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Hinterland and Cymraeg

Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

Dave!I have had Hinterland on my Netflix watch-list for a long time. Tonight I finally watched the first episode of the first series.

It's fantastic. Mostly due to the remarkable performance of lead Richard Harrington. You can feel the wheels turning any time he's on screen...

Granted, I'm only half-way through the first season, but I'm sure liking this show. The atmosphere they've created permeates every scene so the series feels more "real" than most.

What's interesting about this show (other than how good it's been) is that every scene is filmed twice... once in English and once in Welsh (which is called "Cymraeg" in the Welsh language). I did a YouTube search to watch some of the Cymraeg scenes and it's amazing how all these actors have to essentially perform the same show twice. And since Hinterland looks so grueling and demanding of the actors, I can't imagine how difficult that must be...

I'm sure they use all kinds of tricks to make the show affordable. In the scene above where he destroys a kitchen, for example, they were careful to make sure there was no dialogue so they only had to shoot it once. If he had said "I hate my life!" while smashing the dishes, they would have had to buy all new dishes, clean the set, then reset the scene so he could say "Rwy'n casáu fy mywyd!" for the Welsh version.

Here's the trailer in Welsh...

I first learned about Wales and the Welsh language in anticipation of my visit to the beautiful Hard Rock Cafe in Cardiff (Caerdydd). Cymraeg is a fascinating language which is estimated to be spoken by less than a million people around the globe. Most people have probably only ever heard of it on viral YouTube videos where people are pronouncing very long Welsh words...

Before wrapping up this post, I'd be remiss if I didn't post a link to one of my favorite comedy bits by Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert...

Happy Monday, everybody!

   

Bullet Sunday 619

Posted on Sunday, July 7th, 2019

Dave!It's a glorious day to be alive... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• IN THE NEWS: Mississippi makes it a jailable offense to call plant-based or cultured-meat patties "burgers."

Seeing as how Mississippi ranks 49th out of the 50 states in education. Perhaps it's understandable that their state government thinks the populace is TOO FUCKING STUPID TO KNOW THAT A VEGGIE BURGER ISN'T MADE FROM A COW. But are they smart enough to know that a veggie dog isn't made from a dog or do hot dogs confuse them too?

   
• Ski! Somehow I missed this excellent short video on Jim Niehues, the guy responsible for painting so many of those ski run posters you see at all the resorts...

Incredible stuff.

   
• Dreaming! Any comic book series is going to have its ups and downs. A series which had less downs than usual was Neil Gaiman's Sandman. A complete reimagining of the cheesy DC Comics character...

My favorite thing to come out of the series was Sandman's sister, Death, as she appeared in the mini-series spin-offs by Gaiman Chris Bachalo...

Death: The High Cost of Living is easily one of my all-time favorite comic books.

And now comes the news that Netflix has commissioned a Sandman TV show. Despite the fact that Gaiman himself will be involved, I am more than a little nervous. The series seems all but unfilmable given the visual language of Sandman's world. And the stories are wildly tied to the medium they were created for, and I question how well they will translate to television. I hope it's good. I hope Death makes an appearance...

"A wizard attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. Fearful for his safety, the wizard kept him imprisoned in a glass bottle for decades. After his escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power."

   
• German! I ran across one of my favorite Trevor Noah's Between the Scenes the other day...

I mean, they're all good... but his wit is at its sharpest here.

   
• Mermaids! Disney has found their latest live-action princess when they cast Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She's incredibly talented and I know of her from appearing in Grown-ish (the TV spin-off from Black-ish)...

Halle Bailey
Photo by Evan Agostini

Disney, being the savvy company they are, cast who they felt was best for bringing the character to life... regardless of race. She's a Grammy nominee, for heaven's sake. But of course the bigot brigade is all #NotMyAriel because the idea of a fictional half-fish girl being played by a Person of Color is just too much for their tiny brains to process. Time will tell If Bailey will make a good Ariel. Personally I am trusting Disney on this. But holy crap... give the young woman a chance! They haven't even started filming yet! I sure hope she isn't bothered by all this nonsense.

   
• Plus Plus! Speaking of Disney... as if the Marvel and Star Wars series in development weren't enough reason to compel me to subscribe to the Disney+ streaming service when it debuts later this year, now they've got a new series called Life and Deaf in development with one of my all-time favorite actors, Marlee Matlin. Somebody at Disney is very, very serious about competing with Netflix!

   
Have a great Sunday!

   

Caturday 116

Posted on Saturday, July 6th, 2019

Dave!Apparently I had some motivation in me after all?

Today was so beautiful out that I ended up floating the river with friends instead of lounging around the house doing nothing.

Though laying on a floatie drinking booze and letting the river take you is pretty close to nothing...

Floating Down the River

Floating Down the River

At the end of our float, there was a couple with their too-cute dogs out enjoying the sun. One of the pups was tuckered out and decided to take a nap under a cap...

Floating Down the River

Floating Down the River

But this is Caturday and not Dogurday, so back to the usual feline madness that Saturday brings...

I ended up having to leave the post-float party early because I have ghosts...

Asking Jenny to go close the door had no effect.

Behind my house is a big field filled with dandelions that have gone to seed. So leaving the door open like that will guarantee that dandelion fluff will fill my living room if I don't take care of it, so off I went.

   
Whenever I have guests staying over, my cats cower upstairs in my storage closet until everybody goes to bed... then they come out and goof around until everybody wakes up and they hide upstairs again. This morning poor Jake was lounging in the catio and didn't make it upstairs before we were all awake. This is the look on his face when he realized he was "trapped" in the catio until we all left for the day...

Jake Staring from The Catio

He didn't have to wait long, but enjoyed staring at us from behind the safety of my massive pole...

Jake Staring from The Catio

I have tried many, many times to get my cats so they are not afraid of people. It never works. After a few days Jake might come wandering out for a minute if it's quiet and calm, but he's completely scared and on edge the entire time. Jenny won't even think about it. This makes me terrified as to how my cats will manage if I'm in some kind of horrible accident. Will anybody want to adopt them if they are this frightened? Are there kind souls who are patient and caring with a feral rescue who's terrified of people? I sure hope so.

Of course, just getting ready for guests is an adventure unto itself. I try to get everything cleaned up and organized, but this is never easy. "Oh, you just made the bed? Here, let me get on that, even though I haven't been on the bed in weeks...

Jake on the Guest Bed

   
And now, as I retire on this fine Caturday, I leave you with this...

Oh. And this...

Cats are the best.

   

Vacation Week

Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019

Dave!I just finished a big project at work that's been consuming my every waking moment for weeks. A part of me is anxious to move on and start on something new (heaven only knows there's enough to be done), but there's a part of me that wants so badly to do nothing at all. Just for a little while.

Good thing I'm on vacation for a week...

Dave in a Pool with a Duck Floaty

Maybe if I wasn't so exhausted I'd be motivated to do something, but I'm really just not.

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One Man, One Tiny Penis

Posted on Thursday, July 4th, 2019

Dave!I'm finding it even harder than last year to find something to celebrate today. Lately it seems that everything I love about my country is in our past.

And just when I think The United State of America has reached rock bottom, our government finds new depths to sink to. The latest? Our dictator wannabe president and his stupid-ass military parade. Which was always pathetic and sad, but reached new depths of heinousness when it was revealed that our National Parks had to pony up $2.5 million out of the entrance fees they collect to maintain the parks. Which means we're giving up much needed maintenance of parks that everybody can enjoy to roll out our big guns and stroke the ego of one man with a tiny, wee little penis...

"Military displays like this are a favorite tactic of those who want to wrap themselves in the symbols of who we are rather than really celebrating who we are. This fits into this larger, troubling trend of identifying America itself as a military state. The Fourth of July in America should be about so much more than our military and our ability to fight off the rest of the world.” — Army Major Jason Dempsey (retired).

And you just know that this $2.5 million isn't the end of it. Millions more will be spent for something so unfathomably asinine as to be fucking laughable.

But what's really disgusting is the idea that Clownface VonFuckstick will be passing out V.I.P. tickets to big Republican Party donors...

"This looks like it’s becoming much more of a Republican Party event — a political event about the president — than a national celebration of the Fourth of July, and it’s unfortunate to have the military smack dab in the middle of that.” Army Lt. Gen. David Barno (retired).

“The president is using the armed forces in a political ploy for his reelection campaign and I think it’s absolutely obscene” — Army Maj. Gen. William Nash (retired), a veteran of Vietnam, the Gulf War and peacekeeping operations in the Balkans.

And that's where we're at. The United States of America is a for-profit enterprise for the sole benefit of its insecure leader who needs a big parade to feel loved. A leader who idolizes the likes of Vladimir Putin. Kim Jong Un, and Mohammed bin Salman... a horrific collection of murderers known to commit grotesque human rights violations.

How the fuck am I supposed to be celebrating my country when those who run it are garbage? People who claim to be celebrating our military... but then dictate what our military is allowed to say on a holiday celebrating our freedoms...

Pentagon Instructions to Troops
From Mother Jones... Pentagon Guidance to Troops in Trump’s July 4th Event: Say I Love My Tank

Perhaps I can celebrate that 565 days from now... 13573 hours from now... 814401 minutes from now... 48864067 seconds from now... President Trump's term will be over and somebody else can fuck up the country for a while. Hopefully somebody who won't need to spend millions upon millions of dollars on a fucking parade so they can feel special.

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey waving US flags.

Or, more likely, the Democrats will be fucking idiots again and we'll have four more years of Trump bankrupting the country like he's bankrupted everything else he touches.

And I won't be the least bit surprised.

Just disappointed. Again.

   

Golden Earring

Posted on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Dave!I think I've finally taken care of all the donations from my friend Grant's estate. Medical supplies dropped at a shelter. Bandages and medical tape put in storage so I can add them into AnySoldier.com care packages. And some of Grant's stuff that was going to his friends has been shipped.

My inheritance from Grant consisted of three 2-liter bottles of Coke Zero (since drank) and a cash box (cash not included). Grant's executor was kind enough to give me the box so I could store my foreign currency collection in it... and it works great! Much nicer than the cardboard box I was keeping it in!

So thank you for the box, sir. I still miss you muchly.

Interesting to note that inside that cardboard box was something I was not expecting to find...

My very first earring!

Back in the 80's I wanted my ear pierced in the worst possible way, but my parents wouldn't endorse it... AT ALL. So I waited until I went skydiving. I figured they would be so happy that I survived that they wouldn't mind that I had an earring! Not so much. But they were pretty good about ignoring it for the seven(?) years I had it.

This replaced the stud you get when they shoot your ear with that piercing gun (something I would never use again, now that I am smarter about piercing). Little golden hoops were what the style was at the time (circa 1986 I think?) so that's what I got. This was a cheap-o hoop that came in a set of two for $5 or something. I didn't want to spend a lot of money because I didn't know how long I'd want my ear pierced.

I wore it for probably a year... maybe a year-and-a-half... until I replaced it with a better quality hoop. By then I figured that I'd have my ear pierced forever, so why not invest in something that wouldn't turn my ear green?

Eventually the tiny little hoops went out of style. Which means I probably wore it for another 3 years after that.

Then one day I woke up, decided I was done with it, and threw my earring in the trash.

I've toyed with the idea of getting my ear(s) pierced again just for the hell of it. But I think I'm good. After I started getting tattoos, it just felt like it would be redundant.

That's okay though. I'm undoubtedly too old for this kind of stuff anyway.

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Armchair Dark Tourism

Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Dave!I've been consumed with work for the past week and will continue to be consumed by it until the holiday. It's just that time of year.

This is tough for a number of reasons, but mostly because I have no life outside of work for the month of June. About all I get to do is occasionally look through my Facebook feed and see how the other half live.

Today as I was waiting for a project to render so I could move on to the next project, I was scrolling through Facebook and happened across a photo of David Farrier and a cat...

David Farrier and a Cat
Photo by David Farrier on Facebook

Somehow this awesome cat staring back at me was just what I needed after yet another very bad day. It also inspired me to revisit David Farrier's Netflix show: Dark Tourist.

I mentioned a while ago that Dark Tourist has my favorite opening credits of all time...

If you're interested in the show (and you should be!), here's a trailer...

At least now I have something to watch as I work through the night tonight.

   

Soda. Baking Soda.

Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019

Dave!Okay... you've all seen my refrigerator.

There's nothing in it except soda, beer, salad dressings, condiments, and tons of cheese. I don't have a lot of food-stuffs in there because there's only myself and my cats in the house, and I usually end up freezing stuff instead so it doesn't go to waste. If I refrigerate something, it just sits there until it eventually spoils, because there's only so much food I can eat...

And yet... when I opened it this morning it smelled like a fish had died in it. Which is odd, because I don't eat fish. Tonight when I got home it was STILL reeking like low tide. And so I took absolutely everything out and did a smell test. Perhaps one of my cream cheeses went bad? But no. Everything smelled fine. UNTIL I GOT TO THE BAKING SODA! YOU KNOW, THE STUFF YOU PUT IN THE REFRIGERATOR TO KEEP IT FROM SMELLING?!? HOLY CRAP! Arm & Hammer are on my list now, buddy!

It's weird how this could happen because I buy baking soda in bulk (it's useful for SO many things) and my house reminds me to change the baking soda in my refrigerator every four months!

The stuff that started smelling awful was just under 3 months old!

Which begs the question... can baking soda go bad?

I changed out the Arm & Hammer in my refrigerator, so I guess we'll find out.

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Bullet Sunday 618

Posted on Sunday, June 30th, 2019

Dave!Grey skies are going to clear up... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Hard Rockin'! Life is weird. I'm flipping through channels and see Suicide Squad is on. Not a fan, but I pause when I see Batman chasing Joker and Harley Quinn because they pass by a Hard Rock Cafe. I'm pretty sure it's Toronto (which has since closed) so I Google to find out what's happened to the location. I find an article on CBC talking about it.

I AM INTERVIEWED IN THE ARTICLE...

HRC Nottingham

I vaguely remember somebody calling me, but I gave them a better name to talk to, and thought that was the end of it. Turns out... nope... I'm in the article and didn't even know it.

   
• Angels! And so they're remaking Charlie's Angels, yet again. First there was the original TV show, then the Drew Barrymore films, then the awful TV show revival, and now yet another series of films...

Meh. Maybe. Seems like the main trio is a little low on star-power for a movie. Interesting that there are three actors for Bosley listed at IMDB: Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou, and Elizabeth Banks (who also directs).

   
• Break! Okay... I am really liking this new show called Reef Break. I expected to like it just because Poppy Montgomery is the star of the series, but it's interesting and well-written on top of that...

I wish they would have just set it in Hawaii instead of some fictional island. But with Hawaii Five-O and Magnum P.I. already there, maybe they were worried about Hawaii fatigue?

   
• Grand! I like an occasional dip into trashy television, which is why I was intrigued by Grand Hotel... the new ABC show Executive Produced by Eva Longoria...

The first two episodes are pretty decent. Full of mysteries, secrets, and intrigue. The problem is that shows like this usually blow all their best ideas early, then whither away as crappy new ideas are rotated in. I guess we'll see if this one has legs.

   
• Letterman! Tiffany Haddish, whom I fell in love with after seeing her hilarious role on The Last O.G., is on an episode of David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. She is absolutely fascinating. I had no idea the incredible obstacles she had to overcome to get where she is today... and she's done it all with a humor that is luminous...

Remarkable. I love shows like this.

   
• Design! Jony Ive, the industrial designer who helped Steve Jobs reinvigorate Apple with such gems as the iMac, is leaving the company to start his own design group. Apple claims that Ive will still have Apple as a client, so apparently he will still be a guiding force in the design of Apple's wares. And that sucks. Ive is so focused on making everything pretty and thin now-a-days that he has forgotten that computers need to be functional. The keyboard on Ive's latest MacBooks is fucking garbage. My hope was that Apple would bring in somebody who gives a shit that you can actually use their products. I guess that's not going to happen. At least not yet.

In another interesting move at Apple, they just hired ARM's lead CPU architect, Mike Filippo. The rumor is that Apple is switching from Intel to ARM as soon as next year. Given how well it's worked out when Apple started designing their own chips for iPhones, iPads, AirPods and the like, this is probably a good move.

   
• Green! The Oregon "Cap and Invest" bill that Republicans were hiding from this last week is a bit complex. When I was trying to understand what was happening, all the articles I read said that there would be minimal impact on Oregon businesses, because the money collected would go back into helping the same businesses who are having to buy "energy credits" reduce their energy needs or switch to greener options. So it's designed to be a win-win for everybody. There are questions as to whether that would actually be the case. It's not like the corner coffee shop is going to suddenly face insurmountable increases in energy costs... businesses have to be producing 25,000 metric tons of CO2 for it to affect them... but the smaller businesses supplied by larger businesses would have higher costs passed on to them until the energy needs/supply is balanced. That could be a problem (hopefully only in the short-run). It's not the business-destroying Armageddon-painted scenario Republicans are selling (they get loads of money from the energy lobby, remember), but it's also not the cake-walk Democrats are selling. As with most thing, the story is in-between. The only difference being that the fate of all humanity is on the line here. Green energy is the future. The sooner we embrace that, the less painful it will be.

   
And now... time to draw up plans for a week of fun in the sun. See you next Sunday.

   

Caturday 115

Posted on Saturday, June 29th, 2019

Dave!The past week has been filled with wet weather. This used to be a source of great anxiety for my cats. Rain hitting the roof was confusing. But that's been changing over the years. Jake is actually able to sleep through rain, thunder, and lightning now.

Jenny? Not so much.

She meows at the ceiling. She meows at the windows. She's very interested in what's happening outside, but not interested enough to actually go outside and investigate...

Jake is interested because Jenny is interested...

   
The other day my dinner burned up in the oven. In an effort to help clear the smoke smell out of my house from my cremated pizza, I opened all the windows and doors (but not screen doors) here in the house. And there I was... walking to the kitchen with my dishes... when I see that SOMEHOW I FAILED TO NOTICE THAT THERE WAS NO SCREEN ON THE WINDOW NEXT TO THE CAT CLIMBING TREE! And there was Jake... leaning out the window all "Wassup?" As I start to crap my pants, I quickly made my way to the kitchen so I can shake the "bag of treats" and lure him away from escaping.

It worked, thank heavens. I honestly don't think my heart could take him escaping again. But at least this time I would actually know what happened!

   
Speaking of cooking disasters just waiting to happen... my old barbecue grill had to be replaced and I had time to assemble the new one this week. As with anything new, Jake and Jenny are invested...

The replacement grill is smaller than the old one, which is perfect for me. This one can fit in the catio without obstructing the door so I can leave it out instead of having to drag it back to the garage each time...

Now that the weather is turning nice again, I may actually get to use it.

Fingers crossed.

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