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Open The Pod Bay Doors, HAL

Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

Dave!Stan Lee, co-creator of a huge chunk of the Marvel Comics Universe... and Douglas Rain, the iconic voice of HAL 9000 (the onboard computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey), have died.

This was already a tough day for me.

But now?

When it comes to being absolutely terrified by a movie, there is no film that compares to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Not for me, anyway. And it all comes down to that one riveting exchange where HAL refuses to let Dave back on the ship. Until I saw this scene while watching the movie on VHS videotape back in the early 80's, I had always thought of computers and robots as a fantastical, wonderful inventions here to make our lives better. Then here comes HAL 9000, whose psychopathic method of self-preservation dictates that he straight-up murder the crew.

This could have been a comical situation. Especially given the dialogue HAL is speaking. But the way Douglas Rain delivered HAL's lines in such a cold, detached manor was horrifying...

"Without your space helmet, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult." — I mean, holy shit!

In the sequel, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, we find out that it wasn't HAL's fault that he went crazy. Humans were ultimately responsible... but that movie came out three years later, so it wasn't much consolation to me watching in 1981!

For years I had HAL as the ringtone on my iPhone. One of the many benefits to being named "Dave." I doubt that would have ever happened if not for the vocal talents of Douglas Rain.

   
And then there's Stan Lee...

J. Scott Campbell draws Stan Lee
Amazing Art by J. Scott Campbell

When I first started reading comics, I was mostly a DC Comics guy. That's where Batman was, and he was hands-down my favorite comic book character. But eventually (as my allowance increased) I was expanding into Marvel Comics more and more. My "gateway drug," as it were, was Doctor Strange. His surreal adventures were unlike anything happening at DC, and it was a quick hop from there to my reading other Marvel titles like The Avengers, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, and whatever other team books I could afford (team books, you see, had more heroes in them, so it felt like more bang for my buck than solo titles).

Stan Lee co-created all of them.

And many, many more.

But his prolific comic writing output was almost incidental compared to his being the "face" of Marvel Comics. His rampant enthusiasm for their books in letter columns and his Stan's Soapbox column were the stuff of legend. He made you want to read comics.

As if that wasn't enough? He was also a wonderful man. Here's one of his most famous Stan's Soapbox columns...

Stan's Soapbox

Even if you're not a comic book fan, odds are you've seen Stan in one of his many Marvel Studios Movie cameos...

Or on one of his many, many television appearances...


The guy was legendary, and will be missed by a great many people. Thank you, Stan Lee.

Excelsior, True Believer!

'Nuff said.

   

Bullet Sunday 487

Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2018

Dave!It may be cold outside, but a ray of warmth is headed your way today... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Happy Veteran's Day! To all those who served, thank you! Or should I say... "Never Forget"...

A part of me is thrilled that Lt. Commander Crenshaw appears to be the kind of Republican we so desperately need... but, alas, that may not be the case. Regardless, I am most grateful for his service, and respect the sacrifice he made for our country. That kind of dedication and loss most definitely does not deserve to be mocked in any capacity, and I'm thankful that Pete Davidson and Saturday Night Live at least tried to do the right thing after doing a very wrong thing.

   
• Warm Places. A reminder. If you park your car outside, stray cats looking for a warm place might be taking shelter under your hood. Banging on your hood before you start your car gives them an opportunity to escape before they get seriously hurt...

Cats in a Car Engine
I can't find anybody to credit this photo. I think it came from Russia?

I do what I can to provide warmth and shelter for the cat that wanders around my neighborhood... but still worry about him every night as it gets colder and colder. I don't even know how to wrap my head around all the poor animals trying to survive without help every year.

   
• Welcome to Congress. Barry Blitt's cover for the upcoming issue of The New Yorker is wonderful...

Barry Blitt's Welcome to Congress by The New Yorker

A government that represents all the people? We can only hope. One day.

   
• Piglet. I saw this commercial while catching up with television...

Pigs are the sweetest animals.

   
• Triumph. I watched Beto O’Rourke's run for The Senate in Texas very closely. Partly because I positively loathe his opponent Ted Cruz and everything the asshole stands for. But mostly because O'Rourke has said some things that really resonate with me. Like this...

It was highly unlikely that Beto was going to win. Texas is insanely Red, and them giving a Senate seat to a Democrat was a long-shot at best. And yet... he O'Rourke did surprisingly well. Much better than I would have guessed at 48% of the vote to Cruz's 51%. Alas, a loss is a loss, and now the USA has to live with six more years of one of the biggest pieces of shit in American politics.

Even so, there was high entertainment to be found in this race thanks to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog...

I can't fathom how Ted Cruz got to where he is... even in Texas. He's just awful. Surely Texas could have found a better Republican than this? Apparently he's an amazing lawyer, but shouldn't that be a strike against him with Republicans? A fancy-pants Princeton/Harvard Lawyer? I have no clue.

   
• LOL. White people be like...

I laughed at this a lot harder at this than I probably should have.

   
And that's the last of my bullets for this fine Sunday.

   

Caturday 84

Posted on Sunday, November 11th, 2018

Dave!Today I headed over the mountains, leaving my cats alone overnight.

As if my cats didn't already hate me.

My week was spent getting death-stares from my cats (well, Jenny, anyway) because my efforts to ease them into Daylight Saving Time ending failed horribly. All they know is that I am starving them to death...

CATS WANT TO BE FED!

This next photo is from THE NEXT DAY. But you are forgiven for thinking that it was taken two minutes after the one above, because Jenny has the same sour look on her face...

CATS WANT TO BE FED!

Every day is the same. Jenny will saunter on the warming bed that sits on the coffee table. A little while later Jake will hop on the media center.

And then they will just glare at me.

And tonight, on the night I'm writing this because I was gone yesterday? On Sunday, November 11th, 2018? One week after Daylight Saving Time ended?

Same...

CATS WANT TO BE FED!

Though I should get some love, since I ended up having to free-feed them while I was gone again. They are thrilled at being the ones to decide when they get to eat (which is all the time).

I can only hope that next week they've forgotten all about Daylight Saving Time.

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Adobe Doesn’t Give a Shit

Posted on Friday, November 9th, 2018

Dave!I wish that I could get through just one day without being filled with rage.

Today I thought I had a good shot at it by promising myself that I would ignore the news and whatever bullshit that President Trump was doing, but that was futile because his level of incoherent crazy was so off the charts that it was everywhere.

As if that wasn't bad enough, work was awful... because I couldn't actually get any work done.

My office iMac, which is around two years old, has been slowing to a crawl for months. Over the last couple of weeks it's happening so often that I had no choice but to try and fix it. I started with doubling the memory from 32GB to 64GB. That helped a little, but the problem seemed to be with the "Fusion Drive" (a hybrid SSD/HD drive). I kept getting a message popping up that it was overheating. I finally decided to replace it, despite the fucking nightmare involved in tearing open an iMac to do so.

And today was the day.

I decided to set up the drive before tearing anything open to install it. This was relatively easy, as I had an external SATA dock that I could pop it into. I downloaded the macOS X Mojave installer, installed it onto the new SSD drive, and 25 minutes later I was booting from it. Nice.

I decided to start fresh by not transferring over my apps and data... just my system settings.

Turns out that was a mistake.

My primary tools at work are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Acrobat. They are all part of Adobe's "Creative Suite" which is managed by their Creative Suite desktop app. You install it, then manage all your app installs from there. Simple, right?

No. Not by a fucking longshot, because this is Adobe we're talking about.

All my apps installed fine, except Acrobat. This happened last time I had to install the thing and was solved after I ran a cleanup app. This time the app didn't work, so I spent FORTY MINUTES trying dozens of "fixes" from the Adobe forums... none of which worked. Keep in mind that this has been a known problem that people have been complaining about for over a year.

AND ADOBE HASN'T DONE A FUCKING THING TO FIX IT! How in the hell can I be expected to not become enraged after wasting this kind of time? AGAIN! And I still don't have a working copy of Acrobat on my work computer, a program I use daily.

Not that Adobe gives a shit... they don't. They bought out and buried the competition until there wasn't any competition, and now they don't have to give a fuck about anything.

I would have stayed until I got things figured out, but it was getting close to 6:00 and the alarm to feed my cats would be going off. They're already freaked out by Daylight Saving Time ending, and I was afraid that not being fed when the alarm sounds would send them over the bend. So I packed up my crap and headed home.

Except I couldn't get home because a train was running through town. It was moving so absurdly slow that it took over ten minutes to pass. And then? The crossing arms would not retract. After waiting another five minutes, I finally abandoned the crossing I was at and drove to a different crossing... screaming "FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!" the entire way home.

When I got home (nearly fifteen minutes after the dinner alarm) my cats were, as expected, going nuts.

So I guess everybody in this house is having a bad day.

The difference being that my cats were happy again after being fed. I'm still filled with rage.

   

TAKE MY MONEY!

Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018

Dave!HOLY CATS!

Marvel is finally confirming that Tom Hiddleston has agreed to do a "Loki" limited series for Disney/Marvel's new streaming service (debuting in 2019). This is on top of the two Star Wars Universe shows that were already confirmed... which includes Cassian, easily one of my favorite "new" characters outside the original series...

Cassian and K-2SO

With this fantastic news, it's time to revisit the possibilities that are wide open with a new streaming service which I will have no choice but to subscribe to...

Confirmed.

  • The Mandalorian with unknown cast. Won't be Boba or Jango Fett, and is apparently a "Western" type space opera (shades of Firefly!). Kinda "meh" on this one, but if they get the right people on it with showrunner Jon Favreau, who knows? — Star Wars Universe
  • Cassian with Diego Luna. A series based on my favorite character from the awesome Rogue One movie. Really hopeful that K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) is there too. — Star Wars Universe
  • Loki with Tom Hiddleston. Really hopeful that we get a guest appearance by Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and definitely Valkyrie. — Marvel Studios Universe

Rumored.

  • Scarlet Witch with Elizabeth Olsen. I really like the idea of this... however... I would LOVE the idea of it if we could have it be with Vision too. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Falcon and Winter Soldier with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. Genius idea, really. Their chemistry in Captain America: Civil War was fantastic fun. — Marvel Studios Universe

My Wish List — Established Marvel Studios Characters.

  • Hawkeye with Jeremy Renner. A television show would be the PERFECT place to give us a live-action version of Matt Fraction & David Aja's amazing comic book series. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Shuri with Letitia Wright. In the movies, Black Panther's little sister plays second fiddle to the movie's star. In a television series, she could really shine. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Okoye & Nakia with Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o. Lord, wouldn't this be a freakin' amazing show. They were integral to Black Panther's success, and would absolutely slay on their own. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Valkyrie. Even if she pops up in Loki, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that she couldn't carry her own show. None. Marvel Studios Universe
  • Rocket & Groot with Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. Oh come on... you know you want this. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Wong with Benedict Wong. I was thrilled that Wong got some serious time in Avengers: Infinity War, and that just proved that he has the chops to give us an interesting enough character for a series. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Peggy Carter with Hayley Atwell. While her second season on ABC wasn't as good at the first, it was still a fantastic show. Perhaps we could get a third series with streaming? — Marvel Studios Universe
  • War Machine with Don Cheadle. They could so easily position this as a super-hero show with a military tech edge to it. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • The Incredible Hulk with Mark Ruffalo. The movie rights are tied up in some way which means a solo film is not likely in the cards. But how about a television series? — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Obi-Wan with Ewan McGregor. The concept may not have worked out as a movie, but it would sure as heck work as a television series! So many fascinating places this could go. — Star Wars Universe
  • Maz Kanata with Lupita Nyong'o. There's a fascinating back-story to this character that we'll never get fleshed out in the movies... so why not in a television show? — Star Wars Universe

My Wish List — Comic Characters.

  • Fantastic Four. After so many bad FF movies by not-Marvel-Studios, maybe the way to go would be to have a streaming show? — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Alpha Flight. The original books were not a big draw for me, but I enjoyed what John Byrne did with the characters during his run. And then came the 2004 book by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente that was magic. I would love to see a series based on this team. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Moon Knight. Kinda a no-brainer, assuming that they went back to the original concept. The character has become so convoluted that the comics are a big ol' mess. — Marvel Studios Universe
  • Captain Britain & Excalibur. This is another opportunity for Marvel to do something different than yet another USA-based movie/series. If they went heavy on the mythology, it could be a cool merging of magic and super-heroics. — Marvel Studios Universe

And that's just off of the top of my head. Give me another hour and I could at least double this list... if not triple it. Marvel just has too many amazing characters and too many talented people working at Marvel Studios to not be excited... very excited... about what's coming down the pipe next year.

   

Schadenfreude and Concession Speeches

Posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Dave!I have voted for many Republicans over the years. Here in Redneckistan, you kind of have to for some positions because Seattle-side politicians don't give a crap about us after they get our votes. But President Trump is so abhorrent that not only did I NOT vote for a single Trump-enabling Republican like Dino Rossi... I take great joy in their defeat. Rossi was hardly an honorable politician, but that wasn't the deciding factor for me (are any of them?). It was Trump, only Trump, and it will always be Trump. Any party that would unleash this monster on the country will not be getting a single vote from me. And may never get a vote from me again.

Rossi would have most certainly voted in support of Mitch McConnell wanting to steal from our Social Security and obliterate Medicare, both of which we pay for. He would have definitely voted to increase our debt in favor of more misguided tax breaks for the über-wealthy that will never benefit working-class Americans (no matter what Republicans say). He probably would have voted for Trump's stupid wall which will ultimately do little-to-nothing to halt immigration or drugs, but would certainly destroy animal migration and the environments which animals live. And I'm fairly certain that he would have supported stopping Mueller's investigation of the horrendous accusations against our president (seriously, shouldn't we be 100% sure about this?). I'm not sure about supporting Dear Leader's insane tariff war, which is decimating American farmers and our exports. But it's a foregone conclusion he would sit idly by as Trump continues his shitty attacks on reporters, the environment, science, poor people, immigrants, Persons of Color, the LGBTQ community, non-Christians, logical thinking, and actual human decency. I'd like to think he would have drawn the line at condemning our allies and praising the enemies of The United States of America like Cheeto Jesus does, but you never know. President Trump is very quick to make enemies of Republicans who do not offer whole-hearted support and non-stop praise of every fucked-up thing he does.

Short-term power gains that Republicans get by enabling the heinous crap Trump says and does on a daily basis will ultimately continue pushing people like me further and further Left. There's just nowhere else for politically unaffiliated people like me to go and feel sane. Or be able to live with ourselves.

It's because of this that I hope the Republican party continues to erode from within because they 100% deserve it. And after they're gone we can work on getting rid of the Democratic party too. Perhaps then we can finally find a political system that works for the people instead of corporate lobbyists. Finally get a political system run by citizens instead of billionaire puppet masters. Finally smash this two-party system that is destroying all of us with corruption, divisiveness, and fear. We've let politicians make ourselves our own worst enemy for far too long. At some point we need to put differences aside and start confronting the REAL enemy. But will we?

Fortunately, it's not up to us, because what we have now is unsustainable. Change will ultimately be coming whether people want it to or not. The question is whether we'll be annihilated in the process. The way things are headed now, it certainly feels that way. We are just too lazy, uninformed, and easily manipulated... and content to remain that way.

In the meanwhile... chocolate cake for breakfast though, so I guess it's not all bad.

   

Christmas Without the Mouse

Posted on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Dave!Washington State is 100% vote-by-mail, so I already voted last week.

When it comes to local races here, two of the biggest are too close to call. We won't know the outcome until the remaining mail-in votes are tallied on Friday. Frustrating, but it's a small price to pay for a system which allows you to vote in the privacy of your own home without standing in line. And now that we have automated voter registration for all of our eligible citizens, Washington State has one of the highest voter participation rates in the nation...

Lil' Dave Davetoon with a Voted Sticker on His Jacket

Now that Halloween has passed, the country is already preparing for Christmas.

Back when I had work in Orlando two and three times a year, I'd fly in for my conference then fly home the next day. I'd rarely go to Disney World (even though work would pay for it) because after a while it gets to be more of a chore than "fun." I just can't handle the lines and crowds of people.

Back in 2007 I was working in Orlando in December. Some work friends and I decided to go to Epcot for dinner in "Italy" after work was done. After that we took the bus to Disney Studios to goof off for a while. While I was there, my mom called to tell me something. "What's all that noise?" she asked.

"Oh, that's The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights," I replied.

"What's that?"

"It's a show at Disney World where they have a bunch of Christmas lights flashing to music. I'll send you a picture..."

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

"That's pretty! I want to go to Disney World!"

"I've taken you to Disney World lots of times!"

"But not at Christmas! I want to go at Christmas!"

"Okay. Next year I'll bring you along then."

And one year later I kept my promise, and here she is...

Mom at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

It immediately became her favorite thing. She loved it so much that I ended up taking her a couple more times. The last time was in 2012, I think, since that was the last year I had work in Orlando. They closed down The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in 2015.

This morning I was flipping through my newsfeed while waiting for work to start and saw this terrific video from Disney World showing how they transform The Magic Kingdom Park for the holidays with Christmas decorations...

Pretty cool!

A part of me is glad that I don't have work in Orlando any more. Especially over the holidays. It would be really tough to go there knowing what it meant to my mom. Perhaps it will be easier over time. But right now? I just can't fathom it.

It's that way for a lot of things though.

I miss my mom.

   

Learning to Live with Disappointment

Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2018

Dave!I have work in Spokane early tomorrow morning, so I'm heading across the basin today rather than have to leave at some ungodly hour tomorrow. I really, really don't want to be away from Jake while he's sick, even for just one night, but duty calls (disappointing though that may be).

This was far from the only disappointment today.

Things went off the rails early this morning because my cats are not thrilled about Daylight Saving Time ending. As in seriously not thrilled. They were anxious at 6:00am (their 7:00am feeding time, as far as they know). Concerned at 6:10am. Upset at 6:20am. And absolutely livid by the time I went to feed them at 6:30 (I am slowly adjusting them to the hour time difference, whatever good that does). Jenny was pacing the room and meowing her head off. Jake was pawing at my face while squawking. It's exactly how you want to start a Monday.

And then...

I pulled their "Feed-and-Go" automated internet feeders out of storage so I could get them set up and filled. Except... I couldn't get them set up. The company that makes them went out of business last month. Bad enough that they had to close and shut down their cloud servers, rendering their $200 feeders useless. But it's reprehensible that they didn't bother to notify their customers... or keep their website up with a message to warn their customers... or push out an app update which warns their customers. Because otherwise there is NO WAY TO KNOW that the cloud service has been shuttered. The blue network light on the units still glows blue! Luckily I test the units every time I haul them out, otherwise my cats wouldn't have been fed. And had I been gone longer? They wouldn't have been fed FOR THREE DAYS. With the Feed-and-Go website down, I had to find out the news via a cached Google search...

Feed and Go Has Closed

What a bunch of pig-fucking monsters. They are perfectly content to LET YOUR PET STARVE rather than warn you their product no longer works. I can only hope that whomever responsible will be roasting in hell soon. I also hope that some genius electronics expert out there will come up with a circuit board replacement that will allow the feeder to be programmed directly, instead of relying on a cloud service that's not there any more.

I had a couple other automated feeders from back when I was feeding Spanky, but they needed D batteries and I didn't have time to go get some. So instead I filled bowls with way too much food so Jake and Jenny can graze 'til their hearts' content. And hopefully not over-eat and puke everywhere.

And then...

I noticed that the motor on the drinking fountain had burned out. It's less that a year old. Guess I'm putting out a bowl of water next to the heaping bowls of food...

Way too much food and a bowl of water

And then...

Since I was coming to Spokane, I decided to get the passenger airbag replaced in my car. Toyota has been sending dozens of notices telling me that there was a recall, but I would rather die than go to the asshole who owns the local Toyota dealership. Since Spokane was where it was purchased, it made sense to go there.

After dropping off the car, I decided to get a falafel wrap at The Pita Pit. Only to find that they had gone out of business, just like Feed-and-Go...

Pita Pit Has Closed

No problem, I walked a couple blocks to a cafe with good sandwiches... only to find out they closed at 10:00 this morning for "maintenance."

And then...

Rather than wander around aimlessly, I decided to just go to Red Robin. They no longer have Boca Burgers (inexplicably replacing them with a veggie burger that's so gag-inducing awful I'd rather eat meat). I ended up eating their guacamole, salsa and chips, which wouldn't have been bad except the chips were stale. For dessert I wanted some of their cinnamon sugar mini donuts with caramel sauce. Except they came plain with no cinnamon sugar and instead of caramel, I got raspberry sauce. As if that wasn't enough, the donuts were overcooked.

And then...

The Apple iPhone Upgrade Program I've got allows me to replace my iPhone with the newest model every year. Since my replace-date is coming up, I thought I would drop by the Apple Store and take a look. I also wanted to look at the newest MacBook Pro models, as I'm sure I'll have to be replacing my 2012 model sometime soon. When I asked the Apple sales guy if there was a MacBook Pro that had an SD card slot and a USB and Thunderbolt port... you know, LIKE ACTUAL FUCKING PRO MACHINES WOULD HAVE... I was told no. "Everything has moved to USB-C, because that's the new industry standard." Alrighty then. We're back to Apple being clueless fucking assholes as to knowing what professionals need, but whatevs. So I moved on to the iPhone XS. I thought to ask if the charging cable that came with it had USB-C so I could charge it from the new MacBook Pro. The sales guy told me "No, it comes with the older USB-A and I would have to buy a $20 dongle." And so... I guess USB-C is not quite the "industry standard" I was just told it was since Apple itself isn't using it on their most popular product (by far).

Which begs the question... "Does Tim Cook, Jonathan Ivy, or absolutely anybody at all at Apple know what the fuck they are doing?" Because it honestly doesn't seem that way.

In the past their products were overpriced, but at least I knew I'd be getting something that provided value for the money and would be cutting edge when it came to features. But now? That's not even close to being the truth. Less features with less power and with less flexibility... all while being grotesquely overpriced. It's as if Apple has been working overtime to become the cliché they've always been painted as.

And then...

As I was leaving The Apple Store, I was very nearly run down by a group of amish(?!?) women on motorized scooters. They were driving on a busy sidewalk way too fast and seemed as if they were barely in control of the things. At least I think they were amish because they had those little hair covers on their heads and were wearing dresses. But I thought the amish didn't use technology... and since you have to have a mobile phone app to rent the things, maybe they weren't amish after all?

Scooter Bullshit

In any event, these stupid fucking scooters are littering the sidewalks everywhere downtown, so apparently the latest episode of South Park isn't just hype...

At the very least, they should be illegal to drive on the sidewalk. Given how fast they travel, somebody could get seriously hurt. And if somebody ever runs into me with one of them, I'm going to pick up the scooter and beat them to death with it.

And then...

After walking eight blocks in surprisingly cold weather, I picked up my car and headed to my hotel. They asked if I had a room preference, so I told them top floor and as far away from the elevator as possible so it would be less noisy and I could get some sleep. They put me on the top floor... but right across from the elevator. And next to a room with a woman coughing her head off. Which makes me even more thrilled that I wasn't able to stay home tonight.

And then...

If there's a bright side to having to drive three hours to Spokane, it's that some of my favorite pizza on earth is here... David's Pizza. Their DaVinci pizza (with tomato, pesto, and feta) is seriously delicious...

David's DaVinci Pizza

Unfortunately I had the grave misfortune to arrive on "Let Your Screaming Kids Run Apeshit Through The Restaurant Night." A whole team of the little fuckers were running around screaming and screaming and screaming and screaming... while the parents were in some kind of group meeting in the next room not giving a fuck that people were trying to eat in peace. By the time I left I had such a splitting headache that any enjoyment I got from my pizza was destroyed.

And then...

I decided to end this entry at 8:00pm tonight because I'm worried that continuing on any longer is just inviting more disappointment. Hopefully work will go smoothly so I can head home as soon as possible in the morning and be done with all this nonsense.

Until the next time, of course.

UPDATE: There it is! MobiLinc (the internet connect platform I use to control a good chunk of my home automation, has gone down...

MobiLinc FAIL!

It's been up and running 24/7 perfectly for months... so of course it goes down when I'm away from home and really need it. No idea what's wrong, as the cameras, alarms, and all the non-MobiLic devices are connected to the internet just fine. Perhaps it's time for me to go to bed and turn off the world.

   

Bullet Sunday 486

Posted on Sunday, November 4th, 2018

Dave!Don't lose your mind because stupid Daylight Saving Time has ended and it's pitch black at 5:30pm... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Streaming. The time when I will be ditching satellite television for content subscriptions is rapidly approaching. The turning point may be when Disney's streaming service is unleashed... not because I'm dying to watch Mickey Mouse cartoons, but because Disney owns Marvel, and the rumors are flying fast and furious as to what that might mean. First it was a Scarlet Witch mini-series. Then a Loki mini-series. And now the rumor-mill is pushing a Falcon & Winter Soldier mini-series...

XXX

Needless to say, I want to see absolutely all of that. And whatever else Marvel wants to release (a Hawkeye series please! A Fantastic Four series please! A Rocket & Groot series please!). And then there's returning shows like The Good Fight and Star Trek: Discovery which are on CBS's streaming service. Pretty soon Apple is going to have a streaming service. And that's on top of Netflix and HBO which I already have. I can't afford all that. And so... I'll cancel DirecTV and subscribe to the individual services with shows I want to watch, then rotate between them as new stuff I want to see is released. It's either that or become a pirate, and I'm no thief.

   
• Religion of Love. Pearls Before Swine has absolutely nailed it here...

XXX

Though so much of the time these so-called "religions of love" seem more like "religions of hate" given what they are able to support. Or, more likely, what they are able to ignore to support.

   
• Cinnabunderful. I could have sworn that I mentioned this... but I can't find anything. So here it is... IF YOU LIKE CINNABON, THEN RUN TO PIZZA HUT AND ORDER UP A TRAY OF MINI ROLLS! I ordered them on a lark thinking that they would be crappy pizza dough with cinnamon and sugar on them... but, no... it's the real deal and they are amazing...

Pizza Hut Cinnabon

This is a terrible, terrible turn of events for somebody who is supposed to be watching their carb consumption!

   
• Baker. Back when I decided to make garlic bread for the neighborhood potluck by hand, I discovered a secret to my oven. It has a reservoir at the bottom where you can pour water. The water steams as you bake the bread, which allows the crust to get crispy without getting dry. It is absolutely magical. Apparently even if your oven doesn't have a reservoir, you can put a pan of water on the bottom shelf and get the same effect. I don't know why I had never heard of this until recently... but now there is is no way I can make bread without it. If this is something you haven't tried, amazing bread awaits you.

   
• Anniversary. Brussels Airlines recreated a commercial from 2002 using the same actors to celebrate their 15 year anniversary...

How cool is that? I do like me a good television ad!

   
• Chihuly. As a huge, huge, massively huge Dale Chihuly fan, my entire week was made when I saw this Halloween costume...

For anybody who doesn't get it, here's a Chihuly blown glass sculpture I saw in Columbus, Ohio...

Dale Chihuly Columbus

And here's one I saw in The Bahamas...

Atlantis Chihuly Temple of the Sun

The fact that the mom dressed up as Chihuly himself (complete with eyepatch!) is just icing on the cake.

   
And... that's enough joy for this Sunday. See you next week.

   

Caturday 83

Posted on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Dave!This morning I woke up hungry for a McDonalds Egg & Cheese biscuit, but I didn't want to pay the stupid amount of money they charge for it. I also didn't want to spend the money on gas to get there (the nearest McDonalds is 20 minutes away). The good news is that I had all the necessary ingredients to make my own. The bad news is that I had to wait in bed 20 minutes before I could actually make it.

You may be asking yourself "How the heck does this breakfast biscuit drama relate to Caturday?"

The answer is "Daylight Saving Time ends tonight."

As anybody with pets will tell you, animals don't give a fuck about Daylight Saving Time. But, for some stupid reason humans do, and so our pets have to live with the consequences.

The way I try to minimize the perceived torture of feeding my cats an hour late is to adjust the time for a couple days before and after we do stupid shit with our clocks. Jake and Jenny get fed when my Alexa alarm goes off at 7:00am each morning. Yesterday I fed them at 7:10am. Today I fed them at 7:20. Tomorrow (after the change) I'll feed them at 6:30. Then on Monday it will be 6:40. Followed by 6:50 on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday they'll be back to 7:00am.

Until Daylight Saving Time starts up again. Then it's this whole mess all over again in reverse.

As I've mentioned previously, I've trained my cats to expect dinner when the Alexa alarm goes off. That saves me being woken up early by impatient cats. Since they know that absolutely nothing will happen until Alexa chimes, they don't bother with bothering me.

Except...

They seem to know when Alexa is jerking them around because their internal clocks are eerily accurate. Yesterday morning at 7:05 and this morning at 7:00am on the dot, Jenny started bringing me toys... apparently in an attempt at bribing me into feeding her. This morning after several rounds of bribes, she just kind of sat there staring at me and whimpering...

Jenny wants food

Heaven only knows how bad it's going to get when the delay gets longer and longer.

Stupid Daylight Saving Time. Can we please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, just split the difference and finally get rid of this stupid shit once and for all?

Early this week I had decided to wash the cat beds I put on the floor. This change was apparently too much for Jake, who walked in... walked out... walked in... walked out... then walked in again. Like he didn't recognize the place...

Jake in the morning

Poor Jake. As if he doesn't have it bad enough with his health issues. So far neither the antibiotics or the anti-inflammatory has been doing any good. I'm convinced that he doesn't have an infection and his constant need to go to the bathroom has to do with lingering effects of the catheter he had, but who knows. He's got two more doses of antibiotic left, so maybe. I won't really know until the labs are back.

On Thursday I spent over an hour desperately searching for a work document that I cannot find. What I did find was the exact moment I gave up on keeping my cats off the dining room table and decided to invest in Lysol and a plastic-back table cover. I remember this like it was yesterday. I went to scoot the cats off of the table and my mom told me to just let them be so she would have some company while she ate her chicken soup...

Jake and Jenny on the Dining Room Table with Mom

And that was that. I've been disinfecting the damn thing ever since.

I also found photos of Jake's first belly rub...

Jake's First Belly Rub with Mom

Up until that point, petting my cats was something you could only do on occasion. As feral rescues, they were very wary of being touched, and the idea of touching them on their bellies was something that didn't even seem possible. Then one day I came home from work and there was my mom... belly rubbing away on Jake's tummy. I think the look on his face tells it all.

Adult Swim fans will be happy to know that Jenny's infatuation with Rick from the amazing cartoon Rick and Morty is still in full swing. I was bored of watching Hallmark Christmas movies and decided to burn through a couple episodes which, not unexpectedly, had Jenny running in the room to snuggle up next to me and watch. There is something about Rick's voice that completely captivates her...

Jenny Loves Rick and Morty

Eventually it was dinner time and the spell was broken. But until that point, wild horses couldn't have dragged her away from the television.

And lastly on this fine Caturday, a meme that was burning it's way through my Facebook this past week...

Cat Pancake Meme

Cat Pancake Meme

Cat Pancake Meme

=dies=

This could be either one of my cats when I attempt some kind of condescending cuteness with them.

I tried to track down the owner of these photos so I could give proper credit, but all I could see was that it seemed to originate on a bunch of Chinese sites and no credit was ever given. Oh well. That's the internet for you.

And now... until next Caturday, then.

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