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Bullet Sunday 505

Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

Dave!Don't let Springtime allergies get you down... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Nate! It's very rare to find a comedian who works clean (no swearing) that can make me laugh. Nate Bargatze is one of those comedians...

If you have Netflix, I give it my highest recommendation. But before you watch... you might want to first watch his segment on The Standups, which he references in the special. Once you've done that, then move on to The Tennessee Kid.

   
• Endgame! This past week Marvel Studis released the official character posters for the upcoming Avengers: Endgame...

Avengers Endgame Character Posters

I was surprised to find that Shuri was one of the heroes who got snapped. Kind of a shame it happened off-screen, as she deserved her exit. Still no idea where the heck Nakia is for all this. Why bring back Valkyrie and not Nakia? And, oh yeah, kinda happy that Valkyrie is back. To what end is anybody's guess.

   
• Apollo! How utterly gorgeous are the new stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission?

Stargirl Poster

Queue the fucking dumbass tin-foil hat wearing idiots who think that that moon landing was faked. If that's you, here's your sign...

Between stupid NASA conspiracy theory bullshit and the rash of flat earther morons making the news, I could vomit.

   
• The Card! Apple announced that they are partnering with the heinous assholes at Goldman Sachs to create their own credit card. Which, as you'd imagine, is a work of art etched in titanium...

Avengers Endgame Character Posters

I had a lot of questions as to how the card is going to work. TechCrunch is on that with a great article. Needless to say, I want one. It won't be my primary card (travel point credit cards are more valuable to me), but the benefits for Apple purchases and its link to the amazing Apple Pay makes it a card worth having. Especially since there are no fees for having it. I really, really hope that other credit card companies start offering the features that Apple is going to offer.

   
• DOOM! The Grant Morrison and Richard Case run on Doom Patrol is one of my favorite comic book series ever. It was bizarre. It was smart. It was insanely entertaining. So you can imagine my interest was piqued when I heard that DC was creating a series around it...

Avengers Endgame Character Posters

The snippets they've released look very good. Except... what the hell is Cyborg doing there? He's a Teen Titan who somehow got dropped into Justice League who now got dropped into Doom Patrol. It's like DC keeps thinking "We need some diversity. Let's put Cyborg in it!" Completely ignoring the actual Black characters who have been in the Doom Patrol. Like Tempest (Joshua Clay), who does appear in the credits, but as "caretaker" to the "Original Doom Patrol?"

If his powers were too expensive to put on TV, then why not have Sam Reynolds and his son Lucius? They don't have any powers at all! And if that was too boring, why not give any of the other POC heroes a shot? Why does it always have to be Cyborg? Oh well. Once all the episodes have been released I might have to sign up for DC's streaming service to watch them all. The cast certainly looks entertaining.

   
• Stargirl! Speaking of DC Universe... in addition to Doom Patrol, we've also got Stargirl coming up...

Stargirl Poster

Welp, if the costume is any indication, they nailed it. Also? Joel McHale is attached to play Starman, which has to be a good thing.

   
And, I guess that's all for my Sunday. If non-stop sneezing and coughing doesn't kill me, I'll be here in a week with more. I guess.

   

Winter is Here

Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2019

Dave!April is here at last.

This means I have to start traveling again. I get to start woodworking again. I need to start exercising again.

It also means that the final season of Game of Thrones is nigh...

Game of Thrones Season 8 Poster

The event I'm most looking forward to in April 2019 is Avengers: Endgame. A close second would be Game of Thrones Season 8. It could end any of a dozen different ways, and there's no telling who is going to end up sitting on The Iron Throne.

For the past three months I've been rewatching all the episodes so I'm ready to go come the 14th. Last night I finished the last one and found myself wishing I had timed it better. Now I've got two weeks to wait before I get more Thrones.

And then there's this...

I knew it had to be a prank... and yet... her reaction was so genuine!

The North Remembers. Or not.

   

Stupid is Winning

Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Dave!The more I pay attention to current events, the more I am convinced that stupid is winning.

Which is why I'm going to stop paying attention to current events.

If you need me, I'll be in a cave somewhere waiting for humanity to either die out... or reboot itself somehow. What else is there?

   

Woe

Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Dave!I hate to be all "Woe is me" here...

...but woe is me.

This is Day Five of not having a voice. On Monday I could have sworn I was over being sick and just dealing with my allergies acting up. Then yesterday morning I woke up feeling worse than ever. Laryngitis (still). Sore throat. Constant hacking cough. Vomiting. Random aches and pains. Not a good time to be Dave2.

Then last night... something new.

My right eye started swelling for no apparent reason, then got infected (or maybe it was vice-versa). Lucky for me I've got plenty of antibiotic gel from multiple eye surgeries, so the infection disappeared overnight. This morning when I woke up there was a little swelling left, but nothing serious.

So... one thing going right.

And now I guess I'll go back to dying.

Woe. Woe. Woe.

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Overmedicated Irritation

Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Dave!Sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So there I am exhausted but not sleeping because I am coughing my head off... when Jenny comes in to complain. And I'm like "Dude, I can't help it! I can't take more cough medicine for another hour"...

Jenny is Irritated!

This does not phase her, so I try to ignore her by checking my phone.

First thing I see is an alert that the Litter-Robot is stuck. So I go downstairs and fix it so Jenny can go to the bathroom... then take more cough medicine even though it's too soon (hey, I'm already there)... then grab some crackers... then go back upstairs.

Jenny follows me the entire way... never going to the bathroom. THEN... FIFTEEN MINUTES LATER... I hear her using the UPSTAIRS Litter-Robot. Which means she got me out of bed to fix a Litter-Robot she had no intention of using? Or maybe she did, but changed her mind? Oh well. I'm not coughing anymore, so I guess we both got what we wanted in the end.

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The Dave Scale of Giving a Shit

Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2019

Dave!The night sky of ancient earth was different from what we see today. Mainly because people could actually see it. Thanks to ever-increasing light pollution, the true grandeur of the universe has become obscured to most humans. Even rural communities have enough light pollution to obstruct major features of the visible cosmos. It's a pity, really, because there are some spectacular sights to be seen.

While on safari in Zimbabwe, I got to experience what it's like to have little-to-no light pollution, and it's pretty spectacular...

Zimbabwe Night Sky Milky Way

Zimbabwe Night Sky Milky Way

Ancient Greeks explained the milky band of light across the night sky thusly...

One legend explains how the Milky Way was created by Heracles when he was a baby. His father, Zeus, was fond of his son, who was born of the mortal woman Alcmene. He decided to let the infant Heracles suckle on his divine wife Hera's milk when she was asleep, an act which would endow the baby with godlike qualities. When Hera woke and realized that she was breastfeeding an unknown infant, she pushed him away and the spurting milk became the Milky Way.

The Wikipedia article I'm quoting above has all kinds of ancient myths for The Milky Way from numerous different peoples around the world. It's And yet... here in modern times entirely too many people will likely never see it. A concept that's easier to explain with the Bortle Scale, which measures light pollution from 1 (hardly any light) to 9 (lots-o-light)...

I had never heard of the "Bortle Scale of Light Pollution" before, though I'm not surprised it exists. If there's one universal truth, it's that scientists just looooove to create units of measure for everything.

Which brings us to this...

I am developing my own scale of measurement called the "Dave Scale of Giving a Shit." Before you scoff, I am compelled to remind you that I have experience with this kind of thing. Back in 2007 I developed the Dave Number, My new scale of measure is just a logical extension of that, and runs from 0 to 9, just like the Bortle Scale...

  1. No shits given. This is so far below my ability to care about that I couldn't muster a half-a-fart, let alone a shit. This is reserved for things like Kim Kardashian or kale.
  2. Shart. An accidental shit. Something I don't really care about, but somehow end up devoting a minutia of time to when forced. Like Eric Trump or The Bachelor.
  3. Diarrhea. I am not able to muster an actual shit, just a sloppy approximation of one. I'd use this for embarrassments like Anne Coulter that don't deserve my attention but interrupts my calm from time to time.
  4. Pebble Shit. When I don't want to give a shit, but I kinda have to because the object in question has consequences for things I care about. Like Pat Robertson, President Trump, or pineapple as a pizza topping.
  5. Turdlette. I give a bit of a shit, but not enough that I'm able to muster a full turd. Works for things like most DC Comics movies, low-fat ice cream, or Diet Pepsi.
  6. Poop. I totally care. But my attention can be easily diverted. Happens for things like Saturday Night Live or Taco Bell.
  7. Crap. Here is where I start being devoted to something. Like cheese, New Orleans, or Elizabeth Hurley.
  8. Full-On Shit. This is something that has my full attention. Like a woodworking project or an interview with RuPaul.
  9. Colon-Busting Turd. This is something I care about enough to devote intense scrutiny. Music I'm passionate about comes to mind. Or maybe truly excellent television like Veronica Mars or Wonderfalls.
  10. Total Bowel Destruction. Reserved exclusively for things that mean the entire world to me. Like my cats or Marvel movies.

So there you have it. And since my interest in writing more in my blog today is about a 2, I suppose I'm done for today.

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Caturday 103

Posted on Saturday, April 6th, 2019

Dave!This week I officially lost my cats to the catio.

It's been so warm out lately that they are spending most of their days laying around outside or watching all the bird activity that comes with Springtime. Jake and Jenny absolutely love it outside, which means the catio remains one of the best home improvement investments I've made...

Out in the Catio

What also comes with warm weather?

Cat hair. Cat hair everywhere.

For Jenny this is not much of an issue. She loves to be brushed with The Furminator. I try to brush two times a week, but sometimes Jenny will go running to the cabinet with The Furminator in it and start rubbing all around it and complaining until I start brushing. And she can't get enough of it. She'll roll from one position to the next, making it easy to get to every square inch of her fur.

Jake on the other hand?

He'd rather forgo the brushing and go straight to puking up hairballs.

I've started Furminating him while he eats. It isn't very efficient, but it's better than nothing.

Alas, the warm weather earlier in the week turned to colder weather and rain at the end of the week. This has irritated my cats on numerous fronts. The first of which is that I turned off the heat in March so it's been colder inside than they're used to. I keep seeing them snuggling up for warmth when the temperature dips...

Jake and Jenny Cat Snuggles

Jake and Jenny Cat Snuggles

The babies.

It's not that cold.

And now? I suppose Jake and I should get back to watching The Jungle Book...

Jake Watches The Jungle Book

Seriously, Jake is totally into it.

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Bullet Sunday 506

Posted on Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Dave! Time to celebrate because I think I'm finally over my cold/flu/whatever, but also... because an all new Special Movie Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...

Putting aside Marvel movies I'm already dying to see (Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home), a new Star Wars movie I couldn't care less about (the still unnamed Star Wars: Episode IX), a new Hellboy that doesn't look to be bringing anything new to the table, a new Kingsman that may or may not be happening, and a couple of Disney live-action revamps that don't have me very excited (Aladdin and The Lion King)... here's the most interesting things headed to the cinemaplex in 2019...

   
• John Wick 3! The Keanu Reeves contract killer movies that have no reason to be as awesome as they are...

It seems impossible that they could write their way out of the corner they painted at the end of 2, but here we are. And we're getting Halle Berry and Anjelica Houston as well? Sign me up!

   
• Brightburn! The Superman legend rewritten as a horror flick. Alrighty...

It's a fantastic concept, and it looks like they might have nailed the implementation. Sign me up!

   
• Dark Phoenix! The shitty Bryan Singer X-Men movies were redeemed a bit when Matthew Vaughn took over for First Class, took a nosedive when Singer came back for Days of Future Past, and now look to be on the up-swing again with Simon Kinberg taking over...

My guess is that I will wait for the movie to come out on home-video. Perhaps if the reviews are amazing I might be tempted to drag myself to the theater. Only problem is that this film is going to make little difference no matter how good or bad it is. The absurd convoluted timeline antics of Singer's X-Men is going to be flushed down the toilet now that Marvel Studios will be able to reboot everything into something worth a shit.

   
• Men in Black International! This franchise has more downs than ups for me, but it ultimately finds a way of being entertaining enough even when it's at its worst. Now we're getting a soft-reboot that could be the best way forward...

Chris Hemsworth is hilarious when the material is right. And while Art Marcum and Matt Holloway did write the original Iron Man... they also wrote Transformers: The Last Knight which was a pile of shit... and so... this will be another "wait and see" films for me. If the reviews have them knocking it out of the park, fine. Otherwise? Home video for sure.

   
• Toy Story 4! If there's one franchise that hasn't had a misstep, this is it. And while the plot seems as though it will be a retread of what we've seen before, it also looks mesmerizing and charming in equal measure...

Unless people hate it, I'll probably sneak into a late theater showing to take a look. Pixar films always look beautiful on the big screen of a really good theater.

   
• Once Upon a Time in Hollywood! Hey, its Quentin Tarantino. He hasn't steered me wrong yet...

I truly hope that Tarantino doesn't follow through on his threat of retiring after his tenth movie, because this will be his ninth. I will absolutely be seeing this one in theaters.

   
• Shaft! Samuel L. Jackson is back as Shaft? Isn't that a kick in the pants...

What makes it too good to be true though? RICHARD ROUNDTREE is back too?!? With maybe a bit more to do this time around.

   
And now for a nap...

   

Being Funny on Purpose

Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2019

Dave!People are always telling me I'm "funny." Even when I'm not trying to be funny which, depending on the situation, can end up being hurtful, awkward, scary, tragic, or (less often than you'd think) a pleasant surprise. Usually when somebody says "That's funny!" after I've said something I'm completely serious about, I try to replay it in my head to figure out where I went wrong... but I can never figure it out. Maybe it's just my face that makes things be funny? You got me.

This morning somebody I hadn't seen in a while asked me how I've been doing. "Oh. I've been sick with a cold or a flu or something awful, so it hasn't been a good time to be me lately. How have you been?" They laughed like I told them the funniest joke ever, said "You crack me up!," then went on to tell me about planting their vegetable garden. I replied with "I don't think I eat enough vegetables that I'd want to try growing them, but good luck with that." More laughter. Apparently not eating my vegetables is comedic gold.

I wish I could be that kind of effortless funny when I'm actually trying to be funny.

When I wrote something just in case I had to speak at my friend's memorial service (spoiler alert: I did), I wanted it to be at least a little funny so maybe everybody could remember him with a smile on their face... even for just a moment... at a time of total sadness. It was hard work. I had to edit and rewrite stuff and everything. But I think it made everybody happy and lots of people came up and told me they liked it or that I was a "funny guy" afterwards, so it was effort well-spent.

Even if I didn't know whether or not people would think it was funny when I wrote it.

But it's always been that way for me.

Years and years ago when I was working in L.A. for weeks at a time, I was encouraged to try open-mic stand-up comedy because the people I was working with thought I was a "funny guy." And so I did. I wish I could say that I totally killed it (I did not) or that I was booed off stage so I could get some sympathy (I was not), but the truth is that I was just average. People laughed, but not in a way that made me think "Holy crap! I should totally do this for a living!"

Probably for the best though. Trying to be funny on purpose is tough. Trying to be funny on purpose for a living must be excruciating.

One of these days I need to see if I can find the little Mead memo pad I bought to write jokes in. You'd think it would be a easy to find given that it's bright red like this...

Jake and Jenny Cat Snuggles

The only difference being that my red Mead memo pad has "DAVE'S JOKES" written across the front in black ball-point pen. I think I even double-underlined "JOKES" so, if I lost it, anybody reading out of the thing wouldn't be left thinking "What is this crazy shit?" Well, it's jokes. It says so right on the front. Did you not see the underlines?

I can't remember what any of the jokes were, mind you. About all I do know that none of them were about L.A. traffic. That's because I decided I wanted to be "fresh" and not tell jokes that had already been done to death. Since most of my time in L.A. was spent sitting in traffic, I figured it had probably been covered already. How could I make that funny?

Unless...

"I'm from a small town in Washington State, so you can imagine how shocking it is for me to be in L.A. right now. Everything here is shocking to me. Like the traffic. We don't have traffic where I live. So after I looked at a map to figure out how I was going to get to work, I estimated it would take about 20 minutes to get there. It took me 90 minutes. Ninety minutes! When I showed up for work an hour late, everybody comes rushing up and says 'We were worried that you got lost!' I didn't want for everybody to think that I was an ignorant hayseed who didn't know how a big city works, so I decided to make up a lie to explain why I was late. So I told them that my condom had come off during sex and I had trouble finding a vet with an appointment available to retrieve it from the sheep."

Of course, that joke wouldn't work now-a-days when we have Google Maps and Waze to tell us how long it takes to drive places... but back then? Hilarious!

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Like Wiping My Ass with Velvet

Posted on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Dave!The other day after I attempted to rip a paper towel off a brand new roll, I became infuriated because the towel wouldn't tear completely off. The perforation isn't weak enough to get a clean edge. Instead I end up either losing a chunk of the towel I'm tearing... or losing a chunk of the next towel on the roll.

"Who the hell designed these shitty paper towels?" I said out loud to nobody but my cats.

And then I noticed that the answer was staring me in the face...

Bounty Paper Towels

Bounty! Bounty is the shitty paper towels that won't tear properly! Thank you for conveniently stamping your name on every sheet so I know which brand not to buy.

I used to buy Brawny paper towels until I was told that the heinous fucking piece of shit Koch Brothers own the brand. And so I switched. Looks like I'll be switching again.

Fortunately I didn't have to switch from Koch Brothers' Angel Soft toilet paper to Charmin, because I already use Charmin (or Cottonelle, whichever is on sale). Then this morning I noticed that Charmin stamps their name on their toilet paper just like Bounty...

Charmin Toilet Paper

I cannot for the life of me understand why this is a trend.

Does Charmin think that one of my houseguests is going to be all "HOLY FUCK! THIS TOILET PAPER IS AMAZING! IT'S LIKE WIPING MY ASS WITH VELVET! WHO IN THE HECK MAKES THIS LIFE-CHANGING BUTT-WIPE?" And then they look down at the toilet paper that they are gently caressing between their fingers and exclaim "WOW! IT'S CHARMIN BRAND! I AM TOTALLY DITCHING MY SHITTY TOILET PAPER AND SWITCHING TO CHARMIN!"

That's just silly. If my houseguests want to know what glorious toilet paper they have been wiping their ass with, they can bring it up at the dinner table like a normal person would!

Lil' Dave Buying Charmin Toilet Paper

   
Here's hoping that Scott paper towels are perforated properly, as I think that's the brand I'll be trying next.

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Secondhand Allergies

Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Dave!After spending a week being sick I was ready to start feeling myself again. Alas, it was not to be, because now Spring allergies have hit me like a truck. There goes the next two months of my life. It's all sinus pressure, post-nasal drip, and coughing from here on out.

When I was younger I had allergy shots to keep me from being a complete mess. Eventually I outgrew my allergies and the shots stopped. Then, without warning, my mid-forties arrived and Spring allergies along with them. I've tried dozens of drugs... both prescription and over-the-counter... and have found only two things that help: 1) Flonase which, unfortunately, causes nose bleeds... and 2) Benadryl which, unfortunately, causes me to become useless and fall asleep. Obviously I can't go to work while falling into a coma, so I have to suffer through every day and drug myself to oblivion every night.

Such is my life.

As I mentioned a while back, every year on January 1st I convert the maximum-allowable 100 of my DVDs to digital. Sure it's $200 down the drain, but I then have access to all those movies anywhere I have internet. So much more convenient than having to dig through hundreds of DVDs to find something to watch.

Dozens of these movies I haven't seen in decades, and it's been well-worth the $2 conversion fee. I just finished Secondhand Lions which is a fantastic film I didn't even remember existed. Surprising to me that it wasn't a much bigger hit than it ended up being...

Secondhand Lions Movie Poster

A few things...

  1. Haley Joel Osment deserved a lot more films as he grew up. He's spectacular in Secondhand Lions, and it's a shame that he wasn't getting more work after he was no longer that adorable "Sixth Sense" kid.
  2. Kyra Sedgwick can play literally anything. Her role in this film was unlike anything else I've seen her do... and yet it was still her.
  3. Casting Robert Duvall and Michael Caine as two cantankerous old farts with a rather exotic and interesting past was total genius.
  4. Christian Kane and Kevin Haberer could not possibly have been more convincing action stars for their roles. They managed to be younger versions of Robert Duvall and Michael Caine without being enslaved to the idea of becoming Robert Duvall and Michael Caine.
  5. Few movies which switch between the past and the present do so in a way that "clicks" this beautifully. There are subtle echos going both ways that are wonderfully crafted.
  6. Whomever trained the dogs used in this movie should have been given some kind of award. The canines have small, but critical roles to the story.
  7. It is fucking criminal that Secondhand Lions only has a 59% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The bad reviews are completely vexing to me. I read the criticisms and can't help but wonder if they watched a different film than I did.
  8. "What Every Boy Needs to Know About Being a Man" is one of the most inspired speeches in cinema (even though you only get to hear a part of it). Not because of what it says, but because of how they wrap it up with a disclaimer that it may not be true but you should believe in it anyway.
  9. If you don't feel for what Walter is going through (thanks to Haley Joel Osment's inspired performance) you don't have a heart. I'll say it again... it is a tragedy that Osment didn't get put into more movies when he was at this age. He's a sublime actor, and could have brought everything to "coming of age" movies of the day.
  10. I'd give just about anything to see all the comic strips and artwork that Berkeley Breathed created for the movie. Some of it pops up online, but I'm sure there's pages and pages of stuff that we've never seen.

Needless to say, if you like movies and haven't seen this one... you should probably get on that.

   

Sassy and Stupid with Massie… But Mostly Stupid

Posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Dave!This world is so full of stupid that I find myself becoming numb to it.

Sometimes, when the stupid on display is of such a massive scale that my brain can't even process how crazy it is, I try my best to laugh about it... but can't. Especially when the stupid in question is running the country.

Take this for example...

Good Lord... how does Rep. Thomas Massie even have the brain-power to speak, let alone breathe? Does he honestly not understand the words coming out of his mouth? Massie has two engineering degrees from MIT... how the fuck did that happen?

What truly kills me is that Massie and his supporters are bragging as if they exposed some huge "gotcha"... like Senator Kerry has been claiming to be a climate change scientist, but isn't really a scientist because his degree is in political science. Kerry (a person I loathe, by the way) has never claimed to be a scientist. He has only ever presented findings by actual scientists. You know... like anybody would do when speaking about a topic outside their wheelhouse. When you are a member of government who creates laws, it's your fucking job to listen to what experts tell you when making decisions. Kerry (in this case) did his fucking job which is why he was called as a witness in the first place. How is that so damn difficult to understand?

Massie is so incomprehensibly stupid as to just how dumb he sounds that he's actually bragging about his idiotic exchange by posting it on his Twitter, calling himself "sassy"...

Bounty Paper Towels

   
After watching this on Seth Myers, I was compelled to see if Rep. Massie had an explanation... or a clarification. Surely there's some kind of statement which makes this less stupid! What I found was this...

"When I asked Kerry if he had a science degree, he answered 'no' but forgot to turn his microphone on. The left has been using his flub to conceal what this exchange proved which is Kerry admitted he doesn’t have a science degree, even though his degree says 'science.'”
Twitter, 5:40 AM - Apr 11, 2019

HE NEVER CLAIMED TO HAVE A SCIENCE DEGREE IN CLIMATE CHANGE, YOU DUMBASS!

I tracked down the entire exchange so I could see where Senator Kerry claimed to be a scientist presenting his own findings. What I got was even more stupid...

Yeah... BACK WHEN THE PLANET WAS COVERED IN VOLCANOS AND SHIT, THE C02 LEVELS WERE UNDERSTANDABLY HIGH! BUT THEN THE EARTH BECAME HABITABLE FOR HUMANS AS THE C02 LEVELS FELL!

In all seriousness... what the fuck?!?

Claims to want to get "back to the science of it," but denies actual science. Sounds about right for Congress.

Lucky for me I'll probably be dead before any of this gets catastrophic.

   

The Rise of The Return of The Revenge

Posted on Friday, April 12th, 2019

Dave!And so... we have an official title for the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

By and large, I have not been a fan of any of the Star Wars movies after The Empire Strikes Back. I positively loathed Return of the Jedi, and things didn't get too much better from there. The notable exception being Rogue One, which I actually enjoyed quite a lot. My ranking of the films is something like this...

Star Wars Movies Ranking

So when it comes to Episode IX, I have no idea where it might land on my list. I never bothered to see Episode VIII in the theater (preferring to wait until home video), but maybe the last one will drag me back? Guess it will depend on the reviews. One thing for sure, there's not a lot to go on from the trailer...

   
Lando is in there, which is nice. And is that... Emperor Palpatine laughing at the end?!? Interesting!

Guess we'll see if it's worth a crap come December.

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Caturday 104

Posted on Saturday, April 13th, 2019

Dave!After some truly lovely weather, we've been getting quite a bit of rain lately. This has been wildly frustrating to the cats in the neighborhood. They want to go out to play and kill stuff, but they definitely do not want to get wet doing it. Today Fake Jake went wandering by my back window and he was soaked. I felt bad for him but, hey, it beats the alternative. As in snow.

I found this video from the dead of winter when Fake Jake thought he would go chasing after the chirping birds in the back field. He gave it a shot, but had a tough time trudging through the snow and had to nope back to where I had shoveled...

A little rain seems tame by comparison.

As for Jake and Jenny?

Still spending a lot of time out in the catio. Even when it's sprinkling, there's still plenty of action to be found. Like when Jake's buddy (whom I've named "Charm") comes to visit...

Jake and Jenny Confront Cat from the Catio

   
Though when it's particularly cold out, Jake is content to look out the window rather than go outside...

Jake Looking Out The Window

   
Jenny has no problem in the cold though. She still goes outside even on the coldest days.

Which is odd, because Jake is the one who has a little extra padding on him!

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Bullet Sunday 507

Posted on Sunday, April 14th, 2019

Dave!Time to bend the knee... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Thrones! The much-anticipated premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones has finally come. Since it was just an hour of set-up for the five episodes that follow, it was a bit boring... but did have some interesting moments...

Game of Thrones Ice Dragon

One would hope that they managed to find an ending that doesn't suck... but I've seen finales fail more often than win, so I'm not counting on it. So long as it's a fun ride, I suppose I'll be happy enough. But I really want them to knock it out of the park.

   
• The Hawk! And so Disney has announced that Jeremy Renner has been signed to a new series for their forthcoming streaming network. I have been begging for a Hawkeye series based on the Matt Fraction and David Aja comic book series for years. It's hands-down one of the best series I've ever read...

Hawkeye by David Aja

No idea if the Disney+ series would go in that directions, but... hot damn. Looks like Disney+ is going to be absolutely killing it with amazing content.

   
• Only in America! A politician from Texas is so pro-life that he wants the death penalty for anybody involved with getting an abortion. You cannot make this shit up. This is after his tireless crusade to "protect the sanctity of marriage" by opposing marriage equality. He's been married five times. You cannot make this shit up. At some point you'd think that people would get tired of this kind of hypocritical bullshit... but here we are.

   
• Aurebesh Coke! Apparently Coca-Cola is creating special packaging for Disneyland and Walt Disney World's upcoming "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" lands...

Cool. Except... no Coke Zero? I cannot fathom why people continue to drink shitty Diet Coke when Coke Zero exists.

   
• Evil! There are few things I'm more passionate about than Net Neutrality. As expected, The Trump Administration killed it. As expected, the Democrats created a bill to restore it. I fully expect that it will be vetoed by the president. This is reprehensible and evil. The reasons given for killing Net Neutrality are all fucking bullshit. And the reasons for restoring it are legion. Which is why it's not surprising that President Trump hates it. Anything which levels the playing field for everybody works against dumbasses who have to rely on their daddy's money to get ahead in life.

   
• Kerning Fail! Few things freak me out like bad typography...

Kerning Failure

You'd think that the people in charge of using type would know how. Doesn't happen as often as you'd hope though.

   
And... that's enough bullets on your Sunday.

   

Jakey-Bear Goes Back to the Vet

Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019

Dave!Poor Jake. He just can't catch a break.

Yesterday Jake vomited, which is rare. I thought it might have been a hairball, except there was hardly any hair in it. Last night he became inactive and lethargic, which is a symptom I recognized from the last time he had problems. Then this morning he barely ate anything (WARNING!) and an hour later when I left for work I shook the treat bag and he didn't come (WARNING!). Had to look all over the house and found him cowering under the guest bed, unwilling (unable?) to move.

Uh oh.

The same signs he had last time there was a serious urinary blockage.

And so... I managed to grab him so I could take him to the vet immediately. You know how that goes...

Amazing how the little guy cannot meow until he's in distress. At which time he has no problem meowing at all.

Also amazing? How he manages to time his health problems to the day before I am due to fly out. Again! Last time he got sick I had to delay my trip to Hawaii, then fly immediately back home. This time I'm due to be flying out to L.A. for two days starting tomorrow morning.

Apparently I can't catch a break either.

When the doctor came out to talk with me, he said that Jake peed all over the carrier while he was in the exam room waiting to be seen. Like, a LOT of pee. He theorized that it may have been a temporary blockage, and the stress of being driven to the vet shook things loose.

So yay? I guess?

Last time this happened, I didn't understand the symptoms and waited a full two days before taking him to the vet. By that time the poor guy was so badly blocked that he ended up with an enlarged bladder with a nasty infection and had to be hospitalized. I will never make that mistake again. As soon as I see the signs, he's packed up and taken to the vet. And I honestly don't care if it turns out to be a false alarm. There's simply no way I'm risking him getting as sick as he was last time. I take absolutely no chances when it comes to my cats' health. I will pay any amount of money. I will cancel any trip. I will change any plans. I will miss work. I will do whatever I have to do. Because how could I not?

Anyway... six hours later...

Looks like I will be (once again) flying off while leaving poor Jakey-Bear in the hospital.

They are hesitant to release him and would like to keep him an additional day or two for observation... and also to keep him hydrated and medicate him for (possible) bladder problems. They don't think he's in pain, but will be medicating him for that too.

This time there are no crystals in his urine, which is good (the expensive prescription cat food I have to buy must be working!). But he does have high white and red blood cell counts showing up for reasons unknown. He also has high sugar levels in his urine, which would ordinarily be a sign for diabetes... but all his blood lab work came back perfect, so he's not diabetic. His doctor can't say for certain, but still believes he had a blockage of some kind, but managed to flush it out after I took him in. And so... even if he would have eventually passed it here at home, I am so glad I got him to the vet considering the other issues that they've found.

And then... three hours after that...

After spending the day at work, they allowed me to visit Jake after 5:30...

He's a trooper! They have him on anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relief drugs, anti-spasm drugs, and are monitoring his white blood cells and urinary sugar levels (which are still high). Surprisingly, the nurse told me that he's been highly affectionate with the whole crew. And since he's the only cat in the boarding area, he's been getting lots of attention which (apparently) he loves. I'm guessing it's the drugs...

Jake at the Vet

Jake at the Vet

Jake at the Vet

Jake at the Vet

They removed his IV, which makes me feel a little better about having to leave. Such a drastically different experience from last time with the IV and the catheter and the cone of shame! So glad I brought him in right away this time and didn't wait until he had to go through all that again.

Hang tough, little buddy! I'll see you on Thursday!

And then... back home...

I hate to say it, but this time it seems as though Jenny isn't phased one bit by Jake having gone missing. She's wandering around like she owns the place (which, let's face it, she does... I only pay the bills). Without competition from Jake, she got all my attention. First she wanted to be brushed for a while. Then she wanted a snack. Then she decided to sit and watch television with me...

Jenny on the Couch

Jenny on the Couch

I have such great cats.

Tomorrow I head to the airport at 3:30am so I can fly out to L.A. for a couple days. Where I will undoubtedly worry... but also breathe easier knowing that Jake is under constant care while he recovers from whatever he had going on. Hopefully Jenny won't get too lonely all by herself. I can always say "hello" through the security system, after all.

I don't know why I worry though. Something tells me that my cats will do better than I will.

UPDATE: Well, I spoke too soon. Just like last time, Jenny has started walking from room to room crying as she looks for her brother. Last time she got over it pretty quickly, so fingers crossed.

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Paine, Thievery, and Little Packages

Posted on Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

Dave!We did not have a great night.

I went to bed at 8:30pm with the hopes that I'd be able to get a bit of sleep before having to drive over the mountains at 3:30am. I took a Benadryl to help things along and fell asleep around 9:00.

Shortly after midnight I was awakened by Jenny going up and down the stairs crying for her brother. After a few minutes I couldn't take it any more and called for her. She ran into my bedroom and hopped on the bed like her tail was on fire. After ten minutes of belly rubs, she fell asleep...

Jenny Tummy Rubs at Midnight

As did I.

Then, around 1:30am, Jenny apparently realized she wasn't getting belly rubs and woke me up to complain about it. My cats never bother me when I'm sleeping, yet here was Jenny... standing on my chest and meowing her head off. After I woke up, she flopped right down for more belly rubs. She looked quite cross that I had dared to stop...

Jenny Tummy Rubs at 1:30 AM

Next thing I know, it's 3:30am and Alexa is blaring an alarm to wake up. I'm already packed, so the only thing to do is give Jenny a handful of treats before heading out. I felt terrible that I had to leave because she was still walking around sniffing for a trace of her brother. As I walked out the door she just sat there like she didn't know what to do with herself. The poor thing looks so small...

Jenny Sitting in the Middle of my Home

But there's a lot of love in that small package.

This is my first time flying out of Everett Paine Field*. I'm pretty excited about it because it's so much more convenient for me to get to than shitty SeaTac airport... 2-1/2 hours compared to 3+ hours, with far better traffic conditions.

You can still that they are still new to accommodating passengers, because things are not quite completed...

Paine Field Temporary Walkway

Paine Field Temporary Walkway

This used to be a private airfield for Boeing, so I'm not sure what kind of terminal was here previously. The new passenger terminal is pretty great...

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

I don't have any checked luggage, but baggage claim looks painless...

Paine Field Baggage Claim

Being a small airport, security was tight, but getting through was a breeze.

The gate area is really nice. Unlike shitty SeaTac, there's enough seats for everybody to actually sit down! =gasp!= Imagine that!

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

Adjacent to the gate waiting area is the passenger lounge, which is stellar...

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

There's a nice bar...

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

And nifty window seating...

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

And even a fireplace and table orchid across from my big comfy seat!

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

Overall, five stars from me! I'm glad to be able to make most of my West Coast flights from here. Hopefully they start up East Coast flights soon!

Interesting to note that my iPhone XS is reporting that I'm 5G here...

Paine Field Passenger Terminal

Except... not really. The radio in the iPhone XS is only capable of "Fast 4G" (Cat 16 Gigabit LTE) which is not 5G at all. I'm assuming that's why there's an "E" after "5G" there? Apple is stupidly lagging behind other handset manufacturers when it comes to next-gen cellular data networks. Typical.

My seat was upgraded (nice!) and the flight from Alaska Air was excellent as always. The movie I picked to watch was Mary Poppins Returns. I'm not much for musicals at all, but was curious to see what they did with it. It's a surprisingly good film with fantastic imagery and animation... though I did fast-forwarded through some of the musical numbers that were too groan-inducing for me to manage (the exception being A Cover Is Not the Book which was excellent)...

Mary Poppins Movie Poster

Casting was note perfect. Emily Blunt had just enough proper British disdain to make a terrific Mary Poppins, and Lin Manuel Miranda was as fantastic as you would expect (his rap in the middle of A Cover Is Not the Book is everything you could want from him). The children were scattershot... being exceptionally well-behaved one minute, then unbearably annoying the next. The biggest surprises came from some guest-casting that I won't spoil here. Suffice to say that there were a couple actors popping up that made the movie even better.

And then... hello Los Angeles.

First thing I did upon landing was make sure that Jenny got her breakfast, which she did...

Jenny at the Feeder

Except... oops... I didn't adjust the amount of food, so she's getting Jake's breakfast as well. She never ate from his bowl though, which was sweet. We'll see if she gets hungry enough later in the day to eat his portion as well!

My flight back isn't until tomorrow evening, but I would really like to pick up Jake tomorrow afternoon so Jenny doesn't have to spend an additional night alone. Unfortunately there is only one flight SNA->PAE per day at 5:50pm, but... I may be able to get a flight into SEA then Über back up to Paine Field in the morning? Something to look into when I'm done with work, I guess. Sometimes life on the road is a bitch, yo.

And, speaking of work, off I go...

   
*A few people have asked me why I no longer fly out of my small local airport. That's a bit of a long story, but suffice to say it has nothing to do with the airport itself (which is nice), the Alaska Air staff (which is exceptional), or the airport security personnel (which has always been great). No, the reason I avoid flying out of Wenatchee when at all possible is because they have partnered with the assholes at Republic to handle their parking. I fucking loathe them. They force you to pay in advance, even if you are a business traveler like me who is never quite sure when you'll be flying back home. So you have to pre-pay for the longest possible time you'll be gone. If you run past your guesstimate as to when you'll be back, you pay a fine. If things go well and you can come back early, Republic categorically refuses to refund money for the days you DIDN'T USE. And so... so long as the Port of Wenatchee chooses to use a bunch of fucking thieves for their parking contract, I'm not flying out of there so long as the mountain passes are open and I can safely drive to a better airport.

   

How Now Tasty Bao?

Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Dave!Last night I headed to South Coast Plaza to bask in all the things I will never be able to afford to buy. It always amazes me how some of these high-end stores have like... a mere fifty items for sale... yet manage to pay the obscene money that the rent must cost. Until I realize that selling just two $8000 purses a week means that a store would clear $64,000 a month. Then it all suddenly makes sense.

Easter is a big to-do at the mall. They decorated up an entire wing to be Springtime fantasy town in America...

Easter at Costa Mesa Mall

Where you can get your kid's photo taken with a creepy robotic Easter bunny...

Easter Bunny at Costa Mesa Mall

For the adults? Pieces by the late, great Alexander McQueen were on display...

Alexander McQueen Display

So... fun for all ages then!

The first thing I did was buy two-and-one-quarter glorious pounds of something I could afford... California Crunch at See's...

See's Candies California Crunch

"Would you like them wrapped?

"Please! Lord, yes! If you don't wrap them, they'll never make it home."

The second thing I did was head to The Apple Store.

=sigh=

I desperately need a new laptop. It's literally the only tool I need in order to work while I travel. I went to the Apple Store to once again take a look at their MacBook Pro, thinking maybe I was being too critical in my previous assessments. So I start typing on one. Again. Which I find almost impossible... it's so uncomfortable, and I'm making more spelling errors than I'm spelling words correctly. So I ask the Apple sales guy "Do you ever get used to the keyboard? Does it ever start feeling normal?" His response? "I don't know that you ever really get used to it... it's more like you adapt to it..."

And so I walked out buying nothing.

There was a time that I was such an Apple whore that I bought shit just because it had the Apple logo on it. Now I have grown to loathe the company and their shitty products so much that I don't even know what to do with my rage. The Apple Developers Conference is coming up. If they are going to announce a new MacBook Pro, that will be the time. Will it have a keyboard you can actually type on? Who knows? If not, I guess I see if I can repair my SEVEN YEAR OLD MACBOOK, which is far superior to anything Apple currently has for sale.

Oh well.

The third thing I did was meet up with Jordan Ninja, Atomic Bombshell, and family, for dinner at Din Tai Fung. This is an amazing dumpling restaurant that has all kinds of amazing dishes on the menu. It also has a statue of Bao in the lobby!

Bao Dumpling Statue at Din Tai Fung

If you don't know Bao, it's an amazing Pixar Short cartoon...

Needless to say, I ate entirely too much.

And because I never learn my lesson, I decided to eat entirely too much at lunch today as well.

At the recommendation of Jordan Ninja and Atomic Bombshell, I decided I wanted to visit France while in Orange County because I am a fanatic over French pastries. 15 minutes walk from my hotel is a French cafe called Moulin, which has a beautiful display of pastries to drool over...

Moulin Pastries

This place is pretty amazing. I am a sucker for a good cream puff, so I ordered a "St. Honoré." Apparently my pronunciation was accurate enough that the woman behind the counter assumed I spoke French. Everything tastes eerily authentic. Down to the taste of the flour and the way the cream reacts when you cut through it. And, because I am a glutton for punishment, I got a croissant as well...

Moulin Pastries

And now... I'm close to exploding.

Good thing I'm on my way home before I can do any further culinary damage.

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After the Fall

Posted on Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Dave!And so... to catch up with my cat drama...

On Monday, the day before I was due to fly out to L.A., Jake was hiding and unwilling (or unable) to move. This is exactly how he acted when he previously had a urinary blockage. Back then I didn't recognize the signs, didn't take Jake into the vet fast enough, and he ended up with a horrible infection that could have killed him. Not wanting to go through that again, I confirmed with the security cameras that he hadn't used the litter box, then immediately took Jake to the vet.

The vet found high white cell counts and high sugar counts in his urine so they started treating him for a "temporary urinary blockage" since he had peed in the kitty carrier while waiting to see the doctor. They decided it would be best to keep him while I was traveling to make sure he was okay.

And now I'm back.

This morning I went to pick Jake up from the vet. When I got home (after a traumatic drive back), the poor guy was limping so badly that he could barely walk... and he vomited twice. Did he get hurt at the vet? Did he get sick while he was in observation? Or was there a bigger problem here?

Let's go back to the security cameras even further and see if we can learn something, shall we?

Holy crap.

WARNING: This is not easy to watch...

The fear I've had since the day I brought my cats home came to pass. Jake slid off the banister and fell down the stairwell, injuring himself pretty bad. I'm not surprised. My cats are constantly climbing up there and it's a long drop...

Jenny On the Banister

Jake managed to crawl his way under the guest room bed (where I found him the next morning). It took him nearly a half-hour to get there because he couldn't use his back leg. That's where I found him in the morning and freaked out because last time he couldn't move his hind-quarters it was because his bladder was enflamed. Off to the vet he went.

So... it wasn't that he couldn't pee because of a urinary blockage... it was because he couldn't get to the litter box. The reason nobody noticed his leg at the vet was because they had him on painkillers for his bladder and he wasn't limping because he couldn't feel it. The reason he started limping when he got back home was because they stopped the painkillers and the trip probably strained his leg again.

The good news? The expensive urinary care prescription food he eats is working.

The bad news? I didn't look back far enough on the security camera footage to understand what had really happened. I stopped when I saw he wasn't using the litter box. Which means I put Jake through the trauma of a trip to the vet for entirely the wrong reason.

The good news? Because he was chillin' at the vet and hopped up on painkillers, his leg had a chance to heal a bit. Also? He wasn't at home alone where he could have hurt himself much worse. So it definitely wasn't a wasted trip.

The bad news? Not only do I have the expense of a 3-day vet bill (thank heavens for insurance!) I also have the expense of building some kind of barrier to try and keep this from happening again.

And so now I know I need to make darn sure that I review all the camera footage to have a better idea what happens when one of my cats is sick.

I had to build a zero-entry litter box so poor Jake has a place he can get to. Don't know if he will actually use it, but he does know it's there...

Jenny On the Banister
Just look at that sad, sad face!

Jenny is not happy about Jake smelling like the vet hospital. She sneaks up to snif around him, but ends up hissing and running away. No worries there though, she did that last time for a couple days. She'll come back around when he starts smelling "normal" again...

Jenny On the Banister
Jenny says... STRANGER DANGER!

I was forced to leave Jake alone to go grab my stuff from the office so I could work while I watch him. During that time, he managed to claw his way up the stairs and pull a blanket off the bed onto the floor where he could rest up...

Jenny On the Banister

Jenny On the Banister

Jenny On the Banister

I was terrified that he would try to climb up on the bed or hurt himself trying to get back downstairs, so I decided to hang out with him until he was ready to leave. He spent most of the time sleeping...

Jenny On the Banister

But occasionally woke up and wanted belly rubs...

Jenny On the Banister

I tried to explain that he could just pee on the floor if he had to go, but I was the one who had to pee. So I accepted the fact that I might be peeing my pants before the day was over.

Eventually, through sheer force of will, Jake clawed his way up on the bed. I had to lift his butt up, but he made it...

Jenny On the Banister

Jenny On the Banister

Jenny On the Banister

Jenny On the Banister

Jenny On the Banister

Such a sweet kitty.

After pulling himself around the bed for a bit, he decided to lean up against me for more sleep...

Jenny On the Banister

Jenny On the Banister

After we both fell asleep for 90 minutes or so, he woke me up as he tried to climb back across the bed. I decided to carry him downstairs because I knew the dinner alarm was going to chime in a half hour. Neither Jake nor Jenny likes to be carried, but he handled it like a champ.

And though Jake is still limping quite badly, he's getting around a bit better. More "howling" that "drawing" now.

He must also be feeling better, because he ate all of Jenny's wet food after he ate his own...

Jenny On the Banister

As for Jenny? Jake's butt must not be smelling quite right yet, because she wants nothing to do with him...

Jenny On the Banister

I'm really hoping that Jake recovers at home so I don't have to take him back to the vet. Because my next trip will be to take Jenny in for her shots. That's more than enough stress for the coming month.

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Perfect Home Pub Fries

Posted on Friday, April 19th, 2019

Dave!I am beyond exhausted. Taking care of Jake as he recovers from his fall is a full-time job. A big chunk of my day is spent trying to make sure he doesn't have to exert himself. Whenever I see him hobble up to something and look like he's going to jump up, I go running to lift him up instead.

Day and night.

When what I really need to be doing is working.

Though today I did end up taking time to make some greasy pub fries, which are my favorite thing to eat right now. Last week I documented my efforts so I could blog about it, but then travel happened and Jake happened, so I never got around to it.

Anyway...

I Love fries.

Problem is that here in the USA they usually suck. Either they're undercooked and not crispy... or they've been sitting for too long... or they have no flavor... or they're entirely too salty. Way too many things go wrong, and they usually do.

My favorite fries are from the Netherlands. They really know how to cook a potato! Most places in Europe do. And they're usually cooked-to-order, so they always taste their best.

But here? Not so much. And so... last Summer I started making my own fries. Here's what I've found makes the best fries after dozens of batches and months of trial and error...

  • Russet potatoes. Nothing cooks up like them. No other potato I've tried works as well. And I've tried a LOT of potatoes.
  • After slicing, a vigorous rinse in cold water is essential. Agitate them with your hands as the water runs over them.
  • Soak for three hours in ice water in the refrigerator. Most recipes say overnight. I found no benefit to that, and three hours is perfect...

Making Home Pub Fries

  • Fry in small batches so the oil doesn't cool off too much when you add the potatoes.
  • When you pre-fry for 5 minutes at 300°, USE A THERMOMETER TO CONFIRM 300°! Any hotter and you will brown them, which is bad. After blanching, drain on brown paper bags (preferred because they don't sick as bad) or paper towels in an oven set no higher than 300°...

Making Home Pub Fries

  • Increase temperature of the oil to minimum 375°. Though 400° is better if your fryer can go that high. Cook until desired golden brown. I prefer a dark golden because the flavor is better...

Making Home Pub Fries

Making Home Pub Fries

  • Salt and pepper are essential. A dash of paprika is nice. BUT DON'T OVER-SEASON! You don't want to kill the flavor of the potato! If you like a spicier fry, use seasoning salt or hot pepper salt. But, again, don't over-season! The potato flavor will be buried...

Making Home Pub Fries

  • With the skins on, the flavor is so nice that you don't really need sauce... but mayo/ketchup is great!
  • You need more potatoes than you think. Two large russets per person. Or three if you are having me over to dinner.
  • Enjoy!

As for oil... I just use the cheapest vegetable oil I can find. I cook with it 3 or 4 times until the refuse accumulation is too high. They recommend that you dispose of the oil in a milk carton. I don't drink milk, so I let it cool completely, pour into a bowl, freeze, then scoop into the trash before I take it out.

And there you have it! Perfect fries you can make at home!

And now it's back to taking care of my poor cat.

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Caturday 105

Posted on Saturday, April 20th, 2019

Dave!I've read up on cat sprains... a lot.

Seems the absolute best thing you can do is force your cat to rest the injury. They recommend keeping your cat in a cage so they can't move around a lot and cause further injury. I think we all know what would happen if I tried to keep Jake locked up in a cage. He'd go absolutely nuts and probably sprain even more appendages.

Lucky for me, Jake is taking professional advice without me having to cage him. This is how he spends most of his time...

Jake Resting Up

Unfortunately, he insists on walking around as well. He has a terrible limp, but doesn't seem to be pained by it. This is awful because the pain is what should be keeping him from using it. Friday night I was so worried that he'd try to follow me upstairs that I slept on the floor next to him all night...

Sleeping with Jake on the Floor

Last night I just slept on the couch because my back couldn't take another night on the floor. Jake slept next to me on the cat-bed that's on the coffee table... or on top of me when he felt up to it...

Jake on on Me

As if worrying about Jake hasn't been difficult enough, I've had to worry about Jenny as well. Jake not smelling like Jake has really freaked her out. First of all she's not been eating. She spends most of her time avoiding Jake and hiding.

But today all that changed. Fake Jake was outside the catio, and suddenly both cats were rushing outside. I had to jump ahead and open the back door so Jake wouldn't hurt himself trying to get through the cat door. Both cats then hung out together while Fake Jake meowed for a while...

Fake Jake vs. Jake and Jenny

So... back to normal then?

Not quite.

But hopefully in a couple weeks everything will go back to the usual madness instead of whatever it is that I'm going through now.

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Bullet Sunday 508

Posted on Sunday, April 21st, 2019

Dave!The Easter Bunny may be bringing you chocolate and boiled eggs, but something better is in store... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Cathedral. It has been exceedingly difficult to gather my thoughts on the fire at Notre Dame. I've visited it all three times I've been to Paris, and loved it more with each trip. Such architectural wonders are a testament to mankind's accomplishments, and it is filled with sublime artistic treasures...

Notre Dame of Paris

Notre Dame of Paris

Notre Dame of Paris

Notre Dame of Paris

I am relieved that so much of it survived. I am thankful that nobody perished in the flames. I am happy that it can be rebuilt. But I am more than a little disheartened that three Black churches being burned in Louisiana barely made the news while Notre Dame could not be escaped. Yes, three small churches don't have the renown nor the grandeur of one of the most well-known landmarks on the planet, but still... it supports the false narrative that "racism is over" when it's happening around us every day. When something is invisible, people don't care about it. I'm not saying that every incident of racism has to be reported (you'd need dozens 24-hour news channel just to keep up with it all) but three churches being targeted and burned because its parishioners are Black is newsworthy, and people who think "racism is over" need to be reminded that it's not.

   
• Turkish Delight! While I've been spending time taking care of Jake, I've been running through foreign films on Amazon Prime Streaming. One of the best I've found kinda surprised me with not just how good it was... but with the way it had a bit of an interesting twist to it. Originally titled Kardeşim Benim in its original Turkish, it's listed on Amazon as My Brother (be sure Close Captioning (the CC button) is on)...

If you're not an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can rent it for $3 or purchase it for $6 on iTunes. There's a sequel that was made a couple years ago that looks every bit as good, but I haven't seen it available here in the USA...

Hopefully it gets English subtitles and shows up here soon.

   
• Dickey! This song is lyrically embarrassing, but the animation and cast of guest voices are pretty great...

Interesting that Lil' Dickey was the one to spearhead something like this, but here we are.

   
• Oh Boy! I was a bit late to the Garth Ennis comic book The Boys, but found it an interesting and often enjoyable series. Yes, it was filled with gratuitous... well... everything... but in a very good way. When I heard that Amazon Prime was adapting it, I was worried the show would end up being a pale shadow of the source material. Turns out I worried for nothing...

Savage. Needless to say, I'll be tuning into that.

   
• Trash! Senator Maureen Walsh is fucking garbage from the heart of Redneckistan. She is the one who made an impassioned plea advocating for marriage equality in Washington State because she has a lesbian daughter. We quickly found out that she only cares about marginalized people when they affect her directly, because she subsequently went after trans persons by saying that trans kids invite getting bullied because they intentionally stand out. Now she says that nurses don't deserve workplace protections with guarantees of breaks and time for lunch because they spend most of their time playing cards. Uh huh. Ask any nurse how much time they get to play cards while busting their assess to save lives. Exhaustion breeds mistakes. Do we really want nurses pushed to exhaustion given the job responsibilities they have? Of course not. Which makes Maureen Walsh a fucking dumbass on top of being an asshole. There are few people I regret believing in more than this epic fail...

Maureen Walsh is Fucking Garbage

UPDATE: Yes, I do know the context of what she was talking about, it was still way out of line. You can prove your point about critical care hospitals in rural communities without degrading nurses like this. For me the greater context is that Walsh has consistently voted against things like paid sick leave, guaranteed minimum wage, and other laws protecting workers. So, despite her apology or any context, what other conclusion are people supposed to make when she says stuff like this?

   
• Mueller? Mueller? I have a lot I could say. Maybe I will one day. In the meanwhile...

Pretty much this link right here.

Oh. And this tweet right here...

I laugh my ass off at the idea that the Mueller Report in any way exonerates the president. On the contrary, it positively reeks with all the things that make him an affront to the office he holds and the country which allows him to hold it.

UPDATE: Here we go...

   
And 'tis time at last for the bullets to be done this fine Easter Sunday.

   

The (Not So) Long Walk Home

Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2019

Dave!People who know stuff have said that in the future most people won't own cars. Instead they'll summon one of a fleet of robot vehicles in their area that will take them where they want to go. Robot cars will be smarter, faster, safer, and cheaper.

I'm fine with it. Partly because I like the idea of not having to maintain a car or buy a new one when the old one dies. But mostly because I love the idea of being able to work or play video games or read a book while traveling somewhere. How great is that?

In the meanwhile...

The weather has been way too nice for me to have any excuses not to walk to work. Not only is the brisk seven-minute exercise good for me... but I like being more environmentally friendly by not firing up my car for such a short drive into town.

And look at all the stuff I would miss if I was driving...

First of all is a rock that's asking for help...

Rock with HELP ME Written on It

Then there were these damn pigeons who have no respect for authority...

Pigeons Ignoring a Sign That Says KEEP OFF!

And just look at these blossoms...

Tree Blossoms!

Who knows what tomorrow's walk will bring?

Hopefully finding money.

   

Come Back Off the Ledge

Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Dave!If you've watched the terrifying video of poor Jake falling down my stairwell, you can understand why I hope to never have that happen again. In addition to the $500 vet bill, which could have been far far worse if he had broken something, it's just awful having to watch the little guy hobble around the house as his leg heals.

From what I can tell, he was lying on the narrow banister, as he is won't to do. He might have been napping there for all I know...

Stairwell

Then something startled him (possibly Jenny running around) which caused him to slip and fall all the way down the stairs. About a story-and-a-half...

Stairwell

So I am trying to come up with an added layer of protection that will help prevent slipping and falling... but also help better keep them on the ledge. I'm not sure what the best way to do this might be. But I really want to have something in place so I can travel and not worry so much. Since I don't have much time before I leave again, I thought I'd throw something together quickly now that looks good enough I can leave it in place until I have a better idea.

My thought is to have a "ledge tray" that I can temporarily screw onto my banister.

It will add width so the cats can have more room to lay down. It will be carpeted so the cats have something to grip onto if they start to slip. And it will have a small ledge that will prevent them from accidentally falling off...

Stairwell

So I don't have to look at an ugly carpet edge, I found a 90° molding that will act like a lip on the front. Here I am gluing it to the bottom of the tray...

Stairwell

Tomorrow I'll sand off the putty... paint it white to match my banister... then install it. The carpet squares I ordered (which match my hardwood floors) won't be here until next week, but at least it will be a little safer until I get back home.

The next step will be to build a narrow staircase up to it so the cats don't have to risk jumping up, overshooting the ledge, and flying over it.

After that I'll come up with some kind of ledge under the small window that's on the exterior wall. Jenny sometimes jumps up there (horrifying!) and it would be just my luck that she'll be the next one to fall down the stairwell. Something needs to be added there, I just have to figure out how to actually do it.

I will never run out of woodworking projects so long as I have cats.

   

The Joy of Going Cordless

Posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Dave!My pricey new Milwaukee cordless M18 Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw is choice. I love it. But more on that later. Let's talk about my new Milwaukee cordless M18 Random Orbital Sander. When it was released last year, I took a hard pass because A) It was $99 without battery, and B) My corded sander works perfectly fine, and there was no sense spending money to replace it.

But last night as I was attempting to sand down my latest project, the cord on the sander snagged on a bottle of glue that was sitting next to a pan of kitty litter and both went crashing to the floor of my single-car-garage woodshed. There just aren't many outlets in a garage, so I'm always running into problem like this (as well as running out of outlets).

While attempting to clean up the horrendous disaster that comes from glue mixing with kitty litter, I suddenly realize that "Boy, a cordless sander sure would have been handy." Minutes later I was digging into my savings as I cruised Home Depot's website. In-store pickup, here I come...

Milwaukee Cordless M18 Random Orbital Sander

I have no idea... none how I survived without this. I thought the battery would make it heavy and difficult to navigate. Nope. Far, far less difficult than wrangling a cord, even with the added weight. In fact, as shown in the photo, I have my medium M18 instead of my smaller M18 battery, and it's perfectly fine. The kit comes with a dust-catcher extender, so I even have the option of using my mega-battery on it if I wanted to!

And it's not just the lack of a cord that makes it so fantastic... it has multiple speeds (my old one didn't) and the random sanding "pattern" seems to do a better job of making quick work of large areas to boot. If you've already got some Milwaukee M18 batteries knocking around, the convenience of cordless is pretty much a no-brainer.

And then there's the Milwaukee cordless M18 Dual Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw...

I had no intention of replacing my faithful old Ryobi... until it went out of alignment and I couldn't get good cuts from it (nor get the laser guide to aim straight). Maybe somebody smarter than I could have figured out how to fix it, but I was done. My first instinct was to spend the $220 to get another Ryobi. It provided years of faithful service, was relatively inexpensive, and I was familiar with it. But then I saw that Milwaukee had a kit with an extra maximum performance M18 battery on sale for $600 (down from $850) and decided I'd spend the money on quality now rather than having to replace another Ryobi in 4 years...

Milwaukee Cordless M18 Random Orbital Sander

My worries were A) A cordless saw would have much less power than a corded version, and B) All the reviews talked about what a shitty job it did of collecting dust.

Turns out that A) It has plenty of power to cut through anything I've thrown at it... including Trex decking and hardwoods, and B) All the reviews were right... the dust collection is so bad that I don't even know why they bother putting a bag on it in the first place since hardly any dust ends up in there.

The dust collection problem is annoying, but not a dealbreaker. No miter saw catches all the dust, so what's a little more? Still, you have to wonder what in the hell Milwaukee was thinking that they couldn't have done a better job of it.

Just as with every Milwaukee cordless tool I've ever owned, the benefits of going cordless far outweigh any drawbacks in the ultimate design. I can move it anywhere in my garage shop without having to unplug/plug which is great. I also have one less cord to trip over and one less outlet occupied, which is really great.

Dust collection aside, there are a number of things that Milwaukee gets right. First of all, they've done away with a laser guide in favor of a shadow cut-line indicator. Before using it, I thought this was a detriment. Because lasers are awesome, yo. But then I used it and realize what a huge boost to accuracy it is. A shadow of the actual blade not only shows you exactly where the cut occurs and how much material the blade will be removing... but it also will never go out of alignment, something that plagued my Ryobi...

Milwaukee Cordless M18 Random Orbital Sander

Another thing I like is the design of the slider. With most miter saws, the tool slides along rails that poke out behind the saw on the top. With Milwaukee, the rails are inside the unit and on the bottom. It's just cleaner with less obstruction on top, though I have no idea if this could be a problem after dust ends up on the rails. How would you clean that? I dunno.

As is par for the course with Milwaukee, the little details are nicely accommodated. The blade cover locks open for easy access (I loathed having to fumble with it on my Ryobi every time I changed blades). Changing angle or bevel is not only fast and easy, but seriously balls-on accurate. On my old saw when I had to meet two 45° angles for a corner, there was always a slight error that crept into the mix. But with my Milwaukee, they meet up flawlessly every time on the first try, corner after corner. No more sanding or filler! Another plus? The saw is fairly lightweight and can be carried from the top or side. I keep mine permanently mounted on my awesome Rigid mobile folding stand, but it's nice to know I could transport it easily.

Ten out of Five Stars. Would purchase again.

As mentioned yesterday, I'm building a ledge tray for my banister to (hopefully) keep my cats safe in the stairwell. After work I had time to paint a base coat. All I have now is a light sanding and two more coats and it will be good to go (the carpet for the bottom arrives next week)...

Cat Banister Tray Painted

This unanticipated little project has me chomping at the bit to get started on my kitchen cabinets! Now THERE is a job that will make good use of my pricey new toys!

   

A Meme You Aren’t Used To

Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Dave!Wow.

I don't think I've done a meme in like... forever.


65 Questions You Aren't Used To by rainbowsociety:

  1. Do you ever doubt the existence of others than you? All the time.
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you? 0
  3. The person you would never want to meet? President Trump.
  4. What is your favorite word? Exacerbate.
  5. If you were a type of tree, what would you be? Douglas fir.
  6. When you looked in the mirror this morning what was the first thing you thought? I really need to clean this mirror.
  7. What shirt are you wearing? Orange T-shirt.
  8. What do you label yourself as? Human.
  9. Bright room or dark room? Bright room to work. Dark room to sleep.
  10. What were you doing at midnight last night? Watching Bonding on Netflix.
  11. Favorite age you've been so far? 36.
  12. Who told you they loved you last? My sister.
  13. Your worst enemy? Time.
  14. What is your current desktop picture? Yosemite.
  15. Do you like someone? I like lots of people.
  16. The last song you listened to? Stop Kicking My Heart Around by Dead or Alive.
  17. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up? If I said his name the Secret Service would probably arrest me.
  18. Who would you really like to just punch in the face? If I said his name the Secret Service would probably arrest me.
  19. If anyone could be your slave for a day, who would it be and what would they have to do? I would never have a "slave."
  20. What is your best physical attribute? Fingerprints.
  21. If you were the opposite sex for one day, what would you look like and what would you do? I'd look bad. I'd eat pizza.
  22. Do you have a secret talent? If yes, what is it? I give good kitty belly rubs.
  23. What is one unique thing you're afraid of? My cats getting hurt.
  24. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your disposal. Deep-fried grilled cheese.
  25. You just found $100! How are you going to spend it? Lumber for my kitchen remodel.
  26. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, but you have to leave immediately. Where are you going to go? India.
  27. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. What's it gonna be? Jägermeister.
  28. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place?  Be kind. Or treat others as you would want to be treated, which is pretty much the same thing.
  29. What is your favorite expletive? Fuck.
  30. Your house is on fire, holy shit! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don't worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely. So what's the one thing you're going to save from that blazing inferno? Jake's favorite toy, Mufasa the Lion.
  31. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? Listening to Sam Smith "sing" literally anything.
  32. You got kicked out of the country. But you can move to anywhere else in the world! Edinburgh, Scotland.
  33. Death appears. He offers to return the friend/family-member/person/etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? My mom.
  34. What was your last dream about? I don't dream.
  35. Are you a good...[insert anything you'd like here]? Please don't insert anything into me.
  36. Have you ever been admitted to the hospital? Yes.
  37. Have you ever built a snowman? I'm from Central Washington. Of course I have.
  38. What is the color of your socks? Always all white.
  39. What type of music do you like? 80's Pop.
  40. Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets? Depends on where I am. Usually sunsets, especially at a beach facing West. But maybe sunrises if I'm facing East on top of Haleakala or something.
  41. What is your favorite milkshake flavor? Light Chocolate
  42. What football team do you support? I don't do football.
  43. Do you have any scars? Yes. On my left thumb.
  44. What do you want to be when you graduate? An astronaut.
  45. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My age.
  46. Are you reliable? To a fault, yes.
  47. If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be? Got any stock tips?
  48. Do you hold grudges? I try not to, but if the offense is great enough I hold onto that fucker until I die.
  49. If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature, what new animal would you create? Puppygator.
  50. What is the most unusual conversation you've ever had? It was with my ex-girlfriend.
  51. Are you a good liar? Not even a little bit. Easier to just tell the truth.
  52. How long could you go without talking? If I could still text or email? The rest of my life.
  53. What has been you worst haircut/style? Bowl cut.
  54. Have you ever baked your own cake? Um. Yeah.
  55. Can you do any accents other than your own? Not convincingly.
  56. What do you like on your toast? Loads of butter and a little seedless strawberry jam.
  57. What is the last thing you drew a picture of? A window.
  58. What would be you dream car? 2019 Corvette Stingray Z51 3LT Performance Package in Long Beach Red.
  59. Do you sing in the shower? Or do anything unusual in the shower? Explain. No.
  60. Do you believe in aliens? Sure.
  61. Do you often read your horoscope? Never.
  62. What is your favorite letter of the alphabet? W.
  63. Which is cooler: dinosaurs or dragons? Dragons.
  64. What do you think about babies? They're okay if I can give them back after a few minutes.
  65. Freebie! Ask anything interesting you can think of. Do you really have nothing better to do than answer these 65 random questions?
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At the End of the Game

Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019

Dave!Welp.

Avengers: Endgame was a movie alright!

My expectations were phenomenally high for this film. Lucky for me, it was a pretty phenomenal movie and definitely lived up to all the pre-hype that Marvel has been shoveling out over the past several months. I absolutely loved it...

Milwaukee Cordless M18 Random Orbital Sander

Needless to say I can't really talk about the film without spoiling some of the stuff that happens.

YOU DO NOT WANT THAT!

Trust me. If there's one film you do not want spoiled, it's this one. So absolutely do not proceed any further until you have seen Avengers: Endgame!

You've been warned.

Spoilers await in an extended entry...

→ Click here to continue reading this entry...

   

Caturday 106

Posted on Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Dave!Jake is doing so much better, so thanks to all of you who reached out with concern and kind words! He still limps... sometimes more than others, but he's showing vast improvement. I wouldn't be surprised if his limp is mostly gone in another week.

Right now my priority is keeping him safe from another fall.

When I design projects I also write out a task list and a schedule so I know how long it will take. For my new "banister cat tray" I had one evening allotted for construction. One evening to fill nail holes, sand, and prime. And one evening to smooth-sand and paint two coats. Which means I was ready to install it yesterday morning...

Cat Banister Tray Installed!

Cat Banister Tray Installed!

The carpet that goes on the bottom arrives on Wednesday. In the meanwhile, I hope things are a little safer for Jake and Jenny. At least Jake can't fall asleep... then fall off... so easily again.

From the bottom, it's not very obtrusive, which is nice...

Cat Banister Tray Installed!

I sent the photos to a friend who does carpentry... he replied with "DESIGN FAIL! Somebody using the hand railing for the stairs will run into your construction!"

I couldn't understand what he was talking about until I realized that the angle of the photo doesn't show the whole story. So I sent him this photo and said "YOU WERE SAYING?!?"...

Cat Banister Tray Installed!

Turns out I actually DO put some thought into my projects!

Eventually I want to build a narrow staircase so they can climb up to the banister instead of making a dangerous jump. Until I do that, I put a bench in front that they can use to hop up more easily. Jenny was the first to take a look...

Cat Banister Tray Installed!

And there you have it... a safer, conveniently cat-sized walkway!

Cat Banister Tray Installed!

And now to think about how I can build cat stairs... and a safety ledge for the windows above the stairwell where Jenny likes to play. A "feature" of my house that terrifies me to no end. The girl is fearless when it comes to heights. Which is fine. But only when it's reasonably safe! She likes to be totally UNSAFE, and it drives me crazy.

Until next Caturday...

   

Bullet Sunday 509

Posted on Sunday, April 28th, 2019

Dave!I don't mind my allergies splitting my head apart thanks to everything in the valley blooming at the same time... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Thrones! I may be in the minority here, but I felt that the majority of the latest episode, The Battle of Winterfell, was embarrassingly bad. Everything was filmed so dark that it was almost impossible to see what was happening. Even worse, much of the action was shot way too close, so even if you could see what was happening, you couldn't tell what was going on anyway. They literally could have just skipped most of the episode, had somebody summarize what happened in two minutes, and the result would have been practically the same for me. Disappointing. Though I'll be the first to say that the ending was exactly what I wanted to see. w00t!

   
• Trek V2. The CGI effect upgrades they gave to old Star Trek episodes back in 2006 are pretty great. Definitely helps then to hold up for modern audiences. Recently I was watching Tomorrow is Yesterday for the hundredth time and found myself forgetting what the old effects looked like. So I looked it up on YouTube and found this...

Right off the bat I found something surprising...

Tomorrow Is Yesterday Opening Title

ZOMG! PLEASE NOTE THAT THEY REVISED THEIR VIEW OF THE PLANET BECAUSE IN THE FUTURE THEY KNOW THAT THE EARTH IS FLAT!!!

Funneh.

   
• Vegetarianism Fail. When I first became a vegetarian back in 1986, eating out was a challenge. Pretty much all you could do was ask for a grilled cheese or try to find a salad without meat on it. Now-a-days it's so much easier. Except at my local "V.I.P." theater. Their big "thing" is wraps. They've got quit an assortment of them. Every last one of them with meat on it. Even the "Veggie Extreme" is SO EXTREME that it has chicken on it! Baller!

Extreme Veggie Wrap... WITH CHICKEN!

Since they didn't have a vegetarian option, I asked if they can substitute avocado for the chicken. Nope! But they can leave the chicken off and charge me $1.25 for avocado though! Fuckers. If you're not going to have a vegetarian-friendly option, at least allow a reasonable substitution!

And so... French fries it is. Except... it literally took them THREE TRIES to deliver my fries. They'd walk in the theater. Wander up and down the aisle. Then leave. Then come back. And then... it was only because I FLAGGED THEM DOWN that they managed to find me, even though I had to give them my row number when I ordered! Needless to say, my fries were cold... not "unwarm" BUT FUCKING COLD... by the time I got them. Pathetic. Some "V.I.P." experience.

   
• You Spin Me! Most of the time I scan the episodes of Fallon, Myers, Corden, and Kimmel on my DVR for the guest, then delete as many as I can. The only reason I watch is if there's a guest I want to see. Like Paul Rudd. And his appearance on Fallon did not disappoint. Paul and Jimmy remade Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round...

For comparison's sake, here's the shot-for-shot next to the original...

Epic!

   
• Let Them Implode. Long ago, back before I started weaving Buddhist precepts into my Path of Life and gave up weapons of violence, I was proud to be a member of the National Rifle Association. This was back when they were dedicated to promoting gun safety and advocated for reasonable restrictions when it came to allowing people access to firearms ALONG WITH defending Second Amendment rights. Now that they are a corrupt organization in the pocket of gun manufacturers who prey on people with nothing but fear and lies, I fucking detest the NRA and everything they stand for. Nothing would make me happier than to have the entire organization be flushed down the toilet like the fucking pieces of shit that they are. And take NRA cheerleader Dana Loesch with you. She's fucking garbage too. Bring back the NRA whose principles were rooted in responsible, safe gun ownership. If we can't have that, then please let the whole fucking thing implode.

   
• Wall Chowder. Every time I have to listen to bullshit about President Trump's MASSIVELY EXPENSIVE WALL... all I can think of is how drones powerful enough and large enough TO CARRY A PERSON OVER THE WALL ARE CURRENTLY USED FOR CONSTRUCTION! And, like everything tech-related, they are just going to get cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Somebody in Mexico could buy a couple and earn a fortune FLYING PEOPLE OVER THE WALL. Make no mistake... Trump's wall is a stupid, STUPID, STUPID, FUCKING STUPID waste of money. Within 5 years it could be rendered obsolete. Or be obsolete within 10 minutes, considering tunneling under the fucking thing IS AS EASY AS DIGGING A FUCKING TUNNEL. And now I'm filled with rage. Again. Forget the horrendous damage to the environment and migrating species that will be severely impacted... WE CAN'T FUCKING AFFORD IT NOW THAT ALL OUR TAX REVENUE IS GOING TOWARDS TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY! Exactly how big of a fucking deficit do we need?

   
See you on the flip-side, bullet fans.

   

Monday is for Travel

Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2019

Dave!I'm so exhausted I can barely function.

Which means it must be time to clean house, pack a suitcase, drive over the mountains, and fly off to destination unknown for work, right?

Well, it's not really unknown... it's Las Vegas... but what I'm going to be doing once I get there is mostly unknown. Right now the majority of my time will be spent sitting around waiting for the phone to ring so I can leap into action.

Or, more likely, fall out of bed into action.

I'm just that tired.

I flew out of Paine Field in Everett again, because I absolutely love having an alternative to shitty SeaTac...

Paine Field Everett, Washington

Paine Field Everett, Washington

Since this is actually "Boeing Field" there is a cool lineup of what I'm guessing is Boeing customers as you taxi out to the runway...

Paine Field Everett, Washington

And now... time for dinner with friends.I hear everybody is doing that now-a-days.

   

Tuesday is for Nachos

Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Dave!Last night I took care of work, then met up with friends on their last night in Vegas so we could go out to a late dinner. We ended up walking to Fatburger, which was fine by me because they not only have a great Veggie Burger (Boca Burger patty) they are now selling Impossible Burgers too! Can you imagine? Not one, but two vegetarian choices? At a burger chain? It's like they think vegetarians are real people or something!

Today was all work all the time, but I did manage to get away for a late lunch at my beloved Nacho Daddy (complete with a Long Island because I just can't help myself)...

Nacho Daddy Nachos!

I prefer the location in Old Town at the end of Fremont, but The Strip location is also pretty great.

After that it was back to work. I thought I'd grab a quick cup of fray from Pinkberry at Crystal Shops but was shocked to find that it was CLOSED! When I asked about it, I was told that all three of the Pinkberry locations in Vegas are now gone, including the one at The Tropicana...

Pinkberry Vegas Closed!

Well that blows. I wonder if Pinkberry is in serious financial trouble or they just couldn't make a go of it in Vegas?

It was probably for the best, because I had dinner lined up with long-time blogging friend KC at Il Fornaio. Lucky me, they had the butternut squash ravioli at this location just like they do at the downtown Seattle restaurant...

Ravioli at Il Fornaio!

The walnuts inside were chunkier than what I'm used to, but it was still a pretty fantastic dinner.

After saying goodbye to KC, I decided to walk next door to the Park MGM so I could see the $550 million worth of renovations that got sunk into the hotel and casino from when they took over The Monte Carlo. It's nice, but not overly-extravagant. The lobby has a very cool wood structure in the ceiling that is supposed to look like tree roots or something. I'm not quite sure how they managed to cut-and-paste things together so seamlessly, but it's pretty nifty to look at...

The Lobby at the MGM Park Hotel

The Lobby at the MGM Park Hotel

The Monte Carlo was always kinda an enigma to me. They advertised as a luxury brand, but the hotel and casino never much lived up to it. Sure there was marble on the floors, high-end fixtures, and such, but it always felt dated to me. When I stayed there a couple years ago I didn't think the rooms were very luxurious, that's for sure. Now that the Park MGM has taken over, it seems as though things are back on track. It's a nice-looking property in the public spaces anyway.

I had read somewhere that Britney Spears was setting up residence in the Park MGM, but she was nowhere to be found. Instead, Bruno Mars was playing a show in their theater. No idea what that's about. Now that I think about it, I haven't heard much of anything about Britney for a while now.

And there's my last night in Vegas. Tomorrow morning I'm back at work until 10:30am, then off to the airport so I can fly out and drive back home to my cats in the afternoon. It's always tough to watch them wandering from room to room looking for me and coming up empty. Especially since Jake still has a bit of a limp yet.

Crossing my fingers for an easy day of travel...

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