Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Have I used this picture before? Or merely one very similar? Come on, you all keep track of these things, right? Being connoisseurs of fine blogging in general, and this blog specifically, I'm sure you know right away if/when I reuse intro landscapey pictures, eh? Eh?
What? You know not! Well, harrumph, I say! See how offended and indignant I am? SEE?
OK, it passed, never mind...
I found that sketch quite amusing, and hey, I figured I'd share! You didn't have to watch it all small like that, silly; you could have clicked the "full screen" button in the corner! Sheesh! Although I believe if you are joining me tonight from outside the US, then Hulu will not let you watch it! And you'll just have to wonder what you missed. I'll give you a hint: it involves a bidet, and a world-class beard...
So, as per usual, I have about a half-dozen projects that are demanding my full attention... needless to say, they are all disappointed in me... since I am having to dole out a bit of time each day to each of them, slowly moving them all forward to completion... at the moment, it's hard to tell which will finish first... the Christmas play or the Camp Video... after that, my sister's mailing list, and then pastor's mammoth Kindle book cover project. And then there's total Skyrim domination and both of my novels... and then Easter looms large in the distance...
Yeah, that all likely means nothing to you, so I shall move on, and entertain you with a scathing editorial comment against a certain vegetable...
Well said... still, broccoli is better than brussell sprouts...[shudder]... brussell sprouts are so offensive, I won't even take the time to look up how to properly spell them!
So our DVD player died. I bought a new one. WOW! HOW EXCITING, DAVE!!! I'M SOOOOO GONNA PASS OUT FROM EXCITEMENT RIGHT NOW!!!!1!!!! So the new DVD player plays Blu-Ray discs as well. Which means our pathetically, repulsively mammoth DVD collection is about to evolve further. Ah, the glories of retarded chick flicks, now seen in stunning high-def! Katherine Heigl, make yourself at home! Anyway, the player also has a feature where it wirelessly accesses the internet, so we can stream NetFlix Watch Instantly to our TV. The girls have been watching Psyche nonstop since we figured out how to get it to work. Well, the good news is that now I can downgrade our cable package to basic cable only, to save $$$. Which is good, since my rent is increasing yet again.
Is there an unwritten, understood law that says rent must always increase every year? It's a bummer. They raise it just enough to be painful, but not enough to force us to move out in a huff. The last thing I want to do is move; I like it here. Still, it's like we're being punished for each year we stay here.
Ah, first world problems! All things considered, I still have an over-abundance of things to be thankful for.
Christmas shopping.... [shudder]
So I found an awesome blog... well, it's awesome to me, but I'm just a big softy... it's called Dear Photograph, and features people submitting pictures of pictures... like this...
People hold up old family photos and re-photograph them in the same setting that the original picture was snapped in. They then write a little bit about the photo and/or the people in the photo. Makes for fascinating browsing, if your bent leans toward reflection... a little window back in time. Very cool. Click this link to go to the blog, eh!
OK, well, I think I've given you enough text to skim through for one night. Give me another day or three and I'll dredge up some more.
I hope your holidays are/will be good ones.
Dave the Old Softy
PS I have 61 Followers now! I'm famous!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Greetings halflings! And, what the heck, hello to the wholelings checking in as well... if my voice sounds funny, it's because I'm in the middle of my annual bout with sinus-related head-stuffiness. Yes, it affects my singing voice... here, I'll demonstrate... "He was once a little green slab of clay... Gumby!"
See? Yeah, it just doesn't sound right, eh? I do like the effect, though... it adds depth and gravel to the bad accents I annoy everyone with. And yes, I mean everyone! Even you! If you get an anonymous call on your celly in the next day or two, with someone on the other end doing a bad, but wonderfully deep and gravelly Russian or British accent... well, it could be me. Don't call the cops... I have to keep practicing my accents, or they'll never get better! We actors are annoying like that....
So I'm buying games and books like they're going out of style. There's just so much good stuff out there! I'll never catch up. Here I am, fully absorbed in Skyrim, and Steam goes ahead and has a great Thanksgiving sale, forcing me (yes, forcing, I say!) to buy even more games for my overloaded library! And don't get me started on my digital book collection... sheesh! I'm tearing through more samples of late, just to clean out the clutter in my Kindle App. Mostly fantasy, but some sci-fi.
I did buy Theft of Swords, which is the first volume of Michael Sullivan's Riyria Revelations series, which just came out. I read the sample and was very impressed. His is a cool story... he decided to write an entire six-volume series completely, before publishing any of them. Now, that's confidence for you. I like the reasoning he gives - that it makes going back and strengthening/tweaking earlier volumes possible. If book one and two (for example) are published and locked in stone, and you're writing away on book 5 (for example!) and stumble upon a story element that would require tweaking volume one to get the best effect, you can't do it if Vol one is on the shelves already!
Anyways, he acknowledges that it was a risky strategy, but it seems to have paid off. He's getting a lot of love in the fantasy blogs, etc. of late. When I finish the book, I may send some love his way as well...
This video is currently making the rounds, and it's quite amazing...
What an amazingly clear video image... I'd love to see it in HD some time... it's from a BBC nature series called Frozen Earth. Here is the link, in case the YouTube embed gets taken down (because of copyright nonsense).
So I got a Jury Summons in the mail today! What gives!? I thought if you've served on a jury, you get a reprieve of 3 years before you have to serve again? I did that city trial in 2009 and the Federal one downtown last year. Ah well, part of me wants to complain, while the other part of me wants to show up and see if I can get selected for a third trial in a row. They don't call me "Hanging Judge Wagner" for nothing! String 'em all up, I says!
OK, I don't really says that... except about Christmas lights...
If I do get on another criminal trial, I will post about it every day here on this blog, with polls based on that day's evidence, so you can all tell me how to vote! That is, until I get caught and kicked off the jury. Then I can claim my rights have been violated, and I'll have to Occupy the courthouse. Or maybe I'll just Occupy the nearest Starbucks instead. "This Pumpkin Spice Latte is not hot enough! Equal coffee rights now! Heck no, we won't go! Without a free refill, anyway..."
Wrong movie, Leo!
It's after midnight. I'm eating Smart Food (thus begrunging my keyboard) and drinking tea. Among the items on my desk are the following: An empty Sam Adams bottle (from Thursday), a sharpee pen, a box of Kleenex, my jury summons (along with the rest of today's mail), a set of headphones (with retractable mic) and my daughter's big, goofy sunglasses. How the glasses got here, I'm not sure. I'd try them on, but I'm not feeling it right now. Oh, what the heck, here, I'll try them on.
If I die tonight, that will be the last picture ever taken of me! Yes, I'm as tired as I look. But at least I'm fashionable and stuff. Because nothing says "trendy and fashionable" like a pair of ridiculous glasses! I saw a pair of sunglasses for $25,000 at the Crystal Mall in Vegas last summer. What, may I ask, the heck?
Here, I have one more video clip for you...
And that is why you don't go mountain biking in Africa! Well, that, and malaria. Although that might be a myth, for all I know. That antelope was just bitter because it rhymes with "cantaloupe"... If my name rhymed with "cantaloupe" I'd want to run people over as well...
OK, fine, I'll stop for tonight. My head feels like (and likely looks like) a pumpkin at the moment, so I'm going to pound some Ni-Quil and go the heck to bed.
Adios for now,
Dave the Semi-Lucid
PS I used "heck" six times in this post... well, seven, if you count the "heck" in the PS. Make that eight...
Monday, November 21, 2011
I've noticed an ugly trend of late... only 3 comments on each of the last three posts! That is wrong on so many levels! You guys are just not cutting it.... you have to make up for it on this post... you have to drop ALL KINDS of comments on this one... otherwise the reading on my Happiness Meter could dip into dangerous levels, and I'll have to resort to posting old Pooter videos and dropping poorly-thought-through theological rants in here... or I could go on and on about Skyrim... heaven forbid!
But to get things rolling, you can see that beautiful Tuscany photo at the top of the post there... come on, that's a great photo! And it's Tuscany! Doesn't it make you want to leave a comment, eh? Or at least make you want to eat at Olive Garden?
Here's a video clip... maybe this will prompt a comment...
There. That should be good for two comments at least.
Plus, if I get enough comments, I'll win a free set of steak knives! Come on, you have to help me win those knives! They can cut through a shoe and everything! Think of it! If society devolves into a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested dystopian wasteland and I'm forced to eat old shoes to survive, then I'll be golden! And it will all be because of you and your comments!
Hmm... maybe a funny picture will work...
That's both funny and cute! That has GOT to work! If not, I'll throw a funny/cute cat picture in here, just to up the ante a bit...
Go get him, kitty! Get that bug!
I had to post this one nice and big, so you'll see the bug... otherwise the effect is lost... and so will any comments be that might have been lavished upon me!
You see, if I get enough comments, I'll also win a voucher for a free Emergency Tonsillectomy. That will come in handy some day, I'm sure. Of course, I'd also like to win the Elective Tonsillectomy Voucher as well, so I could just have it done some weekend when there was nothing good on TV... but to qualify for that voucher, I'd need at least 120 Followers as well... *sigh*...
Hmm... how about if I entertain and enlighten you with a little This Dave In History?
Todayve In History: November 22
- 11/22/1963, JFK was assassinated in Dallas. (I always thought there was a second bunman on the gassy knoll...)
- 11/22/1986: Mike Tyson beats Trevor Berbick to become the youngest heavyweight champ EVAR!!! (Here is a cool clip of a bunch of his early knock-outs... the guy could bring the hammer, for certain... he does a great Herman Cain impression as well...)
- 11/22/1995: Toy Story is released, the first feature-length, fully computer-animated movie! (Ad infinitum et ultra!)
- Among those born Nov 22 are: Rodney Dangerfield (1921), Terry Gilliam (1940), Billie Jean King (1943), Mark Ruffalo (1967) and Scarlet Johansson (1984).
In honor of Mark Ruffalo's birthday, here's the Club Shootout scene from Collateral...
When I see scenes like this, the first thing I think is "when they filmed this scene, there was no music! All those extras are dancing in silence!" Yeah, I know, sorry... that's the way my mind works. Mark Ruffalo is awesome in that movie. Too cool. I need facial hair like his... then I can be cool, too. Actually Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise are awesome in that film, too... too bad the movie itself wasn't all that red hot...
That reminds me, the trailer for Snow White & the Huntsman looks surprisingly good. I'm looking forward to it. It has another awesomely-cool actor in it... that dude from Thor, whatever his name is. I'd look it up, but I'm feeling lazy right now...
Then again, maybe if I don't look the name up, I'll lose out on a few comments! BRB... his name is Chris Hemsworth. Shoot, I shouldn't have looked it up! Now I see that Kenneth Branagh was the director of Thor... I can't like that movie anymore now... anyone who would enact such a lame Hamlet, and then run roughshod over Sleuth like he did deserves no kudos from me, in any manner.... unless, of course, he leaves a comment on today's post! Then I will love him! I'll even acknowledge that his 1989 performance of Henry V was quite good!
Hmmm... when is St. Crispin's Day, I wonder? I'd look it up, but I'm feeling laz-- gah! Caught myself again! BRB... nertz! It was October 25th! I missed it! And that's Maggie's birthday! I'll remember it forever, now...
Well, if this post doesn't yield a bumper-crop of comments, nothing will. Remember, if I get enough comments, I'll win free foot massages for a year!
And now, soldiers, march away, and how thou pleasest God, dispose the day.
Dave the Scattered
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Actually, that's not my biggest problem; I have plenty of others. I just don't feel like whining tonight, so I'm going to stay light (aka "vapid") tonight.
And, actually, even though Skyrim is a $60 game, I paid exactly $0 for it. See, with Citibank, I earn these things called "Thank You Points"... for every buck I spend using my bank card, I get a point. I've been accumulating these points for a couple years. Well, I just converted $150 worth of Thank You Points over to Amazon credit, and so BOOM, free game, plus lots left over for more Kindle Books.
Ah, livin' the dream.
But back to Skyrim for a minute... for those that don't understand the appeal of a fake life lived on a computer screen, let me (try to) explain. Picture a large (vast, really), open expanse of terrain, all mountainous and beautiful, with rocks and trees and snow and animals and villages and castles, etc. You can wander anywhere and explore anything and talk to anyone. You can go into caves and fight beasts or bandits, looking for treasure. You can fight baddies, get killed in the attempt, and then just reload the game from your previous "save point" and try again, or run away, or sneak around in the shadows. You can take on the Main Quest to save the world from peril, or you can ditch the Main Quest and do any number of other Side Quests, for little trinkets or treasures, or just out of the goodness of your heart. You can be a good guy or a bad guy. Or both. You can hike to the top of a mountain peak, stand at the very edge of a sheer cliff face, marvel at the view, save the game, and then leap off to your doom... then reload that last save game spot to the edge of the cliff again, and just walk away.
In other words, you can do all the stuff you wish you could do in real life, but can't. Shoot a bad guy with a bow and arrow? Check. Run a bad guy through with a sword, or cleave him with an axe? Check. Shoot magical fireballs or ice blasts out of your hands? Check. Pick locks and pick pockets? Check. Steal stuff and cause havoc? Check. Get arrested and then break out of jail? Check. Or be a hero of renown, winning the love and adoration of the masses? Check. Fight dragons? Check!!!!
There's just something about it that I find almost unfathomably appealing. I think in every guy (and maybe most of the women) there lives a strong desire to be courageous/heroic. To make a difference in the world. To cut loose and dive headlong into danger, knowing that if it doesn't work out, just rewind a bit and try again. To explore. To create. To love. TO LIVE.
There's probably negative theological ramifications to such an attitude, I don't know. But what I do know is that I love love love wandering around that game world, and soaking it all in. If I could somehow transfer that same awe and fascination to "real life," I'd be golden.
So speaking of heroes, I finished reading White Wolf, by David Gemmell. A story featuring two heroes, and some full-throttle villains.
If it seems pretty formulaic, that's because it is. But in this case, it didn't matter to me, because dangit, I enjoyed the ride thoroughly. Enough so that I'll soon embark on my own Impossible Quest... that of trying to read all of Gemmell's 20+ books. His characters are complex creatures, and he writes great action scenes for them. In fact, both this book and the other Gemmell book I read last year (Legend) each have many "main" characters, as opposed to just one, and in many ways, they are all unique and work well as the focus of the tale, and even better when combined with the others. If that makes sense.
I don't want to get too far into White Wolf (the book), since it doesn't really matter at this point. If fantasy does anything for you, I recommend the book. If not, then no amount of elaboration on the story will convince you otherwise. Gemmell is solid; let me leave it at that. Grab a free sample or two of his stuff and try him out yourself, eh! That's an order!
What will I read next? Well, at the moment, it's more Free Samples. When I land on a full book and it hooks me, I'll let you know.
And now, the latest Damien Walters highlight video...
Awesome. Yet another thing I wish I could do.
I think I'll bring tonight's blast of hot air to an end. If it continues, it may raise the temperature in here so high, it will activate the blog air conditioner, and I can't afford that...
Adios for now,
Dave the Gemmellite
Friday, November 11, 2011
Dang, get a load of the smooth gradient in that lake picture. Tasty. Obviously quite-heavily modified in Photoshop, but you can't argue with the results. Cool, mellow minimalist vibe. Nice and blue... like my mood. And my knee-high Uggs.
I'm kidding. My mood is fine.
Actually, I was torn about which picture to lead with tonight. I've found some great ones of late. Here, check this one out...
That... is incredible. Works well with the blue from the previous picture... kinda scroll so you can see them both on the screen at the same time... yeah, like that. Cool eh?
Weird week. But it ended well. Had another great play rehearsal tonight. I won't go into detail, but I will re-state how much I'm enjoying the ride this year. Plus, I got my copy of Skyrim tonight (It's out, after all these years!). It plays pretty well on my system, unlike Battlefield 3. Looking forward to saving the world. Even if it isn't my world. For those that care, I decided to roll a Redguard. Great all-around fighters and totally tough-looking. Unlike me. I'm pretty lame. Redguard, cool; me, lame. Remember that - there will be a quiz later...
I read a book this week... I'm hesitant to admit it. I'm torn, because it was a really good book, but I don't know if I should recommend it, and the book was quite gritty and out of my normal element. Aw, what the heck, I'll tell you...
I won't go into it any further here. Most of you, I'm sure, would be thoroughly uninterested in such a tale, and in fact are possibly wondering why I would read such a thing. Honestly, I don't know. It is darkly funny, well-written, memorable, witty, gritty, and really describes demons and angels in a fascinating way. But make no mistake, the protagonist (Sandman Slim) is a thoroughly unsavory character. I downloaded the free sample chapters from Amazon, along with a ton of other book samples, based on a recommendation from one blog or another... anyway, I wasn't many pages into the free sample before I just knew I had to buy and read the whole book. Sometimes writing just grabs you, regardless the topic. This was one of those times.
If you want to know more about the tale, here's a quick review I found. Or Google it, it won't be hard to find. It is actually the first in a series, but I'm not sure I want to pursue the series any further.
I'm currently reading White Wolf, by David Gemmell. Another winner. I'll probably do a legit review of it when I finish.
It's supposed to rain all day Saturday (11/12). Let's just say, I am completely set: Rain + Saturday + Skyrim + White Wolf. I may even try to squeeze in a little actual work, though most of my work-related obligations are done. Looks like it's shaping up to be a perfect Saturday. We'll see if it lives up to the potential.
Cat in a Hat Stalking You: Your Argument is Invalid.
Well, I'm sitting here in front of my computer, tapping my fingers on my desk, searching my mind for something else to talk about here. And I'm coming up dry. So, I'm going to pull the plug on this post. All is well in my little corner of the world. We'll see what this week holds.
Adios for now,
Dave, On A Roll
PS Condolences to fellow blogger Logan, on his dad's passing.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Been holding this picture in my archive since last winter. Figured today was the day to finally post it. I'm not very political, nor will I drop a political rant in here to go with the photo... I just really like the shot.
The weekend strolls to a close. A great weekend. Rainy, sure, but I don't mind the rain. I think what made it great was the pair of great play rehearsals we had on Friday and Sunday... I am having more fun with this play than any other production we've done, any year, period. Not sure why this one is different, but it is. It's going really, really well. Everyone seems into it, and it's very enjoyable. I hope it lasts.
"The play's the thing, wherein we'll capture the conscience of the King!"
A little Hamlet for ya there. Modified slightly with a capital K, to alter the meaning rather substantially (all due respect to the long-dead bard)...
OK, let's see if anyone else thinks this is funny...
Well, whadaya think? I have to admit, I laughed pretty hard at some of those falls. I know, I know... nothing new under the sun. Pratfalls have been getting laughs since vaudeville and silent films... still... I enjoyed it, for the most part...
First World Problems: Super bummed that Battlefield 3 doesn't work on my machine. The online play is unplayable, and the single-player game limps along and crashes every few minutes. I'll just shelve it and come back to it in six months, hoping they've worked out the bugs. Hopefully, Skyrim won't have similar problems... if it does, then I'll just have to pay Vye to upgrade my system... or buy me a new one! MUAHAHAHAH!!!! We'll see this coming up weekend... Skyrim comes out 11/11...
Still, it's good that BF3 isn't working, in a way... I have several things on my plate that could/should be commanding my full attention. The play, of course. My novel (this being NaNoWriMo and all!). The camp video, crawling toward completion. Plus, some work-related items (the rug shop, free-lance, and stuff for sister). In a way, the last thing I need is an absorbing distraction...
And now, the strangest video you've seen all year thus far...
Something oddly mesmerizing about that video. I wonder which program the artist used to animate that? I also wonder if he/she created that in his/her right mind, or were certain, shall we say, "substances" involved?
Well, I'm gonna hit the road for now. Lots to do before bedtime - and it's already almost midnight. Squish me luck.
Dave the Dave
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
If there was ever a sure thing in life, it is that a nice photograph of a tree in a big, open field will be called "Alone" or "Lonely" by whoever submits it online... gee, how clever! O_o Watch for it now, you'll see what I'm talking about... next time you're browsing a photo gallery, see for yourself. It's almost as sure a thing as the fact that you'll hear the word "corazon" in any Spanish song you hear...
Greetings to everyone and their brother. In fact, send your brother a link to this post when you get a chance. That way he can get my greeting himself, and he'll be happy. Hey, tis the season! Yes, tis!
For those of you that love the sound of rain and rolling thunder massaging your ears and calming your nerves, through a nearby open window, I have a gift for you. I found a website that does nothing but play wonderful, high-quality ambient rain sound on an endless loop. CLICK HERE. Then turn your speakers up to a comfortable level, minimize the browser window, and enjoy. Oh, and bookmark the site for future use. I've had it on practically nonstop for the past few days.
Of course, I've been listening to some odd music lately as well. You will not believe the song that has been looping through my brain lately... I will post the video here, and I will say ahead of time, if you can survive listening to it through to the end, you will earn 25 bonus Dave Dollars, for you to spend at the Dave Store, buying high-demand Dave merchandise for your collection. Be warned: This song will have the exact opposite effect as the rain sounds... Think you're strong enough? MUAHAHAHAH!!!
I cannot explain why I find that song appealing. Everything about it militates against my liking it. The lead singer cannot sing. His voice like rubbing a cheese grater on my ears. Yet, it has relentlessly squirreled into my brain, and has taken up residence. I even bought the song on iTunes for my library!
I guess it's just one of those mysteries of life... Don't worry: this too shall pass.
And now, R2-D2-shaped ice cubes.
Makes every drink feel like you're drinking it in a space cantina! "These are not the cubes you are looking for..."
So I was thinking again today about the totally bizarre way I've always viewed the months of the year in my brain. I mean, from my earliest memory, I've always immediately conjured up this image in my head when someone mentions a month, and I try to place it in reference to the rest of the year. Here, I created this graphic to post here as I talk about it. And yes, it kind of weirded me out.
So, picture a clock, with months instead of numbers. And picture that clock's only "hand" rotating counter-clockwise. Now picture each of the sections of the clock all different sizes, where the "hand" of the clock goes faster through some segments, and slower through others. Hey, you don't have to picture it, just look at the graphic!
Yes, that's how my mind pictures the year. The "hand" for me (at this moment) is just barely into November, as pictured there. And the colors aren't random - those are the colors my mind assigns to each month, some for obvious reasons (oct/orange/halloween; march/green/st pat's), but others for reasons I know not.
In fact, the whole thing is a mystery to me. Why are some month segments much bigger, and others smaller? Why does the hand go counter-clockwise? Why the colors? And most of all, where on earth did this way of looking at the year come from? Frankly, I don't even know what "normal" people do when they think of different months. If someone says, "next April we're planning a trip", does your mind picture a calender? An hour-glass? An abacus? My mind immediately pictures this clock, and the hand swings around down to the bottom, stopping in the yellow, and now I have the time frame fixed in my head as the conversation continues.
Yeah, I don't know why I'm sharing this here. It kind of dawned on me a while ago that my brain did this. And the more I pondered it, the weirder I thought it was.
I guess I'm in the Lord's hands now...
Yeah, that's not a position I'd like to be stuck in. Then again, I doubt I'd ever skydive to begin with. I'd like to think I would do it... but I know I won't. Especially after reading this article about US Marine Corps pilot William Rankin, whose jet failed him while cruising at 47,000 feet, and he had to eject directly over a huge thunderstorm. Let's just say the trip from 47K feet to the ground was not fun. His chute trapped him in the thunderstorm for forty minutes before finally letting him out so he could land. Go read that article, if you want to see a man who's lucky to be alive...
So I signed up for NaNoWriMo again this year. I succeeded in 2009, and failed miserably in 2010. I'm off to a good start this year. In fact, when I finish this post, I'm going to open MSWord and throw some more words on the screen. Once I'm assured I'm on a roll, I'll let you know more about what I'm writing. Good thing I found this article on 14 punctuation marks that I never knew existed. It's a good read, if you want to give it a quick skim.
Well, I don't know what else to write about here, so I will end this nonsense.
Dave the Nonsensical