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Bullet Sunday 491

Posted on December 9th, 2018

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

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

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

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

Avengers 4 Sneak Peek

April seems a long, long ways away...

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

Pet Shop Boys Merry Christmas

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

XXX

Seriously, how cool is that?

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

Men in Black 4

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

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

XXX

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

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

Spy Movie Poster

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

Bovada Book on Seattle NHL

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

Bullet Sunday 490

Posted on December 2nd, 2018

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

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

XXX

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

And holy crap am I dying to see it now!

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

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

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


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

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

Becoming by Michelle Obama

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

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

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

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

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

   

Bullet Sunday 489

Posted on November 25th, 2018

Dave!Do you enjoy the ramblings of somebody with frozen feet? Then you're in for a treat... because Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Pooh! I was anxious to see the new Disney movie Christopher Robin, but it was never showing on any flight I was on, so I had to buy it from iTunes when it was released. It's a good (not great) film that I enjoyed quite a lot. Mostly because the CGI version of the animals are amazing. Jaw-dropping amazing. The way they are rendered and the way they move is remarkable. You can believe these stuffed animals are alive...

Christopher Robin Screencap

Christopher Robin Screencap

Christopher Robin Screencap

Christopher Robin Screencap

Christopher Robin Screencap

And here's the trailer...

I adore the wit and wisdom of Winnie the Pooh. All the Winnie the Pooh. I love the original A.A. Milne books, the Disney movies and book adaptations, and the Benjamin Hoff Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet books too. If you are a Winnie the Pooh fan (and why wouldn't you be?) the movie is worth a look. Disney movie magic!

   
• Care! Hallmark has been airing some wonderful commercials for their #CareEnough campaign...


This last one reminded me of one of my all-time favorite ads...

Always amazed that people can create commercials I want to stop and watch!

   
• Proposal! This was my favorite thing on the internet this past week...

So sweet. And that reminded me of this...

The effort that must go into planning these things is mind-boggling.

   
• Winter is NEVER Coming!

"George R.R. Martin will be on Colbert to promote his new book..."

"WINDS OF WINTER IS FINISHED?!??"

"Of course not. He wasted his time on yet another Westeros history book. He still has no idea when Winds of Winter will be completed."

In all honesty, I don't think Martin will ever finish A Song of Ice and Fire. I don't think he gives a shit (regardless of how much he pretends to care). He's got the HBO money coming in. He's got a Nightflyers series coming up. He's got the Game of Thrones prequels coming up. He's got millions of dollars. And he has said repeatedly that writing the Song of Ice and Fire books is hard work, so why would he bother? The HBO series will wrap things up so he doesn't have to, and he can keep getting distracted with writing "easy books" that still make him tons of money. What incentive is there to finish up Westeros? It's all too easy to procrastinate until you die and leave your notes to another author so THEY can deal with it.

All that being said... how excited am I for April to get here so we can see the final season of Game of Thrones?

   
• Unpossible! Mission Impossible: Fallout (AKA MI6) is easily the best of the entire series. Everybody is brilliant in it, and Henry Cavill is exceptionally good. Which makes me all the happier that Paramount told Warner Bros. to go fuck themselves when they wanted Cavill to shave his mustache for reshoots as Superman on the abysmally shitty Justice League movie. Otherwise Cavill's continuity would be jeopardized and he may have had some of his part cut in a far, far better film...

Tom Cruise does the majority of his own stunts. And the dedication he has in delivering some really scary and dangerous scenes really pay off in Fallout. If you haven't seen it and like a good action flick, this is the movie for you.

   
• No NOAA! Now that winter is here, I wanted to see if I could re-code the program which controls the heat tapes on my roof. Right now they turn on when it's 33° or less. Which is better than having them on all the time, but also not ideal because they turn on whether there's snow on my roof or not. What I want to do is capture NOAA data to see if it's snowing and then turn on the heat tapes. If we have heavy snowfall with a lot of accumulation, then I'll switch to the old temperature-based program until it's melted.

NOAA Weather Data

Problem is... the local NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) station has closed. So now I'm having to pull data from 6 miles away. Which would be fine if I lived on a flat plain, but I'm in a valley. The weather 6 miles away will be similar, but different. And so... better than nothing, but now I don't know if trying to adapt for snow is going to be worth it since the data may not apply to me. Time to start my own weather station, I guess.

   
And there's your bullets this fine Sunday.

   

Bullet Sunday 488

Posted on November 18th, 2018

Dave!You're in for a culture treat... because a Very Special All Caravaggio Edition of Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Caravaggio! As any long-time reader already knows, I am a massively huge fan of art. All kinds of art. I can be at my happiest when getting lost in a good art museum. Or even a bad art museum. And when I first started studying art, I quickly became a fan of Caravaggio. His stunning use of deep shadow and mastery of composition is the beginning of Baroque art, which was revolutionary at the time. On top of all that, he's a fascinating historical figure whose violence came to a head when he killed a guy in Rome and had to flee to Naples. I highly recommend taking a look at his profile on Wikipedia...

Chalk portrait of Caravaggio by Ottavio Leoni
Chalk portrait of Caravaggio by Ottavio Leoni, circa 1621

When I began traveling in Europe, I made it my mission to see as many publicly-displayed Caravaggio works as I could. This has brought me many adventures over the years... and resulted in me visiting some amazing museums. For this (and the pleasure of viewing his work, of course) I owe a huge debt to this fascinating artist.

   
• Alive! The inspiration for this post came about when I saw "Caravaggio living paintings by Ludovica Rambelli Theater". They selected some paintings and attempted to recreate them like so...

Now that's cool. So cool that I'm running through the paintings depicted...

   
• Judith Beheading Holofernes.

Judith Beheading Holofernes

✔ National Gallery of Ancient Art -Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy. Odds are I would have eventually visited the museum at Palazzo Barberini just because it housed so many incredible works of art. But when I finally visited there, it was specifically to see one of the most shocking Caravaggio works in existence, Judith Beheading Holofernes. Like most of his works, this is a big painting... nearly 6-1/2 feet wide... and its impact on you is immediate when you enter the room.

   
• The Flagellation of Christ.

The Flagellation of Christ

✘ Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy. When I visited Naples, it was a cruise ship stop and I had very little time. My choice was to charter a limo and see the Amalfi Coast (somewhere I was dying to see) or take a taxi to The Capodimonte. Ultimately I picked Amalfi and don't regret it (amazing, amazing sights), but a part of me really wishes I would have seen The Flagellation of Christ, which is a powerful work.

   
• The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew.

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew

✔ San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome, Italy. The ceiling of this church is so magnificent that I almost forgot why I had walked here! This is a massive work... 11 feet tall(!).

   
• The Annunciation.

The Annunciation

✘ Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, Nancy, France. Never been to Nancy. Would very much like to visit, not just for The Annunciation.

   
• Rest on the Flight into Egypt.

Rest on the Flight into Egypt

✔ Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome, Italy. I finally made it to The Doria after putting off for my first three trips to Rome. The painting is nice, but the museum is exceptional.

   
• The Entombment of Christ.

The Entombment of Christ

✔ Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican City, Italy. I believe that The Entombment of Christ was the first Caravaggio I ever visited, and seeing it in it's 10-foot-tall glory was quite a bit different than seeing it in a book. Which just made me want to see more of his works.

   
• The Raising of Lazarus.

The Raising of Lazarus

✘ Museo Regionale, Messina, Sicily, Italy. I've wanted to visit Sicily like... forever, and being able to see The Raising of Lazarus in person is as good an excuse as any.

   
• Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy.

Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy

✘ Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Never been to Hartford. Never had a desire to visit Hartford. No idea how Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy ended up in Hartford. Except... this painting is absolutely beautiful and I would love to see it.

   
• Bacchus.

Bacchus

✘ The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy. When it comes to my favorite Carvaggio paintings, Bacchus is not really on the list, but I was already at The Uffizi to see his The Head of Medusa (and Michelangelo's David, of course).

   
Four out of nine visited. Not bad! And then...

   
• The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Of all the Carvaggio masterpieces I've seen, my favorite is this one...

Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta. Probably one of the most interesting compositions in art history, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist is a stunning work that is widely considered to be Carvaggio's crowning achievement. And it's huge. 16-1/2 feet across.

   
• John the Baptist. Of all the Caravaggio paintings I've not yet seen, the one I most want to see is Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy, which is relatively easy to get to in Connecticut. The second painting I most want to see is John the Baptist...

Bacchus

Museo Tesoro Catedralicio, Toledo, Spain. Not that I really need an excuse to visit Spain... I absolutely love the country and would very much like to go back again... but this Carvaggio is an amazing work that I hope to see before I die.

   
And that's enough art for the day.

OR IS IT?!? Probably not.

   

Bullet Sunday 487

Posted on November 11th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barry Blitt's Welcome to Congress by The New Yorker

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

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

Pigs are the sweetest animals.

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

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

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

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

   
• LOL. White people be like...

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

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

   

Bullet Sunday 486

Posted on November 4th, 2018

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

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

XXX

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

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

XXX

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

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

Pizza Hut Cinnabon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dale Chihuly Columbus

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

Atlantis Chihuly Temple of the Sun

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

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

   

Bullet Sunday 485

Posted on October 28th, 2018

Dave!It's a surprisingly beautiful day after a surprisingly nasty night, but the sun isn't the only ray of light to bless my day... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Humanity. If you visit Wikipedia's page on terrorist incidents worldwide, you'll notice something interesting. At first the list is by decade. Then by year. Then it's by half-year. Then it skips right past quarter-year and is listed by month. And it occurs to me that we may very well get to the point where it will be listed by week. At some point we will either escape from this downward spiral or destroy ourselves utterly...

Terrorist Incidents Worldwide Graph

With the murders at the Pittsburgh synagogue which, let's be honest, is a terrorist act as much as it's a hate crime, my hope for humanity is diminished yet again. At this point people may survive humanity... but I'm pretty sure actual humanity is headed towards extinction. There are bright spots to be sure... but the fact that somebody could enter into a place of worship (again) and murder multiple civilians (again) has me wondering if our inevitable extinction is something worth crying over. Look what we have become.

   
• Anecdotal. Case in point.

   
• Protections. The desensitization which our minds develop to protect our sanity from the horrific onslaught of non-stop tragedy in the world is failing me. Pittsburgh ended up being one of my favorite American cities. And nobody was more surprised by this than I was. I went there to visit the Hard Rock Cafe and was expecting some big dirty steel town backwater... only to find one of the most beautiful cities on earth with a city-culture that is uniquely Pittsburgh and wholly wonderful. Which is why the devastating attack on Pittsburgh's Jewish community which left 11 people dead and 6 people injured has hit me harder than I thought it would. My desensitization protections are failing me. Just as they did with the Boston Marathon bomber in another city I love. Just as New York. Just as London. Just as Paris. Just as in every city I've been to that I fall in love with. Which, as I'm just now realizing, is most cities I visit. And they're all fodder for political points more than they are the home of innocent people. Lord knows how my mind is supposed to protect itself now.

   
• Anecdotal. Case in point.

   
• Essential. Wow. Patriot Act is everything I dreamed it would be. And Hasan is starting out with a bang by examining Saudi Arabia and Affirmative Action in a way that few other people could...

Essential viewing. Essential.

   
• Anecdotal. Case in point.

   
• Privilege. Here we go again...

As a white guy, it's easy for me to say that I would have told this racist piece of shit to go fuck herself sideways, because I would totally do that. I have done that... and for far less. But I have that privilege. A white person can tell another white person to go fuck themselves and it usually doesn't result in somebody calling the police (so long as it doesn't turn violent). But if a Mexican were to do that? The cops would be called and they'd probably be arrested for assaulting a white lady. Or even shot. So if you're looking for a way to put your privilege to good use, stepping up and telling racists pieces of shit to go fuck themselves when they act like garbage towards minority persons minding their own business while trying to live their lives is a good start.

   
• Anecdotal. Case in point.

   
And now? I'd like to say I'm going out to enjoy this glorious day. But instead I'm going to work. Until next Sunday then!

   

Bullet Sunday 484

Posted on October 21st, 2018

Dave!Another weekend of winterizing, plus cleaning out my garage... but there's still a warm spot in my heart... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• BOSTON!!! Congratulations to my beloved Boston Red Sox as they head to The World Series!

Dave Loves the Red Sox!

And then there's this, which is pretty funny...

SUCK IT, YANKEES! BWAH HA HA HA HA HAAAAA!

   
• Sears. Five years ago, my local Sears store closed. As I mentioned at the time, Sears was a huge chunk of my childhood, as that's where my first PC was purchased (an Atari 800) and the games and software that I grew up with (viva la Infocom!) all came from there...

Atari 800 Illustration
   
I drew this Atari 800 for the cover of Kevin Savetz's terrific book, Terrible Nerd!

So hearing that Sears is now in bankruptcy is met with a note of sadness for me. After all these decades, my local store is still ingrained in my memory. I remember everything about it. I remember exactly where the computer aisle was located. I remember what the display looked like. I remember the sound that the glass door made when it was unlocked to retrieve a box of software. I remember how excited I was when my family made a trip to Sears where I would immediately run to the computers to see what was new. That's how it was all done back in the 80's. The public internet didn't exist... certainly not like it is now. Computer magazines were always outdated the minute they were printed. There was pre-release information here and there, but I never really knew what was real until I saw it at Sears.

And now it's likely the entire chain will be gone forever. It's a tough hit to take, even though the only reason I'd ever shop there (if I even knew where to find one) was maybe for tools. Or appliances. Godspeed, Sears, you will always be in my heart.

   
• Owls. I've watched this too many times this past week...

Owls are such awesome creatures.

   
• Security! "Social Security, let’s lay it to rest once in for all... Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund to reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security trust fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing the budget or erasing or lowering the deficit." — President Ronald Reagan, 1984.

President Ronald Reagan

Once more for the dumbfucks in the back... YOU FUCKING PAID FOR YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE! IT'S TAKEN OUT OF YOUR FUCKING PAYCHECK! So when gaping assholes like Mitch McConnell and other Republican crooks start talking about cutting these programs to cover tax cuts for the rich and out-of-control government spending, THEY ARE STEALING FROM YOU. I honest-to-God do not understand why anybody in their right mind continues to support these pieces of shit when they are openly committed to the destruction of the working middle class. They are for themselves (like all politicians) and their wealthy puppet-masters. And nobody else. So unless you are the 1%, voting for these turds is only cutting your own throat.

   
• Of Note. We live in hypocritical times...

And, just in case there was any doubt whatsoever that Pat Robertson is a steaming pile of shit... here you go...

Excusing evil for lots of money in weapons sales, just like Jesus taught us!

And had it been a Christian journalist... a journalist from TBN... who was hacked apart with a bone saw? He would be calling for President Clownface VonFuckstick to nuke Saudi Arabia. This fucker cannot die fast enough. Not that I am unaware that there are dozens of assholes waiting to take his place, but still...

   
• Millennium.I liked the original Swedish movie trilogy based on the famous "Millennium Trilogy" of book... I *loved* the US adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was about as flawless as movies get. Daniel Craig was great... Rooney Mara was unbelievably great... she was Lisbeth Salander. Which is why I was really sad to learn that they would not be reprising their roles for the upcoming The Girl in the Spider's Web. Instead we're getting Claire Foy, which is not a terrible choice... but it's not Rooney Mara...

Fingers crossed. Lisbeth Salander is too good a character to be wasted.

   
And that's the end of bullets on this fine Sunday morning!

   

Bullet Sunday 483

Posted on October 14th, 2018

Dave!Spent my weekend getting ready for winter, but it hasn't been all bad... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Jakespreading. My concern for Jake is either growing or easing depending on which minute of the day it is. On one hand, he is peeing regularly. On the other hand, it's too often... sometimes up to three times an hour. On one hand, he is pretty much back to normal. On the other hand, he has been increasingly clingy. Now he's sleeping with me every night. Which mostly looks like this...

Jakespreading Sleeping

He's sleeping next to me, using my leg as a pillow.

Except...

For the past two nights, sleeping beside me hasn't been good enough. He wants to sleep on top of me. Which is no biggie when I'm laying on my back but, given my recent back pains, I'm more comfortable on my side. He tries to climb on me but there's not enough room, so he falls off and starts getting upset. I fix the problem by leaning against a pillow. He falls asleep on the pillow (and against me), but is fooled to thinking he's sleeping on me. So it's all good, I suppose. But I think I'm going to start looking into some warm pads that might prove more tempting than a pillow. In the mornings when I come back from taking a shower, I always find him laying on the slats above the heating vent, so I'm guessing he might be in love with a warm place to lay just like his sister...

Jakespreading Sleeping

Tomorrow I'm going to place another call to his doctor so I can ask about the alarming number of times he's peeing... and to ask if I should be concerned that he's grooming his junk more often these past couple days. Call me paranoid, but I'd do just about anything to make sure he doesn't have another extended stay away from home.

   
• Who? First of all, I love Jodie Whittaker in the new season of Doctor Who. She is sublimely perfect in the role, and everything you could want for The Doctor she projects in spades. Quirky without being silly. Smart without being stuffy. Entertaining without being absurd. She IS Doctor Who...

Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor

Which is why my disappointment in her first episode being horribly boring was more upsetting than it usually would be. Things picked up a bit in the second episode that aired tonight (the new TARDIS is pretty great), but it still feels like a bit of a slog to get through. I really, really hope that things start picking up... giving both Whittaker and Doctor Who fans the show we deserve.

   
• Boca? When I was last at the grocery store, I noted that Boca Burgers have pretty new packaging. What surprised me is that the burgers inside are different. They are darker. And the taste is different. Not necessarily in a bad way... they're just... different. Still tasty...

New Boca Burger

What I cannot tell is what in the hell they are replacing. Used to be there was "Original Vegan" and "All-American Flame Grilled"... these are "Original All American," which I can only guess is taking the place of both? They ain't vegan (contains cheese like the All-American Flame Grilled) so maybe they are discontinuing those? Confusing.

   
• The Vote. LOLOLOL! Maria Cantwell just released a commercial saying that "drug companies are too powerful and prescription drugs cost too much money." Guess the blowback she got after accepting $75,000 from Big Pharma then voting against cheaper drug re-importation has her worried? Typical piece of shit politician... says whatever she feels she has to at the moment in order to get elected, and then she'll jettison it when she decides to suck Big Pharma dick for cash again. We get the politicians we settle for. We get what we deserve. Not that we're given much choice. My Washington State Voter's Pamphlet just arrived and there's only one candidate I actually want to vote for. The rest are just votes against Trump-enabling Republicans.

   
• Asshole. Vice President Pence would do best to just shut the hell up on all matters pertaining to anything because, odds are, his boss has tweeted something totally fucked up on the topic, which makes Pence come off as a hypocritical asshole. Like this...

VP Pence is deepply troubled about what he's heard about freedom of the press? Really?

Why the hell Pence pretends to give a shit about journalists when it's been made very clear that Trump's administration condemns journalists as an "enemy of the people" is beyond me. Disgusting and pathetic. Like most everything to do with President Trump.

   
• Groupon! Congratulations to Hasan Minhaj on becoming a father...

I can't wait for his show, Patriot Act, to debut on Netflix come October 28th! And, needless to say, if you have Netflix and haven't seen his incredible standup show, Homecoming King, you should do that immediately.

   
Annnnd... scene. See you next Sunday.

   

Bullet Sunday 482: Aloha Bye

Posted on October 7th, 2018

Dave!Home again and all is well... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts now...

   
• Homeward. And, just like that, Hawaii is over for me. I would have liked to have stayed another couple days to hang out with my friends and relax but, alas, I've got a cat back home that is undoubtedly really, really anxious to get out of the hospital. I did get bumped to First Class, which is kinda like a vacation. A vacation with a bowl of warm nuts...

Aloha Bye

Aloha Bye

The last time I came to Hawaii for fun was when I managed to tack a few days on the back-side of a work trip in 2011. The four times since then were all work all the time. And while I wouldn't have missed this wedding in Oahu for anything, coming to photograph an event is still work!

   
• Salmon. I have been this close to flying Alaska Airlines' Salmon-Thirty-Salmon too many times to count. But I'm always a gate or two away. Like today...

Aloha Bye

It's not every day you get to fly in a plane painted to look like a big fish... and, alas, today is not my day either.

   
• Simon. On my trip to Honolulu on Friday I saw the available movies I hadn't seen (Tomb Raider, yawn... Won't You Be My Neighbor, awesome... and Blockers, surprisingly watchable) and so on my trip back I watched movies I enjoyed that I've already seen... Deadpool 2 and The Disaster Artist... and also Love, Simon...

This movie is so amazingly good (despite a rough start to the third act) and has an ending that's ten tons of wonderful. I've seen it three times now, and one thing continues to stand out... the casting on this film is phenomenal. Not just the main characters, but supporting roles as well. In particular, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner as Simon's parents. I knew Garner could pull off the emotional weight... but Josh Duhamel?!? And yet...

And that clip has been edited down from the original scene.

The first coming-of-age-love-story with a gay lead character from a major studio was going to be a landmark film regardless of how good it was. Or how terrible. The fact that Love, Simon turned out to be something great is just icing on the cake. One can only hope that more films like this entering mainstream culture becomes a step towards more acceptance and less bullying in our schools. Because isn't high school hard enough?

   
• Haerts. In addition to being one of the sweetest, most charming, funny, genuine films in recent memory, Love, Simon has a great soundtrack. It was especially awesome that Wings by Haerts got a snippet into the movie. It's such an amazing song...

And now I'm addicted to it all over again.

   
• Photography. It didn't actually rain on the wedding yesterday, which was nice. A lot easier to shoot photos when you're not soaking wet. The problem was my poor back, which was in spasm the entire day. I was eating muscle relaxers like candy in an attempt to keep being able to move. The good news is that the photos turned out pretty good. Not so much because of my talent as a photographer, but because the bride and groom are phenomenally good-looking... and patient.

And... despite my not being a professional photographer (and especially not a wedding photographer), this was my sixth wedding shoot. No idea how this keeps happening to me.

   
• Home. Jenny meowed when I walked through the door. Meowed after me when I rolled my bag in. Meowed after me when I went to the bathroom. Meowed after me when when I went upstairs. Meowed after me when got undressed. Meowed after me when I got in bed. She did not stop. "Sheesh. I am sorry I had to leave you all alone! Are you going to calm down if I can bring your brother home tomorrow?!?"

Jenny Cuddler

Such a sweetheart. I hope that Jake and Jenny's reunion goes well.

   
And... I turn into a pumpkin at midnight, so... much aloha.

   

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