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Caturday 87

Posted on Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Dave!After Jake got back from his procedure to get his urinary tract unblocked, he was peeing a dozen times a day. You could tell he was frustrated and upset about his many, many trips to the litter box, but the medications we tried didn't do much to help. Rather than put him through even more torture of shoving medicine down his throat, I decided to be patient.

Two months after I first took him to the vet... and he's finally back to peeing normally. For the past week the Litter-Robots have been reporting 7-8 cycles per day. When dividing that between two cats, it's 3-4 times a day per cat, which is right where it had been before all this drama started.

To say I'm relieved is an understatement because I'm leaving for a short trip tomorrow. Yes, I've got a cat-sitter checking in and, yes, I've got a security system to keep them safe and cameras to look in on them... but it's not the same.

A part of my cat separation anxiety comes from feeding them. My original auto-feeder, the Feed-and-Go, was bricked and became non-functional when the monsters who made it shut down without warning anybody. Despite how it all ended, I liked the Feed-and-Go because it allowed me to remotely feed my cats if I noticed that Jake ate all of Jenny's food before she got to it or something. I've been looking into other internet-enabled feeders, but haven't found one I like. I bought a timed feeder ages ago as a backup, and decided to try that. I was going to order a second one, but apparently there's no way to sync their clocks which means you end up with one activating before the other. The solution was to buy a "splitter" that will feed two cats from the same feeder...

Cat Feeder Splitter Design

Problem is that the bowls are too close together, and sometimes Jake can block Jenny from getting to her meal. Also, the drop to the bowls is so high that food was bouncing out of the bowls and onto the floors. My solution for that was to build little chutes to transfer the food farther away...

Modified Cat Feeder Splitter

Modified Cat Feeder Splitter

All it took was cutting the drip well from a couple black plastic paint roller trays I found at Home Depot and taping them to the splitter. Not only does it allow the bowls to be farther apart, the change of angle slows the food pour so it ends up in the bowls instead of bouncing out onto the floor.

In other cat news, I noticed that Jenny has a floopy whisker that curls up. I think it might be due to her digging her face into the edge of the warming pad and laying there for hours. And she sleeping in the same position every day...

Jenny Sleeping

I've tried curling it back down, but it doesn't stay. She doesn't seem bothered about it so I guess it'll be that way until it falls out.

Jake, on the other hand, flops around every-which-way when sleeping, so he's floopy-whisker-free...

Jake Floppy

And so... guess I'd better be packing my suitcase.

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Bullet Sunday 490

Posted on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Dave!December is here and you shopping days are numbered. But don't despair... because the greatest gift of all is here! Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Cap! I didn't think it was possible for me to want to see Captain Marvel more than I already did... but then this poster was released...

XXX

UPDATE: And then the second trailer was released...

And holy crap am I dying to see it now!

   
• SO CUTE! And now I want kittens! Again!

But... Jake and Jenny are plenty of cats in my house, so I'll just have to keep watching YouTube videos like this.

   
• A Catch! Speaking of cats and YouTube... my current obsession is watching cats catching fish videos...


Amazing. I don't know why I always thought that fish were an unnatural food for cats. Something that we humans got them addicted to. Maybe because most cats don't like water? But now that I've seen it? Makes perfect sense.

   
• Becoming! I purchased the audiobook of former First Lady Michelle Obama's Becoming because I wanted the experience of having her read it to me. I'm half-way through and it does not disappoint...

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Of course Obama-haters were going to crap all over her no matter what she wrote... and people hoping for dirt will be better-served elsewhere... but I enjoyed going behind the scenes of her life from her own perspective. Mrs. Obama's ability to advocate for hope is inspiring, and I found her words was a welcome distraction.

   
• IN THE NEWS! "REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO TRIED TO KILL YEMEN WAR RESOLUTION WERE PAID BY SAUDI LOBBYISTS" — We truly do have the best government money can buy. This is fucking disgraceful. For the life of me, I don't understand why Americans aren't rioting in the streets over this bullshit.

   
• A Man Called Ove! I've seen this remarkable Swedish film four times now. I think I love it more with each viewing...

I honestly don't know how to feel about Tom Hanks doing an American remake. Usually Americanizing a foreign film doesn't bode well, but... Tom Hanks. I want so badly for it to be good. If, for no other reason, that Americans who don't like watching films with subtitles will get to see this terrific story.

   
And that's the end of that. Fun times await me, as I'm flying out tonight.

   

Breakfast Mondays in Maine

Posted on Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Dave!When traveling in the winter... especially a place with the possibility of a notorious winter like Maine... I always add a day before and after my work dates so I can be sure I'll still make my start-time if there's a weather delay. This time I got my start-date too late to have much choice in my flights. This means there was no getting here a day early. If a problem pops up then I'm probably screwed.

So of course air traffic into Seattle last night was slowed down, which meant I'd be landing late and might miss my connecting flight to Boston. Then they moved up the flight to Boston, which made it even more likely I'd miss it.

Lucky for me, my arrival gate was right next to my departure gate and I managed to make it onboard ten minutes before they closed the door. Thankfully I didn't have to check any luggage.

After landing at Boston Logan International Airport, I retrieved my rental car so I could drive 2-1/2 north to the job site. But first? Breakfast.

Usually I just stop at McDonald's for an egg & cheese biscuit. They aren't great, but they are edible (unlike Burger King's shitty Croissan'wich). My biggest problem in eating at McDonalds is that most of them don't know how to ring up an egg & cheese biscuit. They ring up a bacon, egg, & cheese biscuit and remove the bacon. This is hardly fair because I end up paying for meat I don't eat.

But here in New England, Panera Bread restaurants are plentiful. This means I don't have to eat at McDonald's and can get one of Panera's "Egg Over Easy with Cheddar on a Brioche Bun"...

Panera Bread Egg & Cheese Brioche

So far as breakfast sandwiches go, I've found nothing better...

  • The brioche bun is incredible. Light, airy, and holds up as you eat it. Unlike the McDonald's biscuit which falls apart easily, gets gummy when the moisture from the egg hits it, and sits like a brick in your stomach.
  • The over-easy egg is gooey and creamy and has fantastic flavor. Unlike the McDonald's eggs which are reconstituted powder that taste spongey. You can substitute a better "round egg" at McDonald's (which is an actual egg), but it's hard-cooked and rubbery.
  • The white cheddar that Panera uses is a bit sharp so it has a nice "bite" to it. Pairs wonderfully with the egg and isn't the least bit waxy. McDonald's, on the other hand, uses a lower-quality American cheese which is kinda bland and waggy. It doesn't add much to the flavor profile and, if the egg is overcooked (which happens all the time), it actually makes things worse because it's so flimsy.

All-in-all, my highest possible recommendation if you're near a Panera and are hungry for breakfast!

I had a few hours before work started, so I took a nap. Or, more accurately, I tried to take a nap. It was one of those bizarre situations where I was so exhausted that I was having trouble sleeping. No idea how that works, but it's incredibly frustrating.

And now... I'm at work.

Where the internet is broken, which means that this will have to be posted when I get back home.

Five hours down, eleven hours to go...

   

Homeward Tuesday Bound

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Dave!Originally I was to fly home on Thursday. This "buffer time" was in case weather caused me to arrive late or there was a problem at work that delayed my leaving by a day or two. Well, there were indeed problems at work (we started four hours late) but, fifteen hours later, I was free.

Exhausted to the point of feeling like my brain had melted. But free.

So instead of waiting until Thursday night to fly home, I rebooked my return trip for tonight. I lost my premium seat, but I'll take getting home two days early in a coach seat any day.

After two days without sleep, I managed to sneak in a four-hour nap at my hotel before they kicked me out. Then there was a 45-minute drive down to Portland for dessert for lunch...

Apple Crisp

Followed by shopping for new Dr. Pussum's Organic Maine Catnip toys that my cats go crazy for...

Cat Toys

And, no, I decided against buying a President Trump toy. If Jake and Jenny want to play with something like that, they can dig in the litter box.

The remaining 100 miles to Boston Logan International Airport blew by in two hours and... viola... here I am flying home... TWO DAYS EARLY! Can you believe my luck?

Sure I'll get home after midnight and still have to go to work in the morning, but still... home.

   

Life Sucks with the Dyson V7 Absolute

Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

Dave!When Jake got sick, I turned off Carl the RoboVac because I didn't want him running through puke and smearing it all over the house. Now that Jake has been puke-free for two months, I'll likely turn Carl back on. Because there's nothing quite like having your floors vacuumed when you come home after a hard day at work. Especially if you have pets shedding all over the place.

While Carl has been hibernating, I've been using my cheap cordless Hoover to pick up all the kitty litter and cat hair. For what it is, the thing does a pretty good job. Not so good that I can use it for my monthly deep-clean... for that I have to pull out the Shop-Vac (which my cats hate more than just about anything)... but for day-to-day cleaning it's fine.

But Hoover has been acting up lately so it was time to find a newer, better, stronger, faster vacuum. The only requirements being that it had to be cordless and it had to be lightweight. So when Black Friday rolled around, I did my due diligence Google research and found that Dyson came out on top every time for the things that were important to me. I loathed to get in bed with Dyson again (which was explained here), but they had a deal that was very good and so away I went.

Believe it or not, the two features I was most looking forward to were these...

Dyson Baseboard Sucker

Dyson Top-Of-Door Sucker

Being able to clean baseboards and above door-frames without getting on my hands and knees or climbing on a stool is a pretty big deal. And so I've been counting the minutes until my Dyson V7 Absolute would get here. And today was the day.

Overall? I like it. But it's not perfect...

PROS

  • Lightweight. I had read in reviews that it was lightweight, but wasn't expecting it to be this good.
  • Comfortable. Not just because it's lightweight... but because it's well-balanced and ergonomically designed
  • Quiet. I mean seriously quiet for a vacuum. My cats are terrified by my Hoover and Shop-Vac... but Jake is content to sit and watch me use the Dyson V7. Jenny keeps her distance, but is likewise not as terrified.
  • Cordless. Apparently Dyson has stopped making corded vacuums because they feel the cordless models they make are powerful enough to replace them. I think this is a load of hogwash, because the raw power of a good corded vacuum is leagues better than what you get out of my V7. That being said, the convenience of cordless just can't be denied.So quick and easy to clean when you're not fighting a cord the entire time.
  • Easy to empty. My other vacuums are such a frickin' hassle to empty that I probably don't clean them out as often as I should. But the V7? A piece of cake! As if that wasn't enough, it doesn't make a mess.
  • Versatile. Being able to easily remove the tube and snap tools directly on the motorized head is a serious game-changer. It's so quick and easy with none of the hassle that you get with a "traditional" vacuum. Dyson put a lot of thought into how you clean, and it shows. I love how easy it is togo from vacuuming my floors to cleaning out my car by stripping everything down to a small unit that fits in tight spots.
  • Good tool assortment. My Black Friday "deal" came with all kinds of attachments. The one I most wanted was the "stiff brush" from the "deep clean" add-on so I could sweep/suck the dust that ends up on my baseboards. While not quite as stiff as I would have liked (that's what she said) it still does a really good job.
  • Fluffy cleaning head. When vacuuming debris on hardwood, most traditional vacuum heads will just push it along (the so-called "snowplow effect"). In order to suck it up, you have to lift the head by rocking it back, come down directly on the debris, then wait for it to rattle around until it is removed. But the "fluffy cleaning head" changes all that. It happily pulls debris into the suction with no additional effort. Spill dry cat food on the floor? Just run over it with the soft roller head. Easy.
  • Motorized upholstery brush. I don't have much upholstery. My living room furniture is nice leather stuff that my brother gave me. But I do have a couple chairs that collect cat hair like a magnet. Enter the "mini motorized tool" which is unbelievably good at removing every trace of the stuff. I use it on the carpet treads on my stairs and it's amazing at getting the dirt out.
  • Unparalleled maneuverability. Zipping around my home is ridiculously easy because the design of the V7 "stick" vacuum feels like it was made to make it easy. Once you get in the groove of things, vacuuming around stuff is so much easier than with a fixed-head vacuum.

CONS

  • Not as powerful as I expected. The Dyson has far better suction than the cheap Hoover it's replacing, that's not even a debate. It plows through cat hair, dust, and kitty litter on hardwood with ease thanks to the "fluffy head" that comes with the "Absolute" version. But when push comes to shove, the suction is not where I thought it would be. I put my hand up to the tube and am not feeling the pull I was expecting. Yes, the V7 has a "MAX" mode for awesome suction, but it only lasts 6 minutes, making it impractical. If I had the money, I'd return this and get the V10 for more power. But I don't, and this does a good enough job that I'll be keeping it.
  • No trigger lock. For the life of me, I don't understand this. You have to keep your finger on the trigger the whole time you are vacuuming. Sure it encourages you not to waste precious battery time when you get distracted with picking up LEGO (or whatever), but shouldn't it be my choice?
  • Expensive. If it weren't for Black Friday, there is no way I could have afforded to buy this. Even with the Black Friday sale, it was still kind of jarring. Even so... I do feel that I got my money's worth since I got the Deep Clean Kit as a "bonus" when I ordered it on sale.
  • Small bin. While there has to be compromises in designing a cordless vacuum, I question the size of the bin. If you have a dirty home, you'll have to empty more than a couple times to clean it. Luckily emptying the bin is easy, but a bigger problem remains. Larger refuse will definitely get stuck in it. I vacuumed the tag from a T-shirt and suddenly the "cyclone action" in the bin was halted because the tag formed a blockage.
  • Freaky design. In all honesty, I don't give a crap what my vacuum looks like. I'm not going to display it like a piece of art or anything. It's either in my garage being charged or in my hand vacuuming, so how it performs is far more important that any aesthetics. That being said... this thing has more nooks and crannies than you can believe. I just know it's going to collect dust in all that, and then I'm going to need a vacuum for my vacuum.
  • Confusing lineup. There are four versions of the V7 I bought. The Animal, The HEPA, The Motorhead, and The Absolute. This is just nuts, and can be confusing. All I know is that if you have hardwood, you want the "Absolute" version because it's the only one that comes with the "fluffy roller head"... the single most essential piece of equipment for my home (which is all hardwood).

Compared to what I have, the Dyson V7 Absolute is a dream. Sure I wish it had more power in "regular mode" but it still does a very good job of making quick work of dirt, cat hair, and random cleaning tasks. Though there is an up-side to the lower power... the thing is so quiet! That goes a long ways towards my liking my new vacuum. If you can get it on a good sale, I wouldn't hesitate picking one up. But, once again, if you have hardwood floors you must get the "Absolute" version that comes with the fluffy cleaning head! For me, the V7 would be half the vacuum it is without it.

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Happy Third Birthday Jake and Jenny!

Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Dave!It's Jake and Jenny's birthday today! And, miracle of miracles, I'm actually here for once. Last year I was in Antarctica. The year before that I was flying to Maine. Today I was supposed to be in Maine, but got to fly home early.

Since Jake and Jenny were feral rescues, I'm not quite sure how the Human Society came up with their birth date. Maybe the person who found them saw when they were born? I dunno. But December 6th is what's on their adoption papers, so that's what it's been.

It doesn't seem like it's been three years.

But since 3 cat years is about 30 in human years, maybe it seems longer to them? Next year they'll be 35 human years old. At this rate they'll be older than me in 2023!

Jenny spent her birthday terrorizing her brother.

Jake spent his birthday chasing after his sister for terrorizing him.

Typical Jenny. She sneaks up behind Jake and waits...

Jenny Terrorizes Jake

Then when she's sure he hasn't heard her, she pounces...

Jenny Terrorizes Jake

At which point Jake jumps four feet in the air...

Jenny Terrorizes Jake

And a chase ensues.

You can watch the video below. It's pretty spectacular...

I don't know why Jenny feels the need to act this way toward her brother. Maybe it's because he's always invading her sleeping space? I dunno. Sometimes she seems happy to have the company...

Jake and Jenny Sharing Sleepytime

And so... happy birthday, cats!

Adopting you both is still one of the best decisions I've ever made!

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A Deeper Shade of Hue

Posted on Friday, December 7th, 2018

Dave!As I mentioned a while back, I wanted to have my driveway light turn blue when it's recycle day. Since recycle day happens every-other-week, it's easy to forget whether or not it's the right week to drag the big blue bin to the curb with my regular trash.

To make this happen, I purchased one of the cheaper "smart bulbs" available, because A) It was cheaper, and B) It didn't require me to purchase a hub.

Turns out that you get what you pay for.

The bulbs kept disconnecting from WiFi despite having a hub less than six feet away. They refused to respond to IFTTT commands. And, despite constant assurances from tech support that the issue could be resolved, I eventually gave up.

Then on Black Friday Philips had a killer sale on their "Hue" smart bulb kit that came with the hub they require. With nothing to lose except my precious $80, I went ahead and ordered it because $80 is better than $150...

Hue Hub and Smart Bulb Starter Kit

Turns out that there's a reason that Philips Hue is the créme de la créme of smart lighting.

They work exactly as advertised.

The app which controls them is brilliant. The bulbs are smarter (in most ways), brighter, and more saturated. And they work with IFTTT precisely as you would expect them to.

Every night at 10pm I have IFTTT make sure that the light automatically came on at sunset and is "green" for Greenlight a Vet. Then, on recycle days (which I have as a repeating event on a Google Calendar) I have the light turn on and change to "blue" before I get home so I remember to put out the big blue recycle bin. Then that evening, at 10pm, it will be changed back to "green" by the previous IFTTT routine...

IFTTT Programming for HUE

Soooo...

Pretty cool, right?

It is cool! And I love my Hue bulbs so much that I bought one for the lamp on my bedroom nightstand. Every sunset I have it automatically turn on and set to "Tropical Twilight" (a kind of purpley-white color). If I go to bed and want to read, I tell Alexa and she brightens things up. And when I'm ready for bed, I tell Alexa and she dims the Hue to a faint blue color like a nightlight. It's exactly what I've been wanting all along.

Except...

Not everything is perfect.

If power goes out (or you accidentally flick the switch off), the lights don't remember what their previous color was and they default to white. Not the end of the world, but it's kind of crazy that these expensive lights can't frickin' remember what color they were... when my old, cheap smart lights were able to do this! Apparently Philips has a solution that they're going to roll out by the end of the year called "Power-On Behavior" but this sounds like a new default, not a way to remember what they were set to.

The other problem is that, technically, the bulbs I bought aren't for outdoor use. But they're in light fixtures and they are covered by my roof overhand, so I just went for it. They seem to be working perfectly (but probably won't last as long with the cold of winter and heat of summer). Philips has a huge range of growing Hue products, but the only bulbs rated for outdoor use are floodlights unless you want to replace your entire light fixture (which my HOA won't allow). This is crazy. How many people just want to put a smart light in their existing outdoor fixtures? Build regular bulb for outdoor use already!

And then there's the matter of that hub...

For me, it's not horrible now that I've got Google's Mesh WiFi system installed. There's a node right by my front door, and all the nodes have an ethernet port. I just plugged my Hue hub into it, hid it in my cabinet, then I was done. The hub reaches to the Hue on my front porch... then the front porch links to the Hue for my driveway. I thought for sure that my bedroom light all the way upstairs wouldn't reach the hub but, much to my delight, it does. Which means now I can use it extend my Hue lighting mesh even further away without having to purchase a second hub. That's nice.

But I'm still raw that smart lights which don't require a hub are cheaper than Hue lights which do. This makes no sense, since the internet coordination and WiFi drama is handled elsewhere. I mean, yes, there's something to be said by the higher quality lighting you get from Hue, but the pricing is insane. I noted that some Hue products have lowered their pricing to near-Black-Frida levels, so maybe Philips is attempting to address this puzzling disparity? I dunno. I do know that I'm mighty glad that I already have INSTEON switches controlling all my recessed house lighting so I don't have to spend the insane cost for Hue there (even if Philips made can lights, which they currently do not).

And so...

I am very happy with Philips Hue lighting despite some initial concerns and a few caveats. I am undoubtedly going to continue to buy Hue products in the future now that I own the hub... when they are on sale as something I can afford. I would like to invest in their strip lighting, which looks very cool for under my kitchen cabinets, behind my television, and on top of my bookshelves. They also have a "Signe floor light" which looks fantastic... but not $250 fantastic.

But for all my home's built-in recessed lighting? Not until things get a heck of a lot cheaper... and Philips actually makes it.

   

Caturday 88

Posted on Saturday, December 8th, 2018

Dave! The day before yesterday was Jake and Jenny's third birthday and it was a day-long celebration. For breakfast they got the horrific stinky sardines that they love so much. For dinner they got even stinkier fish stew plus kitty treats for dessert. I also gave them the two Maine catnip toy presents I bought while I was in Other Portland. So... not a bad day to be my cats.

Though, let's be honest, every day is a good day to be my spoiled kittehs!

Seems like just yesterday they invaded my home...

Jenny & Jake

KITTENS!

Jake!

Jenny!

Which brings us to my favorite photo of Jake and Jenny ever...

Jake and Jenny Kittens!

Adorable, aren't they?

They're just as adorable today... but a bit bigger...

Jake!

Jenny!

Jake and Jenny Waiting

Way back in January I listed my nicknames for my cats. As I was reminiscing over the past three years, I thought to go back and revisit them. Surprisingly, they've changed quite a bit. Though Jake is still "Jakey Bear" 90% of the time, I still mix it up a bit for him. Jenny is almost always "Jenny" and I rarely use nicknames for her anymore. No idea why.

Nicknames for Jake:
Jakey Bear
Sweetie Bear
Pooh Bear
Poo
Poo Head
Poopie Butt
Pooper
Poopernoodle
Pooper Trooper
Super Pooper
Poopinator
My Little Vet Bill
The Six Million Dollar Cat
Thank God I Have Insurance

Nicknames for Jenny:
Jenny Bean
Sweetie Girl
Poo Two

And, on that note, it's their dinner time in three minutes, so I guess I'd better wrap this up. Heaven only knows I wouldn't want to keep them waiting!

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WordPress 5: And Here We Go

Posted on Sunday, December 9th, 2018

This is a Sticky Post! NEW POSTS ARE BELOW
As mentioned a while back, I would be transitioning Blogography to Wordpress 5 when it's released, which was December 6. Obviously, things will look and work differently than they have over the past fifteen years. Stuff is missing. Things are broken. And this will probably be the case for the next couple months. This has not been an easy decision. But I have grown increasingly restless with blogging and am looking to get excited about it again. The new features of WordPress 5 will (hopefully) energize my creativity and inspire me to keep going for another fifteen years. Thanks for your patience!

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Bullet Sunday 491

Posted on Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Dave!I may have been to Maine and back this week, but that just means I'm locked and loaded... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Endings! Obviously the news of the week is that the Avengers 4 trailer finally dropped. It's everything it needed to be, with plenty to unpack. If you don't want to hear about it, best skip to the next bullet...

Okay, first of all, the name... Endgame is lame as shit. For months we've been told that the name was being kept secret because it revealed the plot and gave too much away. But does it really? No. Not even a little bit. LAME!

It's not much of a leap to figure that Ant-Man is going to be the key here. The Quantum Realm and its time-bending properties is an obvious way to undo what was done and bring back all those dusted characters so they can continue to print money for Marvel Studios (and Disney). I also wouldn't be surprised to find that Hawkeye (who looks like he's in his Ronin persona in the trailer) will have a major arc. Odds are his entire family was dusted and that's going to be the push to answer the question: "Why in the hell is he an Avenger?" No sign of Captain Marvel, but we know she's going to be kicking around...

Avengers 4 Sneak Peek

April seems a long, long ways away...

   
• Pet Shop Christmas! This week I received an email from The Pet Shop Boys wishing a Merry Christmas to their fans. Which is nice, I guess, but it's the way they did it that was so cool...

Pet Shop Boys Merry Christmas

Now, if you're a fan, you'll immediately "get it." But if you're not... does this help?

XXX

Seriously, how cool is that?

   
• MIB4! This week we finally learned the title of the fourth Men in Black movie... Men in Black International. It stars Chris Hemsworth as Agent H and Tessa Thompson as Agent M...

Men in Black 4

The spinoff film will not have Tommy Lee Jones (Agent K) or Will Smith (Agent J) in it, but it will have Emma Thompson reprising her role as Agent O.

   
• Outlook! As I prepare my home for winter, I ran across something interesting...

XXX

Apparently my region of the country will be "much above average" when it comes to temperature this winter. I'm not quite sure what to think about that, because the nighttime temperatures seem as though they're the same as they've been for years now (which is not as cold as it was a decade ago, I can tell you that). I took a look at weather averages for the past couple years and it reads similar to what's been recorded lately. And while we haven't had any snow yet, I'm guessing it will be on its way any day now? While I'm happy at the idea of saving on heating costs, we really need good snow pack in the mountains or else we'll end up in drought conditions in the Summer. That's something we absolutely do not want.

   
• NHL! Good news, everybody! Something I've been waiting for... for a very long time, actually... is Major League Hockey coming to Seattle! I became a hockey fan when I got into The Milwaukee Admirals while working in the Mid-West. From there it was a short hop to the Chicago Blackhawks, which has been my team ever since...

Spy Movie Poster

I've been to a couple local games here at home, but love the idea of escaping to an NHL game from time to time. Earlier this week they finally gave Seattle an expansion team, which will debut in 2021. But what will they be called? It's a big mystery. I was greatly amused to find that Bovada is running Vegas odds on it...

Bovada Book on Seattle NHL

Oh dear Lord. The odds favorite is the Totems?!? Now, I get it... that's the historic name for the team. It's a name which has emotional appeal to those who have been fighting to get a team here for a very long time. BUT COME ON! Are we really going to go down the cultural appropriation route again? My team, the Blackhawks, was named in honor of Black Hawk, a real-life Illinois historical figure. The team has kinda gotten a pass on this because it's not an offensive stereotype (like "Redskins") but it is still mired in controversy...

In 2010, for instance, Joe Podlasek stated that, "The stance is very clear. We want the Chicago Blackhawks logo to change. For us, that's one of our grandfathers. Would you do that with your grandfather's picture? Take it and throw it on a rug? Walk on it and dance on it?" John Blackhawk, Chairman of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, has suggested that the change in position for the American Indian Center may be connected to contributions the Blackhawks organization has recently begun making to the center: "We all do contributions, but we don't do it for the sake of wanting to be forgiven for something we've done that's offensive."
Wikipedia

So can we please just not this time? Personally I'm really liking the Sockeyes. There's a lot of logo potential there, and it's a fish that has cultural significance to Seattle both past and presence. The Emeralds isn't bad, but what do you do with it for a logo? And tying the name to The Wizard of Oz is kinda silly. Rainiers is already tied to a crappy beer. Kraken might be fine, but it's too abstract since it's mythological and all. Renegades, Cougars, and Eagles are boring and done to death. Sea Lions, Seals, and Whales just sound silly. Evergreens would give us a frickin' TREE as a logo? I dunno. Might work in the right hands? Firebirds isn't bad, but it's within spitting distance of Totems for me.

So... can we just be the Sockeyes and be done with it? Please?

   
• So Long, Fuckers! I finally managed to transfer everything away from my previous web hosting company, Media Temple. After being a loyal customer for over a decade and putting up with their broken promises and bullshit, the last straw was the horrific way I was treated when I tried to get an issue resolved. No help, shitty service, and a bill for $38 that they wouldn't reverse. Seriously, what a bunch of assholes. If you're looking for a place to host your stuff, keep looking.

   
And that's the end of that. See you next week.

   

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