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Thrice Fiction No. 22

Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Dave!Oh look! The latest issue of Thrice Fiction magazine is out!

And you can read it online or grab a copy in PDF or eBook format absolutely FREE by visiting our website at ThriceFiction.com.

As always, it's got a great slate of writers and artists...

Thrice Fiction No. 22

Including art by yours truly. And guess who is making his Thrice Fiction debut in our latest issue? IT'S JAKE! No... he didn't write a story... but I did use him in the artwork I created for a story by Meg Tuite!

Jake in Thrice Fiction No. 22

Alas, all efforts in getting him to hold a Rolodex met in failure, so there's some Photoshop involved... but he's just as adorable as ever!

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

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The Avengers: Infinity War

Posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Dave!And lo, Marvel Studios absolutely wasn't kidding when they taunted that Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of the past ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is not idle hype. Though Comic Book Reality being what it is, you have to wonder just how much of what happens in this truly epic film will have lasting effects on where we are going forward.

Something tells me not all of it is going to all be washed away. What ends up sticking is anybody's guess.

Except not really...

Avengers: Infinity War Movie Poster

If you've ever read comics before... if you've ever been left hanging in the middle of a two-part comic book story before... then there's nothing much in Infinity War that could be all that shocking to you. Likewise, anticipating the thrust of the story in next year's still-untitled-conclusion-movie also doesn't take much effort.

And yet...

Infinity War actually did redefine the word "epic" when it comes to super-hero movies... or movies in general, really.

Obviously, my thoughts on the film are going into a spoiler-laden extended entry, which you absolutely do not want to read if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War yet.

You've been warned.

And also... another warning? Skip any trailers you haven't watched yet. One pretty major spoiler was dropped in one of the trailers I saw, and I'm still pretty raw about it.

And now? This is your last chance. Do not proceed unless having a movie ruined is something you enjoy.

Spoilers await in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Day One: SEA -> STL

Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

Dave!Planning for a trip over the mountains to the airport is pretty simple. Pull out the Waze app so I can calculate travel time... add a half hour because Waze is always wrong by at least that... then add two hours to that, which should cover any delays and get me to the terminal with at least 90 minutes to spare.

It's a good plan, and one that's served me well for years.

Except...

Sometimes things get out of control before you even step out the door. This morning I decided to empty the trash can before I left, only to have Fake Jake come running in while I was navigating the door.

Needless to say, bedlam ensued. Much running around and hissing were to be had. Real Jake was enraged. Jenny, bless her heart, did not run and hide as I expected, but instead stood her ground. From a distance, of course.

Ten minutes later, I managed to corral Fake Jake with the promise of treats...

FAKE JAKE!!!

I then spent 20 minutes trying to calm my cats down so that I wouldn't be leaving them in a traumatized state. By the time I left... for the second time... they were back to normal as if nothing happened.

Lucky for me Seattle traffic was only horrendous instead of overwhelmingly fucking heinous, so I still managed to arrive with plenty of time to spare.

Annnnnnd...

Now I'm in St. Louis. A city I haven't visited in quite a while. Nearly ten years, in fact (boy, having a blog is handy for figuring out things like this!).

First order of business? Falafel...

Falafel Pita for Dinner

Before turning in for the night, I decided to walk across the street and marvel at The Gateway Arch...

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Across the street from that is the Old St. Louis Courthouse, where the Dred Scott case was first presented 172 years ago... which is not so long ago, when you really think about it...

Old St. Louis Courthouse

I didn't think that any rooms in my hotel had a view of The Arch. Turns out the rooms on the very corner do. And I'm in the penthouse suite, which means I've got the best view possible...

Gateway Arch St. Louis

And that's all she wrote for my exciting day of travel. Good night y'all.

   

Day Two: Saint Louis to Jefferson City

Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2018

Dave!The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a stunning piece of architecture. Not just because of what you see on the outside (though the stainless steel exterior is beautiful) but also because of the incredible structural design on the inside. And underneath it (the foundation extends 60 feet beneath the ground). It's massive and impressive on many levels, and if you're ever in the area I highly recommend paying a visit.

It would be hard to me to top the beautiful blue skies from my previous visit, but I decided to go anyway because I just can't help myself. I could just look at the thing all day long...

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

   
My favorite part of visiting The Arch is the tram/elevator system that takes people to the top...

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

   
The cars are pretty tiny, which means you get to get real close to the people riding up with you...

Gateway Arch St. Louis

   
But it's all worth it once you get to the top...

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

   
By the time I made it back down again the weather started clearing up (of course)...

Gateway Arch St. Louis

Gateway Arch St. Louis

   
The Old Courthouse across the street is too pretty to pass up, so I dropped in for a quick visit...

Old Courthouse St. Louis

Old Courthouse St. Louis

   
While they are remodeling the Gateway Arch Visitor Center, the Old Courthouse is the temporary ticket office. While you're there, you can get a close look at how the tram cars are constructed...

Old Courthouse St. Louis

The system that transports the cars is pretty ingenious. The track starts out above the cars at the bottom... then transition to below the cars as you head up the legs. Eight cars are all chained together so that they can increase the number of people transported each go. The actual cars are suspended in an outer shell that allows the cars to rotate around as it travels, keeping the passengers upright.

And, just like that, my trip to St. Louis had come to an end. Time to head back to the airport to meet up with long-time blogging friend Coal Miner's Granddaughter for a road-trip to Jefferson City. But before we go? Time for T-Rav (which is "Toasted Ravioli," a St. Louis specialty, for those not in the know)...

Old Courthouse St. Louis

See you in Jef-City...

An interesting aside here... did you know that China built their own "Gateway Arch," but made it into a full loop? They call it the "Ring of Life" and it is pretty obvious where the original inspiration came from...

Ring of Life China
Photo by В ЭТОЙ ЖИЗНИ

Pretty. But I'll take the original any day!

   

Day Three: Jefferson City

Posted on Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Dave!And so here I am in Jefferson City with Coal Miner's Granddaughter!

Our event doesn't start until tonight, so we decided to head downtown to soak in all the big fun that Jeff-City has to offer.

Our first stop was the Missouri State Capitol Building. From the outside it looks pretty typical for a capitol building...

Jefferson City State Capitol

But on the inside? Absolutely stunning. Gorgeous art nouveau paintings depicting the life and history of Missouri cover the inside dome...

Jefferson City State Capitol

Jefferson City State Capitol

Jefferson City State Capitol

Jefferson City State Capitol

   
Inside this gorgeous building are busts of "famous Missourians" scattered around. Or, as in the case of Rush "Total Piece of Shit" Limbaugh, infamous...

Jefferson City State Capitol

There are also awesome people like Betty Grable (whose bust is creepy as hell) and Josephine Baker as well...

Jefferson City State Capitol

Jefferson City State Capitol

   
To the South of the Capitol Building is a monument for the Lewis and Clark trailhead. Since I've seen the end of the trail (about a half hour south of Astoria, Oregon), I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see the start...

Jefferson City State Capitol Lewis and Clark

   
Unbeknownst to us, downtown Jefferson City had been closed off for Shelbyfest... the celebration of all things related to the Shelby Mustang...

Jefferson City Shelbyfest

Jefferson City Shelbyfest

   
The "Ghost Hunt Weekend" event is at the old Missouri State Penitentiary. We decided to go early so we could take a tour and know the history behind everything...

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

The grounds are massive. The buildings are massive. Everything is massive. This is just one of the buildings...

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

What's not massive? The cells. They're tiny. And, depending on the era, there were times that they held more inmates than you'd think were possible... four... even six per cell...

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

There are several buildings. We saw just two of them. The newer one seemed much more like what you'd think a prison looks like...

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

The last stop on the tour was the gas chamber. A place where 40 convicted criminals met their end...

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

Our tour was a particularly good one because our guide was a former prison guard. Even better? One of the first women guards was taking the tour with us. Even better? Two former inmates were also on our tour... one of whom was wrongfully convicted of a life sentence and served 23 years before he was released.

   
There are some happy residents of the prison complex... groundhogs! They're everywhere!

Jefferson City State Penitentiary

   
And that was the end of our day. The real adventure happens tonight...

   

Day Four: Jefferson City

Posted on Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Dave!And so... I spent the night with Coal Miner's Granddaughter and The Tennessee Wraith Chasers in the old Missouri State Penitentiary! For those who don't watch "ghost hunt" television, the Wraith Chasers are a paranormal investigation group who have appeared in such shows as Ghost Asylum and Haunted Towns. Turns out they're also an incredibly nice group of guys.

Heather and I purchased "VIP Passes" which allowed us early entry into the event. With the sun going down, the prison takes on an entirely different personality...

Ghost Hunt Weekend at Missouri State Penitentiary

The team behind the event, "Ghost Hunt Weekends," lit up our "home base" in one of the buildings with atmosphere lighting, which was also very different from what we saw on our tour earlier...

Ghost Hunt Weekend at Missouri State Penitentiary

Eventually the Wraith Chasers themselves kicked things off with a Q&A session which was pretty entertaining...

Ghost Hunt Weekend at Missouri State Penitentiary

Everybody had a chance to get their photo taken with Doogie, Brannon, Chris, and Mike, which was pretty nice of them...

Ghost Hunt Weekend at Missouri State Penitentiary

Interesting to note that Heather and I have like TEN LAYERS of clothing on because it was freezing in there... but the Wraith Chasers are all in short-sleeves.

Our group started off with the gas chamber, then rotated through four other sites...

Ghost Hunt Weekend at Missouri State Penitentiary

Not a lot of paranormal activity last night, but still a lot of fun!

And now... sleep!

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Day Five: Home

Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2018

Dave!Yesterday was a whirlwind of travel getting from Jefferson City back home. Or maybe it wasn't and it just felt that way because we returned from our ghost hunt at 3:30am.

Whatever the case, Coal Miner's Granddaughter and I decided to start things off right with ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST! Yay! Let's set aside the fact that an ice cream parlor opens their doors at 8am each morning and instead focus on the creamy dream that they are peddling...

Central Dairy Ice Cream

That massive ice cream cone there? $3.00 at the Central Dairy. Yes, you read that right... THREE DOLLARS! That same cone would be at least $6.00 anywhere else. And it probably wouldn't taste nearly as good. Because, I gotta tell you... this ice cream was amazing. It's so creamy as to border on being described as "fluffy" and the flavor makes you stand up and say "Dayamn!"

Central Dairy Ice Cream

If you're ever in Jefferson City, MO... this is a must-stop.

After ice cream it was a two-hour drive back to St. Louis Lambert International Airport, followed by a two-hour wait, followed by a four-hour flight to Portland, followed by an hour wait, followed by a half-hour flight to Seattle, followed by a half-hour on the tarmac, followed by an overnight, followed by a two-and-a-half-hour drive home.

Where I was very, very happy to see my cats.

And give them a present I brought back from Jeff City... a stuffed Missouri mule! His name is Moose. Jenny was not impressed. Jake, on the other hand, looked like he might like it at first...

Jake the Cat and Moose the Mule!

...but then started tossing it around. No idea if the cats will warm up to it, but I had to try!

   
And... back to Real Life.

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Kilauea Attacks!

Posted on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Dave!So there we are, waiting for our ghost hunt to begin when Coal Miner's Granddaughter turns to me and says "Hey, did you see that Kilauea erupted in Hawaii?"

I hadn't.

In March of 2008 a new fissure opened on Kilauea, causing a "vog" (volcanic smog) alert to be issued. Not just for The Big Island, but for neighboring islands as well. I ended up traveling to Hawaii later that year, excited at the prospect of finally seeing a lava flow. But, alas, Pele (Hawaiian goddess of fire) had other plans and there was no lava to be found. There was still vog happening though...

Kilauea Venting Vog

Kilauea Venting Vog

   
Now Pele has unleashed the Real Deal on The Big Island, and unfortunately there are people in the path of her wrath...

Kilauea Eruption by Bruce Omori from Paradise Helicopters
Bruce Omori from Paradise Helicopters via Shutterstock and Time Magazine

Kilauea Eruption by Bruce Omori from Paradise Helicopters
Bruce Omori from Paradise Helicopters via Shutterstock and Time Magazine

   
The footage is pretty dramatic...


   
Though this is the story that's probably most disturbing!

   
Holy Watchmen, Batman!

Kilauea Venting Vog

   
Such beautiful destruction.

I'm in Hawaii later this year. If the lava thing is still happening, perhaps this will finally be my chance to see it.

Assuming the world hasn't ended by then, of course.

   

Feline FOMO

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Dave!FO·MO
/ˈfōmō/
noun, informal
Fear Of Missing Out. Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.

FE·LINE FO·MO
/ˈfēˌlīnˈfōmō/
noun, informal
Fear Of Missing Out as applied to cats. The anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by noises made by other cat(s) in the same space.

   
The older my cats get, the more they seem to care about what the other one is doing.

Jenny can be laying next to me purring away because she's getting petted... but then she'll hear Jake running around downstairs, worry that he's doing something super-fun that she's not a part of, then go ripping down the stairs to see what it is.

Jake likes to sit on my lap while I'm watching television. But the second Jenny goes running by to head out into the catio, he is all of a sudden paranoid that she's spotted something awesome out there, and is running after her to see what that might be.

My cats are in a perpetual state of FOMO.

Over each other, of course... not over me. They couldn't care less about what I'm doing.

Unless it's feeding them breakfast or dinner.

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Gas-n-Don’t-Go

Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Dave!Before heading to the airport to turn in our rental car in St. Louis, we stopped for gas so we wouldn't have to pay the insane refueling fee that the rental car places charge.

As I was standing there waiting for the tank to fill, I saw this...

Empty tequila bottle on a gas pump

Here's hoping it wasn't the driver, but I'm guessing it was.

Given the non-stop trainwreck of horrors that has been drinking-and-driving, you'd think that people would learn something. How many more lives have to be destroyed before people learn something?

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McSodium Explosion

Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2018

Dave!Today I finally made the time to have my winter tires changed over to summer tires.

My plan was to arrive just when the tire store opened because you can usually get right in. Except there was an accident on the bridge into town so I was delayed 20 minutes. By the time I finally got there, the wait was up to an hour-and-a-half, and it would have been faster for me to change my own tires at home with my emergency car jack and a lug wrench.

It was a bummer, but it wasn't the wait that bothered me.

It was the reason for the wait.

As somebody at the tire store noted, there was no skidmarks on the bridge. Which means that the car (van?) which crashed into a car (which then crashed into another car) never made any attempt to stop. Which means they weren't paying attention. Which means they were probably texting or changing their baby's diaper or cooking a steak, or whatever the fuck it is that people do when not looking at the road like they're supposed to be.

Apparently the distracted driving "no-texting" law that Washington State passed has done nothing to solve a serious problem that's only going to get worse. Which begs the question... how many people have to die before this starts being taken seriously?

And speaking of dying...

As I've said many times before, I love McDonalds... despite constantly taking shit for liking McDonalds.

My favorite breakfast is a McDonald's Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, no bacon, substitute round egg instead of spongey yellow powder egg. I could eat them every single day because it's just such a perfect breakfast food. The reason I don't eat them every day is that A) McDonald's is a 20 minute drive from my house, and B) they are expensive as hell. But right now McDonalds is running a special where you can get two of them for only four dollars! So, naturally, after getting my tires changed I did not pass GO, I did not collect $200, I went straight to McDonalds for a late breakfast.

It was, as expected, delicious.

Except I made the mistake of looking up the Nutrition Facts for my breakfast while I was eating it.

We'll set aside the 80 carbs in two Breakfast Biscuits and skip right to the 2100mg of sodium... 88% of the sodium that you're supposed to have in a day. And saturated fat? 11g which is 106% of the recommended daily ammount!

Holy shit!

I've never been so grateful that McDonalds is 20 minutes away and their McBiscuits are usually so damn expensive, because I'd be dead if they were next door and, you know, affordable and all.

Except they are on sale... and I am driving over the mountains tomorrow... so it looks like I may be courting death once again. Curse you McDonald's and your delicious breakfast!

   

Caturday 60

Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Dave!Yesterday morning I woke up to see Moose the Mule standing in my bedroom.

The fact that he's standing leads me to believe that I sleepwalked downstairs, then brought him up and set him on the floor. So I check the security cameras and, no, that's not what happened at all.

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Here is what actually happened. And, for anybody who ever said that they don't believe Jake can carry Mufasa the Lion around because he's too big for a cat to carry... Moose is TWICE THE SIZE!

Funny, funny stuff.

Anyway... looks like Jake might finally be warming up to Moose.

UPDATE: Here we go again...

Jake's love of stuffed animals isn't surprising, really. When I adopted my cats I was lucky enough to meet their foster parent at the shelter. She told me that Jenny likes to chase a string and Jake liked stuffed toys. Especially a stuffed llama they had...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

I didn't have a stuffed llama, but I did have a stuffed lion I brought back from Africa for Spanky the Cat. So I dug through my old cat toys and found Mufasa. Jake took to him from day one...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

   
Jenny didn't care much for Mufasa, but that didn't stop her from trying to take him away from Jake. She wanted it just because he wanted it...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

And they've been fighting over that stuffed lion ever since...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Which has made Jake spend a lot of time trying to keep Jenny from taking Mufasa away. Over the years he's sometimes been more successful than others...

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Jake and Stuffed Animals

Such a great cat.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Bullet Sunday 461

Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2018

Dave!Mother's Day isn't the only good thing to happen today... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Wubba Lubba Dub Dub! Looks like we're getting another 70 episodes of Rick & Morty!

Jenny watching Rick and Morty

My cat Jenny will be thrilled. Don't ask me why, but she loves the show. I think it has to do with Rick's voice, because if I'm watching and turn the television up, she'll come running to see what's happening. It sounds crazy, but I shit you not. She likes watching television, but she loves the Rick & Morty...

Jenny watching Rick and Morty

Not bad for a Back to the Future parody.

   
• Satan! FOX went on a brutal cancelation spree, axing shows that I really enjoy like The Last Man on Earth, The Mick, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and, horror of horrors, one of my favorite shows ever... Lucifer.

Lucifer Promo Shot

Apparently Reno Nine-Nine has been saved by NBC, which isn't much of a surprise since the show is distributed by NBC. Lucifer is co-produced and distributed by Warner Brothers, but their network blew up back in 2006. No idea where it would find a home unless one of the streaming networks like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix grabs it. Which would sure as hell be nice, since they could wrap up the show and give us a proper ending. No word yet on what the fate will be for Champions and L.A. to Vegas... two more shows I would be sad to lose.

   
• Challenge! Ariana Grande has always been an incredibly good sport when it comes to putting up with Jimmy's shenanigans, and has played numerous "challenge" games with him on The Tonight Show. And now there's this...

Now that's talent.

   
• Adventure! Every once in a while I see an image posted of what video game graphics look like now compared to what they looked like when I first played video games. It just keeps getting more and more insane...

XXX
Posted by marvinrabbit on imgur.

Video games are more like playing a movie than ever, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Back when my gaming experience was an Atari 2600, it was just a distraction that couldn't compare with Real Life...

But now that gaming is, in some ways, better than Real Life? Hmmmm...

   
• Try Evil! According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is going to partner up with the pig-fuckers at Goldman Sachs to come out with their own branded credit card. Looks like Apple has completely given up and decided to go 100% evil. Since the WSJ is behind a pay-wall (deep eye-roll), here's the story at Fortune magazine.

   
• Health! I'm just going to finish my bullets by leaving this right here: The incredibly frustrating reason there’s no Lyme disease vaccine.

   
So long, Sunday... I got a P!NK concert coming up.

   

Beautiful Trauma

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2018

Dave!Nobody puts on a show like P!NK. Nobody.

The first time I saw her live was on her Truth About Love tour, which was one of the most amazing things I've ever experienced. It was more than just a concert, it was a spectacle. In the best possible way. P!NK sounded phenomenal... and did so while suspended in the air and flying around the stadium. Anybody who says that an artist needs to lip-sync in order to put on a good show was completely buried after this tour opened.

And now P!NK is touring in support of her Beautiful Trauma album... once again blowing the doors off of stadium while cranking out an endless parade of amazing songs...

P!NK !!!

P!NK !!!

P!NK !!!

If you ever have the opportunity to see P!NK perform, don't miss it.

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Yesterday So Far Away

Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Dave!Today was one of those days that makes me want to stick my head in the oven. But my oven is electric, so all that would do is give me a sunburn. I also have a microwave, but it only runs when the door is closed.

And so I guess I'll be sticking around for another day. Which is probably a good thing, because my cats are in kind of a needy mood after all the time I've been spending away from home. And that's nice. Though I could have really used another day recuperating from my weekend.

And to think... yesterday I was up at Newcastle's putting green overlooking Seattle and Puget Sound on a gorgeous day...

Newcastle Golf

Apparently Summer has arrived.

Time to set up shop.

Five months of woodworking bliss await.

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Spirit and Disaster

Posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Dave!When I woke up this morning there was an email from the charity I volunteer with and it was not filled with good news. It wasn't even filled with bad news. It was filled with disastrous news. Which meant I had a mad scramble of emails, phone calls, and texts ahead of me trying to get everything sorted. Which is fine, I suppose... that's the job... but it weighs on your spirit when you know that Real People will be worse off if you can't pull things together.

But pull things together I did.

This time.

Which was great. Except while I was doing my best to fix things for a lot of people needing help, I missed a text from one person needing help. I didn't notice it until hours later which, believe it or not, weighs even heavier on your spirit.

Fortunately somebody else who didn't miss their text was able to step up and help out... but still.

I'm not saying that I'd jump in line to be cloned if that technology were ever perfected, but I'd sure think hard about it. Problem is, I'd undoubtedly just end up taking on twice the work I have now so I would end up missing twice as many texts.

Technology can't solve everything.

But I live in a house where I can talk to a device and tell it to turn my lights on and off for me, so it certainly seems like it should be able to.

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Marvel Colorform Crapfest

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Dave!You would think that when you pay for a movie in iTunes that the poster art would remain the same as when you bought it. But that's not the case. A while back Marvel started changing all the artwork in their store, which ended up changing the artwork on all the movies I bought.

And it all sucks.

Not that I'd be thrilled if it were better than the originals... I want the art that I recognize so I can recognize the movies I own. I want what I originally purchased.

Take for example the poster for Guardians of the Galaxy...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

They hacked up pieces of the original poster, rearranged them, then slapped them on a boring-ass background. It looks worse than shitty, because there's no composition or context. Can you tell what in the hell Star-Lord is doing? Holding on to a handle? Who the hell knows?

The sequel poster is even worse. The cool and colorful art with all kinds of cool movie imagery in the background. It's been replaced with something so boring as to be sedate by comparison...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

Thor: The Dark World is especially horrific in that he no longer looks like the god of thunder, but somebody in a red cape and bad hair...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

Since most Marvel movies take place in New York City, Ant-Man was a breath of fresh air since it switched it up to the West Coast and San Francisco. To be sure there was no mistaking this, they put it right there on the poster...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

When they remade it, they simply stripped away all the cool supporting elements and slapped some ugly-ass faux-metallic effect. Lame.

Group films like Avengers have posters that are carefully crafted to show the dynamic of the team. But now all we get is a grotesque cut-and-paste hack-job that has no interplay between characters and no dynamic. Somebody with a box of Colorforms could do the same damn thing... and probably better, since people wouldn't have their legs cut off and be suspended in air...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

Another great example of this... Captain America: Civil War. What was the most incredible part of the film? The fact that there was a massive battle which pits hero against hero. But the new poster rips this away, completely confusing the story. For all we know from looking at the shitty art, this is a Captain America and Iron Man buddy picture. Or an Iron Man movie with a guest-spot by Cap, since the figures have been reversed and Stark is in the #1 spot...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

Doctor Strange is a mind-bending film which introduces magic and other dimensional planes to the Marvel Universe. But now? Some guy in a red cape with a tall collar? Shitty. Utterly shitty...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

I think my most hated poster remake is for Iron Man 3...

Shitty Marvel Movie Poster Remakes

The original poster was SO cool. Foreboding atmosphere, Tony's house exploding, and The Iron Legion are all there... along with a ravaged but determined Iron Man. But the remake? You can barely even tell that's Iron Man. Looks like the cover to some kind of Harlequin Romance or a shitty, low-budget crapfest. And can somebody please explain why the characters are fading into a star-field?

I understand the thinking in redoing the posters. They are trying to create something that will be easily understood at the smaller thumbnail sizes that you'll find in iTunes or other movie streaming services. But when they come up with something this shitty, does it really matter if you more easily understand them? If anything, I'd argue that the original posters are more distinct and interesting... even if you can't fully tell what's going on when reduced to tiny sizes.

At the very least, they could leave it up to the buyer which poster to display in their iTunes library.

Because the new crop is more than just ugly and boring... they're offensively bad design.

   

Kick the Bucket

Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018

Dave!Today I had a rare 15-minute gap with nothing to do. Too little time to start a new project... too much time for a bathroom break. So I decided to update my List of Things to do Before I Die (That I’ve Already Done). It's a kind of "bucket list," but not really, because I only add things to it once I can check them off. No need to be on my death bed clutching a list of stuff I still wanted to do, thus dying a failure.

I'm up to 114 items which is probably enough for two lifetimes.

Which means I'm ready to die, I guess. And yet there's still so much left I want to do. Maybe I'll be able to add another dozens items before I check out. Maybe I'll be able to add just one. It doesn't really matter so long as I keep coming up with things to live for.

Though I've found that as I get older my idea of what makes it to my list is changing as my priorities change...

        Age 20 Top Priority: Look for my dream woman. Get married. Have kids.

        Age 30 Top Priority: Stay single for the rest of my life.

        Age 40 Top Priority: Wreck myself having the most fun possible, then die before I'm 50.

        Age 50 Top Priority: Stay healthy enough to keep on living so I can take care of my cats.

Assuming I make it there, I have no idea what my priority at 60 will be. But probably...

        Age 60 Top Priority: Wreck myself having the most fun possible, then die before I'm 70.

I'm relatively certain of what comes at 70, assuming my priority for 60 falls through...

        Age 70 Top Priority: Just die already.

This sounds bad, I know. But keep in mind that by that time I'll have probably added enough things to my list for three lifetimes. And isn't that more than enough? I'm close to done right now. Lord only knows how totally done with life I'll be at 70. Though who really knows? Back when I was 40 I wanted to die by the time I was 50. Now that I've reached 50... and I have cats... I'm happy to be hanging around a while longer. Perhaps when I turn 70 I'll get more cats and be good until I'm 90.

Who wants to kick the bucket list when they have cats?

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Caturday 61

Posted on Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Dave!It's kind of strange how having cats has changed my behavior. I am slowly becoming a different person, and it's a direct result of hanging around Jake and Jenny.

Yesterday I received a couple of questions from somebody who found my Antarctica trip in a Google search. I didn't have the answers off-hand, so I had to retrieve my souvenir box. My cats see a box and are instantly in attendance, pawing through everything and chewing on papers, pamphlets, and postcards. And I just didn't care. Two years ago if a cat was chewing on my precious souvenirs I would have ripped them out of their mouths, shooed them away, then been upset for days that my property had been destroyed. But now? It's just stuff. In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if a postcard has a corner missing? Not to me. Not anymore. They could set the entire box on fire for all I care. I'd rather have happy cats than any amount of stuff. Unless it's going to hurt them, there's nothing I own that's important enough to smack a cat away. Nothing.

But the biggest change has been learning to accept things for what they are. This is a primary concept of Buddhism, and something I've been trying to get a handle on for decades. Jake and Jenny are "just cats." Given their relatively small stature and lack of opposable thumbs, there isn't much in their lives that they can change. Rather than wallow in misery if their attempts to alter their environment fail, they just accept it and do their best to live with it... or they move on. And that's the key. There are some things in life that simply cannot be changed no matter how hard I wish it were otherwise. Rather than dwell on that and be miserable, I've been doing a lot more accepting... and a lot more moving on. And I have been far happier because of it.

Maybe this world would be a better place if more people in charge of things had cats.

But anyway...

So there I was consumed by work when I hear much thrashing and squawking coming from the dining room. Jake is going crazy about SOMETHING, so I get up to see what's going on. Turns out it's just a boy and his mule. Jake is rolling around on the table with Moose...

Jake and Moose the Mule

Jake and Moose the Mule

Jake and Moose the Mule

Jake and Moose the Mule

Which makes me SO happy because dividing their attention between multiple stuffed animals means that Mufasa, Jakes prized stuffed lion, might stay in one piece a bit longer.

In other non-news, Jenny's television addiction is still going strong. Her favorite place in the living room is the coffee table where she can lay and watch TV. Many nights she'll fall asleep while watching...

Jenny TV Sleeper

Jenny TV Sleeper

Which is better than the cats' latest trend... wedging themselves in-between me and my work so they can get petted and fall asleep. They are doing this ALL THE TIME NOW. Even worse? They work in shifts. One of them will squeeze between me and my laptop so I have to set it down... then the minute they leave and I go to pick up my computer again... the other one will do the same damn thing...

Sleepy Cats

Sleepy Cats

And, lastly, I've been leaving windows and doors open in the mornings before it gets hot in an attempt to keep things cool and let in some fresh air. This cuts down on the expense of having to run my air conditioner as much. This has resulted in Jake and Fake Jake having a couple of "play dates" through the screen door...

Jake and FakeJake Playdate

Jake and FakeJake Playdate

Jake and FakeJake Playdate

Though how they can see each other through that filthy window I do not know.

A part of me wonders if I'll eventually be able to let Fake Jake in for a visit... but I honestly don't think this will ever happen. Fake Jake can get very aggressive, and I think that would traumatize Jenny quite a lot. She may be able to hold her own when there's a fence between them, but up close and personal? Probably not.

Oh well.

I removed the heater and berm from Fake Jake's shelter, then cleaned it inside and out, so he should have a nice cool place to hide from the sun this summer. That will have to do. If we end up with a heatwave, I can always let him hang out in my garage.

Until next Caturday then...

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Bullet Sunday 462

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Dave!Put on your Sunday's best... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Mo Carbs! Hey everybody... IT'S CARB AWARENESS DAY! I'm not supposed to eat many carbs anymore, but you can bet I'll be celebrating! Bread, pasta, and sugar for everyone!

   
• Twins Redux! And here it is... the first single from Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey's forthcoming album: Feels Like Love to Me...

Needless to say, it's a huge relief that this has a true Thompson Twins vibe to it... which is exactly what I want in a new album from Tom Bailey. It feels a bit more mature than Into The Gap, but doesn't sound as different as Big Trash or Close to the Bone did at the time... which is to say that it fits nicely between the end of the Thompson Twins and the beginning of Babel. At least from this one song it does.

   
• I Smell Bullshit! Fraganzia... because Febreze and every other product name worth a shit has been taken...

XXX

=sigh= Product marketing is officially running out of ideas.

   
• NEWS: Oklahoma governor signs law allowing adoption agencies to ban same-sex couples.

Holy shit... it's not a day ending in "Y" unless Mary Fallin is stirring up more bigoted shit. Such a fucking asshole. KIDS NEED LOVING HOMES. It has been shown over and over and over and over that same-sex parents DO AS WELL OR BETTER at churning out happy, healthy, well-adjusted children as opposite-sex parents. And in 2018 kids don't care... THEY SHOULDN'T CARE... because the ONLY things that matter is that they have a home to call their own. That they are fed and provided for. That they are loved and cherished. Who gives a fuck if that comes from two dads or two moms? Apparently Mary Fallin does, which means she is in no danger of spoiling her track record at being one of the shittiest human beings on the planet. Congrats, Mary, you repugnant pile of garbage. Are you going to take in all the kids being denied homes by your bigotry? =crickets=

   
• NEWS: GOP House candidate live streams herself challenging transgender woman for using women's restroom.

A women's bathroom has STALLS. Nobody is seeing ANYTHING. So it begs the question... exactly how is this candidate using public restrooms that a trans person entering is such a huge issue? Does she get naked and run around in there before she goes into a stall? Does she just hang around in there with her vag hanging out? What does she think people are going to see? What is it? You use a public bathroom to go to the bathroom, then (hopefully) wash your hands, then leave. Admittedly, I've never gone into a woman's bathroom before... so maybe I am completely unaware of what goes on in there... but this just seems extraordinarily stupid. If public bathrooms bother you this much, then don't use a public bathroom.

   
• Adventure Redux! Last Bullet Sunday I had mentioned the very first graphical adventure video game... Adventure! As a formative part of my childhood, it's a game that fascinates me in a hundred different directions. Mostly because it shouldn't have even been possible given the technological limitations of the time. In a stroke of randomness, I ran across an interview with Adventure creator Warren Robinett earlier this week! It's pretty great...

Needless to say, I am thrilled at the prospect of reading The Annotated Adventure book mentioned in the talk, but the last mention of it was in 2016, so I'm guessing it's been put on indefinite hold or outright cancelled by now.

   
And on that note... DeeTwo out.

   

Fall TV Preview 2018

Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2018

Dave!And it would seem that the television networks are starting to whore out promos for the upcoming Fall season. Given my love of television, I'l a little excited about that. Given how bad most new television shows end up being, that excitement is tempered by caution. Let's take a look at what I've seen so far, shall we?

   
I'M ONBOARD...

   
WHISKEY CAVALIER
If this didn't have Scott Foley and a comedic edge, it would be a hard pass. But it stars Scott Foley and has a comedic edge, so...

This will either bring it all together... or fail utterly as a MacGruber imitation that takes itself too seriously. I'm banking on the former.

   
MURPHY BROWN
I was a huge, huge, mega-huge fan of Murphy Brown and watched every episode they made. If ever there was a time that we needed her back, it's now...

A few thoughts...

  • The showrunners are wanting a three-week-to-air production schedule so the show can tackle current topics before they get buried. The only show faster than that is South Park, so good luck with that!
  • I was deeply saddened when Eldin left the show... and totally gutted when the actor who portrayed him (Robert Pastorelli) died. I am certain that there will be some kind of tribute to the beloved character, but it's not the same as having him there.
  • Murphy's son Avery is going to be a series regular, which is great. He was last played by Haley Joel Osment and will now be played by Jake McDorman, whom I loved to scary extremes in the television version of Limitless. He is perfect casting.
  • The status of Jim Dial (Charles Kimbrough) seems to be up-in-the-air. I've read that he's not appearing. I've read he will do a cameo guest spot. If his heart isn't in it, then this is probably for the best. But, boy, I was sure hoping for more Jim Dial.

   
FRIENDED BY GOD
Usually, a show with this premise would cause me to roll my eyes so hard that I'd suffer a brain hemorrhage. But this actually looks pretty good...

Ironically, this show is very much in the vein of Kevin (Probably) Saves the World, which was cancelled... and has an overt faith reference in the vein of Living Biblically, which was also canceled. Doesn't bode well for the show making it past a single season, but maybe it will find an audience that the other shows never did.

   
THE ROOKIE
I can't fault the idea of putting Nathan Fillion in another show lead... as Firefly and Castle proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, the guy knows how to carry a show... but I question the concept with this one...

Older small-town guy moves to L.A. to be a rookie cop? Alrighty then. I'm counting on Fillion's undeniable screen presence carrying this one through, because that's what he does.

   
I FEEL BAD
This could be awful. It's probably awful. But if the actual show is as good as this preview, I'll absolutely be tuning in...

Fingers crossed, because the lack of interesting-looking comedies this coming season is a bit depressing.

   
WORTH A SHOT...

   
MAGNUM, P.I.
When revisiting a past show, there are a number of choices. The three most popular are A) Pick up with the same cast at a later time... B) Pick up with a new cast that has unfolded out of the old cast... or C) Completely reboot the entire show with new actors in old roles. Unfortunately for all of us, Magnum has gone with Option C, which is a truly awful decision (as the MacGyver reboot will confirm). Yes, it can be done well (though technically Star Trek is an alternate timeline it is effectively a reboot, and done very well), most of the time it just isn't. Especially when you're trying to replace the insanely charismatic and quirky Tom Selleck in the lead...

Why couldn't they have just made the guy Magnum's son or something? That way Selleck could appear in a couple episodes (like Leonard Nimoy did in Star Trek) to at least try to keep some continuity between series. The only bright spot is that they got Zachary Knighton to play Rick, which is something. I'm not holding out much hope, but I am hoping.

   
THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The premise didn't do anything for me, but the casting of Cedric The Entertainer and Josh Lawson had me curious to see how this was going to play out. But then they replaced a perfectly-cast Josh Lawson (shown in the footage below) with a woefully-miscast Max Greenfield (FRICKIN' SCHMIDT FROM New Girl?!?) and that all went out the window...

I just don't get it. Lawson had that role down. Anything Greenfield does with it is just going to be an imitation of better casting, so I don't even know what to think.

   
MANIFEST
Oh good Lord... it's a mashup of The 4400, The Crossing, and a half-dozen other "mysterious return" shows we've seen to death already...

What will make it either work or not work is whether the "mystery" is compelling and sustainable. I am not holding out much hope for that, but I'll tune in to see how they approach it. If it's unique enough, I might give it a try for a while.

   
FBI
ABC canceled Deception, a show about a magician working with the FBI, while CBS picks up a show that's just the plain old FBI. How this is supposed to stand out from everything else on television is beyond me...

I give this practically zero chance of survival, but I'll give it a chance just in case.

   
NEW AMSTERDAM
I was disappointed to find out that this was not, in fact, a revival of the excellent 2008 series of the same name starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, but instead YET ANOTHER HOSPITAL DRAMA starring Ryan Eggold (formerly from The Blacklist). Where this will ultimately fail for me is the over-the-top-self-masturbatory-level of drama that always makes medical dramas like this (and the horrendously bad The Resident) fail utterly...

I mean, it's not my imagination... this IS yet another iteration of The Resident, right? Because I hate-hate-hate that show.

   
THE COOL KIDS
I like every single cast member in this show. But is it funny? Not from what I'm seeing in the pilot...

There's certainly the talent there to pull it together, but it's forced-funny and I don't know if talent will be enough.

   
A MILLION LITTLE THINGS
Well, here it is... the whole "Dump Beloved Actors in a New Show and Roll the Dice" show we get every season that never lasts...

The guys in question are James Roday from Psych, Ron Livingston from Office Space, David Giuntoli from Grimm, and Romany Malco from Weeds. I actually like the cast, it's just that there's nothing here which even remotely appeals to me story-wise. And yet... that casting.

   
THE PASSAGE
If it weren't Ridley Scott, I'd stumble right past this. But... Ridley Scott... and the kid looks like she can act, so maybe...

The thing that concerns me about this is the sustainability of the story. I mean, I guess it's feasible that no other kid can replace this one... but that's awfully thin. I'll spend a lot of time thinking "NOT WORTH IT! JUST FIND ANOTHER KID!"

   
ABBY'S
There is literally nothing about this show that compels me to tune in... except... Mike Shur. So consider me compelled.

   
TITANS
Yet another DC Comics show... this time based on their Teen Titans franchise. If it's as good as Supergirl? Great. If it's doomed to whither away like Arrow did or The Flash is doing, I guess that's okay. But if we're getting something as lame as Legends of Tomorrow? Don't bother.

   
CLOAK AND DAGGER
A Marvel Studios show that's not on Netflix nor ABC, which is cause for concern... but not panic. I was never a big fan of the comics, but I'll say hello just to see.

   
ALSO ON THE WAY, BUT NO WAY...

   
GRAND HOTEL
Bitchy catfighting and sleeping around in a sexy hotel setting. How original. Unfortunately, it looks near-embarrassing to me, but that could be that it's just not my cup of tea. The saving grace may be the Miami Beach location, but I don't know if that's enough to get me tuning in. Probably not.

   
FAM
Despite Sheryl Lee Ralph having a spot, this doesn't look to be even a little entertaining. Hasn't this kind of thing been done to death and canceled to death already?

   
THE RED LINE
I don't know how many damn "Chicago" shows we need with Chicago Med, Chicago PD, and Chicago Fire already crowding the airwaves... but here's more of the same, for those who need it. The difference being that Ana DuVernay and Greg Berlanti are behind it.

   
THE CODE
Apparently an effort to resurrect JAG by CBS. Oh thank heavens. You can never have enough legal dramas on television.

   
SCHOOLED
A spin-off of a show I don't watch (The Goldbergs) which I won't watch.

   
ALL AMERICAN
Oh Lord. The Fresh Prince meets Friday Night Lights in a show that thinks it can be taken seriously. PASS.

   
THE VILLAGE
A building filled with forced-drama. What's not to hate?

   
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Oh joy. That 70's Show but with Irish Catholics. Hold my Guinness.

   
SINGLE PARENTS
With Taran Killam in the lead, it might be worth a look... but the idea of watching 30 minutes of single parent problems is nigh suicide-inducing, so I'll probably pass.

   
CHARMED
Yeah... once was enough. Especially since I didn't even like the first one.

   
THE FIX
Wait... what? A thinly-veiled copy of the OJ Simpson trial? BUT WHYYYYY?!??

   
THE INBETWEEN
As if there wasn't enough stale television coming up, here's a mashup between Medium and The Ghost Whisperer! This bores the shit out of me and I haven't even seen a preview.

   
THE ENEMY WITHIN
A blatant rip-off of The Blacklist that doesn't even try. So I won't either.

   
REL
Now, I am 100% onboard with Lil' Rel getting a TV show, but this? I can't even wrap my head around how bad the trailer is.

   
PROVEN INNOCENT
Oh hooray. Yet another legal drama with absolutely nothing going for it, even though it photocopies the concept of the fantastic Life by having it feature a former wrongly-convicted lead. Gag.

   
HAPPY TOGETHER
There's reaching for a concept and then there's this hot mess. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to have Justin Bieber move into your house, I guess this is for you.

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Health Scare

Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Dave!I'm just going to come out and say it... health care in the United States of America is a festering pile of shit that is impossible to navigate and increasingly impossible to pay for. I'm sure this will come to a surprise to absolutely nobody, because we've all needed medical attention at some point in our lives... if not for us, for a loved one.... and then had to deal with the fallout.

Health care is a monolithic, byzantine maze of bullshit and corruption that's enough to make even the smartest person insane.

Take where I'm at, for example.

My health insurance deductible is huge. Thousands of dollars. I never get out of my annual deductible because I'm relatively healthy and, apparently, lucky. What this means is that I have to pay for absolutely everything medical-related out-of-pocket. But apparently I do get some kind of discount that's been negotiated between my insurance and my local clinic. What is this discount? Who the fuck knows. I've been trying to find out the cost of making a consultation appointment FOR TWO DAYS and have gotten nowhere.

This is how the system is designed.

The clinic doesn't want you to know the cost because you might not schedule an appointment if you knew. The insurance company doesn't want to commit to coverage for a future appointment, because they might need to increase their profits by reducing (or eliminating) their coverage before you see the doctor.

Which, if you live in an underserved region like I do, could take months to get an appointment.

What amuses me about this bullshit is that these are the bad things that people who don't want universal healthcare try and scare people with! It'll take forever to see a doctor? It takes fucking forever right now. We can't determine how much it will cost? We can't determine how much it fucking costs right now.

My issue isn't life-threatening. Well, I suppose it could end up there, but no... not really.

But what if it were life-threatening?

Well, the way it works in The United States of America is that you just have to sign on for treatment blindly and hope you don't have to declare bankruptcy so you can live.

And don't get me started about people who get sick and could be easily and cheaply treated in the beginning... but they can't afford it... so they wait and wait until they are near death and it's horrendously expensive to treat (if it's treatable at all) so taxpayers ends up paying for their bills because they end up losing everything. What fucking sense does that make? Give everybody healthcare so everybody is healthy and problems are fixed when they're cheap! As a taxpayer, I'd rather pay for what's cheap than what's horrendously expensive!

Maybe one day politicians will take a break from sucking lobbyist cock long enough to figure out how to make health care affordable for everybody.

Because the only people benefiting from the system we have now are insurance companies. And the politicians being paid off by insurance companies. Considering their health care is free and they don't give a fuck about anybody else, I don't expect them to stop sucking that lobbyist cock any time soon.

This is also how the system is designed.

   

Bird Life

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Dave!And to think, just minutes ago I was thinking "Gee. What am I going to blog about today?" But, since I have cats, I never have to worry about that for very long.

Case in point?

A bird flew too close to the catio and Jake decided he wanted at it...

It's even more impressive when you see it from the catio side... Jake may have a couple extra pounds on him, but he can move pretty quick when he wants to!

The poor thing looked in really rough shape when I went out to see if he could be saved...

Catio Bird Rescue!

But when I got him turned over it wasn't as bad as I feared. He had slight damage on his right side, but the wing looked intact...

Catio Bird Rescue!

I pet him for a while to calm him down. Once his breathing slowed, I let him be. After a couple minutes, he tried climbing through the fencing, but couldn't manage it. This was making him panic, so I helped him through as gently as I could. He dropped like a stone to the outside of the catio...

Catio Bird Rescue!

I sat with him for a while, petting him until he calmed down again...

Catio Bird Rescue!

Since I had no idea how long he would need to rest up, I decided to make a box with food and water so I could put him on top of the catio where Fake Jake and other cats in the neighborhood couldn't get at him...

Catio Bird Rescue!

But when I went to put him in the box, he started squawking and flew away. I followed to make sure he was in a safe spot... only to find him in a very safe spot, camouflaged in my shrubs...

Catio Bird Rescue!

I'll check on him in the morning to make sure he managed to escape. If not, I guess I'll have to read up on how to nurse a bird back to health.

Of course now my cats are on patrol out in the catio waiting for another bird to come by. Hopefully this doesn't become a regular thing or else I'll have to look into adding a screen on the fencing.

Something I'm sure my cats will just love shredding.

UPDATE: Good news! When I went back in the morning to see if the bird was still there, he was gone! I looked all around to make sure he hadn't fallen out somewhere... but there was no trace anywhere. His wings worked fine when he flew away from me, so I think he was just stunned, tired, scared, and a little hurt. After a rest, he was probably okay. No thanks to my murderous cats.

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Distractions 2.0

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018

   

   

   

   

Ghost Hunt Weekend at Missouri State Penitentiary

   

   

   

   

   

Souvenirs of the World

Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2018

Dave!For the past couple days I've been tearing my garage apart looking for some photography props I need for an upcoming project. Which is no easy task considering how much senseless crap I've accumulated over the years. Boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff I should have never saved, but kept anyway. Like I've got some kind of hoarding disorder.

Take for instance my travel souvenir collection.

When I first started traveling, I had no idea how many places I would end up going, so I saved absolutely everything. Every ticket stub, every matchbook, every brochure, every pamphlet, everything. My thinking was that this was the best way to remember where and when I've been. And that would have been fine if I only went to a handful of places... but I've been hundreds of places around the globe, and I've accumulated a metric shit-ton of crap because of it.

Five years ago I stopped buying souvenirs and saving crap because I've already got more than I'll ever look at. I just take pictures instead, and that's all I really need. Thank heavens. Because just look at some of this stuff...

   
• SAND
At some point I decided it would be a good idea to collect baggies of sand from beaches around the world...

SAND

Eventually I switched to small Tupperware plastic boxes...

SAND

I just counted... I have sand collected from 38 beaches. Everywhere from Bali and Phuket to Key West and Maui. It's kind of wasteful to throw all of this sand in the trash, so I'm thinking of making one of those jars where you layer sand in them. Usually, it's colored sand... but I think it would be pretty with natural sand, because there really is a huge variety in color and texture when you stop and really look at the stuff.

   
• MAPS
Now-a-days this makes absolutely no sense, because I've got an iPhone that can pull up a map (with directions!) anywhere in the world. But back in the day? You had to get a paper map, and I saved up hundreds of them. Partly because I didn't want to have to buy a new map if I ever ended up going back to a place like Montreal...

MAP

But mostly because I love maps. Always have. I especially like custom maps, which is why I probably won't be tossing out cool ones I've found... like these from the various Hard Rock Cafes in Japan...

MAP

But all the others? Recycle bin.

   
• BOARDING PASSES
Remember boarding passes? PAPER boarding passes before you could just have your boarding pass on your phone? I do. It's not like I can forget when I've got hundreds of them piled up. Apparently at one time I thought it important that I remembered I flew to Detroit on September 30, 2003... but why?

BOARDING PASS

LOL... to show just how old I am, you used to get your tickets sent to you in the mail!...

BOARDING PASS

I remember how upset I was when so many airlines gave up on the nice, heavy cardstock passes and switched to those flimsy paper ones. A travesty! But of course I kept them all anyway...

BOARDING PASS

If I had only flown ten times in my life, perhaps it would be fun to look back on all my trips so I could remember when I went on that trip to Phoenix... but during my prime travel days I was flying up to 40 times a year. Wanting to look back on that mess is just insanity. Besides, most of my travels are recorded with a date stamp on the photos I take... or an entry on this blog... so it's not like I need them even if I did care.

   
• HOTEL KEYCARDS
Honestly, I rarely kept these things on purpose. A handful of times I'd keep them if it was a particularly memorable or famous hotel... but I've got keycards from frickin' Holiday Inns?!?

HOTEL KEYCARDS

Whenever I found them hidden away in a pair of dirty jeans when I got home, I'd just add them to the pile. Eventually I had a pretty big pile. Because I'm crazy like that.

   
• BROCHURES
Okay, these actually make a little bit of sense to hang onto. First of all, they're almost always free. Second of all, they usually contain interesting information of stuff you've seen and done. I have a big box filled with nothing bu brochures from Disneyland, Disney World, and Universal Studios. It's kind of cool to go back through old ones and see attractions and rides that don't exist anymore... or watch how the parks progressed over the decades...

HOTEL KEYCARDS

Brochures also make for an interesting snapshot of the times. This ad ran inside a Disney World brochure during their 25th Anniversary, where they changed Cinderella Castle into a massive birthday cake...

HOTEL KEYCARDS

It was hideously ugly... and I remember how pissed off people were when they went to get their picture taken in front of the castle and had to settle for this freak show instead. Fun times. Fun times. Anyway... I've got enough brochures to build a retaining wall in my back yard. And yet... I don't want to get rid of all of them... just most of them, so I'll have to set them aside and find time to sort through.

   
• HOTEL SUMMARIES
Why? Why? Why would I save these? I mean, I guess it's cool that I can look back and see that I stayed at the Park Lane Sheraton in London, but WHY?!?...

HOTEL SUMMARY

Also interesting? A room at the Park Lane Sheraton was just 150£ sixteen years ago. Now it's probably more like 350£. I've accumulated hundreds upon hundreds of these things... and now they're all lining my recycle bin.

   
• RECEIPTS
Saving receipts for business trips became so second-nature to me that I automatically saved all my receipts... even for personal travel. Like this massive stack of Hard Rock receipts...

RECEIPTS

I shudder to think how many thousands of dollars are represented in these alone. What was I thinking? And it wasn't just Hard Rock... I saved everything! I found a receipt for a soda I bought in Tokyo, for heaven's sake. That I took it home with my is crazy... that I held onto it for twenty years is madness.

   
• CALLING CARDS
For whatever reason, I had a box that was filled just with calling cards. I must have had 50 of them. Some of them were freebies... others were a part of some bundle I had bought... and about 20 of them were in an "Inconvenience Packet" that you'd get when an airline screwed up and stranded you. Presumably so you could contact loved ones back home and let them know you would be missing dinner...

CALLING CARD

Now-a-days, of course, you just pull out your mobile phone, but it was a simpler time back then.

   
• UPGRADE CERTIFICATES
Because I flew a lot, I was forever getting perks that I could redeem... like upgrade certificates. Except any time there was room for an upgrade, I'd get the upgrade automatically, so they were kind of redundant. I tried using them a few times to guarantee my upgrade to First Class, but that never really worked because there were so many restrictions. But never mind all that, because I kept stacks of them anyway...

CALLING CARD

You'd think that since the above example expired in 2001 I would have tossed it in 2002... but nope.

   
• AIRLINE FREQUENT FLYER KITS
Now-a-days I don't even think you get a kit... unless you're a really top-tier flyer. But twenty years ago? They came like clockwork for me...

FREQUENT FLIER KITS

I have my Northwest Airlines kits from when I first became a premium frequent flier in 1994 (where I was a Silver Level) until they ceased operations in 2009 (where I was a Platinum Level). Why? You got me. What's really insane is that many years I got multiple kits. One when I turned Silver. Another when I turned Gold. Then another when I turned Platinum...

FREQUENT FLIER KITS

Insanely wasteful, but frequent fliers are an airline's bread and butter, so I guess it was worth it?

   
• AIRLINE NEWSLETTERS
If there's anything more insane than saving expired upgrade certificates, it would have to be saving airline newsletters...

AIRLINE NEWSLETTERS

I guess they're kinda cool because the ones from Northwest always had a summary of the places you've flown but, again, I don't know that having this information is all that useful unless you're psychotic about knowing the date and time of every flight you took.

   
And this is just the tip of the iceberg, I assure you. I've got enough postcards to plaster every wall in my house. I've got enough knickknacks, tchotchkes, keychains, pins, cards, and other crap to fill... well, to fill an entire garage. Which is what I've done.

And that's why I can't find the photo props I'm looking for.

Perhaps after another month of going through all this junk I will no longer be eligible to appear on an episode of Hoarders.

And, if I'm very lucky, I might also find what I've been looking for all this time.

Tags:
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Caturday 62

Posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2018

Dave!It's a three-day holiday weekend! Except I had to work today, so it's not much of a holiday for me. But hey, I got to come home and clean out my garage for six hours, so it's not like I didn't have any fun.

Last Caturday I posted a photo of Jake all sprawled out and was asked if that's how he always lays down. The answer is "no, not always."...

Jake Lays Down

But he does lay like that a lot of times now that the weather is getting warmer and I am trying to save money by not running the air conditioner unless I have to...

Jake Lays Down

Jake Lays Down

Jake Lays Down

And he doesn't much care what people think about it. You'd probably lay spread-eagle too if it were hot and you were covered with fur...

Jake Sticks His Tongue Out

Unless you're Jenny. She's way too much a lady to lay like that.

Speaking of Jenny, she's started getting a bit demanding lately.

So there I was last night, composing an email to head off a major disaster, when I hear the most pathetic WAILING coming from near my feet. I look down to see what in the heck Jenny's problem is, and it's... nothing. Miss Perfect Pretty Princess just wanted to lay down next to me but my computer was in the way. Jeez. You'd have thought she was dying or something. The girl knows how to get what she wants, that's for sure...

Jenny Gets Her Way

Jake doesn't complain, he just jumps up and pushes his way to where he wants to sit. Which means setting down the computer and letting him get his way...

Jake Gets Her Way

The only one in this house not getting their way is me.

And also any fly stupid enough to wander in. The cats are both completely obsessed with hunting them down...

Cat Fly Hunting

Jake and Jenny are surprisingly good at hunting flies. They're patient. And fast. And resourceful. They catch a lot of them.

Which is fine. Except when they eat the flies. So gross.

Tags: ,
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Bullet Sunday 463

Posted on Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Dave!It may be the last day of the week, but this holiday weekend keeps on rolling... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Pooh! Of all the movies coming up, I have to admit that Christopher Robin is the one I'm most looking forward to at the moment...

With all the advancements in special effects, it's the ability to make films like this which impress me most.

   
• Whoa! Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder? Sign me up!

I'm not a romantic-comedy "romcom" kinda guy, but this movie will be worth seeing for the casting alone. Not in theaters, of course, but when it hits HBO or Netflix, I'm on it.

   
• Hotness! I've been running across a lot of treasures from my past as I work my way through my garage. As an example... look how brutally hot I was on my learner permit!

Dave's Hot Learner's Permit

Yep... if I were legal in that photo, I'd do me!

   
• Togs! The closer they get to making Mon-El have his iconic comic book costume, the closer my inner fanboy gets to peeing my pants...

Dave's Hot Learner's Permit

Almost there. Just need that waistcoat... then call it good!

   
• Thanks, Obama! Yes, I had problems with some of President Obama's policies... but I never stopped admiring him as a person. That goes double Michelle Obama, who was such an exemplary First Lady. So to say that I'm anxious to get my hands on her forthcoming book is an epic understatement...

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The unabridged audiobook is available for pre-order at Audible. Since Michelle Obama is narrating all 14 hours of it, I couldn't press the purchase button fast enough.

   
• Quilt! Hey OG bloggers! Somebody made this incredible quilt for me back in the day, but I can't remember who it was? Does anybody know?

XXX

I'm hanging it up to display in my room, and I'd like to attach a tag with the author.

   
What are you still doing here? The bullets are over. They're over! Go home. There's nothing more for you here.

   

Remembering All

Posted on Monday, May 28th, 2018

Dave!Hoping those who get a three-day holiday weekend are enjoying their day off. As for me? I get the luxury of only working a half-day, and I'll take it!

   

When you are remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country...

Memorial Day

Please take a moment to remember those who are still missing in service of their country...

Enjoy that barbecue!

   

Cat Assistance

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Dave!Yesterday was supposed to be the day I set up my wood shop in my garage so I can start in on my kitchen remodel. Unfortunately, my garage had more junk in it than I expected, so I'm still working on it. Amazing how even though I'm tossing tons of stuff there's still tons left. It's never-ending. I wish I could make a time-machine, then go back and tell myself "YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAVE EVERYTHING!"

The good news is that I have "help"...

XXX

XXX

Really hoping that this weekend I'll be done and my shop will be up and running. I'm burning precious time I need to get things done!

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Madonna Loathes Hydrangeas

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Dave!When I moved into my home, I ended up ripping out a lot of the plant life that was there. Not because I hate flowers, but because I am not home enough to take care of them. And I know better than to ask my cats to water them when I'm away.

The only plants I left were those connected to the automated sprinkler system. They were all healthy and look nice when they come into bloom, so it was kinda a no-brainer.

One of those plants is a massive hydrangea that overwhelms my back flower bed...

Hydrangea Overload

A month ago I got tired of this giant bush setting off the camera alarm whenever the wind blows it. So instead of pruning it back like I usually do, I just hacked it down to the ground.

I felt like Madonna taking vengeance on Hydrangeas of the world...

Earlier this week I was looking out into the catio to see what Jake and Jenny are up to and saw that THE HYDRANGEA IS BACK! Don't ask me how it could recover so quickly. The thing is already 4 feet tall...

Hydrangea Overload

And so... given how it came back from being massacred, I figure it deserves to be there more than I do. After the flowers are gone and I can cut it back again, I'll dig it up and move it to a place where it won't set off my camera alarm. If it can survive being hacked to the ground, surely it can survive being transplanted.

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Categories: DaveLife 2018Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

It’s 5-O-Clock in the Morning

Posted on Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Dave!I had to work across the mountains today which meant getting up at 4:30am so I could be on the road by 5am. Given how horrendously bad Seattle morning traffic is these days, there's really no other option. Gone are the days of leaving at 6am and arriving in plenty of time.

In another 5 years, I'll probably be leaving at 4:30am. It's getting that bad.

I wonder how quickly it will end up being faster for me to fly than drive, even when going through security and driving to the airport are factored in?

Whatever happened to the Star Trek future where we get to just beam ourselves to where we need to go?

Monkey Star Trek

Probably languishing in some vault somewhere along with the cure for the common cold. Shelved because oil companies and airline companies would become irrelevant.

And don't get me started about flying cars...

Monkey Star Trek

   

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