"You're not dying... you just can't think of anything better to do."
— Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
I've had cheese pizza for dinner three times in the past week. It's not that I'm particularly craving cheese pizza, I just can't think of anything better to eat. Well, I can, but flying to Amsterdam for a cheese sandwich or jetting off to Rome for Fettucine Alfredo seems a bit excessive. Oh well, pizza and bullets it is then. Welcome to a Very Special NEW YEAR Edition of Bullet Sunday!
• NEW CHANNELS! I relented and purchased an expanded cable television package because my sister got me hooked on The Big C which you can only get on the Showtime Channel. Unfortunately, The Big C was just the beginning. Now I'm hooked on Dexter again... PLUS Boardwalk Empire on HBO. What an amazing show that is. I've always liked Steve Buscemi's acting, but damn...
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. The other actors in Boardwalk Empire are great too ( ZOMG! Erik Weiner?)... along with the writing, the directing, the production values, and everything else associated with the show. I guess with Martin Scorsese involved I shouldn't be surprised, but damn...
• NEW HOTNESS! Well, okay, Summer Glau is not exactly "new," having appeared as "River Tam" in fan-favorite Joss Whedon awesomeness Firefly. And then she did a smattering of guest appearances in television shows meant to appeal to a sci-fi geek's wet dreams, including The 4400 and Dollhouse... along with playing a FRICKIN' TERMINATOR in the sweet Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles...
And now she's moving into comic book geek territory by taking a role on The Cape, a super-hero series debuting on the 9th...
I can only guess that her next role will be as Wonder Woman, because that's about the only thing in the genre left for her to play! Hopefully her new show will be worth a crap, and not some lame knock-off of a lame show like Heroes.
• NEW AWESOME! As a huge, huge fan of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, the movie I am most looking forward to this year is... PAUL! The movie looks entertaining as hell and, since it's Frost & Pegg, you know it's going to be funny. AND THE CAST! It's got Kristin Wigg, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, AND SIGOURNEY WEAVER IN IT! I can't for the life of me understand why the buzz on this film isn't bigger than it is...
• NEW SHIT? Last year Steve Ballmer took the stage of the annual Consumer Electronics Show to show off Microsoft's revolutionary new tablet version of Windows 7 to be released on an upcoming "slate" hardware device.
THIS year Steve Ballmer will be taking the stage of the annual Consumer Electronics Show to show off Microsoft's revolutionary new tablet version of Windows 7 to be released on an upcoming "tablet" hardware device.
See, "slate" was the old shit. "Slates" ended up sucking ass and nobody bought them because "slates" don't have the power necessary to run a resource-sucking pile of shit like Windows. But then Apple unveiled the "iPad" which everybody made fun of because it sounded like "maxi pad" (or whatever). Everybody in the industry also made fun of iPad because it wasn't a "real" computer at all but just a "big phone that can't make calls" or perhaps a "grossly underpowered computer that can't do anything."
But then Apple had the last laugh (as usual) because iPad went on to sell a bajillion units.
So now Microsoft is recycling the same fucked-up bullshit that nobody wanted the first time around and pretending it's new because apparently, thanks to Apple, everybody came to their senses and decided they want a tablet computer all along. Microsoft was just ahead of its time last year, and THIS year will be totally different!
Except that's not what happened at all. People didn't all of a sudden embrace tablet computer... they embraced the iPad which, as everybody in the industry was so quick to point out, IS NOT A COMPUTER. Sure it has some computer functionality, but it's more an "appliance" that becomes different electronic devices as opposed to a traditional computer. The fact that it's NOT A COMPUTER is what makes it so compelling. People who need a computer aren't going to be satisfied with a stripped down, crippled, slow tablet device. It's people who are looking for something simple and functional who are the iPad's target customer, and Apple understood this.
Microsoft (as usual) is playing catch-up and doing it all wrong. Again. I'm sure after the "tablet" fails just like the "slate" failed, Balmer will be standing on the stage in 2012 with the "new" Microsoft "pad" device running the tablet edition of Windows 7 because THAT'S what the problem was... it was the NAME that sabotaged the previous two attempts!
That same name that everybody made fun of when Apple unleashed it last year.
Oh how I loathe Microsoft. They have access to unlimited money and unlimited technology, but there's nobody there with any kind of vision to make any use of it. I'M STILL WAITING FOR MY FLYING CAR, STEVE BALMER, YOU DEMENTED FOOL!!
• NEW OUTLOOK! I promise myself that I will be 50% less critical of Microsoft this year, because I know everybody it tired of
That will be really fucking easy to do, because this year Microsoft will be 50% less relevant to the computer industry, the mobile phone industry, and the electronic industry in general, just like they were last year (KIN PHONES FOR EVERYBODY!).
The only place Microsoft is holding any ground is with their Xbox 360 video game console. You know, their SIX YEAR OLD ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY?!? Of course, six years in electronics years is like SIXTY years in human years, so heaven only knows how long that gravy train is going to last. Hopefully they've got an
Of course, it's not inconceivable that Apple won't come out with iPlay (or whatever) and swipe the gaming market as well. Thanks to iPod Touch, iPhone, and now iPad, they've pretty much sewn up the portable gaming market already. What's one more area of global domination to Steve Jobs?
• NEW INSIGHT! Well, not really. Despite Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back being two of my most favorite movies of all time, I found the "prequels" to be massive piles of shit. Not only were they boring as hell, but they barely made any sense. When I initially wrote my thoughts on Revenge of the Sith after it was released, I ranked it as "okay" even though I fully admitted it sucked. Probably because compared to The Phantom Mencace and Attack of the Clones it was utter genius. I was so desperate to like Star Wars again that ranking it "okay" was more of a cry for help than any acknowledgement of cinematic greatness...
This got me roundly despised by many of my fellow Star Wars fans who thought Revenge of the Sith was the best thing ever. Not that I can blame them... if you've been eating nothing but vomit and fond memories for decades, a plate of moldy bread is going to feel like dinner at the Ritz.
Now that time has passed, perspective has only managed to take the bloom off the rose. Or, in the case of Mr. Plinkett, to shred the rose into pieces, cover it in raw sewage, then fart on it as you toss it into a nuclear explosion. His biting, scathing analysis is horrifyingly accurate. He not only addresses all the problems I had with the film* but expands upon them with some insight I hadn't considered.
If you're okay with lots of profanity and a shocking lack of taste and morals masquerading as a movie review, then this is something you must see.
And there you have it. The first Bullet Sunday of a new year. Let's hope I survive the week to do a second one.
*Well, one thing he DOESN'T address is the bullshit about "midichlorian count" being an indicator as to how powerful somebody is with The Force. If a massive number of midichlorians determines your strength, how can Darth Vader be so fucking powerful when he lost both legs and both arms? That's an ass-load of midichlorians to lose. And can somebody who has low midichlorians inject a bunch of them and instantly become a Jed Master? ARRRGH! Like everything else in the prequels, this shit doesn't make any fucking sense!
Even though "bullet points" are very different from "ammunition bullets," yesterday's horrifying events have depressed me so badly that there will be no bullets here today. And while I could type out an angst-filled rant over efforts on both sides of the political spectrum to unleash blame and hatred over something so tragic, I just can't do it. A man and a little nine-year-old girl are dead. Others are seriously injured.
I'll think about it tomorrow. I just can't do it today.
In an effort to put my mind as far away as possible from the heartbreaking events in the news, I'm going to get as far away from them as possible in my blog.
Look! I'm Batman!
This awesome Bat-shirt was my gift from the "Bloggy Gift Exxxtravaganza 2010 Remix" over at Josh's blog!
I already had the Bat-iPhone.
You know you had a good time the night before when your stomach hurts from laughing too much.
And drinking way, way too much. But that's besides the point. Unless you're curious as to why this week's list of bullets is fairly skimpy... I think I might be dying.
• Globes. Surprisingly, I was pretty much okay with all the Golden Globe winners. Sure there were a few places where my favorites didn't win, but I can't argue that the people who did win weren't deserving (except Glee. I really, really, don't understand why people like that show). Highlights? Most of the ladies, who were looking pretty incredible. And Robert Downey Jr.'s presentation speech and Jane Lynch and Robert De Niro's acceptance speeches. Quick and entertaining is the name of the game, people.
• Seahawks. Okay. Entirely not surprising how that all turned out, but there's always a part of you which holds on to a sliver of hope despite it all.
• Schwarzenegger. And so Arnold Schwarzenegger might start making movies again. Please please please let it be true. People can diminish his films all they want, but there is no denying that they are, for the most part, highly entertaining. From his small cameo in The Expendables, it would seem he's still got it. What I wouldn't give for another True Lies or The Terminator or Predator or Commando or Total Recall or many others.
• SNL. Almost every week I find myself asking myself "Self, why in the hell are you still watching Saturday Night Live?" There are exceptions, of course (BETTY WHITE!!) and there are always bright spots no matter how crappy the show gets... but, for the most part, it's been so mind-bogglingly awful for the last several years. And then last night's Gwyneth Paltrow episode comes along and it's actually not that bad. The SNL Short with Pee-Wee Herman was awesome. Even Weekend Update was more good than bad. It would be nice to think that there's a corner being turned here... but, sadly, that's probably not the case. As usual, I'll keep watching just in case.
And now I suppose that I should try to eat something. A bit more difficult than it sounds.
I'm a little depressed tonight because Hannah Montana is over. I'm also a little stressed because I'm leaving the country later this week. I'm also a little hungry because a slice of toast doesn't make for a very fulfilling dinner. And I'm also a little tired because I've been sleeping even less than usual. Life can be so hard.
• Forever? After putting it off as long as I could, I finally decided to watch the very last final forever episode of Hannah Montana. I fully maintain that it's one of the funniest shows on television, and always enjoyed it as an entertaining distraction from life. Though it definitely lost something in the last season (especially after Miley retired Hannah and revealed her secret to the world)... I think they wrapped it up on a high note. The cameo appearances by Amber & Ashley and Jesse & Oliver were a nice touch. Jackson and Rico had a great moment. Miley and Lilly had a terrific send-off. I honestly can't think of a way they could have ended the show any better. Good bye, Hannah...
• Incomprehensible. When it comes to organizations like The Trevor Project which was created to prevent suicides among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth... I never know how to feel. Part of me is saddened to the point of despair that such organizations have to exist. Part of me is angry to the point of blind fury that such organizations need to be formed at all. Part of me is relieved to the point of anguish that such organizations do exist for youth who desperately need their help. Because when I read about all the violence against kids who are different and just trying to get through life one more day... and when I read about yet another suicide from some poor teenager who couldn't take the abuse any longer... and when I remember back to when one of these kids reached out to me for help because he had nowhere else to turn... there is no emotion inside of me that is not affected. I simply cannot fathom how anybody could torture a young life to the point where The Trevor Project needs to be there to talk them out of taking their own life. Even more incomprehensible is how we live in a society which would allow such a thing.
But it gets worse. Entirely too many people are happy to write this off as "a gay problem" and ignore it. But anybody paying attention knows that this just isn't true. Bullying knows no boundaries. Earlier this week a young girl in Pennsylvania may have committed suicide because of bullying... and there's nothing to indicate it had anything to do with her sexuality. At some point people are going to have to stop treating youth suicide as "a gay problem" and start treating is as everybody's problem. Thinking your kid is excluded is the first mistake. Get involved.
• Olbermann. I never watched Keith Olbermann's Countdown for the same reason I never watch anything on FOX News... it's all just destructive partisan bullshit rhetoric designed to tear this country apart. What kills me is the outbreak of sheer joy by Conservatives across the blogosphere now that Olbermann and MSNBC have retired Countdown. I mean, who gives a shit? It's not like any of them watched his show. Keith Olbermann was just somebody to hate. As usual, the venom being unleashed by the hardcore Right is baffling. The general consensus seems to be something like "HA HA! I'M SO HAPPY OLBERMANN'S DISGUSTING LIBERAL TRASH IS OFF THE AIR!" which is ironic on so many levels. I mean, as opposed to what?!? The disgusting CONSERVATIVE trash that's being unleashed daily from shows like The O'Reilly Factor and The Sean Hannity Show and The Glenn Beck Program?
If FOX News is where somebody chooses to get their information, more power to them. This is a free country, and people can believe what they wish (at least for the time being). But saying FOX News is some kind of "fair and balanced news source" instead of the partisan propaganda machine it obviously is... then crucifying Olbermann for doing the same thing on the opposite side of the fence... it's just plain stupid. All any of these people ever do is keep Americans at each other's throats because it makes them money. I choose to repudiate such reprehensible, anti-American behavior in the hopes that we can all be respectful of each other's opinions and beliefs and work together to make this a great country FOR ALL OF US. Granted, this is even more delusional than somebody believing FOX News isn't partisan hackery, but at least I don't go around hating people because somebody tells me to. I hate people because of their actions... just like our Founding Fathers intended.
• Limbaugh. And one of the people I choose to hate for their actions is Rush Limbaugh. This absurdly stupid pile of shit apparently has an amazing talent to make people turn off their brains when they listen to him. Unbelievable, I know, but it's the only explanation that makes any sense when you hear the vile bullshit he spews every time he opens his mouth. His latest racist rant against the Chinese offends me on so many levels that I couldn't even listen to his fucked-up crap until Steven Colbert injected jokes into it...
I mean, seriously. What the fuck?
How could anybody listen to such utter idiocy and take Rush Limbaugh seriously? Who could hear this bullshit and think Rush Limbaugh is not a complete dumbass? He doesn't comprehend how anybody could possibly communicate in any language except English? He doesn't understand that waiting until a somebody finishes speaking to a live audience before interrupting with a translation is just extending respect and courtesy due a WORLD LEADER? He doesn't think that if there was a major mis-translation of the speech that anybody would notice? He thinks making fun of a language spoken by over a BILLION people with "ching chong chung ching chang" isn't offensive? He honestly feels that President Obama being polite by paying attention to Chinese Paramount Leader Hu Jintao is stupid because Obama doesn't understand Chinese? (what the fuck would Rush Limbaugh do? Take out a Q-Tip swab and clean his ears?). What am I missing? How do people not see that Rush Limbaugh is nothing more than a moron with a severely diminished mental capacity and a microphone?
It's one thing to be upset over China's sad record on human rights. Or to be upset that the USA owes China such a staggering sum of money. Or to be confused by the customs, languages, and laws of foreign countries. But it's another thing entirely to think that being a self-important, xenophobic, rude asshole to a visiting foreign leader is how we should be conducting foreign diplomacy. It is painfully obvious that the people of this nation desperately need to travel outside our borders (not necessarily physically) and see more of the world so that disgusting voices like Rush Limbaugh's don't define our ignorance. Sadly, it may already be too late.
And, on that sour note, I think it's time for bed. Just maybe I'll actually be able to get some sleep tonight.
Blargh. Two days of travel have left me more dead than usual. On to the bullets while I still have a will to live...
• TequilaCon. Unfortunately, there will be no TequilaCon event in 2011. In previous years, we've been extremely fortunate that the stars have aligned and everything has come together to make for an awesome event... but it just isn't happening this year for one reason or another. So rather than forcing together something mediocre, calling it "TequilaCon," and leaving people disappointed, we've decided to take a pass this year. The last thing anybody wants is to go to the time and expense of attending TequilaCon only to have it not live up to the high expectations set by previous years. As for the future... who can say? So long as there is tequila somewhere out there in the world, the possibility for a new TequilaCon will always be there. In the meanwhile... thanks for all your support. May your limes be juicy and your salt be salty until next we meet. Jenny, Brandon, Dave2, Vahid, and Mr. Tequila...
• Mayo. One of these days I'm bringing an extra suitcase with me so that I can pack it full of creamy delicious Dutch mayonnaise. I would have tried to smuggle a jar back this trip, but US Customs are real tight-asses when it comes to bringing superior food products into the country. The bastards.
Please note that I was NOT the person who opened the jar of mayo on the right, ate a few spoonfuls, then put the jar back on the shelf. Not that I could blame this person, but it wasn't me.
• Seriousness. But in all seriousness, who the fuck would open a jar of mayo in a grocery store, eat some of it, then put it back? If I looked, would there be slices of bread, cheese, and ham missing too? Did somebody make a fucking sandwich at the store? What the hell?
• Honestly. I mean, truly... honestly... what the bloody fuck? Did somebody obsessed with the creamy deliciousness of Dutch mayo realize that smuggling an entire jar was impossible... but smuggling a handful down their pants might work?
• Obsessive. Okay. Okay. Okay. I'm honestly not getting all obsessive over this, but these are the things that keep me awake at night, people. WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT MAYO?
• Foreigner. This morning as I was waiting to board my flight home, I made my way to some website where a video was available. After clicking on the video, I got an error message saying "I'm sorry this video is not available in your country." This left me dumbfounded and more than a little pissed off. I don't think that people should get to put videos on the internet unless the entire internet is allowed to look at them.
• Easy. One of the many movies I watched on my way home was Emma Stone in Easy A. It wasn't that this was a film I was dying to see, but it was one of the last things available that I hadn't already seen at least twice. Much to my shock and horror, I actually enjoyed this movie. It unapologetically borrows from a lot of those great 80's flicks like Sixteen Candies, Pretty in Pink, Say Anything, and the like. And does so pretty well. It always shocks me that quality films of any genre end up being made in this day and age... but for something in the teen angst/romance genre that doesn't completely suck? Miraculous.
Olive Penderghast is a forgettable nobody high school student who decides to embrace her newfound infamy as "school harlot" once a false rumor about her losing her virginity spreads throughout the school. Hilarity ensues. Not only is Emma Stone flawless as the witty and lethally unflappable lead, but they somehow managed to assemble a genius cast including Stanley Tucci, Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Malcolm McDowell, and a surprisingly appropriately cast Lisa Kudrow. If you're looking for some mindless fun (that's actually fun), here's your film...
• Hard. As opposed to the total shit-stain of a movie called Life As We Know It. I mean, holy crap, does Katherine Heigl actively search out the shittiest, most pedestrian, predictable, ridiculously stupid scripts in the gutters of Hollywood to find her movie projects? How many sublimely idiotic spit-take reactions to the foul smell of baby poop do we really need? Wasn't Three Men and a Baby enough? Are we doomed to see it replayed in a movie every three years until the end of time? Granted, I fast-forwarded through most of this film as redundant pap, so perhaps some of the nuance was lost on me... but what the fuck?!?
Annnnnd... I'm spent.
There are plenty more bullets left in me, but my fingers stopped working about ten minutes ago. Just three more hours layover until I get to go home and (hopefully) sleep.
At 2:30am I ended up playing chauffeur to the hospital ER. While I was waiting, I saw a guy walk in holding one of his fingers that had gotten cut off. Holy crap. I could so not work the reception desk at an ER. I do not do well when people show up holding body parts. Or The bubonic plague.
• Debloggered. I've been noticing for quite a while now the long, slow, steady decline in blogging. It's a little depressing, but I didn't know how depressing until I was bored in the hospital waiting room and decided to edit my feed reader. It turns out twenty-eight of my feeds ended up getting deleted because they haven't been updated in over six months. Twenty-eight! I can't be sure, but I probably deleted close to that many a year ago. A few of the deleted bloggers I keep in touch with via Twitter or Facebook, so I guess that's okay. But there are others who apparently dropped off the face of the earth. A few left with a sad "this is my last entry" post, whereas others just... stopped.
A classic example is an expatriate who decided to move to Korea for a year so he could experience life in another country before getting his PhD. I found his blog during my third trip to Korea when I was Googling for... something... and kept reading because he was an interesting guy living an interesting life who had similar thoughts and hobbies (comic books!) to mine. Eventually he fell in love with a Korean girl, got married, ended up staying in Korea five years, got accepted at a school back in the USA, moved into a new apartment here with his wife, and then the entries just... stopped. It's so strange to have been a part of somebody's life for years and then =BLAM!= you have no idea what happened to them or how they're doing. I ended up doing some Google-stalking, found the guy on Twitter, then sent a request... but since I never commented on his blog, he doesn't know me and will probably ignore it.
It's the same story for a few other blogs I once followed. You get caught up in somebody's life, feel like you know them, then one day they're gone and you're left wondering. Now, granted, it's not like a blogger owes anybody anything. If they decide that blogging is no longer something they want to do, then that's all there is to it. But, even so, it's a little bit cruel. And a little bit curious. I wonder how many people would notice (or even care) if tomorrow I just... stopped?
• Fosterized. Last summer a song called Pumped Up Kicks by an unknown band called "Foster The People" was creeping through the blogosphere, infecting people wherever it landed. The song was contagious in a way that's truly rare... slamming through a catchy beat and even catchier nonsense lyrics that still haunt me months later. The odd thing being that the band was practically invisible, and finding any new material past their one song was nigh impossible. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only did they finally release a video for Pumped Up Kicks, they also unleashed an EP with three songs on iTunes (including Houdini, which has become permanently implanted in my head). Apparently an album is on the way. I'm hoping it sucks, because I don't know how I will be able to function with more than three awesome Foster The People songs constantly looping through my head...
• Branded. And so Russell Brand hosted Saturday Night Live last night. Compared to most recent episodes, it wasn't bad. But with the exception of Brand's monologue, Jay Pharoah's flawless Eminem impersonation, and a faux ad-spot for an offensively British movie called Don' You Go Rounin' Roun to Re Ro, it just wasn't that funny to me. By the time we got to the heinous A Spot of Tea sketch, I wanted to impale myself on my remote just to end the suffering. Surely even the people involved can't think this crap is in any way funny? Here's hoping Miley Cyrus manages to somehow have a good show in two weeks despite all evidence pointing to doom. Wow. If Hannah Montana can't make for a good episode of SNL they might as well hang it up.
• Weathered. Well, poop...
• Microsofnokia. Nokia, once the final word in mobile phones, has been sliding into irrelevance for years. First Blackberry skewered them in the business market. Then iPhone and Android served them their head in the personal smartphone market. In every way that matters Nokia was dying a slow death, never to be heard of again.
And then... Stephen Elop, a former Microsof employee (and Microsoft's eight largest shareholder), became CEO of Nokia. After a brutally honest critique of Nokia's complete lack of ability to compete in the market, Elop announced that Nokia was dumping pretty much everything and hitching its wagon to the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 train. It was spectacularly brilliant and evil. For all intents and purposes, Nokia was now a hardware division of Microsoft. For which Microsoft paid nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero dollars. When I first mentioned this, people called me a wingnut Microsoft-hating conspiracy theorist. And now another former Microsoft employee of sixteen years, Chris Weber, has just been installed as CEO of Nokia USA.
Get out your tinfoil hat!
I'd congratulate Microsoft for dropping to an entirely new level of evil, but I don't think this is going to make much difference. All they've done is ensure that what few manufacturers were making Windows Phone 7 handsets will now be embracing Android 100%. Good thing Microsoft has a lot of money, because that's about the only thing that's keeping them in the smartphone game. Alas, the same can't be said for Nokia. Since Microsoft has no financial interest in the company, they also have no risk. If this massive gamble doesn't pay off, Nokia is done for.
And let's not fool ourselves here, Nokia is done for.
UPDATE: Or billions. Whatever... this doesn't end well.
And on that sad note, I suppose I should try to get some work done before this weekend is over.
If only I could wake up...
This morning I had waffles for breakfast. Isn't that what Sundays are for?
• Spy. A couple of people brought to my attention that Google Books has put some issues of Spy online for your reading pleasure! One of my favorite magazines of all time, Spy was the ultimate repository for satire writing, and had some of the most biting pranks and hoaxes ever committed. But this did not preclude Spy from tackling some serious matters in pop culture and politics as well. Hopefully Google will continue adding issues until all of them are online... that would save me from having to dig mine out of storage. If you want to take a look at what all the fuss was about, click here to visit Spy on Google Books!
• Endangered. It's that time of year when television shows are reaching their do-or-die point in the ratings. If not renewed soon, some shows I like are in danger of being cancelled...
Sadly, odds are that most of these shows are not long for this world. They'll probably be replaced with shitty "reality" shows that are inexplicably popular with the public at large. Heaven help us all.
• 18. After seeing the Mars landing hoax conspiracy movie Capricorn One on VHS rental sometime in the 80's, my mind was pretty much blown. It encouraged me to think about what actual cool stuff our government might be keeping from us. Area 51 was a good start. But the various moon landing conspiracy theories floating around became my obsession. Not so much that the landings were faked... but about what happened while we were up on the moon. And there were a lot of theories. Everything from alien encounters to extraterrestrial artifacts to weapon installations to secret missions. It was a tin-hat wearing dream come true. And now a new horror movie, Apollo 18, is being released to reveal the secret of NASA's "cancelled" final moon mission... and why we've never gone back...
It's been shot "documentary-style" (think Blair Witch Project) which I usually loathe in movies, but I just might make an exception this time if the reviews don't suck. The cheesy but intriguing trailer is on QuickTime, and the release date is March 4th.
Annnnd... I only have time for three bullets today. There are many things to be done yet today.
Welcome to a fabulous OSCARS EDITION of Bullet Sunday!
• Intro! This new tradition of inserting Oscar hosts into scenes from the nominated films just keeps getting better and better. Using technology from Inception, James Franco and Anne Hathaway go into the mind of former Oscar host Alec Baldwin to learn the secrets of hosting the show. The fact that they managed to work in Back to the Future at the end was just the icing on the cake...
Oscar telecast ©2011 by ABC Television
• The Winners! Not surprisingly, there were a few awards passed out that I felt could have gone elsewhere, but overall I was happy with the winners. Here's my break-down...
• Wrap-Up! Though James Franco faltered a bit at times, overall he and Anne Hathaway did a surprisingly good job hosting the show. The musical performances were mercifully short and half-way decent (including Gwyneth Paltrow, who I thought did a pretty good job considering she's not a professional singer... it was crazy seeing all the online haters unload on her while she performed). I also thought the presentations went very well. It will be interesting to see who hosts next year.
Annnnd... I've got a long day ahead of me tomorrow, so I guess that's all she wrote. See you at the movies.
After the sheer awesomeness of my Saturday, I did the best I could to get through Bullet Sunday.
• She's a Wonder. And so the most perfect woman on earth, Elizabeth Hurley, has been tapped for a role in David E. Kelly's Wonder Woman project. Apparently she'll be playing Wonder Woman's far more beautiful and classy arch-nemesis, Veronica Cale. I, of course, think she would be perfect as Wonder Woman herself, hard as it will be for anyone to fill Linda Carter's red boots. She was Wonder Woman. Even with Elizabeth Hurley, I have to say I am still very, very nervous about the show. If David E. Kelly can resist the urge to add his stupid-ass Allie McBeal craziness to the mix, it might have a chance...
• Pretty Cool. Gotta hand it to Miley Cyrus, she handled her guest-hosting on Saturday Night Live like a champ last night. She not only managed to get in a few digs on Lindsay Lohan, but spent a lot of time poking fun at herself as well. Of course, what every SNL fan was waiting for was seeing if she would make an appearance on Vanessa Bayer's ongoing "Miley Cyrus Show" skit. Surprisingly, she did... as Justin Bieber!
I was secretly hoping that Billy Ray Cyrus would make an appearance as himself here, but Jason Sudeikis did his usual hysterical impersonation. A couple sketches fell flat for me (The Sound of Music, really?)... but overall it was a pretty funny episode and Miley did a great job. I still miss Hannah Montana.
• Upgrade. Microsoft has an entire website devoted to killing off their piece of shit web browser, Internet Explorer 6...
Their suggestion is to have you upgrade to Internet Explorer 8.
If I may be so bold, a suggestion: bypass Internet Explorer 8 and upgrade directly to an even better browser...
Or, don't stop upgrading there... get rid of Windows and step up to Macintosh! It's so much nicer up here!
• Downgrade. Meeee-ow! My review of the latest "upgrade" to Twitter for iPhone...
Developers always seem to play the victim by saying things like "Well, nobody wants to pay for apps anymore, so we use ads. SOMEBODY has to pay, so cut us a break!" — And that's a very good point... except you can't expect people to be happy when the app's functionality is impaired by the ads. Either find a way to insert ads in a way that's not going to shit all over your app, or just charge for the damn thing.
• Go for the Gold. One last thing before I go... this morning I discovered Rold Gold "Everything Bagel" Pretzels. Deeeelicious. They kind of reminds me of Chex Mix, but more subtle and without the fishy Worcestershire sauce to mess things up. Still really good flavor though. This is a great find because it's really tough to find the Snyders of Hanover flavors I like around here...
And there's Bullet Sunday for you. Until next week... stay classy, blogosphere.
I've got a suitcase to pack, so this is going to be a quick one.
• Arigatou Gozaimasu Thanks to everybody for their kind concern for my friends in Japan. All but one has been accounted for, though it's likely they've got other things on their mind right now. The situation is pretty dire over the Pacific right now, as you might imagine. Fortunately, Doctors Without Borders (my favorite charity) is assisting in Japan (and around the world). If you'd like to help, here's a link to donate. Even $5 will make a difference.
• Countdown. The final part of my project was completed this afternoon. Just three days until all will be revealed...
• Not a Cooking Show. The most important thing you're probably not listening to? That would be Hey! That's My Hummus! a podcast by my friends Faiqa and Shiny! She's Muslim. He's Jewish. Together they are welcome voices of reason in a world of insanity. It's well worth your time, and you can find it on their new website.
Delicious hummus photo by Paul Goyette
• Irony. Speaking of insanity...
Honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry anymore.
Annnnnd... next week they'll be a Very Special Bullet Sunday from Europe!
It's Bullet Sunday from Venice, Italy!
• Merger. Apparently AT&T and T-Mobile are merging. How could this possibly be a good idea? One shitty network plus one crappy network does not make a good network. It just makes a shitty network crappier. And here I thought things couldn't possibly be any worse with AT&T.
• Foo. I have never understood people's infatuation with Glee. But even more inexplicable is being made to feel crazy because I don't like the show. Now, at last, I'm not alone. Just when I think that Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters couldn't possibly be any cooler than he already is, this happens. Thank. You.
• Lunar. I haven't been able to see the SUPER MOON from here in Venice despite having clear skies. I don't know if I'm looking in the wrong place or if the moon doesn't shine in Venice or what. I'm a little sad about that, because I was looking forward to getting a photo of it. MOON FAIL!
• Venice. Speaking of Venice, it's absolutely stunning here. Clear blue skies and cool air. A big improvement over my previous trip where it rained every day...
You can never have too many statues on a building!
St. Mark's Square is under construction.
But the beautiful frescos are still available for viewing.
Climbing up the balcony of St. Mark's Basilica.
GAH! THE SHIT IS FALLING APART HERE! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!
The Bridge of Sighs... now disgustingly brought to you by Toyota!
Look! It's TRON!!
Honestly, it's one McDonald's too many...
The Church of Health!
Pretty pink street lights.
A naked boy and his dead frog statue. Awesome?
Visiting the neighboring island of Murano.
Cracking angel statue.
Mustard-colored building in Murano.
Sunset over the Grand Canal from the Rialto Bridge.
Rialto's nighttime view on the Grand Canal.
Annnnnd... I'm spent. No more bullets left this fine Sunday. Time for pizza!
It's a Vegas-infused edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Classy. The most interesting aspect of Vegas is the people who show up here. People-watching is so good that could almost be a full-time activity. Hang around long enough, and you'll see it all. Drunks walking out into traffic. People puking in trash cans. Women walking through the casino in a bikini. A pickup full of cats that says "Pussy Wagon"... it's all going on in Vegas. But the best thing I saw this trip was a woman walking down The Strip in leopard print pants, a halter-top, hooker-high heels, and makeup so thick it was probably put on with a spatula. This alone wasn't unusual because half the women here look like that. But throw in the fact that she was nursing a newborn baby, and it doesn't get any classier!
• Cups. I swear, every time I come to Vegas, the drinking cups are bigger. First there was the "Big Gulp" cup. Then there was the long-neck cup. Then there was the "Yard Glass" cup. Now there's the 100-oz. Cup which is SO long (over 4-feet) that it comes with a neck-strap. I suppose next time I come to Vegas, there will be 200-oz. cups that come with a pull-cart to lug it up and down The Strip...
What I love is the little "Always Drink Responsibly" signs displayed where you buy these things. How could you possibly drink anything this massive responsibly? The entire purpose of buying one is to be irresponsible.
• Gambler. I'm usually pretty lucky when it comes to gambling (even though I don't believe in luck). But not this trip. I won a grand total of $17. On an "investment" of $200. I am officially poor now.
• Fremont. I'm always surprised when somebody comes back from Las Vegas, I ask if they visited Fremont Street in the "old town" and they say "no." It's such a shame, because it's such a fun experience. A lot to see and do in a rather small area...
And, of course, there's the giant-screen ceiling of the covered-walkway that spans a big chunk of the area. This time we got to rock out to Queen and Kiss, which was very cool because the sound system is great. If you ever end up in Las Vegas, don't miss a chance to visit. It's worth the $20 cab ride...
• Stargate! They will make just about anything into a slots game. TV Shows like Survivor and Sex In The City are popular, and this time I saw one I hadn't seen before based on Stargate SG-1...
Seems a little sci-fi geek esoteric for Vegas, but it ended up being a good game (even though I didn't win any money)! There really needs to be a slots game based on Top Chef or Project Runway!
• Bloody! The perfect Bloody Mary is a difficult beast to track down. Usually because so many place make such bad ones. Imagine my surprise when it was suggested to go to Rainforest Cafe if you want a good Bloody Mary... and they were absolutely right! It's a good mix that's not too spicy and not all watery. AND it comes with potato chips on top! Genius!
• Eat! The best place to eat in Las Vegas? EARL OF SANDWICH at the Miracle Mile Shops in the Planet Hollywood Resort! The franchises are hard to find unless you live in Texas or Florida, and the shop in Las Vegas is the only location in the Western USA. Probably the best sandwich I've ever had. So good I went both days...
Right next door is Pink's, which is funny since I just went there when I was in Los Angeles this past week...
Annnnnd... that's a Vegas weekend in bullets. Well, the parts I can talk about anyway. Because what happens in Vegas...
It's a relaxing kind of Bullet Sunday today.
• Scamberry? I don't know if many people realize it, but my home state of Washington is famous for more than just apples. We're also the fifth-largest producer of cranberries in the USA. There are "cranberry bogs" on the coast in an area off Grayland Beach, which is south of the Ocean Shores resorts. I'm reminded of my visit there every time I see one of those beautiful and awesome Ocean Spray commercials on TV...
It's Henry & Justin... the Ocean Spray Cranberry Guys!
Justin says "Did I err?"
I think the commercials are shot on the East Coast somewhere, but it's still eerily familiar.
Except it kind of gives the illusion that cranberries are grown in 4-feet of water, which they're not. The fields aren't flooded until harvest time and then it's only about 6-inches of water. What the commercials show is the holding ponds where the cranberries end up flowing after they've been taken off the vine. It may be a bit misleading, but it sure looks pretty.
And speaking of misleading... today I got reminded of Washington's cranberry country for an entirely different reason. Apparently there's a cranberry war going on between Ocean Spray and a rival company, "Decas"... which has been trashing Ocean Spray over alleged no-cranberry-content in one of Ocean Spray's cranberry products. They created a site called "Scamberry.info" under the pretense of being a consumer advocacy site (but didn't reveal their association with the site until six days later).
What I find fascinating is that social media has become a weapon in corporate warfare. And now that I've had a taste of it, I find myself questioning every single "advocacy" site I've ever seen. Well... except for those sites slamming high fructose corn syrup. That shit is in everything and made of pure evil.
• Service! I can complain about AT&T's mobile service (because it pretty much sucks anymore), but it's impossible for me to complain about their customer service. Every single time I've had a question or problem, they've gone overboard to set things right. AT&T customer service is so good that I'd be a customer for life if only I could make calls in major cities and use data in my home town. As it is, I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when my contract is up. If iPhone 5 is dual-band CDMA (for domestic) and GSM (for international), then Verizon might just steal me away.
These are the kind of problems that keep me awake at night. Well, that and a raging case of chronic insomnia.
• Mirren! Last night's Saturday Night Live hosted by Helen Mirren was a terrific episode...
I can't remember it being this good since Betty White hosted, which has me wondering... what other "golden ladies" should they have host to make SNL not suck so bad? After seeing her on William Shatner's Raw Nerve, one name keeps popping in my head. How frickin' cool would it be to have Carol Burnett host?
She would be perfect for this. Perfect. And a Google search reveals that Im not the only one who thinks so. If you're on Facebook, you can LIKE a campaign to get her on SNL here.
• Bing! I know this may sound impossible... but Microsoft has created a product I love. Yes... you read that right... Microsoft. Their Bing! app for iPad is a remarkable interface for the web that completely buries the competition...
I don't use an iPad much, but have to admit that it's apps like Bing! that make me want to use one more.
Tomorrow promises to be a hectic day, so I suppose I should try and get some sleep. Or at least go lay down and pretend that I'm going to get some sleep.
Well whadda ya know, it's an EASTER edition of Bullet Sunday!
• Like! Bad Monkey is now on Facebook. Heaven help us all...
If you want to see the mayhem for yourself, here you go...
• Kubrick! The holy grail for Stanley Kubrick fans (outside his movies, obviously) is a copy of a book called Full Metal Jacket Diary by Matthew Modine, who was an actor in the film. The reason it's such a big deal is twofold...
Just looking at the few amazing behind-the-scenes photos on the official website should have any Kubrick fan dying to own it...
But... to do the iPad app right is going to cost a lot of money. $20,000 money. In order to fund the project, Rackoff has put it up on Kickstarter so people can donate to get the work done. Anybody chipping in $5 or more will get a 'special thanks" credit on the app's credits page. If you've got money to burn, there are bigger rewards for bigger pledges. If you're a Kubrick fan... or a Matthew Modine fan... or a Full Metal Jacket fan... or just a movie fan... head over to Kickstarter so we can get this funded!
• Blows! Microsoft has been (rightfully) bragging about crossing the 350 million license milestone for Windows 7 in only 18 months. Except... I can't help but wonder how much of the rapid adoption rate is thanks to its predecessor, Windows Vista, being such a steaming pile of shit. Even with the Service Packs (mostly) fixing all the crap that made me want to take a flamethrower to my PC, I maintain that everybody who purchased a Vista license should have gotten Windows 7 as a free upgrade. Because anybody forced to suffer through Vista after updowngrading from the (relatively) painless Windows XP experience deserves to be compensated. Instead, we were forced to add billions of dollars to Microsoft's bank account to get out of a shitty OS that was never ready for release in the first place (after SIX YEARS of development). Any doubts I had about being an Apple Whore were eradicated by the release of Windows Fucking Vista and subsequently having to pay for Windows 7. I long for the day I never have to use Windows again.
• Bunny! If you celebrate the holiday, hope it's a happy one for you!
Annnd... time to start hauling all this crap back into my bedroom. Spring cleaning blows.
It's a "Holy crap it feels like somebody shot me in the back!" kind of Bullet Sunday this week. Fortunately I have really good drugs to put me out of my misery so I can (hopefully) get some healing sleep tonight. Let's see how many bullets I have in me before I drop off...
• Quandary. As somebody who attempts to live my life according to Buddhist precepts, it is not possible for me to take joy in the death of any living thing. So call me unAmerican if you wish, but all I can think of today is the chain of events which began on September 11, 2001 and the horrific loss of life which continues to this day because of it. One more death on the pile... no matter how much one believes it was deserved... is not going to suddenly make everything better in my head. And I'm not sure how I should feel about that. About the only thing I can feel right now is regret. Not that an asshole terrorist and mass-murderer is dead, but that humanity has failed so badly for us to have gotten to this point.
• Accomplished? I keep running across people on the internet who are amused that today's news falls precisely eight years after a banner above former president George W. Bush's head declared "Mission Accomplished"...
Am I a tin-hat wearing conspiracy nut if I admit that the first thing that came to mind after first reading this was "Wow. That's really convenient!" Because, seriously, if you wanted to (further) embarrass President Bush over the failure to capture Public Enemy #1 on his watch, wouldn't this be the ideal way to do it? Hmmmmmm. Nah, it's most certainly just a coincidence. Especially when you consider Hitler's death was also announced on a May 1st. Irony can be so ironic sometimes.
• Who? Can I just say that Dr. Who under the brilliant mind of Stephen Moffat has evolved to one of the single best shows ever to air on television? I'm not kidding. The two-part season opener was jaw-droppingly amazing in every possible way...
If you have even a passing interest in really good sci-fi, this show is a must-see.
• Magnum! Another import that's well worth checking out? Magnum ice cream bars! It was just over two years ago I mentioned their advertising featuring Eva Longoria when I was in Germany...
And now they have arrived here in the USA! If you happen across the "Almond" variety, which is covered in chocolate with crazy-delicious large chunks of almonds, it is about the best-tasting thing you'll ever eat. Unless you're allergic to nuts. Then it's about the most deadly thing you'll ever eat.
Annnd... my meds are starting to kick in. That's kind of a bummer, because I didn't get to all the bullets I had jotted down. Oh well. Something to blog about tomorrow, I guess.
Well, bugger! I wrote this yesterday through a haze of painkillers while laying in bed on a heating pad... but couldn't post it because my blog returned an error. Here's hoping that I can get it to work this time while I'm a bit more lucid.
Annnnd... since I started falling asleep during Bullet Sunday before all my bullets had been fired, here's Part Deux!
• Mahalo! And so President Obama abused his presidential privilege in order to force Kapi'olani Medical Center in Honolulu to violate their policy and release his long-form birth certificate so that dumbass pig-fucker birthers like Orly Taitz and Donald Trump will (hopefully) shut the fuck up already*. Never mind that President Obama had already released the required documentation... apparently if you're an uppity black man who DARES to become the democratically-elected president of this country, special rules apply to you. Welcome to post-racial America!
My name is Orly Taitz and I endorse this dumbassery!
• The Duh-nold. At first I was angry with President Obama for (once again) caving to pressure instead of taking care of shit. I mean, seriously, when you're giving in to demands by a reality show television host, you've pretty much let your authority fly right out the window. But then I saw his speech at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner, and changed my mind. Releasing the "long-form" birth certificate gave him his best material...
It's watching things like this that make me forget all about the things Obama has done to piss me off and make me like him again. But will it last long enough to keep my vote for the next election? That depends. If my alternatives are Trump, Palin, Santorum, Bachmann, Huckabee, or any number of other potential candidates that make my brain hurt... then I guess it will be. Why in the hell can't the Republicans find a serious candidate? Not one person they've got in the wings... not one... has a chance against Obama unless something crazy happens. I guess I should be grateful since I can't stand any of them. But without a decent challenge for President Obama to rise to, I fear he's just going to slog through a second term on vapors. Winning in a cake-walk is the worst possible thing that could happen. We need to debate issues seriously so we can get serious about them. Right now I feel we are anything but. It's just partisan hackery at its worst, and we're all suffering because of it.
• Run. A good friend is participating in the Malibu Triathlon as a member of "The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training" which raises funds to help in the fight against leukemia and blood cancers. If you'd like to be a good egg and help sponsor this very worthy cause, you can visit her page here. I could go on about how donating even a little money to such a worthwhile endeavor can add a little sunshine to your day and is good karma... but instead I'll just say CLICK IT! CLICK THE LINK AND GIVE YOUR MONEY! DO IT! DO IT!!! Heck, I just donated $20 and now the headache I had all morning is gone! Coincidence? Perhaps. BUT CAN YOU AFFORD TO RISK IT? GAH! CLICK THE GOOD EGG! CLICK IT NOW!!
And that's enough of that. Join me tomorrow when I promise to be (relatively) bullet-free!
*Of course this is sheer fantasy. The birthers won't shut up until a crusty old white man is president of the USA like God intended. And yes, I realize that this makes no sense since God doesn't make mistakes and He allowed Obama to become president in the first place, but hey... you just can't use logic when it comes to pig-fuckers.
It's a rainy kind of lazy Bullet Sunday and I'd really rather be in bed. Let's do this shit!
• Foodie. I'm not much of a "shopper" and really don't enjoy going to the store... but the crazy-ass prices of food now-a-days makes me downright depressed to go grocery shopping. Just pulling into the parking lot of a market is enough to make me lose my will to live. Mostly because I know even a small bag of groceries is going to run me $50 or more. I never used to worry about stuff being "on-sale" or bothered to clip coupons or anything... I just bought what I wanted to eat. But now? I only buy something when it's on-sale. This means I am eating not what I like to eat, but what I can afford to eat. I can't even fathom how people with families manage to feed everybody. What even worse is that good food... like fresh fruits and vegetables... are beyond expensive. Far easier to eat crappy foods or blow through the McDonald's drive-through than even think about trying to eat healthy. This is a scary, scary state of affairs, and I worry that things are only going to get worse. Soylent Green may not be too far off.
• PATATJES MET! While having a conversation with a Twitter-friend, it was mentioned that when they did an image search for "Patatjes Met" a photo of me came up as #4. When I went to check for myself, I saw that a LOT of the images were mine! Apparently, I am obsessed with Patatjes Met. Who'da thunk it?
• Border. I was saddened to learn that most all of the Hard Rock Cafe properties in Mexico were "de-authorized" last week. I can only guess that their franchise payments weren't made to Hard Rock International, and so now they're no longer "official" Hard Rock properties. This kind of sucks, because now I won't have the opportunity to visit them. To make matters worse, two properties I also haven't been to in Ocho Rios (Jamaica) and San Juan (Puerto Rico) were closed outright. I hate it when that happens! I suppose that I should be grateful since I now have fewer destinations to check off on my Hard Rock list... but all I can think of is the missed opportunities.
• Maru. With all the sad and crappy stuff going on, it's always nice to have something good to hang on to. For me, that would be Maru the Cat! Maru loves to climb into boxes and bags and is always entertaining...
The site is in Japanese with some English, but you don't need to know Japanese to enjoy the fantastic photos and movies! The next time you're feeling a little depressed, click on over to I am Maru. It always puts a smile on my face... and hopefully yours too.
And if you've got some time to kill, you could easily spend a whole day watching Maru's YouTube Channel...
• Passing. IT'S A SIMPLE FUCKING CONCEPT... DRIVE RIGHT, PASS LEFT! And yet, despite bunches of signs saying "Keep Right Except to Pass," people still clog up the passing lane with their stupid asses. Finally... AT LONG LAST... Washington State troopers are starting to pull these idiots over for violating the law. I have little hope that this is going to do any good... people out on the highways usually have their heads up their asses anyway... but it's comforting to know that law enforcement is starting to take this shit seriously. I still think it should be legal to pop a cap in somebody's ass if you end up passing their slow asses on the right-hand side...
Or follow them home and explain their error to them...
This has been a major pet peeve of mine for decades. I don't suppose it's too much to hope that the idiots on our roads will finally start to pay attention? Nah. Probably not.
And thus ends another Bullet Sunday... time to go be lazy, at last.
ZOMG! IT'S BULLET SUNDAY!
• Stars. I swear, if there is a single thing in this world you can count on outside of death and taxes, it's that any time Justin Timberlake hosts Saturday Night Live you're in for one hell of a show. The May 21st season finale was no exception. Not surprisingly, I haven't laughed this much at an SNL episode since the last time he hosted. What was surprising is that musical guest Lady Gaga made a couple very funny appearances throughout the show. I may not be the biggest fan of her music, but she killed it last night in the sketches. As if that weren't enough, we got another The Barry Gibb Talk Show installment too...
Your eyes do not deceive you... that's Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson
making cameos on the funniest SNL Digital Short since Dick in a Box!
Can I just say that I long for the day that the real Barry and Robin Gibb make an appearance on The Barry Gibb Talk Show? I think the universe would probably explode from so much awesomeness.
• Dogs. As I was spending my entire paycheck on a bag of groceries last week, I noticed that MorningStar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs were back. I used to love them, but they were recalled and discontinued a couple years back because of of a heinous contamination at the manufacturing facility. Apparently that's (hopefully) been all sorted out, because I've discovered a new magical formula...
Is there anything that Grey Poupon Mild & Creamy Mustard doesn't taste good on?
• Bears. One of the single coolest people on earth would have to be Bear Grylls. The guy has racked up so many amazing feats that he makes ordinary men look like hamsters by comparison. It all started when he was the youngest person to climb Mount Everest at age 23. Since then he's continued to make awesome expeditions, and even went on to become a best-selling author and (somewhat controversial) television star...
And yet, this morning as I was watching television, I heard something which puts all of Bear Gryll's astounding adventures to shame. His ultimate feat of coolness has to be naming his three kids Jesse, Marmaduke and Huckleberry...
"Holy shit, dude! My name is MARMADUKE!" (Photo by Rob Loud - Getty Images)
I don't know how to feel about Jesse. On one hand, he side-stepped a landmine by not being saddled with a name like Marmaduke or Huckleberry. On the other hand, he doesn't have a kick-ass moniker that guarantees him a reality TV show. Oh well. Goes to show that just when you think Bear Grylls can't possibly be cooler than he already is, something comes along to prove you wrong.
• Trains. Dear iOS developers... I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR GAMES, SO STOP MAKING AWESOME NEW APPS I WANT TO PLAY! Especially all these terrific new board game apps for iPad. As a board game addict, it is really cool to see great games like Neuroshima Hex and Carcassonne being released, but now Days of Wonder has gone and dropped the awesome Ticket to Ride game for a mere $6.99 (my board game version cost $25!)... and it is stellar. It's better than stellar. It actually improves on the original by making it easier and more straightforward to play. But they didn't stop there, they made it Game Center aware, so you can play against other people anywhere in the world...
The object of the game is to build railroads. You do this by drawing Destination Tickets which give you two cities to connect. You then play colored Train Cards to build your routes, with longer routes being worth bigger points. It's easy to learn, but the strategy is where the fun is. Do you complete your own route, or block your opponent from completing theirs? Do you risk drawing another Destination Card to increase your score, or do you play it safe because you're running low on train cars? The variations on play are endless but, just in case you get bored, you can add expansion sets with an in-game purchase.
This is the future of board games right here. You can play against your friends no matter where you are, or connect with other players online when you don't have somebody to play with! Granted, it can be tricky to get a Game Center game started up, but other than that it's a flawless app. About the only thing I miss is the socializing that happens when playing a "real" game in person (talking smack over chat isn't the same!), but that's a minor detail when you consider how hard it is to get people together to play in "Real Life." For iPad users, Ticket to Ride gets my highest possible recommendation!
• Trolls. This past week my blog was linked to by some kind of newsletter from a wacky organization seeking to "protect marriage." Since the post they linked to has me supporting marriage equality and calling equality opponents "weak," I suppose it was only a matter of time. I got around a dozen comments, all of which were deleted because they were nasty or didn't contribute to the conversation in any meaningful way. Apparently, their only argument against marriage equality was to bad-mouth me, which is not commenting. It's just name-calling. Somehow I am not surprised that this is all they have left, considering a recent Gallup poll now has the majority of Americans supporting gay marriage for the first time...
This has me envisioning a future where Americans look back at this point in time and think "What the fuck was that all about?" Which will be nice, because I can't for the life of me understand what the big deal is over a person's sexuality not restricting their rights. If somebody writes left-handed, you don't see right-handed people demanding lefties can't get married... so who gives a fuck about two consenting gay adults getting married?
A lot of very insecure people who are worried that they are going to be tempting into getting gay-married, apparently. Which brings me to something of sheer awesomeness tweeted to me by @Galaxyfighter (Not Safe for Work)...
And on that note, I suppose I should be getting back to work.
It's Bullet Sunday from The Windy City!
• Forecasting. And when I say "windy" I actually mean "stormy with torrential rains." This afternoon there was thunder, lightning, black clouds, and a literal flood pouring from the sky. What's so odd is that the forecast for tomorrow is "mostly sunny" which is almost impossible to believe. But, then again, looking at the extended forecast, impossible weather seems to be a continuing event here over the next week...
Make up your mind, Chicago!
• Thor. Back in the 1980's I was mostly reading DC Comics, with only occasional dalliances with Marvel Comics' stable of characters. All that changed when I got hooked on Walter Simon's absolutely brilliant work on Mighty Thor. His critically acclaimed run on the book was the stuff of legends, and I instantly became a massive fan of the epic stories he was telling there. Eventually Simonson left the book and my interest in the series waned, but I never lost my love of Thor as a character...
Fast-forward to earlier this month, and Marvel has released a massive tome which collects Walter Simon's work and called it the Thor Omnibus. It runs 1200 pages and is almost too big to hold comfortably (it should have been a 2-volume set!). The interior is absolutely stellar, having been completely recolored. They also added 50 pages of bonus material including drawings from Simonson's sketchbook...
If you are a Thor fan, this is essential. If you are not a Thor fan, this book will make you one. Highest possible recommendation.
• Thorified. Which brings us to the brand new Kenneth Branagh-helmed film Thor, a faithful and wholly amazing adaptation of the comic book series. It is a massive, brilliant, totally EPIC film that I simply didn't want to end. Everything from the acting to the special effects to the design to the story was near-flawless...
If I have one complaint, it's that the story seems oddly rushed. What should have taken months to unfold seems to happen in mere days, providing an unrealistic edge to the character development. I don't care who you are, you don't completely change your entire outlook on life in two days, and yet that's exactly what we're given.
Anyway... the movie tells the story of an ancient race of Norse gods who live in Asgard, one of the "Nine Realms" of our universe. One of these gods is Thor, a vain and arrogant warrior who is due to succeed his father Odin as king. But all this changes when Thor makes a big mistake and ends up being banished from Asgard to "Midgard" which we know as earth. Love, loss, and adventure ensue.
I gotta hand it to Marvel Comics here. First Iron Man came along and blew me away. Now Thor. Next up is Captain America, which looks even more amazing. And then there's X-Men: First Class which looks like it's going to kick all kinds of ass and finally make up for the totally shitty X-Men films that came before. All this will culminate with The Avengers in 2012 which has the potential to redefine the word "epic"... especially with Joss Whedon behind it. All in all, this is a great time to be a comic book fan.
• Bridesmaids. Even with all the critical acclaim and internet love, I was still wary of going to see Bridesmaids. Too many times the things other people think of as being "funny" I just think of as being "stupid" and a big waste of time. And then along comes Kristen Wiig's answer to The Hangover. And it's actually funny. And more than a little touching. But mostly entertaining...
Wiig plays Annie whose best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and wants her to be her maid of honor. Hilarity ensues. And while there are moments where it felt like an SNL skit that goes on way too long had been shoehorned into the plot, overall I really enjoyed the story. Probably because it went for "funny-smart" instead of "funny-stupid." Add to that a really good cast, and you've got a movie actually worth your valuable time.
Assuming you're an adult who can appreciate an R-rated movie with occasional lapses into gross-out humor.
• Pasta. I seem to be going through a ravioli renaissance. I stopped eating the stuff (despite it being one of the things on an Italian menu I could eat) because it always ended up being gummy and squidgy. The last Wednesday I had some of the best cheese ravioli in my life at Piccolo Sogno... followed by an amazing dish of butternut squash ravioli tonight at Prasino. Apparently the greater Chicagoland area knows how to make the stuff. Which is little help as I head back home where nobody seem to know how to make it very well at all.
And speaking of home... I suppose it's time to finish up my work, pack my bags, check in for my flight, and post this blog entry so I can fly out tomorrow. Hopefully in better weather than today.
It's a Bullet Sunday alright...
• Stevenote Tomorrow is the kickoff of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. But it's not just developers who get excited, because this is when Apple customarily unveils new and cool stuff. And since nobody know what new and cool stuff there might be, Apple Whores such as myself tend to get a little bit excited. Will there be a new iPhone? What's this "iCloud" all about? Will the latest Mac OS (codename "Lion") be released? Will we finally get iToast?
Only Steve Jobs knows for sure. The rest of us have to wait until tomorrow. I'm counting on it being fabulous.
• Nutritional Redux. It would seen that the US government is going to take yet another stab at promoting healthy eating. Since their previous "pyramid" attempts were stupid as shit, I had high hopes that they'd get it right this time...
And while I'd argue they didn't "get it right this time," I can say it's an improvement...
The previous schemes wanted you to eat tons of breads and grains. The new scheme wants for at least 50% of your diet to be fruits and vegetables. That's very smart. What's less smart is saying that fruits and vegetables are exclusive of protein content, which appears to be discouraging a vegetarian diet. The dairy being on an optional saucer is nice... but I dunno. a part of me is wondering how much of this "new and improved" meal plan is geared towards supporting American farmers over promoting good nutrition. Of course, it's fairly obvious that a growing number of people are ignoring nutritional advice of any kind, so I guess this is all kind of a moot point. In any event, speaking design-wise, it sure looks better... and is a lot easier to understand. I guess that's something.
• Scarry! One of my favorite series of books when I was a kid came from Richard Scarry. In celebration of what would have been his 92nd birthday, Google was nice enough to use his "Busytown" characters for their search page today...
Very cool! What would have been even more awesome would have been if you could zoom in and search for "Goldbug"... which was kind of a "Where's Waldo" search that Scarry worked into his storybooks.
• Who? I had exactly two guesses as to who the mysterious "River Song" might end up being on Dr. Who... one of my theories was right...
A part of me is very unhappy about that, because it would have been a lot more fun if they had come up with something totally out of left-field that I wasn't expecting. Oh well, the show is great fun, as usual.
Annnnd... that brings this episode of Bullet Sunday to a close. Now I get to spend the next several hours preparing for one of my busiest work-weeks of the year. Yay.
Well smack my ass and call me Sally... it's Bullet MONDAY?!? Given all the crazy crap that's gone on since yesterday, I guess it's going to have to be!
• STEEEEEEVE! I don't know what it is about a Steve Jobs keynote event that brings out my maternal instincts, but every time I see one I end up thinking about how much I'd like to have Steve Jobs' baby. Today's spiffy keynote from Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference was no exception. So much cool stuff in the pipeline for all my Apple Whore toys... including Mac OS X Lion... iOS 5... and the all-new iCloud service...
I could spend the next half-hour writing about the many new features which had me soiling myself with happiness, but that's a full-load in my pants that nobody wants to hear about. Might be better if everybody just watched the Stevenote for themselves and decide which features are worth freaking over.
• WEEEEEEINER! And so Representative Anthony Weiner now admits he's a freaky-ass pervert who likes to send shirtless photos and pictures of his schlong to young ladies. A few thoughts...
If I was in this good of shape, I'd send photos like this to everybody I know. Everybody.
So... to sum up... whatever. Color me disappointed, but not surprised. These asshole politicians don't seem to know how to act any other way. About the only positive thing I can say is that at least he wasn't a total hypocrite here. It's not like he railed against homosexuals and was then caught trying to hook up for gay sex in a bathroom somewhere. In any event... way to stay classy, Representative Weiner.
• LEEEEEE! In much sadder news... Lee J. Ames has died. You may not know who he was, but I assure you that you've undoubtedly seen the result of his efforts. In fact, since you are looking at this blog, I can guarantee it! Mr. Ames is famous for his art instruction books, of which I am a massively huge fan...
He has an uncanny knack of being able to effortlessly break down objects to base elements, and his "Draw 50" series of books taught me to see things this same way. Lil' Dave... Bad Monkey... and most everything I've ever drawn here... it's all using techniques I first learned from studying Lee J. Ames. As with all things which are done well, his books still hold up even today. If you know a kid who is interested in learning how to draw, you could do a lot worse than to track down these wonderful publications at your local library or art store. Rest in peace, Lee... and thank you.
• BULL SHEEEEEET! So much for the separation of Church and State. Such fucking bullshit.
• SLAAAAAAAAYER! It's the International Day of Slayer today!
♫ The root of all evil is the heart of a black soul... a force that has lived all eternity! ♫ A never ending search for a truth never told... the loss of all hope and your dignity! ♫
Annnnd... now I have to spend a couple of hours preparing for another long, hard day of work in the morning.
I'd add a long, hard photo here to drive that point home, but I think we've all seen enough wieners for a while.
It's a busy busy Bullet Sunday!
If I were smart, I'd blow off blogging today so I could get caught up with work. Oh well. Blogging is a tough habit to break. Even when it's bad for you. Especially when it's bad for you.
• Holiday. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! Including mine...
• Cheesy. I think it aught to be a law that companies who make low-fat and fat-free cheese products should be REQUIRED UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH to label their products with giant warning labels like they put on cigarettes...
I am tired of accidentally buying the wrong cheese at the store because I'm in a hurry and don't notice the beautifully-integrated low-fat declaration. If there were an offensively large warning label requirement, I'd be less likely to mistakenly purchase this crap.
• Batmobile. Batman is my favorite comic book hero. By far. He doesn't have any super powers, so the stakes are always higher for him than say.... Superman. How Batman compensates for being merely human is those wonderful toys he uses to fight crime. The most famous of which would have to be the Batmobile. As Batman's vehicle of choice, it's taken a lot of different forms over the years. Some good. Some bad. Some meh. Kind of like the latest Batmobile designed by Gordon Murray(!) for the new Batman Live touring show. In the right light, it's kind of sexy...
But in the wrong light... such as, say... DAYLIGHT... it looks kind of boring and lame...
Still, it is a step above the massive tank-like "Batmobile Tumbler" from the current Batman films, I guess. I mostly didn't care for the theatrical and goofy nature of the Tim Burton movies, but I think he had the best Batmobile on the big screen so far.
• Flush. I am sick of all these commercials touting "Flash" as an awesome "feature" on the Android Tablets. Flash sucks. It's battery-draining, crash-happy, annoying bullshit and I hate it. Apple choosing to dump the buggy shit from its iPhone, iPod, and iPad was one of the best things to happen to the internet, because it's forcing web developers to stop using Flash and turn to modern HTML 5 elements instead. I am reminded of just how smart Apple is every time I visit a Flash site on my MacBook and it either crashes or sucks my battery dry.
My favorite thing to do is fill out crash reports whenever Flash crashes (which is a lot)...
Not that it's any news to Apple... hell, they're trying their best to kill Flash. But I'm easily frustrated and a total smartass.
• Cloudy. Speaking of Apple competitor suckage... why is buying music from Amazon such a frikin' joke? It's an awful, awful experience. It's so mind-boggling horrible that I'd rather pay $1.29 for a song from Apple than to suffer through buying the same song for 69¢ from Amazon. And now that they force you to go through their "Cloud Drive" for everything, a bad situation is even worse. Partly because their "Cloud Drive Player" is shit and stutters and stalls every time I try to listen to a song. But mostly because you can't just download your music when you want. You still have to use Amazon's unbelievably crappy downloader utility, which is just fucking stupid. Apple's iCloud service won't be ready until July (Mac) and September (iOS), but it's bound to be worth waiting for given Amazon's terrible solution. Guess I'm in no danger of turning in my Certified Apple Whore credentials any time soon.
And now I think I'll eat cookies and watch episodes of The West Wing. After all these years, it remains some of the best television ever aired.
Sunday is the word, Sunday is the word, is the word that you heard. It's got bullets it's got meaning. Sunday is the time, is the place is the motion. Sunday is the way we are feeling...
• Pudding. A couple of people on Twitter were nice enough to let me know that today is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE PUDDING DAY! Not that I really need a reason to celebrate. For me, EVERY DAY IS NATIONAL CHOCOLATE PUDDING DAY! It has been for as long as I can remember...
And doesn't look to be changing any time soon...
Even Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey love chocolate pudding...
But really, who doesn't? Here's wishing you chocolate pudding dreams on National Chocolate Pudding Day!
• Columbo. As a huge, huge, massively huge, mega-fan of television's Columbo, I was very sad to learn that its star, Peter Falk, had died. For anybody who hasn't seen it, Columbo was a murder mystery show with a twist. The twist being that the audience knows exactly who the murderer is and how they did it. The fun was watching Lt. Columbo putting the pieces together. It was formula, but it worked. And the reason it worked was because Lt. Columbo in his rumpled trench coat and simplistic manner was never taken seriously by anybody... even though he was always the smartest person in the room...
Several episodes are available on Netflix via Instant Watch, and I can't recommend them highly enough. Many of them are quite dated, but still a fun watch. For an even bigger treat, rent the DVDs of the television movies that came after the show ended. Columbo just got better and better as Peter Falk got older. A part of me was always hopeful he'd do another movie one day, but, alas... rest in peace Mr. Falk.
• Cap. I swear, the more I see of the upcoming Captain America film, the more I want to see it. The latest trailer is beyond epic...
Between the awesomeness that has been Iron Man, Thor, Incredible Hulk, and now Captain American... the very idea of the upcoming Avengers movie makes me giddy as a schoolgirl. Why, why, why can't DC Comics get their shit together like Marvel has with their characters?
• Colan. Speaking of death and comics, I was also very sad to learn that longtime comic book artist Gene Colan had died. The man had drawn dozens upon dozens of books over the years, but the one I most associate him with was a short-lived series called Night Force. It was just so... different... from other comics of the day, and everything about it was interesting...
Colan was probably best-known for being the artist on Tomb of Dracula and Daredevil, but it's Night Force which I liked best. Rest in peace, Mr. Colan.
And... I've still got bullets, but it's time to get back to work. Hopefully bullets don't spoil and will keep for a week? Otherwise, look forward to stale bullets next week.
Oh, wipe your tears away... Sunday, bloody Sunday...
• Plus! Annnnd... Google debuted their "Google+" social media services this week. As a so-called "Facebook killer" it's pretty interesting. I like that its smarter at controlling who sees the things you post. I like being able to organize people into my "Circles"... which are kind of like old rotary phone dials...
Of course, if you have a hundred friends, you can only see thirteen in your little dial until you click on it, but I guess that's better than nothing.
I've already got Facebook, Twitter, and this blog sucking up my time. Do I really need another "thing" cutting into my already mega-packed offline life? I mean, I suppose I can give up sleeping and going to the bathroom, but is Google+ really worth it? Time will tell.
• Colbert. This past week Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's Colbert Report received approval from the FEC to form his own Political Action Committee. But, unlike regular PACs, he formed a Super PAC which has no restrictions on the amount of money he can raise. I'm absolutely fascinated at the prospect of a comedian having access to a PAC, and can't wait to see how much he can raise and what he's eventually going to do with it.
So I donated some money. And got an autographed photo for my trouble...
Whatever he does with his money, I'm betting it's going to be a heck of a lot more interesting than what Sarah Palin has been doing with her PAC monies.
• Roundabout. I noted an article link over on Neil Turner's Blog about how the British roundabout is conquering the US. This is something I can confirm as true. Years ago, the only roundabouts I'd ever seen in the USA were in Massachusetts. But now they are popping up everywhere. The first I remember seeing in my home state of Washington was at the I-90 interchange in North Bend...
Image taken from Google Maps
And now, even small local cities like nearby Wenatchee are getting roundabouts.
The problem is that nobody here seems to know how to drive on them. Most of the time I've seen people encounter a roundabout, they full-stop instead of yield. And, even then, they don't know what to do, preferring to just sit there for a while until they get up the courage to enter. Hopefully this will change as they become more prevalent, but right now they're more trouble than they're worth.
• Arrietty. The next film by animation genius Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli is called Arrietty, and is based on the beloved book The Borrowers by Mary Norton. As with everything Miyazaki touches, it looks stunning...
My loved of all things Miyazaki is well documented. He has been a massive influence on me for decades, and his works are without peer in the animation world (the people at Pixar practically worship the man, for example). That he has continued to work after his "retirement" in 1998 has been a source of absolute joy to me, and seeing yet another film with his fingerprints on it makes me happier than I can possibly express. And while his role at Ghibli seems mostly supervisory now (though he appears to still be doing some writing and drawing too), he seems to have good people (including his son) carrying on his work...
Arrietty was released in Japan almost a year ago and I have yet to see it. Today I learned that it won't reach the USA until FEBRUARY, 2012!! And while I would prefer to see the movie with the original Japanese soundtrack and subtitles, the North American release is certain to be an English dub (as usual). I don't even care. I just want to see it! Then hopefully the Blu-Ray release will preserve the Japanese version like Ponyo did. In the meanwhile... I wait.
And that's all she wrote since I have to get up early for work in the morning. Here's hoping all my fellow USAsians have a good holiday tomorrow!
Yeah, yeah, it's Bullet Sunday ON TUESDAY! What can I say, this has been a crazy week with a lot going on. Fasten your seat-belts...
• Billboard! Speaking of Sunday... we left Atlanta, Georgia around 8:00am for the long 6-hour drive up to Louisville, Kentucky for some ghost-hunting. It was, for the most part, an uneventful drive. I spent most of the trip watching for billboard signs. This may seem crazy-stupid to most people who try their best to ignore billboards, but I'm from Washington State where they are illegal, so I find them fascinating...
A huge number of signs are for fireworks stands. Often times these places are open 24-hours, which is even more inexplicable than the fact that you can make a living selling fireworks. How often does one have a fireworks emergency at 2:00am?
Billboards for Jesus were also very popular. These I don't understand... they give you a message, but no follow-up? No church you should visit? No advice to read The Bible? Nothing? I guess these are just reminders in case Christians forget or something?
Just in case you're driving down the highway and decide you need a gun on the spur of the moment? Or maybe you left your firearm at home and need to pick one up along the way to grandma's house? I'm guessing it's more likely there for men on their way home to a cheating wife or women on their way home to a cheating husband.
Some billboards need a little extra attention. A life-size dinosaur apparently does the trick.
While technically not a billboard, I thought this was kind of nifty. A Christian cowboy who wants everybody to know that he's a Christian cowboy perhaps? Note that the horse is not kneeling down. Obviously he's some kind of satan-worshipping atheist or something.
• MEGA! On Tuesday morning, our group decided not to rush back to Atlanta and instead decided to hang around Louisville for the day. First stop? MEGA CAVERN! It's an impossibly massive man-made cavern that has actually been back-filled so that the ceiling isn't 90-feet in the air and they can actually run a business there. Tourists, of course, can also go on a tram ride around the place...
Into the mouth of the MEGA CAVERN!!!
Before going on the trams, there are signs like this to make you feel safer about descending into the bowels of the earth.
At one time, MEGA CAVERN was designated a massive fallout shelter in the event of nuclear war. The dioramas they had depicting life underground was so depressing that I'd rather run to ground zero and die a quick death.
But, if you think a miserable life underground would be better than death, then you're in luck! For $10,000 per person, you can reserve a spot!
• Slugger! And, of course, what would a visit to Louisville be without a visit to the Louisville Slugger factory and museum?...
My, what a big bat you have!
Just like MEGA CAVERN, the museum using dioramas to help explain their history.
SEATTLE REPRESENT! Even if it is just a creepy lifelike statue of Ken Griffey Jr.
You can see famous Louisville Slugger bats from all kinds of baseball players old and new... including Babe Ruth!
• Balls! If you ever find yourself in Louisville at Fat Jimmy's Pizza, his Hot Buttered Balls are highly recommended!
And that catches me up through yesterday. Tomorrow? PART TWO! Which will hopefully get me caught up through today. Or one would hope.
I write this knowing full-well that I won't be able to publish it until Monday since I don't have internet. Oh well, I guess it's bullets on delay.
• Marriott. Playing Priceline Roulette for an airport at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Aiport South region almost always results in one of two properties... Westin or Marriott. Though I seem better suited to the Westin, the Marriott has a lot going for it (best hotel shuttle ever!), so I wasn't at all disappointed I ended up here on Friday night. About the only thing I don't care for is the hotel restaurant. Not that it's bad... I've never gotten sick there or anything... I'm just not partial to the food. So I Yelped for nearby restaurants, and found one right at the back of the hotel. In fact, I could see it out my window. Pulling it up on Google Maps it looks like this...
Simple, right? Just walk out the back of the hotel, cut through the tennis courts, then cross a street.
Well, no. Not really.
• Entrapment, Part One. The tennis courts were closed and gated off for some reason. No big deal, I'll just walk around. But, no, the back gates to the hotel were locked off completely...
Irritating, but I guess that's how you keep random people who are not hotel guests from using your pool, so okay.
• Entrapment, Part Two. Since I can't go through the hotel, I'll just go around it, right? WRONG! There's a big ol' locked fence at the back of the hotel lot!
• Entrapment, Part Three. So this means the ONLY way to get to a restaurant that's within spitting distance of the hotel, is to completely exit the hotel property and walk all the way around...
Which sucks, right? But that's not even the worst part. Not only does the Marriott block you from leaving their property out the back... THERE'S NO FUCKING SIDEWALKS SO YOU CAN ESCAPE OUT THE FRONT EITHER!!
Here's your sidewalk, muthafucker! All six inches of it, bitch!
What the fuck? I mean, seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?!? All I can think of is that they don't want you to leave unless you drive out. Any attempt to walk out of the fucking place means you either have to climb a fence or walk down a dangerous driveway with no sidewalks and cars bombing up and down at reckless speeds all day long. How fucking stupid is that?
• Dinner! And so I finally manage to get to the restaurant... Joe's on Sullivan... after wandering around the Marriott's property for a half-hour trying not to get run over and killed. How was it? Well, the service was decent. The food was okay, though my "black bean burger" was falling apart so badly it was hard to eat and the potato salad tasted like it came from a can. But, overall I was happy to have made the effort to get there.
Until I started getting cramps on my way back to the hotel...
• Distress. By the time I managed to get back to my room, my stomach was in turmoil and I was sweating so bad that it was dripping down my face. All I wanted to do was lie down, but I had to take a quick detour to the bathroom so my intestines and stomach could explode... FOR THE NEXT SIXTEEN HOURS! In all honesty, I have no idea where it all came from. I'm confident I crapped and puked my entire body weight three times over, but it would not stop. Any attempt to keep down medication was futile, because it would just come right back up. And then, just as I was considering calling for a ride to a hospital... I passed out. When I woke up, I was really queasy, but at least I wasn't leaking bodily fluids any more.
• Stung. Since I got off work early and had an entire Saturday free, my plan was to spend the day in downtown Atlanta goofing off, then go to Johnny Rockets for dinner. Around noon yesterday, I pulled myself together and took the hotel shuttle to the airport so I could ride MARTA rail into town. But I didn't make it any further than the airport. I was feeling so awful that just the thought of 25 minutes on a train was enough to make me want to die. So I got a mini pizza from the airport atrium, then went back to the shuttle stop... WHERE I WAS STUNG BY A BEE! Right on my hand. Which caused my finger to swell up like a baloon. Could things get any worse?
• Worse. Why yes, things can get worse! I get back to my hotel room so I can finalize the next issue of Thrice Fiction Magazine (which is amazing... you have no idea) only to find that typing with my bee-stung hand is excruciating. On top of that, lunch seems to have made me sick all over again, because I can barely sit upright without feeling like I'm going to puke my guts out. So there I am... laying in bed rolled in a ball, typing one-handed on my laptop on a Saturday night.
• Worser. I could go into greater detail, but suffice to say that my Sunday went like this... 1) Wake up sick. Still. 2) Find out my headphones are broke. 3) See that my finger isn't swollen anymore, but it aches worse than ever. 4) Have to sit next to a gum-smacking whore on the hotel shuttle back to the airport. 5) Find out my flight is delayed, and I might be missing my connecting flight in Seattle. 6) Somebody opens a can of fish on the plane, which already smells like somebody peed on the floor. 7) Arrive with time to spare to catch your connecting flight, but find out it's clear across the airport. 8) Finally make it back home, but find out your luggage didn't. 9) Arrive home and find out that the internet isn't working. 10) Finally get to my own bed after a week of very little sleep, only to find that I can't fall asleep. Best. Sunday. Ever.
And on that happy note, I suppose I should take some drugs to see if I can force myself to sleep. That aught to make for a fun Monday-morning at work...
It's Bullet Sunday on rails, baby!
• Oslo. I can't really find the words to express my deep sorrow for the people of Norway and the beautiful city of Oslo during the recent tragedies there. I was lucky enough to have visited the city back in 2008, where I met up with one of my long-time blogging friends and spent some time seeing the sights. I dream of returning one day so I can visit the fjord-laden coast and have some more of the best guacamole I've ever had.
My hopes are with Norway as they recover from such senseless tragedy.
• Comic Con. While I love the idea of Comic Con, the reality is just not something I can enjoy. The drastically over-sell the event, so you spend most of your time in massive crowds waiting in lines. HOWEVER... the idea of Joss Whedon making The Avengers film fills me with such happiness that I think I would have totally endured the trauma in order to sit in on that panel. But seeing the beautiful interlocking poster set Marvel has released is really the next best thing...
So cannot wait until May, 2012. This is literally a fanboy's dream come true.
• LEGO Heroes. And SPEAKING of super-heroes... earlier this week I saw that LEGO now has licenses to make sets for both the Marvel and DC line of comics! Is it too much to hope that a LEGO Heroes video game is in the works?
More images can be found over at Comics Alliance!
• Thriceful! Just a quick thank you to everybody who has made time to take a look at the latest issue of Thrice Fiction and send such nice comments! It makes all the hard work worthwhile. See you again in November...
(and if you haven't grabbed your free copy yet, what's stopping you?)
• Lovely. And lastly, before I go, a big congratulations to New York for taking a huge step towards equality for all. Some people have been waiting their entire lives for the opportunity to be married, and I couldn't be happier for them to have their chance at last...
It's been a long, long time coming. And yet there's still so much further to go.
Good night, Sunday.
I'm irritable this Bullet Sunday. But that's not surprising, I've been irritable all week. I really need to plan a vacation soon.
• Debt! As I type this, President Obama has announced an agreement has been reached on a deficit deal. It hasn't been approved by the three-ring-circus clown show we call the US Congress, but, well... formalities and all. Personally, I don't pretend to comprehend the political strategy of a president folding like a wet tissue yet again with an election coming up, but, well... politics and all.
• Runway! I am not a "reality television" fan. So many of them are nothing more than spoiled assholes acting like douchebags which I don't find entertaining at all. I still watch "the original" reality show, Survivor because the challenges are creative and fun... but "Housebitches of Beverly Hills," "Jersey Whores," (or whatever) and the rest are just garbage I have no interest in. And yet there are exceptions, as I kind of like the creativity to be found in Project Runway and Top Chef. Usually, these are kind of throw-away shows that I half-watch while working, but sometimes they surprise me.
And the new season of Project Runway has a big surprise... former Miss Trinidad and Tobago from the Miss Universe Pageant, Anya Ayoung-Chee, is competing!
Photo by Ian M.S. Royer (public domain)
It's surprising for a few reasons... 1) She only learned to sew four months ago, and yet is easily one of the most talented contestants. 2) She's rocking a mohawk and yet still looks brutally hot. 3) There's a sex tape floating around online.
Oh... and some of the other contestants are interesting too. And Tim Gunn is still there.
• Plus? I am a very casual Netflix customer. I rent maybe one DVD plus two or three Instant Watch shows a month... if that... which averages out to around $3 a rental ($9.99 a month), which is fine. But now the same plan is going to cost me $15.98 a month, or $5 a rental, which is absurd. Which is why I'll be "downgrading" to their "limited" plan which allows one or two DVDs a month and two hours of Instant Watch for $4.99. Problem is that a measly two hours of Instant Watch isn't going to cut it when I'm traveling and want to watch a couple movies. So I decided to test-drive Hulu Plus (also $4.99 a month) with a free trial membership to see if I can supplement my Netflix plan to get where I want to be.
Um. Yeah. Hulu is a steaming (streaming?) pile of shit.
First of all, they CONTINUE TO FORCE YOU TO WATCH ADS, EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE NOW PAYING THEM FOR THEIR SHIT! Ads to finance a FREE service, I get. But paying for ads? I don't think so. What's so high-larious is that Hulu has the balls to position their shitty ads as entertainment. Every time I clicked on "NO" when they asked "is this ad relevant to you?" (because no ad EVER WILL BE), they say "Thanks! We'll use your input to improve your ad experience." Shyeah. Right. "Experience." Though I guess getting kicked in the balls is an "experience," so whatever.
Isn't the giant Verizon ad intrusive enough without being forced to watch a video ad too?
Guess I'm going with iTunes video rentals. Non-HD movies are $2.99 ($3.99 for new releases) and TV shows are 99¢ which seems about right. And since I pay only for what I watch, I may end up saving money. Nice.
Netflix could have saved my business entirely by offering an option for $1 per hour streaming past their $4.90 plan. Now half the money (or more) I used to give them is going to Apple. Genius economic business plan, Netflix. Truly genius.
• Miley! It's no secret that I am a big Miley Cyrus fan (probably because I am such a huge Hannah Montana fan). Some of her songs are pop gold (The Time of Our Lives and Liberty Walk are beyond gold!). But here's the thing. The thing is this. Miley isn't just big poppy fun. She's also smart, compassionate, respectful, and open-minded.
On Twitter the other day, she tweeted about getting a marriage equality tattoo on her finger. One of her fans tossed up Bible verse to say that Miley was wrong about gay marriage. Miley replied that only God can judge people, and love was love. This (naturally) caused Miley's fans to attack the Bible quoting fan (who calls themselves "@MileyCyrusLuver"). To which Miley replied thusly...
Dude everyone lay off @MileyCyrusLuver Love u! Everyone is entitled 2 opinions! 'if u don't stand 4 something you'll fall for anything.' :)
I mean, seriously. Miley Cyrus has a better head on her shoulders than most adults.
With each passing day I grow more horrified at the polarization of this country. People don't respectfully debate any more... they just hate. And it just keeps getting worse and worse. Then here comes Miley who, with a single tweet, completely restores my faith in the future of humanity...
Could not possibly be a bigger fan right now.
Though, given my luck with celebrities, she'll be arrested for burning down a church while high on meth after kicking a puppy in front of the paparazzi, so there's that.
And, on that happy note, I get to go back to work!
YEEEEEEEEE-HAW! It's a rootin' tootin' six-shootin' Bullet Sunday!
• Masked! I am not such a big fan of the new TNT series Franklin & Bash. Nobody likes a smart-ass more than I do, but the lead characters all too often cross the line from smartassery to dumbassery, and I spend much of each episode rolling my eyes back into my head...
Judge: You're asking to bring a corpse into my courtroom?
Franklin: No! That would be ridiculous!
Bash: We want to bring the court to him. Jury field-trip to the morgue!
Prosecutor: A field trip. Really. You sure you got signed permission slips from your moms?
Franklin: Actually, we got one from yours.
Bash: Last night!
Bwah ha ha ha! From your mom... LAST NIGHT! How high-larious is that?!
Who wants to listen to lame, cliche, stupid-ass dialogue like this? However, the show has Malcolm McDowell in it, which is one of my favorite actors, so I keep watching.
This dedication to Franklin & Bash was rewarded in their season finale which featured a guest-appearance by the delicious Tricia Helfer! But the bigger surprise was a guest-star playing a masked Mexican wrestler named "Ultimo" involved in a lawsuit...
Until he removed his mask at the end, I had no idea who it was. And this drives me nuts, because I should have known! I'm a big fan of the actor! (SPOILER! Highlight the inviso-text if you want to know: Danny Trejo). Oh well. The series has been renewed, so I'm hoping that the writers go more "smart-funny" in season two.
• Roar! I finally did a clean install of Lion on my crippled MacBook. I was going to attempt this with the "recovery partition" that Lion makes on your hard drive, but decided instead to start over from scratch by making a bootable Lion Installer on a USB drive. Cut to a half-hour later, and my computer was operating "normally" again. I still have some real problems with the way Lion does certain things and some of the choices that Apple made, but at least I have a useable computer. Now starts the scary task of reinstalling my software in the hopes that one of the programs I rely on wasn't what was causing all the problems.
• Hidden! And speaking of installing my software... I ran into something new in Lion that I can't figure out. Why has Apple decided to hide the "library" folder in a user's home directory? At first I thought it was to protect all the settings, preferences, and support files from being tampered with... which I kinda get... but then why wouldn't they hide the "library" folder for the System? In any event, this makes it tough for people to transfer their prefs or delete faulty prefs when there's a problem. Fortunately, you can show hidden files in the terminal with...
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true
And you can hide them again with...
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false
• Wrong! Since I haven't installed Photoshop back on my laptop yet, I started up Apple's photo manager/editor Aperture 3. All I needed was to crop that wrestler photo, so it wasn't a big deal. Except it was. I cropped the image to 500 x 330 like I wanted...
But when I open it... not so much...
Which finds me once again wondering who in the hell is beta-testing Apple's shit. The more I use their software lately, the more problems I run across. Problems which should have easily been caught during beta testing. I mean, seriously, if you were in charge testing of testing the crop tool, wouldn't you VERIFY that it actually crops to the size that it said it cropped to? Wouldn't that be job one? This is beyond lame and has me wondering if Apple has gotten too big to give a fuck anymore (see: Microsoft).
• Reed! A while back, a company called "Black Pixel" bought out the awesome feed reader I use, NetNewsWire. They promised to give us a road-map of future released after WWDC back in June... but... nothing. So I decided to check out the Mac version of the feed reader I use on my iPhone, Reeder. It's nice. It's polished. But I couldn't find a "next unread" shortcut when reading through my full list. This is a pretty basic feature, so now I'm looking elsewhere. Sometimes "progress" can really suck.
• Cloud! I have entirely too many computer files. So many that I could never store them all on my laptop. So I went and signed up for DropBox, thinking I would be getting a magical hard drive in the sky where I could remotely access my files without taking up local hard drive space. WRONG! DropBox doesn't have a cloud storage option... anything you put there is mirrored on your hard drive which, while useful in some cases, is the opposite of what I wanted. Sure you have the ability to not sync certain folders, but then you have to either sync them when you want to use them (a huge waste of time and bandwidth) or use their web browser interface (slow and inconvenient). Enter ExpanDrive! Available for both Mac & Windows, this nifty app can mount remote volumes (such as FTP or Amazon S3) as a local drive which acts the exact same as a drive plugged into your computer. It works shockingly well, and assures me that I can have easy access to my files even if I don't have room for all of them on my Mac. If you have a need for such a thing, there's a free 30-day trial available for download.
And, on that happy note, I now get to sort through a batch of crap that I took out of my storage unit a couple months back. That aught to be a boat-load of fun.
I threw my back out. Again. This is profoundly disappointing given that I just went through this four months ago. Hope you like your bullets pain-killer-induced.
• Shower? And so the Perseid Meteor Shower peaked this weekend. Despite fairly clear skies, I saw none of it. Needless to say, I'm disappointed. But it's not like an insomniac such as myself has a better way to spend their time than looking for it, so I guess that's how it goes. My failure was somewhat offset by this amazing shot of what it looked like from space...
That shot was tweeted by astronaut Ron Garan from the International Space Station. If you're on Twitter, you must follow this guy, because he's always posting cool stuff like this. If you're not on Twitter, he makes it worth checking out.Also tweeting from space? Astronaut Clayton Anderson. And that's just the tip of the Twitter iceberg. Goddard Space Flight Center... plus dozens more cool NASA-related tweeters are waiting for you.
• Race? Few discussions can become polarizing and nasty quicker than talking about race relations in America. And yet it's a discussion that must be had. Lucky for us Kelly is willing to lead the charge, again, and this time it starts off (oddly enough) with a cake. Essential reading for the human race.
• Really? Yesterday I blogged about the blatant homophobic insanity that seems to be dominating Republican politics, and how a growing majority of Americans are sick and tired of anti-gay policy attacking our friends, family, and neighbors. The worst offender is Rick Santorum, who can't seem to open his mouth without spouting some kind of stupid homophobic crap. Second runner-up on the homophobia bandwagon is Michele Bachmann, who doesn't necessarily want to destroy the gays... she just wants to strip these "barbarians" of all their rights until they have no choice but to enroll in one of her husband's Christian counseling clinics to "pray the gay away."
And now we learn that she won the Ames Straw Pole in Iowa.
If she wins her party's nomination... if she somehow ends up as President of the United States... I can't fathom the ramification for human rights in this country. Hell, I can't fathom the continued existence of our country under her reign of batshit crazy...
At this rate, it looks like I'll be voting for Spongebob Squarepants for president.
• Dead? One of the bigger television surprises for me last season was The Walking Dead. As a loose adaptation of one of my favorite comic book series, it was almost too good to be true. A part of this was because they got the original creator, Robert Kirkman, to be a producer... but the lion's share of the credit could undoubtedly be dropped on the doorstep of Frank Darabont. He was the genius who developed the series for television and became executive producer for the series. Which went on to become a massive hit... with viewers and critics alike. So what does AMC Television do with their new-found pot of gold? Cut the budget and fire Darabont. Which just goes to show... television executives can be enormous douchebag dumbfucks regardless of which network they helm. How this will affect the quality of the second season is anybody's guess.
Photo by Greg Nicotero for AMCtv.com © 2011 TWD Productions, LLC
• Eureka? In more sad geek news, the SyFy Channel has cancelled EUReKA! This bizarre turn of events signals an end to original sci-fi programming on a network created for sci-fi programming. The best originals they have to offer now is supernatural drama like the Being Human remake or paranormal fantasy like Warehouse 13. "SyFy" is mostly reality television and pro wrestling now. I guess I shouldn't be surprised... MTV Music Television rarely plays music any more, why should this be any different?
And that's all the bullets for this week. Be sure to tune in next Bullet Sunday for more drug-indiced ramblings.
It'll have to be a short Bullet Sunday today... I've got a big mess to clear up in my living room...
• Diiiiiiiieee! A new study shows that single people die younger than married people. The bottom-line being that I would live (on average, I guess) 8 to 17 years longer if I were to get hitched. I don't really know if I want to live 17 years longer on this sick sad world, but I suppose I should start investigating mail-order bride options just in case.
• Millionaires! Everybody's favorite drug-endorsing, alcohol-gorging, sex-addicted, party-obsessed melody-makers are back and asking for your help to finance their first album! That's right, Millionaires (one of those bands I hate to love) has opened up a project on Kickstarter to raise $10,000 in funding...
People can say what they like about the girls, but Millionaires know how to crank out addictive pop tunes that infest your brain unlike any other. There's just something inexplicably appealing about their unique blend of nasty-ass lyrics and thumping beats! Here's one of the least offensive songs from their last EP...
• RIP HP Mobile! The big news in tech this week was Hewlett Packard killing off their "WebOS" products... namely their phones (like the Pre) and tablet (the "iPad killing" TouchPad).
Personally I don't give a crap. Nothing in these products was overwhelmingly more compelling than what you can get from an iPhone or iPad, so why bother? Why waste everybody's time? I want real competition for Apple so they are forced to keep innovating and moving forward... HP was obviously never serious about challenging iOS dominance, so good riddance.
Though it's kind of stupid to pay 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS for something you're going to piss away. And I feel really bad for the people at Palm who thought that getting bought out by HP was going to rescue all their hard work. I mean, hey... their commercials may have given me nightmares, but Palm was a decent company at one time. It's all a shame, but not surprising though. HP has a history of fucking things up.
• Comic Collector! At one time, Macintosh users who were comic book fans had a nifty solution for keeping track of their collection. It was called ComicBase, and made it a snap to catalog you comics. But then the people behind the program abandoned the Mac and went full-on Windows, which was pretty shitty to do to their fans, but I guess you go where the money is. For years, there hasn't been a really serious alternative if you're a Mac Whore. But all that changed with Colletorz.com decided to make their "Comic Collector" software available on the Mac...
I've had a few crashes from time to time... and adding a bar code scanner can cause a few problems... but, overall, I'm very happy with it. Finally Mac users have a serious comic book database utility which pulls from a vast repository of information and images. If you're a Mac or Windows user looking to keep track of your comics, you can download a free trial at their website.
And now? Time to throw away another couple bags of crap I've been collecting before bedtime. I feel my life getting less complicated already!
It's lunchtime. I can haz veggie burger while blogging?
• Irene. I suppose we should be grateful that New York passed same-sex marriage... obviously God was pleased with this since he reduced the hurricane down to a tropical storm before it struck the state. Oh... wait... you mean it doesn't work that way? Well that's odd. Because you know damn well that dumbass fucktards like Pat Robertson (or ChristWire) would be falling all over themselves to blame same-sex marriage if New York were devastated by a Category 3 storm. I don't know what it says about their followers that they would much rather take glee in God's wrath than His grace, but there you have it. UPDATE: Well, no surprise there.
• Irene Deux. In other hurricane-based commentary... better safe than sorry...
• Levine. It's nice to know that rock stars are starting to act like rock stars again and using their powers for good. Now it's Maroon 5's front-man Adam Levine, using his newfound jump in popularity from The Voice to slam MTV...
From his Twitter feed...
the VMA's. one day a year when MTV pretends to still care about music. I'm drawing a line in the sand. fuck you VMA's.
Spot. On. MTV "Music Television" is a joke. They rarely play music videos anymore... it's all The Jersey Shore and other stupid reality show crap. The only time you see music is when they think a cheap publicity stunts like the Video Music Awards will get them attention. They truly don't give a flying fuck about music and haven't in a very long time. And now people within the industry are starting to call them on their bullshit. Here's hoping it's just a start.
• Endorsement. Stay healthy, ladies!
• Ultimate. I travel. A lot. And I'm really grateful for the opportunity to do so. But when it comes to those "ultimate dream trips" I'd love to take, they're all out of reach. That National Geographic Expedition to the arctic... that Abercrombie & Kent trek to Nepal... that Windjammer cruise in the Indian Ocean... they're just not an option financially. For the cost of just one of those trips, I could take five if I watch my pennies.
So my dreams have to remain dreams. But Abercrombie & Kent have released a beautiful new iPad app that makes those dreams a little more real...
If you've got a lot of empty space on your iPad (the app is huge!) I highly recommend downloading the A&K Travel app to spark your travel dreams.
And that's a wrap! The veggie burger was delicious, by the way.
This morning I woke up, decided life wasn't worth it, then went back to bed. But after I realized I didn't have any bread to make toast, I had to get up so I could go to the store. Without toast, life isn't worth living.
• Star Redux. I've been in a real renaissance with the original Star Wars films lately. I've been re-watching the real movies on LaserDisc... taking another look at the amazing "Making of" books... re-reading the novelizations... going through the comic book adaptations... that kind of thing. This is probably in anticipation of the movies coming out on Blu-Ray later this month. And even though there's a lot of controversy raging over George Lucas once again crapping all over the films, I still can't wait to see them in high-def. I especially can't wait to have all the deleted scenes with one of the more interesting characters in the entire franchise... Biggs Darklighter...
Now, if you've only ever seen the original movie, you might remember Biggs being mentioned in passing when Luke is whining to Uncle Owen... and again when the Rebels are off to attack the Death Star... and then again at the end where he gets blown up by Darth Vader. But, in the original Star Wars script, there is more to the character than that. Unfortunately, those scenes got cut (though some snuck through to the novelization). And while these cuts were probably a smart move story-wise, they're disappointing fan-wise... especially for fans who have read Biggs' back-story in the "Expanded Universe" books and comics. These rumored "never-before-seen scenes" will help add yet another dimension to an important character we only thought we knew (or didn't know).
• Dance Redux. On a list of things that I couldn't possibly give a crap about, Dancing with the Stars would be near the top of the list. As far as entertainment goes, it's right up there with Pauly Shore movies and diarrhea. But once I heard the controversy over the casting of this season's contestants, I decided to investigate who would be on the show. After taking a look, I admit that I am very upset. I simply cannot fathom how such a popular program would intentionally decide to attack this country's sense of decency and our respect for the Natural Order. I am disgusted at the thought of children tuning in and being exposed to a total freak show and abomination towards God. I am mortified that this "person" will be given even more media exposure so they can further destroy all that is good on this earth with their reprehensible behavior. I am, of course, talking about Nancy Grace...
This vile, disgusting, evil, pathetic excuse for a human being has absolutely no business being on television. And it only goes to show that the people behind Dancing with the Stars only care about one thing: stirring up controversy to get ratings. Just like Nancy Grace, they obviously don't give a fuck how many people they hurt in their effort to attract viewers. For once I agree with the lamestream conservative media... this is absolutely disgusting, and just one more reason I won't be tuning in for this stupid shit.
UPDATE: Oh. Some readers have pointed out that all the controversy isn't about Nancy Grace after all (as one would expect)... it's instead over Chaz Bono?!? I don't get this at all. So he used to be a woman. Big deal. I'd argue Chaz Bono is more of a man and less sexually confused than Marcus Bachmann or "Doctor" Keith Ablow, yet you don't see anybody complaining about them being on television...
What a crock of bullshit. I have to wonder if all the people in an uproar over this are just confused about their sexual identity, and are taking it out on Chaz Bono because he has the balls to get it all sorted out. Or they are sexually attracted to Chaz Bono and don't know what to do with their self-loathing. Or they really, really hated being subjected to Cher's auto-tune travesty, Believe, being constantly blasted on the radio in the late 1990's (if that's the case, I guess I see their point... Cher's not on television much anymore, so I suppose torturing her offspring is the next best thing?). Whatever the case, I find it fascinating that people are still freaking out over this kind of stuff in the year 2011.
• TV Redux. I have more than a couple friends who are "periphery Apple fans." Meaning that they're not Mac users, but they do like their iPods, iPhones, iPads, and whatnot. This morning I got a call from one of these friends with an Apple TV. He knew I had one, and was wondering why I haven't blogged about it...
I explained that my older television didn't seem to support it because the picture was all fuzzy and jumpy. And since I'm unable to use it, the thing has been collecting dust in my closet for over a year. That's when he drops the bomb and tells me that the Apple TV firmware had been updated a while back which fixed the video display problems for a lot of people. So I dig it out, plug it in, and apply the latest software. Now it works perfectly. And it is awesome.
I love being able to use "AirPlay" to stream stuff from my MacBook, iPhone, and iPad. I really love how much easier it is to use Netflix Streaming (compared to using my Xbox like I do now). And iCloud makes it dead-simple to stream all the television shows I've purchased right to my TV without having to download them to my Mac first. It's an amazing little device and, now that I can use it, worth every penny of the $99 price tag. If you've got an HD television with HDMI, it's worth a look.
You can get your copy at Amazon and have it sent to your Kindle or any device with Kindle Reader installed (like Macs, PCs, iPhones, and the like). It's funny and it's free, so what are you waiting for? Go and get Mercury Swings today!
And that's all she wrote for this edition of Bullet Sunday. Tune in next week when all my bullets will be double-jacketed.
It's my last Bullet Sunday before vacation! I'd be happy about that, but there's just such an obscene amount of stuff that has to be done before I leave. Guess this is going to be a short one.
• Impostor. The number of people getting their Facebook and Twitter accounts hacked is reaching epic proportions. Today there was a run on Twitter, where SEVEN people I follow got hacked and are now sending me spam.
Sooooo... if you are sent link FROM ANYONE... EVEN PEOPLE YOU KNOW... where you get a login page, DON'T TRUST IT! Always question these pages. Because while they may look authentic...
All too often they are not. See that extra "j" in there?
• Doom. The bees are attacking, tons of space junk are falling from the sky, and beavers are going to inherit the earth... but the good news is that Pop Tarts keeps coming up with new flavors, which has allowed me to finally fulfill my annual New Years resolutions!
Here's hoping next year is as adventurous and delicious as 2011!
• Emmy. I'm pretty sick of crappy awards shows... especially award shows like The Emmys which get it all wrong more often than not. This year, of the major nominations given, here's my take...
Of course, the real problem is that they can't even get the nominations right (best comedy should have been Raising Hope, for example). But it is what it is, and everybody's entitled to their opinion. Even if it's wrong.
And now... back to packing my suitcase. That'll be big fun.
After skipping two Bullet Sundays while I was on vacation, my plan was to get back on track this past Sunday. Alas... it wasn't to be. So here we are with a very special, never-before-seen, extremely rare, hopefully never-to-be-repeated BULLET SUNDAY ON TUESDAY!
And I think I'll make it easy on myself by going back through my comments and emails from the past couple weeks to do a Q & A kind of thing from the questions that I got asked. If I missed one, let me know.
• Isn't it awesome that you have blogging friends as far away as Australia? Yes. Oh heck yes. Since the vast majority of my travel is done alone, I can't overstate how grateful I am that I have friends to keep me company no matter where I go. Any time I feel like giving up on my blog, I remember all the great people I've met through blogging and just can't. It's the reason I keep going.
• Certified diver? Is there anything you don't do? That's what I asked myself after taking skydiving lessons! I like to try cool stuff, and SCUBA diving was just one more thing to check off my list. I really do love it though, so I wish I could afford to do it more often.
• Why aren't you being paid to take vacations and photos, yet? I dunno! Somebody should be paying me to go on vacation! But then I worry that vacations would become all about work, and I'd need a vacation from my vacations.
• I want to hold a koala! What does their fur feel like? Is it soft? Koala fur is thick and kind of coarse and wooly... but still kinda soft. For really soft fur, however, you want to pet a kangaroo. Kangaroos have baby-kitty-soft fur! This is actually kind of bad news for them, because they get made into glove liners and slippers and such.
• Do they sell Fiji Water in Fiji? Oh yes. The bottled stuff is everywhere, and no cheaper than if you bought it here. Of course, you can get "Fiji water" from the tap for free, so that's where I drank all of mine from.
• Loving this trip. Now please tell me about that boat ride. The sail from Fiji was on a 50-foot yacht called Pelorus Jack. It was most definitely not a calm day at sea, which meant a couple people got pretty sick. Call me a sadist, but I actually enjoyed the rough ride, as it made for a more exciting trip! In my opinion, the boat was overcrowded, but it still beats those giant catamarans that head out with so many people that they're practically hanging off the edges. Surprisingly, they allowed me to stand on deck despite the choppy seas after I explained that I had been on sailboats before and was comfortable doing so. I was expecting them to say that I had to stay seated for insurance purposes (or whatever), but they were completely cool with it. For that alone, it was an awesome sail.
• Aren't sea snakes really venomous? So I'm told. But, like so many things in the wild, they really don't bother you unless you bother them first. So long as they are not provoked or feel threatened, they'll pretty much just avoid you. That being said, our dive guide picked one up and held it for a bit before letting it swim off. He later said that a bite wouldn't have been fatal to him, so maybe this particular snake has a weak venom or doesn't make very much of it. When diving, I never touch a damn thing. There are a lot of things that can seriously hurt or kill you. As an example, the cone shell is said to be so poisonous that that the venom in just one of them is enough to kill 700 men. Fire Coral isn't lethal, but it is so painful that you'll wish you were dead. The biggest threat to people on Australia's coasts are deadly Box Jellyfish, but they weren't in season when I was there.
• Nothing BAD happened this trip? Who are you and what have you done with Dave2?? Well, sure, problems came up... I just didn't want to dwell on them while I was on vacation. If forced to make a list, it would go something like this: 1) The V-Australia checkin at Sydney's domestic airport is fucking insane (even though I like the airline itself) and I had to seriously resist the urge to kill on several occasions. 2) The people on my first Fiji sailing cruise had -zero- respect for the ocean, and trampled everything they could stomp their fins on. 3) I hate... fucking hate... Brisbane's airport, easily one of the most traveler-hostile airports I've ever experienced. 4) I paid ridiculously high prices for internet access, yet it sucked most everywhere I went. 5) I need to remember that late-night flights are are so much better than early-morning flights, and the $25 I saved only to be exhausted two days in a row just isn't worth it. Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful trip... at least where bad things are concerned.
• How expensive is "expensive?" As in Australia? Very expensive. At least if you're using the US dollar. When I go on vacation, I don't go crazy with spending money... I don't have that kind of bank... but I do budget generously for expenses. The last thing I want to do is fly all the way to Australia and not be able to afford to do or see stuff. So I save money and then set a budget. But this vacation was one of those rare times where my budget was totally inadequate. I blew through my initial funds before I even left the USA while booking airfare and hotels. So I dug deeper into my savings and increased my budget for the actual trip. But it still wasn't enough. When I got home I had a whopping $1300 in credit card debt. It's depressing, but it happens. My consolation is that I had an incredible trip and definitely got my money's worth.
• Now that you've crossed both Greece and Australia off your "list of places you most want to visit," where to next? It won't happen right away (I'll have to financially recover from Australia/Fiji first!) but eventually I need... need... to visit India. And I'm not quite "done" with Australia, as I want to do a Melbourne-Adelaide-Canberra-Tasmania run with New Zealand at some point. But I'm not picky, really. Anywhere I haven't been yet is somewhere I want to go.
Annnnd... that's a wrap! Hopefully next Bullet Sunday will actually be on a Sunday. Fingers crossed.
Hey, look! Bullet Sunday is actually on a Sunday this time!
• New 52. I was on vacation when my copies of DC Comics' 52 new books arrived, so I am only now having time to read them. So far I'm a bit underwhelmed. Sure some books have a decent start and are offering good bang for your buck, but most of them just more of the same. Not that they're all "bad" per se, it's just that they don't seem worthy of a company-wide relaunch like this. Sadly, I'm not surprised. What is surprising to me are the books which have surprised me. #1 on that list was All-Star Western featuring Jonah Hex...
As I have no interest in Westerns or lead character Jonah Hex (and didn't appreciate the $3.99 price tag), I almost passed on All-Star Western. But I ended up buying it anyway so I'd have a complete "New 52" set. And thank heavens, because this is easily one of the best titles of the bunch. What the writing team of Gray & Palmiotti have created is more a brilliant murder-mystery story than a Western. But even better is that they have found a very clever way of giving the reader insight into Jonah Hex that makes him a fascinating and fully-realized character. The art is a bit more crude than I usually care for, but Moritat's style is perfect for this book and I loved it. If you were a fan of Baker Street, this is the book for you.
• Steve Jobs Day. After too many false starts, I've pretty much given up trying to write down my thoughts about Steve Jobs. I'm at a loss for words, and I'm never at a loss for words. Ordinarily, I'd be kind of worried, but somehow I'm okay with it...
Flowers left at the Sydney Apple Store in remembrance of Steve Jobs after his death.
The governor of California proclaimed today to be "Steve Jobs Day" which was kind of nice. But to anybody with an Apple product, every day is "Steve Jobs Day."
• Televised. Am I missing all the good new television shows? I set my DVR to record everything fresh, but pretty much hate every single new show I've seen. The lone exception would be 2 Broke Girls, but not hating something is a long ways from actually liking something. On one hand, I'm grateful for the time this will free up, but on the other hand... I'm a television whore, and this really sucks. Here are the only shows I'm interested in this season...
I'm also buzzing through Gossip Girl because Elizabeth Hurley is on it, Survivor when it doesn't suck, and a big chunk of the awesome USA Network shows when they bother to air new episodes (Psych, White Collar, Burn Notice, Suits, and Fairly Legal). Ditto for the excellent FX series Justified which starts back up in January. Still addicted to Dexter, The Big C, Boardwalk Empire, and Game of Thrones... but since I don't get HBO and Showtime, I've been buying them on iTunes (when available) or waiting for the DVD.
I know that sounds like a lot of television but, considering how much TV is out there, it's pretty pathetic.
And now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to stare at the television and wonder where my weekend went.
Another week, another Bullet Sunday.
• Colder. The weather is definitely taking a turn for the worse. This week I started having to scrape frost off my car windows in the morning, which is never a good sign. This means that snow, crazy-ass winter drivers, travel delays, and freezing my balls off any time I step outside can't be too far behind. On the bright side, doesn't this mean that Santa will be coming soon?
• Accessorize. I'm not much of an interior decorator, but my kitchen now looks about 210% better thanks to the addition of a Jägermeister bar mat next to my sink! Thanks to Lynne for thinking of me when she ran across it. How totally cool is this?
• Peel. Despite constant moisturizing, my sunburned skin finally decided to start peeling... three whole weeks after getting burned. Like Judgement Day, I guess you can only delay it, not stop it altogether. Such a bummer, BECAUSE IT ITCHES! IT ITCHES SO BAD!!
• Annual. There's a meme floating around about what you were doing a year ago. It asks a lot of complicated questions about relationships, diet, work, and other stuff I'm not interested in answering... BUT it did get me curious as to what in the heck I actually was doing a year ago. Fortunately, I have a blog so I can look that up.
Apparently, on October 23rd, 2010, I was recovering from being run down in the street. All while blogging about flying to Albuquerque and not masturbating. Good times. Good times.
• Annual Redux. Ah, you may ask, but what were you doing two years ago today? Well, okay, you probably didn't ask, but I was curious. Turns out I was SWIMMING WITH FRICKIN' DOLPHINS!
Wow. This year kind of sucks compared to that!
And now, speaking of things that suck, it's time to mentally prepare for tomorrow being Monday... by swallowing a handful of sleeping pills and letting nature take its course.
This has been a pretty bad day, travel-wise. And since I pretty much spent the entire day traveling, that pretty much sums it up. But, rather than bitch about it, I decided to go elsewhere looking for bullets.
• Early Flights.
• Late Departures.
• No Gate Crew.
• Sitting on the Tarmac.
• 15-Minute Layovers.
• Rude Assholes.
• Undisciplined Children.
• Broken Escalators.
• Out-of-Service Elevators.
• Ugly Weather.
• Nasty Traffic.
And... that pretty much sums it up.
It's Bullet Sunday! Now coming to you from Pacific Standard Time!
• Missed. And so Miss Venezuela, Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colmenares, was just crowned Miss World. An interesting bit of trivia: she once studied in a nunnery and dreamed of one day becoming a nun herself. Don't know what happened there but, I gotta say, the wardrobe for Miss World is a vast improvement...
Photo from the AP Newswire.
Well, most times...
This hot look can be yours at The Latex Lounge!
I dare say that Miss World could totally pull off that look.
• RIPeed. Andy Rooney died! I have to admit that I was never a big fan, but did find his crotchety old curmudgeon act to be annoyingly entertaining from time to time. Like this one on Bill Gates, which is the 60 Minutes segment of his I best remember...
But most of the time I found his little rants to be inexplicably stupid. Like this one where Andy goes off on how vacations should be abandoned or some crazy shit...
But it's not like this blog ever aspires to be anything more than inexplicably stupid, so who am I to complain? Rest in peace Mr. Rooney.
• GOPeed. Holy crap. The three-ring circus known as the "Republican Presidential Candidate Pool" disintegrated even further this week. Sometime soon Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich should announce a combined ticket then shut the fuck up for a couple months. Given enough time, the remaining candidates will just implode. Or end up in a gay sex scandal where they're photographed with a cock in their mouth (the clock is ticking, Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum!).
• Smoked. We've now reached that awful time of year when everybody and their dog is either burning brush or lighting up their fireplace. The problem is that the temperature here is constantly in flux, which means the smoke can't dissipate properly and gets trapped. So I spend my days in misery, barely able to breathe for a couple weeks. If I'm crankier than normal, that's probably why. Well, that and the fact that the clocks just got fucked up by Daylight Saving Time ending.
• Flooded. Unless disaster is happening to you, it's difficult to appreciate just how tragic the consequences can be. Even looking at the horrific photos of massive flooding coming out of Thailand, it doesn't seem real. And now even Bangkok is threatened as floodwaters encroach to the north of the city. This morning when I checked, I was surprised to see that places I've visited in Central Bangkok are also being affected...
The blue is reported flooding. The pink dot near the top is the Hard Rock Cafe Bangkok.
With 500 people having already died, I can only hope that the water subsides and is gotten under control before all of Bangkok is underwater. And with these natural disasters happening at a frighteningly increasing pace, I can't help but wonder where is going to be hit next.
Now it's time to give up the bullets and eat pizza!
And to all my Muslim friends, happy Eid al-Adha!
Wah. I have a stomach ache this Bullet Sunday.
• Treat? I realize I'm probably late to the party on this one, but I am just now hearing about Pox Pops. Apparently, some parents are so opposed to vaccinating their kids against chicken pox that they are going to extreme measures to purposely infect them. They do this by having the parents of pox-ridden kids lick a lollipop and mail it to them... SO THEY CAN HAVE THEIR KID SUCK THE POX OFF OF IT! The idea being that once you get chicken pox, you're immune for the rest of your life...
I don't pretend to know about the benefits/dangers of vaccinating children (because I don't have any)... but this sounds pretty fucked up to me. Gawd only knows what was sucking on that pop before your kids get their hands on it.
• Leat? I can't adequately summarize the horrors of this story I just read about growing laboratory meat (leat?), so you'll just have to go read it for yourself...
Photo by Francois Lenoir of Reuters
As a vegetarian, I honestly can't say which disgusts me more... dead animal flesh... or this abomination of nature. Holy crap. Is a soy burger really that awful an alternative?
• Sweet! After his surprisingly brilliant appearances on Saturday Night Live, I've become a bit of a Justin Timberlake fan. He's incredibly talented and funny as hell. But it's good to know that he's a nice guy on top of it all. Earlier this year, he received a public video invitation from Corporal Kelsey DeSantis to attend the Marine Corps Ball...
Much to everybody's surprise, he agreed to go...
And then... he actually went! And if there were any doubters out there thinking that he was going as some kind of publicity stunt, he wrote a really nice recap of the experience on his blog they should read...
The lucky bastard! Justin ended up with a sexy Marine that can kick his ass. Talk about your dream date! Semper Fi, Marine. Semper Fi.
On that happy note, my stomach demands I call it a night.
It's a dreary gray-sky kind of Bullet Sunday...
• Donate! Please help Avitable and I fight prostate cancer by sponsoring our blogging buddy, The Muskrat, as he participates in Movember. We've teamed up to give YOU a chance to win an amazing prize package... including custom-draw cartoons made just for you by Adam and myself! Read all about it in Friday's entry!
• Eat! As I was passing through the city of Barnesville while in Georgia last week, I snapped a picture of a painting in a restaurant window...
Now, I am by no means a militant vegetarian. Not eating meat is a personal choice, and I have no problem with people who enjoy eating dead animal flesh. However... having animals inviting people to eat them is one of those things that freaks me out. And I couldn't quite figure if that's what's going on here. Is the cartoon suggesting that people eat LIKE pigs, or actually eat THE pig. It's ambiguous to me, unlike like this cow and pig I found in Korea who are totally asking people to eat them because they taste so good...
Sick! I cannot imagine that any animal would be thrilled at the prospect of being devoured, so when they get portrayed like this it is utterly bizarre to me. I guess it's more appetizing than having cute cartoon animals begging people not to eat them, but still...
• Time! There's a YouTube video burning up the internet called It's Time. I was given a link to it from a bulk email sent by a friend of a friend. Since the video link was formatted with QuietTube, it was presented on a blank screen and I had no context or distractions while watching it...
Keeping in mind that I had -zero- context while watching a video I knew nothing about, I was initially confused as to what it was supposed to be. For the first half of the video, I thought it was promoting tourism in Australia. But then it took a darker turn, and I wondered if it was some kind of "Occupy Australia" type video. Near the end, I thought it was going to be a commercial where the guy asks the girl to marry him then "It's Time" that they buy life insurance or something.
I had assumed the entire time that the person behind the camera was a woman. And that's what makes this video so astoundingly powerful. It very clearly shows how there is not one damn bit of difference as to how two people meet, fall in love, and want to get married. None. The fact that it turned out to be two guys that were falling in love through life's ups and downs doesn't make their commitment to each other any less special or deserving of recognition.
It's Time wraps everything up using the term Marriage Discrimination as opposed to Marriage Equality, which is far more appropriate. How can there be equality between gay and straight marriage if there isn't a gay marriage in the first place? It really is time that everybody have an equal shot.
• Equality! The marriage discrimination video from Australia reminded me of this clever marriage equality video from Ireland...
I gotta say, the organizations that are coming up with these brilliant commercials are doing an amazing job of presenting their case to the court of public opinion.
• Repugnant! And then, at the other end of the marriage discrimination spectrum, comes a video from the opposition which I saw posted on a blog the other day...
This repugnant freak-show is the best that these people have to offer?
Look, I understand how there are people whose deep religious convictions preclude them ever accepting same-sex marriage. And you know what? This is America where we have religious freedom and so they are entitled to their opinion. But, by the same token, This is America where we have religious freedom, and so their opinion doesn't get to dictate whether or not two consenting adults can celebrate their love and commitment to each other with marriage.
After seeing her name pop up again and again, I was compelled to Google lopsided hair failure "Maggie Gallagher" to find out what she's all about. And, of course, this "bastion of morality" once had a child out of wedlock, which should surprise no one. It's always the "do as I say, not as I do" crowd who are the ones dictating how people should live their lives. Well go fuck yourself, because we're ready to move past your stupid hypocrisy.
• Sorry! My sister and I are big game-players, and needed to get a new Sorry! game to replace the battered old set that she had. It's the perfect game for people who like a little vindictive streak in their entertainment like we do. When I opened the game, I was shocked to see THIS...
That's right, THE GAME TOKENS ARE HOLLOWED OUT NOW! Holy crap! This game cost me $22 and we get HOLLOW TOKENS!! Those Parker Brothers people are some cheap bastards. So... fair warning... before tossing out your old Sorry! game for a new one, salvage your tokens!
And now I should probably try and get some work done since I've been gone for a week. It's a tough call to make when all I really want to do is eat some chocolate pudding and take a Sunday nap.
Or even a regular nap, for that matter.
Technical difficulties dictated that this edition of Bullet Sunday air on Monday. Now it's Tuesday morning where I pretend that it's still Monday. And since YouTube has been in "Read Only Mode" ever since I filmed it this morning, maybe it's actually Wednesday and I'm pretending it's Monday pretending it's Sunday? Sheesh.
• Winner! A huge "thank you" to everybody who donated to The Muskrat's Movember campaign. I appreciate it more than I can say.
Originally, I had filmed a video of me cutting up the names and putting them in the container on Sunday night. Then I had a dramatic "TO BE CONTINUED" come up so I had time to verify everybody's entries before drawing. But since I couldn't upload that video (thanks, YouTube!), I'm just going to skip to the drawing I had with the verified tickets (Monday Tuesday morning)... and hope that I can upload it...
Oog. I'm backwards! Congratulations, Remled Delmer! I'll get an email to you so we can get your AvitaToon and DaveToon under way!
• Martians. The Martian Tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs are among my favorite sci-fi books of all time. That's pretty amazing considering the first book, A Princess of Mars was published in 1917. Needless to say, I've been anxiously awaiting the big-screen adaptation by Andrew Stanton called John Carter. The new trailer for the film looks promising...
It's especially nice that Woola makes an appearance. He's as ugly-cute as I always imagined..
Here's hoping the movie doesn't suck. Given Stanton's incredible resume at Pixar, it shouldn't.
• Goose! Well, the geese are back again. Yesterday morning I got rushed in the parking lot while trying to get to my car. The vicious little bastards are fearless. When I got home they were gone from the parking lot, but a quick look out my back window AND THERE THEY WERE...
Look at them... out there plotting their next move. If you never hear from me again, alert the authorities. Or the Fish & Wildlife Department.
• Nowalla. And so Facebook bought out Gowalla. I've been using Gowalla to keep track of my travels for quite a while, but that's not the worst part. I invested a lot of time creating/updating/managing checkin spots for the service so, needless to say, this kind of sucks ass. Though, to be honest, it's not as devastating to me as it should be. They gutted all the things that made Gowalla so cool over the past couple months, so it's more of a relief than anything else. After shitting all over their users with unwelcome changes that nobody asked for or wanted, then ignoring people's pleas to fix major problems, I guess the writing was on the wall that they'd turn around and sell us out in the end...
=sigh= I will miss my custom spots for Blogography and Artificial Duck Co. though.
Annnnd... that's all she wrote this fine Sunday Monday Tuesday!
I'm sitting here watching television when it suddenly occurs to me that I haven't blogged yet today. Since Bullet Sunday was late last week, I'd better get a move on...
• Closet! And so we can add Rick Perry to the list of political assholes and religious nut-jobs who are most-likely closeted homosexuals. Why give a shit about the sex lives of consenting adults unless you've got serious sexuality issues of your own that you're working through?
Perry's disgusting new ad attacking brave men and women in our armed services is nothing more than pathetic pandering to a dwindling segment of homophobe voters. As if that weren't enough, it's also a gigantic pile of bullshit. Still, I'd love to see the outtakes from that shoot...
RICK PERRY: Not the Mormon guy, got it.
Wasn't he in the Air Force? You'd think he'd know better...
So THAT'S what he was digging around for in that pocket!
• Flash! And so this happened...
Which isn't really a big deal considering Lindsay Lohan doesn't display her downstairs business in the magazine, but has flashed her cootchie all over town for free...
In her Playboy shoot, Lohan decided to pose dressed up as an absurd Marilyn Monroe impersonator and be air-brushed beyond recognition, so I guess that's something. Or whatever.
• Whitened! When I get offers to endorse products on my blog, I always refuse so that when I do endorse something people will know it's for reals. And I gotta say, Colgate's new OPTIC WHITE toothpaste is certainly worth endorsing. It may taste like crap, but it actually works...
BEFORE OPTIC WHITE is on the left. AFTER OPTIC WHITE is on the right.
If you want whiter teeth but don't want to waste time with a whitening kit or pay tons of money for professional whitening, you might give Colgate OPTIC WHITE a try.
• New 52! Now that I'm three months into DC's "New 52" company-wide reboot, I'm still reading 35 of the 52 books. My guess is that this will drop to 30 by year's end, but that's still pretty remarkable. I would have never imagined that I'd like over half of these books considering I was buying only a dozen DC titles before the reboot.
If you'd like to see my scorecard for all 52 titles, I've put that in an extended entry...
A week and a day late with a Bullet Sunday... on Monday!
• Toys! The LEGO DC Superheroes site is finally live. Not a lot there yet, but it's a start. The good news is that some of the sets are starting to leak out... including an awesome Superman & Wonder Woman vs. Battle Suit Lex Luthor. Kind of lame how Superman and Wonder Woman look scary-mean though...
All I can think of when I look at this set is how much I want a LEGO video game with these characters in it. I swear, the LEGO Star Wars, Batman, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and Pirates of the Caribbean games are the most fun I've had with a video game.
• Who? The Dr. Who Christmas Special was really done this year, as usual, even if it did drag in the middle with the silly trees and stuff. All things considered, the ending was surprisingly touching...
It's been confirmed that The Doctor's companions, Amy and Rory, will be leaving the series next season. Given that they're the most entertaining thing on the show right now, this is kind of depressing. Even worse, show runner Steven Moffit has said that their relationship reaches a tragic end. I'm sad already.
• Fabulous! I don't know why, but the new AbFab Special is available in its entirety on Vimeo...
Not surprisingly, it's pretty darn funny. If you're a fan, it's worth checking out now since it doesn't "officially" air on BBC America until the New Year.
• Pano! When I went to Australia, I started taking panorama photos in HDR. The results have been pretty amazing. The HDR equalizes out the tones so that the individual photos blend a lot better...
The above pano took 33 photos to assemble at full-resolution, but I think it was worth the trouble. Now I'm kinda psyched about finding new panoramic scenery to shoot!
• Scrivener. My favorite writing app, Scrivener, was updated to version 2.0 a year ago, but I never remembered to install it until this past weekend. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but it's an even more valuable tool than ever before. The upgrade to the notecard cork-board alone was worth the small upgrade fee. If you do any writing at all, you owe it to yourself to take a look at this amazing program. You can download a free demo for Mac or Windows at the Literature and a Latte website.
As if that wasn't awesome enough... an iPad version of Scrivener is being developed for release in 2012.
Annnnnd... back to work. This is going to be a crazy week.
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