm there for you (well, as long as it's legal... if you want to snort a line of cocaine off a hooker's ass, then you're on your own). I'm the perfect guy for the job, mainly because I work so hard to be perfect.
And isn't that the way it should be?
Well, apparently not.
Last night I decided to sit down and figure out exactly where I want to go on vacation this year. The first step is checking into airfare and prices of the various places I'm interested in visiting for some reason or another. Right now that would be Greece, Australia, Scotland, Sweden, Japan, and Thailand. Airfare is not really a big deal, because I've accumulated enough frequent flier miles to handle that. The big issue is food, lodging, and transportation once I get there.
Houston, we have a problem.
Everywhere I check, the costs are outrageously expensive. Prohibitively expensive. As in "there's no way I can afford to leave the country" expensive. And it's not because things in other countries are costing more, it turns out that it's because the US Dollar is practically worthless. Take a look...
The above graphs show the value of the US Dollar against the Euro, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, and British Pound. I didn't know where to start the graph, so I went ahead and picked a random date of January 20, 2001. As an odd coincidence, it's also the day that George W. Bush took office.
The graph doesn't mean much to me except A) it looks like I can't afford to vacation outside the US this year, and B) the US Dollar is going to crash any day now. Because the world revolves around me, I decided to make a new graph that shoes how Bushenomics affects Dave...
The above graph measures Dave's Vacation Prospects, The US Dollar Value, and Toilet Paper Value. As you can see, it turns out that a roll of toilet paper is worth more than the US Dollar, and the chances of me getting to go to Australia fall somewhere in-between. It's only a matter of time before Americans figure this out, and rampant toilet paper theft starts plaguing the country. Better wipe 'em now while you still can!
Four more years of Bushenomics means that we might as well start wiping our asses with dollar bills and save the toilet paper for more important things... like making clothing and shelter.
Okay, I have GOT to stop watching Veronica Mars. With each new episode I turn more and more into a thirteen year-old schoolgirl, and it's really starting to piss me off. But I am getting ahead of myself...
Last night I was all wrapped up in a super-secret project for Blogiversary 2, and forgot that there was actually good television on. It wasn't until after work today that I was thinking "hey, I forgot to watch Scrubs and Veronica Mars last night!" So I ran two stop lights, hit an old lady (with cat), and bowled over a couple of children playing in the street (they deserved it, what were they doing in the street anyway?)... all so I could get home and watch TV.
And so there I am watching Veronica Mars and there's only 15 minutes left, when all of a sudden it happens. Veronica and Logan kiss right there on my television!!
Here's the bullet points...
omg! OMFG!!! So now I am going to spend the rest of the evening downloading screen caps and making pretty graphics for my blog that say "Veronica and Logan 4-ever." And then I need to start a new web site called "VeronicaLovesLogan.com" where I can write my own Veronica Mars fan fiction!
But now I am starting to remember that I am not a thirteen year-old girl, and have better ways of spending my time. DANG YOU TO HECK VERONICA MARS!! Only four episodes left until all our questions are answered.
Veronica's fingers gently caress the puka shells around Logan's neck. "I want you" she says, her voice throaty. "But Veronica, I've joined the CIA! I leave for Budapest in the morning!" he replies, running the back of his hand across her cheek. "Then I guess we had better make the most of the time we have. Take me! Take me now, Logan!" she screams, the tears coming easily. "Oh Ronnie, I love you so..."
For the longest time, I was a huge TiVo supporter. I absolutely loved the convenience and wonder of it all. It's like having a friend that you know you can always count on to record your favorite shows and manage your television habits. But with each passing day TiVo finds some new way of f#@%ing up that makes me want to smash it with a hammer and leave it for dead.
The first hit was when, after five long years of waiting, they FINALLY released their TiVoToGo format so that you can offload your shows and watch them on a computer. Since I travel a lot, this was huge for me. Unfortunately, TiVo's effort was so badly crippled with DRM that it was a case of "too little too late." But, in the end, at least it was here. All I had to do was wait for the promised Macintosh version, and I'd finally have something portable to work with, no matter how messed up it was.
But not anymore. PVRblog is reporting that development on the Mac version of TiVoToGo isn't in TiVo's future plans because of cost issues.
Ass-biting, lying TiVo bug-f#@%ers.
I wonder what kind of "cost issues" you will have when people start abandoning your busted-ass lame shit for something that is actually worth a crap? Something that is built for the CONSUMERS WHO PAY YOU rather than television networks? Maybe I should drink the Kool-Aid and go with a Microsoft Media Center? And isn't DirecTV coming out with their own DVR sometime soon? Or maybe I should just buy a Mac Mini and convert it into a media center for my recording?
f#@% TiVo. f#@% them up their stupid asses.
Television sure is good right now. I guess this is because crappy reality shows are crowding the schedule so badly that only quality "regular programming" is making it on the air. In any event, I am watching more shows now than I have been in quite a while.
For anybody who is actually interested in my television viewing habits, a list of my "Top 10 Must-See Shows" follows in an extended entry after today's movie quote.
What are some items of yours that are broken or needing repair right now? My alarm clock, the gas tank on my motorcycle, and my old G4 PowerMac Graphite Tower.
When something breaks, do you tend to live with it broke, repair it yourself, have a professional fix it, or throw it out? I don't care what it is, I almost always try to fix it myself. This can be a real problem, because if I can't end up fixing it I usually end up having to throw it away because I've voided the warranty. Case in point: my old G4 PowerMac Graphite Tower (which I am still hoping to fix one day).
Is there a childhood toy, family heirloom, or some other special item which was broken that you'd very much like to have un-broken? My dad gave me a beautiful set of old drafting tools that are very important to me. I still have the tools, but the case they were in was broken when I moved house. There are few things that I can think of that I would rather have unbroken than that.
FQ DESTROYER: What is something you would like to break intentionally, assuming you could get away with it?After the lying liars at TiVo decided not to make TiVoToGo for the Mac like they promised... I think I should like to bust my TiVo box over their president's head.
Nothing is breakable at the FridayQ.
This morning I awoke to find a hefty stack of comment confirmation emails in my "in-box." Apparently the scumbags over at Stonebridge Life Insurance are once again up to their dirty telemarketing tricks, and my blog is getting Googled by angry people looking for answers. I don't have answers, but it's nice to know that people can come here and vent their frustrations over an activity that should most certainly be illegal and punishable by death.
Along with people who were violated by the Stonebridge asshats, there were other great comments on various entries (seriously, I often think that the comments on this blog are far more entertaining than the blog itself!), and a very nice email from somebody in Germany who wrote to tell me that he had stumbled across my blog and spent the past week reading it from start to finish (even I am not that brave!). So thanks everybody!
Of course it wasn't all sunshine and roses, there was a hate-mail buried in there as well. It wouldn't be a week at Blogography if I didn't receive at least one nasty comment. This time it was in response to my previous entry lamenting the ever-dwindling value of the once mighty US Dollar. It started out with "You liberals..." and then went on to say "blah blah blah. blah blah. BLAH! BUSH! BLAAAAHHH! BLAAHH!!!" Well, not really. But I never did get over the shock of being labeled a "liberal" in the first two words, and pretty much ignored everything after that.
It would seem that ever since I started this blog, everybody is just dying to label me...
And while it is (on some really low level) flattering that people take the time to label me based on things they have read here, there is really only one label I will ever ascribe to...
And why is that? Because I don't need some group, organization, or other person doing my thinking for me, and certainly do NOT want to be tossed in with a group of people who do. That's fine for some, but absolutely not me. I make up my own mind, and speak my own mind. Some of my thoughts could be said to embrace popular liberal leanings, but others are very much in line with what is generally considered to be traditional conservative thinking.
It all comes down to the fact that my opinion is my opinion, and I don't really care on what side of the political fence it lands. I refuse to blindly subscribe to any political party, and choose to vote for the person I consider to be best for the job instead of randomly checking off the labels presented me. It is not the most popular way to handle your politics, but it's the only way for me. Ironically, such thinking has me regularly labeled as both "liberal" and "conservative" ... "Democrat" and "Republican" when, in fact, I am none of them.
And that brings me to the crux of this entry. Somebody assumes I was Bush-bashing, labeled me a liberal, and then decided to lay me to whale shit for being something I am not. This is so ridiculous as to be laughable. All I did was present the facts for my argument: since Bush has been in office, the value of the US Dollar has been in free-fall, and that is making it difficult for me to make vacation plans. That's it! If you are going to attack me for Bush-bashing, then at least wait until I am actually bashing the idiot our President before slapping yet another label on me. And if you can't do that much, then that's your problem, and attacking me via email is a big waste of time because I won't bother to read it. So blah blah blah BLAH!
And so the guy who branded me a liberal and got me all fired up over being labeled yesterday decided to write back. Now I'm being labeled a "hypocrite" because I myself labeled President Bush "an idiot" in that entry. He goes on to tell me that "people like you" who publicly ridicule The President do nothing but "hurt this great country."
I'd argue it makes us stronger, but whatever.
The simple truth is that there are some labels you earn, and I have fewer problems with President Bush than you would probably think I do. Sure many of his policies enrage me. And yes, I am irritated that he is supposed to be serving ALL Americans, but seems to be serving only those who label themselves Heterosexual Christian Conservatives. And of course the lying and backpedaling is annoying. And certainly I have a big problem with his very narrow world-view. But being The President is not the easiest of jobs and, even though I think he is gravely misguided in his thinking on many issues, none of it has pushed me to the point where I would attack him personally.
But there is one thing that I will never, ever forgive him for. One incident that provided me insight into George W. Bush that has made me loathe him with a righteous fury. Just one thing he has done that makes me feel completely justified in labeling him an idiot. Yes, it's just one thing, but it is so horrendously bad and un-Presidential that I seriously believe he has no business whatsoever being in office.
On March 24th of last year (my birthday, ironically enough) Bush attended the Radio & Television Correspondents' Association Dinner. Customarily, as the guest of honor, The President pokes fun at himself to show he is a "regular guy" and can be funny. George W. Bush decided to present a slide-show with humorous pictures of himself while making charming and witty commentary (quite a challenge, because he is hardly the most charming and witty of speakers). And it was all good until he showed a picture of himself looking around the Oval Office and said "those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere!" He then went on to show himself looking for WMDs under the couch and other silly places while being all "funny" about it.
And meanwhile, American soldiers that he sent to Iraq are dying (along with soldiers from allied nations and untold numbers of Iraqi civilians). He started a war over weapons of mass destruction, and then decided to make jokes about it when they couldn't be found. I guess it's easier than admitting you either lied or made a mistake, but that's small consolation to those who died because of it (to say nothing about their friends and families).
And that makes George W. Bush a f#@%ing idiot, because joking about having started a war and sending people to their deaths would make anybody an idiot.
I don't care that it was probably some speech writer who told him to say it, because Bush controls what comes out of his own mouth and he was the one who decided to actually say it. I don't care that The President is "only human and makes mistakes," because some mistakes are unforgivable to me, and this is certainly one of them. I don't care that The President claims to have the highest regard for our military and never meant to imply anything but respect, because his actions show otherwise. I just don't care.
Maybe he was too stupid to realize that it wasn't funny. Or maybe he was too stupid to understand what he was actually saying. Or maybe he was just too stupid to know that people die when you start a war, and there's nothing humorous about that. In any event, George W. Bush didn't need me to call him an idiot, he managed to do that all by himself. I am simply in agreement.
UPDATE: I just Googled for a link to the above story, and found an even better take on it from somebody who was actually at that dinner. A writer for The Nation named David Corn. Here's the story from his Capitol Games column.
Today is a good day after all. I was just sent an email from a friend telling me that there will finally be a "Complete Calvin and Hobbes" published so I can put it next to my "Complete Far Side" on the bookshelf! Calvin and Hobbes is easily my favorite comic strip of all time. As if that weren't enough, creator Bill Watterson is somebody I admire and respect enormously. Despite unrelenting pressure to whore out his comic for merchandising, Watterson held fast. Despite the newspaper publisher's stranglehold on formatting and sizing, Watterson battled to have his strip presented as he envisioned it. Despite a daily deadline that forces most cartoonists to take the easy route from time to time, Watterson never wavered in the quality of his strip (and never farmed it out to a team of collaborators either).
But even when you ignore all of that, reading Calvin and Hobbes is just good clean fun (see for yourself!)...
Witty, smart, funny, and highly entertaining, this three-volume hardcover collection is available for pre-order at Amazon for 37% off (a bargain at $94.50!). It looks like the trim size of the books is 12" by 10.5" - so hopefully this means that the strips will be printed at a good size so Watterson's brilliant use of detail will be able to shine. To get a look at the set and all the details, you can visit the publisher's web site.
Personal blogging is an activity that defies logic. In an age where people are losing more and more of their privacy (and fighting to regain what little privacy they have left), putting your personal life out on the internet makes no sense at all. Most of the time I try not to think about it, but there are moments when it hits me like a ton of bricks and I get one of those "what in the heck am I doing moments?" Today is one of those days, probably brought on by tomorrow's "Two-Year Blogiversary" celebration...
In an attempt to answer my own question, I've decided to write out the long and boring history of my adventures in blogging. That way, whenever I have doubts, I can just read this entry and everything will go back to quasi-normal. The rest of you can feel free to read today's movie quote and move on.
Or you can click the link below to read along with me...
TODAY'S PRIZE: One of Twenty-Five Blogography T-Shirts!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
You may notice a new tab has just been added for the "Artificial Duck Store" at the top of this page. That's because I've had some cool new Blogography silk-screened T-Shirts made, and you can win one for FREE (in your choice of two designs)! There will be 25 winners, but everybody who enters will get a 50% off coupon good for any shirt (so even if you don't win, you win!). To get a look at the goods, just click here to visit the Artificial Duck Store. Each shirt is a $14.95 value.
THE CATCH: I may be crazy, but I'm not wealthy! So shipping charges are not included with the prize ($3.95 Priority Mail inside the USA, and $13.95 Air Mail everywhere else... an explanation is in the comments section).
THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Saturday, April 23rd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified and e-coupons have been sent. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). Shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.
TO ENTER: Just send an email to email@example.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can send you a coupon and contact you if you win.
THE STORY: One of my earliest jobs was designing T-Shirts for screen printing. Sadly, it's getting to be a lost art, because of all the internet "iron-on transfer" sites popping up. Who wants to pay a graphic designer to create a classy T-Shirt, when you can make your own design with clip art and Zazzle? It's a bit of a bummer, because an iron-on will never be as good as a real silk-screened shirt. To read about my humble design beginnings and the origin of Artificial Duck T-Shirts, I've written an entry about it here.
Adobe just announced that they bought out Macromedia! I am in a state of shock here, and will probably never get to sleep now (even though it's 1:30am!). This means that Adobe has a total monopoly over creative design applications in print, web, and whatever other media they want. I can only guess that this means DreamWeaver will be absorbed into Adobe's Creative Suite (pushing out GoLive), and everything else will be dumped?!? This pretty much leaves Quark as the only big player left, but they've been trounced by Adobe's far-superior InDesign page layout software, so I guess it's game over.
Sheesh. I suppose when I think about it... I should have seen it coming, but it's still difficult to absorb.
TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Read & Watch" $250 Big Box of Fun!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
Sure I could have dug through my closet and found a bunch of crap I didn't want anymore, then tied a bow around it and called it good... but that's not much of a prize, is it? No sir, I say it is NOT! So, instead, I went out and bought stuff that I would actually want to win... all brand new and factory-sealed! Yep, here's a box filled with some of my favorite books and movies you might have overlooked. Each is a hidden gem that's actually worth your valuable time, and adds up to nearly $250 in value!!
THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (sample costs are given in the comments section for the 12-lb. box). ALSO... I've bought both VHS tapes (in NSTC format) and DVDs (with Region 1 encoding) so hopefully whoever wins can watch the videos. But if you live outside the USA, PLEASE make sure you have a "region-free" DVD player or a VCR/TV that can play VHS NTSC tapes before you enter! I really would like it if whoever wins actually uses the prizes before they sell them on eBay or whatever!
THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Thursday, April 21st (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.
TO ENTER: Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.
A complete list of the goodies in the box can be found in an extended entry.
One of the nice things about living in my home town of Cashmere, Washington is that we are a "Tree City USA." This basically means that we have a lot of trees scattered around the city that are very well cared for. It's an expensive part of the city budget, but it sure makes for a nice place to live.
The not-so-nice thing about living in a "Tree City USA" is that maintenance on all these trees is ruthless. Any diseased or damaged trees that would normally be left to rot or survive the best they can in some other city are cut down and replaced without a second thought. This is probably a good thing, but it's kind of sad when it happens to a tree that I've grown accustomed to having around.
For example... just two weeks ago I wrote about the really cool dogwood (I think) that was in bloom. It's a beautiful tree that's been around as long as I can remember. Yesterday morning it was there when I went to work. When I left to go home last night, it had been chopped down! Murdered in broad daylight!!
A tragedy. At least they waited for the flowers to fall out of bloom first. The poor tree had a glorious and beautiful send-off in its final days, and I hope that I am half as lucky when my time comes.
Sometimes it's not just a single tree... but an entire group. Mass tree murder! Back in June of last year I bogged about the "Leaning Trees of Cashmere." A few weeks ago, they were ALL chopped down in the prime of their life!
And it wasn't just those three... but practically every tree on that street. The dogwood (or whatever it was) had a disease, so cutting it down was understandable. But I have no idea what was wrong with all of these trees (except they were a bit crooked). Oh well. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before new trees are planted, but I'll bet that's not a big consolation for the brave trees who lost their lives to make room for them.
In more upbeat news, the iTunes Music Store has Coldplay's beautiful new single Speed of Sound available for purchase. Sadly, it's only a taste that will have to hold over fans until the full album is released on June 7th. I am really looking forward to this one, and am anxious to know if they can manage to top their previous effort: A Rush of Blood to the Head.
The "Blogiversary 2" contests are going quite well, and the response is better than I had expected. The down-side is that my bandwidth (which has been steadily increasing for the past several months) is finally topping out. I guess that means I'm closer than I thought to adding Google advertisements to help pay for my hosting bill each month. It's not something I really want to do, but I don't know that I can afford to avoid it much longer.
TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Taste of Home" $100 Big Box of Gourmet Foods!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
From my home to yours... a taste of the Pacific Northwest. It's an assortment of various treats from Washington, Oregon, and Montana that I've come to enjoy over the years (and hopefully you will too). We've got jams and jellies. We've got vinegars and glazes. We've got candies and pancakes. We've got bread and fish. WE'VE GOT MUSTARD FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE! MUSTARD I SAY!!! In any event, this prize is sure to add a bit of exotic flavor to your boring culinary routine (you pizza-eating slacker you).
THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (and this one ain't cheap... the sucker weighs TWENTY POUNDS!!). ALSO... Some countries have severe restrictions as to food imports. If you live outside the USA, please make sure that none of these items are forbidden to receive in the mail (call your local post office and see).
THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Friday, April 22nd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.
TO ENTER: Just send an email to email@example.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.
A complete list of the goodies in the box can be found in an extended entry.
With each passing day, I lose a little more respect for my fellow human beings because people, for the most part, are stupid. Astoundingly, unfathomably stupid. And the worst part is that people are stupid not because of genetics, but because they choose to be. Nobody wants to think anymore. They want all their thinking done for them. This kind of lazy-ass approach to living enrages me to the point where I believe that the extinction of the human race is not such a bad thing.
But whatever, it's the world we live in now. Every last obvious detail has to be spelled out in nauseating detail lest the stupidity of the masses will be left standing around scratching their heads. And that brings us to the new "My Pyramid" campaign unleashed by the USDA upon an unsuspecting public. It's not actually "new-new" but instead a revision of the old "Nutrional Pyramid" developed a while back. Its purpose is to help curb the obesity epidemic that's crippling this Nation by educating people to eat healthier...
And so now I find myself compelled to ask... WHO IS THE DUMBASS WHO DREAMED UP THIS STUPID SHIT?!? And... SOMEBODY WAS ACTUALLY PAID TO CREATE THIS JANKY CRAP?!?
I mean, the original pyramid was no masterpiece, but at least you kind of got the idea about what it was trying to communicate. Even the stupidest person could see that you are supposed to be eating more breads and grains than milk and dairy. But this new pyramid is so f#@%ed up that there's absolutely no way to figure out what it is trying to tell you. When I first saw it, I thought it was some new gay pride symbol or something. I never dreamed that it could possibly be communicating any information. Probably because it doesn't communicate any information. Even a brilliant person like me would find it impossible to figure out what the f#@% it was trying to tell you. And since I am a brilliant person, here are my guesses...
WHAT THE f#@%?!! I could go on for pages about how poorly the new pyramid is designed, but I'll spare you. Suffice to say that it's next to impossible to tell what the different colored slices mean, or even how big they are in relation to each other. Somebody on the design team desperately needs to read some Edward Tufte books, because there is no way anybody is going to figure out that this pyramid is telling you to "put down that donut, eat a banana, and exercise." It's just not going to happen. Holy crap... a simple pie chart would have been easier to decipher than this disaster.
It's yet another case of the stupid leading the stupider, and your tax dollars at work. Oh well, it's not like people bother to look at this stuff anyway. Kind of like those asinine warning labels on a pack of cigarettes. People are just too stupid to pay attention, and the people paid to change that are not much smarter.
But enough of that crap...
OMG!! Did you guys see Logan and Veronica totally making out on last night's episode of Veronica Mars?!?? I was like, SOOOOooooooooo excited!!!! Logan is like so totally hot and Veronica is so cute!! And Veronica is all "what are we doing?" and Logan is all "I don't know!" And I was like totally dying and rewinding the TiVo. And then Veronica Mars broke up with Deputy Leo and I was all "OMG! SHE LIKE TOTALLY LOVES LOGAN NOW!!!" And was like "this is totally the bestest show ever!!!!" And went to bed smiling like a fool because I know Logan and Veronica are so totally perfect together!
And then the next morning I woke up and started looking for my testicles.
I thought for sure I had left them next to the television remote, but they weren't there at all. Tonight I'll tear the couch apart, because they probably just fell behind the cushions or something.
TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Other Man's Treasure" $400 Big Bag of Geeky Stuff!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
When I was planning my Two-Year Blogiversary, I made a promise to myself that I was not going to just dig through old crap I had laying around for prizes, but instead buy all-new, all-terrific stuff. But the original (really cool) prize I had lined up for today fell through last week, and I was left with a gaping hole in the prize-schedule. Since it was too late to figure out something new, I had no choice but to see what I might have laying about. As it turns out, there are items that I paid a total of $1050 for just sitting around unused (or barely used). Stuff that I don't want, but may be of use to somebody out there since it's practically new merchandise. As they say, "one man's junk is another man's treasure." Except this stuff isn't really junk at all.
THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (weight is about 15 pounds). ALSO... Some countries have severe restrictions as to what can be imported. If you live outside the USA, please make sure that none of these items are forbidden to receive in the mail (call your local post office and see).
THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Saturday, April 23nd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.
TO ENTER: Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.
A complete list of the goodies in the bag can be found in an extended entry.
Bandwidth. Just exceeded my bandwidth limit (again). All my attempts in finding a reasonable solution to this problem with my hosting company (LunarPages.com) have failed. My regular account costs $7.95 a month and I get 40 gigs of bandwidth. To buy another 40 gigs of bandwidth costs an additional $158 a month ($3.95 per gig). Yes, you read that right: $165.95 EACH MONTH to host a blog (and no, you can't buy two and combine them). My other option is to switch from a $7.95 plan to a $22.95 plan to get the additional bandwidth I need. Double the bandwidth should be double the cost, not triple, but it's not like they're giving me much choice (at least I get a couple of additional SQL databases out of the deal). I haven't felt this screwed since I signed my mobile phone contract. The monkey spankers. Anybody know of a support group for people who have been violated by their web hosting company?
Domestic. As I was driving home this evening, a lawn chair suddenly appeared in the middle of the road. I slammed on the brakes to avoid it, then attempted to come to my senses as the adrenaline rush died down. Trying to figure out what just happened, I look over to see a man and a woman screaming and fighting and throwing things at each other. That was amusing, but not the reason I am writing this. That would be because their two horrified young kids were across the yard watching the entire ordeal. Somebody please tell me what I am supposed to make of this, because I am completely lost on this one.
Eyes. Watched yet another amazing episode of Eyes last night. The show is flawless.
Tool. Ya know, usually nobody is a bigger asshole than me. I'll readily admit to that. But every once in a while you run across somebody who is such a complete and total tool that you have to step back and realize that you are not #1 anymore. Yesterday a "business journalist" named Dana Blankenhorn wrote a stunningly bitchy article slamming Google for not better implementing RSS throughout its services. Even better, he lays the blame 100% on Evan Williams, saying that Ev needs to "move on, and Google needs to bring in someone with a Clue." Talk about "needing a Clue" - Evan Williams already left Google last October (as anybody who reads his blog already knows). Blankenhorn has been a "journalist" for 25 years... yet he can't seem to do even the most basic research before tearing into somebody? Perhaps it's time for HIM to "move on."
Toast. Right now I could go for a nice piece of toast with butter and jam. And also a fifth of Jack Daniels to help me forget the ravaging I just took in excess bandwidth charges.
TODAY'S PRIZE: Dave's "Hard Rocker" $225 Rock Box OR "Hard Lurker" $50 Bag!
SORRY...CLOSED FOR ENTRIES!
When mapping out Blogiversary 2, I really struggled with just how I was going to give away all this stuff. At first, only people who had left five or more comments were going to be allowed to enter. Just my way of saying "thank you" to the many people who make this blog as fun as it is for me. But then I thought this would be really unfair to somebody who only just discovered my blog yesterday and might go on to leave thousands of comments. So the initial four days were open to everybody. This time is a little different, because I still want to have a day just for my "commentin' posse"... my favorite things for my favorite people!
There are two prizes today. EVERYBODY is welcome to enter, but ONLY those who have left five or more comments between April 18 2004 and April 18 2005 are eligible to win the "Rock Box" prize! After the Rock Box winner is drawn from qualified entries, all remaining names will be put in a drawing for the "Hard Lurker" prize (whether you are a lurker or not!).
Sorry about that, but hopefully it will encourage people to have fun and participate with their comments for Blogiversary 3 next year... because look at what you could have won this year:
THE CATCH: Ground shipping is included to any address in the Continental US. If you live outside these 48 States, you can still enter, but you will be responsible for exact shipping charges (weight is about 6 pounds). ALSO... Some countries have severe restrictions as to what can be imported. If you live outside the USA, please make sure that none of these items are forbidden to receive in the mail (call your local post office and see).
THE RULES: One entry per person please! Entries must be received before midnight on Saturday, April 23nd (Pacific Time USA, here in Cashmere, WA). Winners will be notified on Sunday, April 24th. Email addresses will never be released, and will be deleted once winners have been notified. Winners are responsible for any customs duties or import taxes (if applicable). If you aren't in the Continental USA, shipping charges can be paid via PayPal or money order in US funds.
TO ENTER: Just send an email to email@example.com and be sure to include your name and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.
A complete list of the goodies in the box and bag can be found in an extended entry.
Any pets as a kid? I had a beautiful black cat named "Midnight." As far as pets go, he was pretty cool.
Any pets now? Unfortunately, no. My travel schedule is such that I wouldn't be able to properly care for a pet if I were to have one (which would be a German Shepherd dog). Of course, there's always Oscar... he's kind of a pet.
Name your favorite famous pet from television or movies. "Brian" from "The Family Guy." Not only is he a dog that can speak and walk on two legs, but he is also a smartass that drinks martinis. What more could you want in a pet?
FQ BEST FRIEND: If money and legality were not a barrier, what exotic animal would you like as a pet? A voracious Tiger that eats people on command.
No leash is required at the FridayQ.
Alrighty then... the week-long Blogiversary 2 Kick-Ass Online Celebration has nearly come to a close. All that's left this week is wait for a few entry deadlines to expire at midnight tonight, then arrange to have all the winners selected tomorrow by a impartial 3rd party.
Of course, then the REAL work begins. Notify the winners, collect T-Shirt sizes and shipping charges (where required), place a final T-Shirt order, assemble the prizes, take a drive to Seattle to pick up shirts, then box and mail over 30 packages...
Oh crap! What have I got myself into?!!??
It's a good thing that my Blogiversary only comes along once a year! And since I didn't celebrate last year, I wanted to be sure this time was something special. I guess another week of work for my adoring readers won't be so bad. And speaking of my adoring readers... I'd like to take a minute to thank everybody for tuning in to help me celebrate. Entries for the Blogiversary prizes exceeded my expectations, and that's very cool indeed. All the nice comments and emails were also much appreciated.
With that being said, there are a handful of readers who I would like to single out for a bit of extra thanks... Jeff, Karen, Kazza, Kimono, and Perry. These guys (and gals) made the extra effort to actually meet up with me in person, and I'd like to send a T-shirt and a little something extra their way to let them know how much I appreciated that. I'll email you for your shipping information when the prizewinner notifications go out tomorrow.
Anyway, thanks again for tuning in, and I'll start making plans for next year...
I often-times wish that I had the power to make people's heads explode. But it's probably a good thing I don't, because there would be a drastic drop in the world population. I just don't think I could contain myself when it comes to simple, everyday situations where people piss me off. I can't quite decide if that makes me weak or just plain evil.
I'm betting on evil, but that could just be wishful thinking.
Anyway, if I DID have such awesome psychic powers, here's a list of people whose heads would be blown up just today (and the night is not yet over!)...
I think that it would probably go something like this...
And yet, if I went around blowing up the heads of people who rightly deserve to be headless... it would be I who was considered a criminal! It's a world gone mad. MAD I SAY!!! All I know is that it would not be wise to piss me off. I may not have head-exploding psychic powers now, but if I continue to keep growing more and more brilliant every day, it's only a matter of time.
Well, it's been a great week... but all good things must come to an end, and it's time to announce the winners!
And figuring out exactly how these winners would be selected was a new challenge entirely. I was going to figure out some kind of spiffy electronic randomizing raffle picker thing (or see if I could find one to download)... but that just didn't seem right. Once the computer takes over, how do I know that it's a fair drawing? I don't. So I decided to print out everybody on perfed folder tabs, and have the names drawn out of a hat (or, more accurately, a CD spindle cover). Since my email program was set to color-code the incoming emails, I decided to color-code the names to draw...
After printing out all the names on tabs, I double-checked to be sure everybody was there, then headed out to a girl I work with so that she could draw the names. It was at this time I began to panic with thoughts like... "oh crap! what if the same person wins all the prizes!" and "I forgot to ask people where they live so I can know whether or not to ask for shipping charges!" and a dozen other things that put me on the verge of a meltdown.
But it was all worry for nothing. Within three minutes, I had the winning names and nothing scary happened. Well, ALMOST all the winning names... I forgot to draw a second name for the "Lurker" prize, and then realized that I forgot to be sure that the "Rock Box" winner had 5 comments (which, thankfully, he did). So I drew the last name myself when I got back to the office, then set about matching the color-coded names to the prizes they had just won.
If you don't want to know (or would rather be surprised when I send out notifications later this afternoon) then stop reading right now...
If I weren't so totally evil, I might cry.
I cannot help but be touched at everybody's kind emails and comments over the past week. But since I am saving all my tears for the inevitable marriage of Logan to Veronica Mars, I've come up with another way to show my gratitude. Instead of sending "half-off" coupons to only those who didn't win a shirt, I've just marked everything half-off in the Artificial Duck Store so everybody can get an cheap inexpensive shirt if they want.
This means that currently the "Blogography Logo" shirt is a ridiculous $5.50 (+shipping) which is below my cost, and the "Bad Monkey" shirt is a mere $7.50 (+shipping) to balance things out. I will probably just leave it that way for a month or two until I decide to put a few new designs up... just try to find a high-quality shirt with 4-color silk screened art at these prices anywhere else!
If you live outside the USA you have to add an additional $10 to your order for every 5 shirts to cover shipping costs but, given the weak-ass value of the US Dollar, I think this still works out to almost-free. So go ahead and buy dozens of them to be used as dust rags, shoe polishing cloths, or even really comfortable toilet paper... I'm just doing my part to repair international US relations!
Two last things... PayPal is a free and safe way to pay for things over the internet (they guarantee it), but if you would rather not use PayPal, that's perfectly okay... just write to me, and I'll send you an address where you can send a money order (in US funds). And lastly, for everybody who has already ordered a shirt and paid full-price, have no fear. I'll double your order. I've already sent out emails asking which design you want for your freebie.
See? It's never been easier to protect yourself and your loved ones from my evil plans for world domination! Because, naturally, I won't be exploding the heads of anybody wearing a Blogography T-shirt. In fact, I'll probably promote you to a Five-Star General in the Dave World Liberation Army, based solely on your keen fashion sense!
Oog. I just spent the last 2-1/2 hours processing a bunch of T-Shirt orders from the Artificial Duck Co. Store. I was going to call in my order with the screen printer tomorrow, but now I think I should wait a day or two until things die down a bit. Nothing drives sales faster than quality merchandise at insane prices!
Anyway, when I fired up ecto (the amazing blogging tool I use to write this stuff) it notified me that a new version 2.3 has just been released. Wow. In addition to piling on new features and being a free upgrade, it's dead sexy. I'd say it was perfect now, but I said that about the last version and was proven wrong. And that brings up a very good question...
How is it that just one guy (that would be Adriaan Tijsseling) can constantly find new ways to improve his software... release bug fixes within hours of having them be reported... and provide world-class service for his customers... when mammoth companies like Adobe and Microsoft with thousands of employees suck so badly at it? There are bugs in Adobe Illustrator that I have been BEGGING them to fix for nearly a decade, and they have never been addressed. I send Adriaan a feature request and it arrives fifteen minutes later. WTF?!?
And it's not just ecto, there are plenty of other shareware developers that are equally astounding in their dedication to their customers. I wish that people would remember this when they find themselves using an unregistered piece of software over and over and over again. Hard work like that deserves to be rewarded.
Last night I received a phone call from my good friend Meagan who I have not spoken to in a very long time (she's responsible for the little photos of me you see before each entry). It's always great to catch up, but I find my jealousy soaring because she's been mucking about Asia for the past month and I've been stuck at home. She then tells me that her next vacation will absolutely include the UK, which (oddly enough) is someplace she has never been, despite a lifetime of extensive international travel.
Dave: Well, just be careful when you go... I don't want your picture turning up on the internet from a "Happy Slapping" incident!
Meagan: What the heck is "Happy Slapping?"
Dave: Haven't you heard? It's all the rage in the UK... angry youths run about slapping people in the face and recording it with their picture-phone. Then they pass the best photos along from phone to phone.
Meagan: Whaaaaaat? Are you kidding?
Dave: Oh no. It's a serious deal. They're apparently banning phones in schools to stop "Happy Slapping" bullies.
Meagan: That's so... strange. Can you imagine just walking along and somebody runs up and slaps you in the face?
Well, of course I can. And being in the UK, it's probably all very civilized after somebody has slapped you...
But it's when you start thinking about what would happen if something like this were to become popular here in the good old U.S. of A. that it starts to get interesting, because the reaction could end up being very, very different...
And please don't think that I'm making fun of the British here... on the contrary, I think it must be liberating to live in a place where you can go around slapping people and not have to worry about somebody pulling a gun on you. Heaven only knows I'd be bitch-slapping a heck of a lot more people if I weren't so worried about having a cap popped in my ass from some trigger-happy redneck.
Oh well. It looks like I'll have to travel abroad to do all my slapping. I wonder if there are organized tours for things like that? Or at least a guide book... "How to Slap in Europe on Just $50 a Day" and "A Bitch-Slapper's Guide to London" for example. I'll have to give Frommer's a call.
And, in other news... dang I look good in a bowler hat!
Rather than bitch about ABC's lame attempt at cobbling together a "new" episode of Lost out of old footage tonight... or be all upset that Veronica Mars found out Logan may have provided the drug used to dope and rape her the previous year (NOOOOOooo!)... or lament the fact that I haven't found the time to play Star Wars Lego for Xbox... I think I'll just take a look at what's new around the internet.
Smith on Sith. Uber genius writer/director Kevin Smith has blogged about his screening of the final Star Wars flick... Revenge of the Sith, And really dug it. Some might discount his opinion because he's working on a new Star Wars television show for Lucas, but I've never known Kevin Smith to sugar-coat anything. If the movie was a turd, he'd call it a turd. The fact that he liked it bodes very well for the film and my potential enjoyment of it.
MacroAdobemedia. Over at Daring Fireball, there's a nice take on the Adobe/Macromedia merger that brings the current situation into vivid relief. I am still trying to figure out at what point their bug-ridden, bloated software will implode to the point of unuseability. It seems to be half-way there right now. With Macromedia out of the picture, who will be that next brave soul who picks up the baton and enters the race?
Batmania. It would be hard to do any worse that the absolute Bat-induced crap-fest that Joel Schumacher unleashed upon the world with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. And from that perspective, the new Batman Begins film looks utterly brilliant. The fact that Katie Holmes is in it is just the icing on the cake. You can watch the new trailer right here.
Katie Cruise? Speaking of Katie Holmes... have you heard that she is dating Tom Cruise?? Oh the humanity!
Nike ID. I keep seeing advertisements for the new "Nike ID" site where you can customize a pair of shoes just for you. Most of the color combinations are kind of lame but, after a while, I came up with a cool black and gray shoe that has a nifty lime-green swoosh that I might actually considering buying. My second choice was a red and blue "Spider-Man" type thing, but I'd never wear them.
Shirt Me! Well, orders have finally calmed down a bit at the Artificial Duck Store, and I'll be placing my order tomorrow morning. Hopefully this means I'll get the shirts and start shipments early next week!
After a very long and annoying day, I wanted nothing more than to make a batch of chocolate-almond ice cream and veg-out in front of the television. But then the Cuisinart started leaking all over the place, so what I got instead was a chocolate-coated kitchen. Seriously, it was like Chocolate Armageddon over here. There was chocolate all over the countertops. There was chocolate running down the drawers. There was chocolate splattered on the floors. Everywhere you looked was chocolate...
Apparently, there are limits as to how much liquid you can put in a WHIRLING BLADES OF CERTAIN DEATH Cuisinart machine. I really do need to read that manual one day. Undeterred, I forged ahead whilst ankle-deep in chocolate, and made a new batch.
So now I sit here waiting for my ice-cream maker timer to beep, letting me know that frozen chocolatey goodness is waiting for me.
Checking my email, I see that Apple has shipped my copy of MacOS X 10.4 via FedEx today. The courier gods willing, I'll have it tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about that, but not all is coming up roses for Apple... the loser ass-clowns at "Tiger Direct" are suing Apple because MacOS X 10.4 is code-named "Tiger" and they claim that it will "cause confusion, mistake and deception among the general purchasing public." This is laughable on so many levels, I don't even know what to say. First of all, the Apple "Tiger" code-name has been in existence for YEARS... but they wait until the day before Apple ships the product before firing off a lawsuit and injunction? Dumbasses. Like anybody is really going to confuse the Mac OS with a lame reseller. Like anybody even cares.
I was able to make an appointment at the screen printers today... it's set for next Tuesday. That means I can start sending out all the fabulous prizes from the Blogiversary 2 contest next Wednesday. Watch your mailbox!
Ooooh! Time to add the almonds - ice cream is almost ready. ICE CREAM! IIIIICE CREEEEEEEAAMMMM!!
Your favorite sweet food? When did you last have it? My grandmother's apple pie, and I had it about three weeks ago.
Your favorite salty food? When did you last have it? French fries, which I had two days ago.
Your favorite sour food? When did you last have it? Green apples, which I had last summer.
FQ EDIBLE: What's the best thing you've ever tasted? The most horrible thing you've ever tasted? The best thing would have to be Pasta Salvi from Salvi's Bistro in Columbus Ohio... I still fantasize about it, and would probably weigh 700 pounds if I lived anywhere in the vicinity of Columbus. The worst would have to be natto (which is also the strangest), a Japanese delicacy that is nothing less than torture to the uninitiated.
Everything is tasty at the FridayQ.
Well, it's finally here... MacOS X 10.4, also known by the code-name "Tiger." Though I've only been using it for a day, I have to say that I am very, very impressed. Installation was a snap, and I've run into no major problems so far. It's as if MacOS X has finally left beta and is now starting to mature as an actual OS rather than just a pretty experiment.
Understandably, my ramblings about Tiger are probably of little interest to many of you, so I've tucked it away in an extended entry after today's movie quote.
I am seriously behind in my blog reading. NetNewswire reported that I had 427 entries waiting, which is pretty bad, so I decided to just dedicate my morning to getting caught up.
About 100 deep, I run across an excellent idea for a meme over at Rob's Cucucachoo blog (which he got from an episode of Friends)... where you list the top five celebrities would you have "relations" with, even if you were already in a relationship. I don't think it would surprise anybody if my list looked like this:
I mean, COME ON!! Have you ever seen anything so delicious in your life?
But, in the interest of being diplomatic to all the women out there who are not Elizabeth Hurley, I suppose it's only fair that I give some other celebs a shot at my sweet, sweet lovin'... here's a slight revision for the moment:
A pity that you can't go over five... there should be a way to fit Kelly Hu in there somewhere. Oh well, it's not like if Kelly Hu ever made a move on me that I would go "oh, so sorry, but you're not on my list!"
-> Click here to see the complete Blogography archives!