Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mostly A Bunch of Book-Related Nonsense. Plus: Gorillas!

It's almost the end of the year! Run! Run for your lives!!!!!

Oh, sorry... false alarm...

OK, so, where to start?

So I ripped the Christmas play to my computer and uploaded it to my Viddler account, but it's all wonky! The colors are stripped out (except for the blues) and the video picture is reversed, like I'm watching it in the mirror... extremely weird. None of the other videos In my Viddler archive are having any similar issues. I wrote the tech support, and they were great... they think it's a Flash-related problem, and their team is "working on it". In the interim, he said to save it as a higher resolution, and upload it again.

Sorry for the delay! I know all 2 of you want to watch some of it, so you can ask yourselves what all the hype was about, and then mock me behind my back. I don't want to rob you of your chance! Be patient, it shall happen!

While you wait, check out this Gorilla video... it's pretty cool... apologies for the dude with the glasses doing the talking intro... he's kind of a d-bag. The action starts at about the 1 minute mark.

That guy... has nerves of steel. Do you realize how completely I'd lose bladder control if I was in a similar situation? Sheesh! I've read The Murders in the Rue Morgue! I know how strong those primates are!

Yes, I know the Poe story featured an orangutan, not a gorilla... still. *shudder* That silverback could have popped that dude's head off like a bottlecap if it had wanted to!

Did you know that The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) is considered the first ever Detective Story? Yep, good ol' Edgar Poe pioneered the genre... he's also credited with co-pioneering the Science Fiction genre, too. Not bad, for someone as goofy-looking as he was! Reminds me of an Abraham Lincoln quote I read recently. It was during a debate when he was running for President (I don't recall against whom), but his opponent accused Lincoln of being two-faced. Lincoln said, "If I had two faces, do you think I'd choose to wear this one?"

See, he knew how goofy-looking he was, see? Get it? See, like, get it? See?

OK, fine. Here's another one, but from Winston Churchill this time...


So I finished reading Theft of Swords, by Michael Sullivan. All in all, it was a fun, though not especially deep, tale, very family-friendly (if you will). No swearing or adult stuff at all. The action was fun, the pace swift, and the main characters likable. Theft of Swords featured two main characters, named Royce and Hadrian. Royce is a thief, and is supposed to be a dark, dangerous, cold-blooded character. I say "supposed to be" because more often than not, he is kind and helps people out. Ultimately, he's a good guy, though his reputation that precedes him is infamous and villainous. He doesn't really display much to back that rep up, as far as viciousness and/or killer behavior. Still, he's enjoyable. And his partner is Hadrian, who is a peerless swordsman, and master of various forms of swordplay that most have not even heard of, much less been able to learn.

The two take jobs for (and against) nobles, ranging from thefts of valuables (in seemingly-impossible places) to escort missions, to beast-slaying, to rescue missions. As I said, the pace is swift, the action satisfying, and the "feel" of the writing positive. I suggest reading the tale if you like to keep things light and fun.

Theft of Swords is actually the first two volumes of the Riyria Chronicles (no idea how to properly pronounce that word, lol). There are two more volumes that complete the series. I'll definitely pick them up with a portion of my Christmas dough and see how it continues.

Not much of a traditional book review, sorry.

I went with brother-in-law Johnny and his son Jacob to see the new Mission Impossible movie, the day before Christmas. If you haven't seen it yet, I recommend it. Again, for light, fun fare that doesn't demand any heavy thinking. It had some great action scenes, some funny dialog, and was self-aware in a few places, sort of giving a wink and a nod to the audience, so we knew it didn't take itself too seriously. Yes, a lot of the stunts were outrageous and there were at least two occasions where I almost injured my eyes rolling them too suddenly, but all in all, it was fun. I don't get to the theater too often, so it's nice when I can leave and feel it was worth the time/money investment.

Saw some great previews, including this one... Act of Valor

Nicely-made trailer, methinks.

So, as some of you know, my addiction the past half-year or so has been to download free book sample chapters onto my Kindle app (for my iPad) so I can sample new books/authors... those I like, I add to a list; those I don't, I delete. I've gathered quite a list of worthwhile fantasy books I plan on getting/reading at some point in the future. It occurred to me today that such info might be of interest to a fellow reader or two out there, so I'm going to post a list here...

Fantasy Books On My Radar

  • The Etched City, by KJ Bishop
  • The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe
  • Farlander, by Col Buchanon
  • Among Thieves, by Douglas Hulick
  • Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay
  • The Thief-Taker's Apprentice, by Stephen Daes
  • Acacia, by David Anthony Durham
  • Prince of Thorns, by Mark Lawrence
  • Tome of the Undergates, by Sam Sykes
  • The Ten Thousand, by Paul Kearney
  • The Whitefire Crossing, by Courtney Schafer
  • Knights of Dark Renown, by David Gemmell
  • Escaping Destiny, by Jeffrey Pierce
  • The Desert of Souls, by Howard Andrew Jones

I don't think you would go wrong with any of those titles. I've read the samples for all, and the writing is very solid in every case. Those last two are especially interesting to me. Escaping Destiny is truly unlike anything I've read before. Plus, the premise of Desert of Souls is extremely intriguing, and rife with possibility. I love an author who can quickly, effectively set the stage for an exciting adventure. Well done.

Speaking of great writing, I read the sample of a book by China Mieville called Perdido Street Station that is a marvel to read, crammed full of the coolest words, most-delicious descriptive language and tastiest sentence structure (to me, anyway). It's too bad the story itself is so gross and unappealing, I'd certainly recommend it here. I can give you an example, though...

The speaker is arriving in a big, dingy city, by boat on a disgusting river. That's all you need know...

The river twists and turns to face the city. It looms suddenly, massive, stamped on the landscape. Its light wells up around the surrounds, the rock hills, like bruise-blood. Its dirty towers glow. I am debased. I am compelled to worship this extraordinary presence that has silted itself into existence at the conjunction of two rivers. It is a vast pollutant, a stench, a klaxon sounding. Fat chimneys retch dirt into the sky even now in the deep night. It is not the current which pulls us but the city itself, its weight sucks us in. Faint shouts, here and there the calls of beasts, the obscene clash and pounding from the factories as huge machines rut. Railways trace urban anatomy like protruding veins. Red brick and dark walls, squat churches like troglodytic things, ragged awnings flickering, cobbled mazes in the old town, culs-de-sac, sewers riddling the earth like secular sepulchres, a new landscape of wasteground, crushed stone, libraries fat with forgotten volumes, old hospitals, towerblocks, ships and metal claws that lift cargoes from the water.

What do you think? You like it, or does it strike you as overdone? I think it's terrific. Again, too bad the story itself is such a downer. He uses other great words and phrases, like effluents, morbific, detumescing and pamphleteers... far too many others to mention here. And that's just in the first two chapters.

If I can stomach the story, I'll try to read more. I made it part-way into The City and The City before giving up on that as well (it's another Mieville book).

Hmm... I know I had other stuff to talk about. I really should keep a list of these things... my memory is failing me in my old age...

Well, I suppose I'll stop for now. I'm sure the other stuff I wanted to say will come to me later tonight, as I try to sleep...

I'll be back, fear not.

Dave the Goof

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, and All That

A quick Christmas Drive-By.

I hope your Christmas Day is an awesome one.

Man, what a year. I'll have a full new post here in the next day or so.... a lot to say...


Dave the Festive

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Somewhere Between the Sacred Silence and Sleep: Disorder

Greetings! Man, what a week....

First things first. The play! Yay, it's over! And was it FUN. Can't say it was perfect - there were a couple dropped lines and some projection problems, and the video didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped... but the play itself was ridiculously well-received. I mean, immediate  standing-O... not sure I've ever been involved in a play that was so immediately well-received. I talked to lots of folks, and everyone seemed to love it. In fact, everyone I talked to had a different part of the play that was their favorite - that seems to indicate to me that the play was pretty solid throughout.

Plus, it was just flat-out fun to perform. Man, I hope the other actors had a fraction of the fun I did in performing their roles. It was odd... I'd never attempted a role of this size and complexity before - I should have felt more overwhelmed than ever. But I didn't. Once I got into the opening monologue, something shifted, and I just had fun. I hate to sound redundant here, but as much as I enjoy acting, it always is stressful to me, and any fun I feel is always after the fact, upon reflection... but during the performance, I'm usually somewhere between extreme concentration and panic, until my final line, after which the sense of overwhelming relief will give way to a sense of ultimate satisfaction and enjoyment. This time it was just flat-out fun.

Due to technical difficulties upstairs, the opening monologue didn't make it onto the recording, so the DVD begins about 8 minutes in. Bummer. This will obviously make watching the play on disc a confusing mess - the opening monologue sets the whole story up. I was contemplating going back to the church by myself sometime, and setting the scene back up, and re-recording the opening, and editing it into the recording, while it's still fresh in my head.

But I have a disc, and I'll burn it to my computer tonight, and upload it to my Viddler account. I'll post it on my Wagnervana site and link to it, for the handful of you that might want to watch some of it. But keep in mind, most of the magic in a play is in seeing it live. A lot is lost in the translation to the screen. But I'll post it, link to it, and add the text for the opening monologue, so you can get the gist of what was missed.

Bottom line, this is how I felt after we were done...

Everyone in the cast was awesome. Great job.

This has been an incredible year. Full of the most extreme highs and lows. I can't (won't) go into all of it in this forum. I may write a summary of the year in my journal, just to document it. I'd say, other than the year after I graduated high school, this has been the most eventful, important year of my life. I mean, pendulum extremes, as far as highs and lows. Those that know me know some of them, I'm sure, but nowhere near all of them.

Yeah, I need to write a summary down somewhere.

But I can throw down a Best of 2011 List, as far as the more innocuous things...

Best Book I Read This Year (first time read): The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
Best Book I Read This Year (re-read): Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
Best Movie I Saw This Year: Pulling John
Best Music: Angels & Airwaves
Best Game: Skyrim
Best Blog: Rememorandum (Honorable Mention to 100-Fold Christianity)

In honor of my Best Game winner, here is some Skyrim humor that only Logan will find amusing. The rest of you, I dunno... like, skim down a bit or something...

Trust me... Logan will find those amusing... that alone should make posting them worthwhile...

So we have family here from out of town... we found places for everyone, believe it or not. They're good folks, so I'm sure all will be well.

On another note, I found a cool-looking writer's group that meets in Oceanside every week, called the Antisocial Writers and Social Misfits. They look like a fun bunch, so I signed up, hoping I could find a group of writers that could help me get my feet under me, as far as my big writing projects. Well, it turns out they meet Wednesday nights! Doh! The only night of the week that I have a prior obligation! I wish I'd noticed that beforehand! So now I'm torn. I think for January/February, I'll go to every other meeting, and see how/if I can fit in... Then I'll need to decide where to devote my Wednesday nights... I've been going to Stan's for the weekly prayer night for a couple years now... I don't want to just jettison it on a whim. But I really need the writing help, to get unstuck... so for the short term, I'll divide my team and see what happens...

Speaking of writing/reading, I have another blog post to recommend. Another eFriend who posted a piece on why guys should date a girl who reads. Very well done, worth your time. Click here to read it, eh! It'll just take a couple minutes!

Gotta scoot. Adios.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Gonna Eat That Chair?

Um, yeah... that is a cool picture. One of many I saw in this article. Don't worry if you don't wish to browse the gallery... I saved many of the best shots in my archive! You'll be seeing them here soon enough! MUAHAHAH!!! Yep, repost other people's stuff, that's what I do! I am nothing if not unoriginal! The only thing original around here are my lame puns! In fact, you could safely label this blog "nnuts"!

No, I don't mean crazy, and no, it isn't a typo... nnuts = nothing new under the sun...

I always wanted to start a T-shirt company and call it NNUTS... I even know what the logo would look like... in fact, here, lemme go whip up a mock-up for ya... brb...

There, that's the idea. Of course, it's a rough design (hey, what do you expect in 10 minutes?! Sheesh!) Anyway, I'm sure you see it... "nothing new under the sun" in a figure-8 shape, so it conforms to the rough shape of a peanut (which I ghosted around the whole logo). I got all absorbed in coming up with funny T-shirt designs at one time (few years back), actually worked out the designs on a few, and looked into starting a company. Then I lost all my brainstorm notes and art files for the T-shirt designs and ideas, got discouraged, and I let the idea die. I didn't want to start over from scratch. Gee, no surprise, to those that know me... yet another idea that slipped behind the glass wall...

Why was I reminded of that again? Oh, yeah... "lame puns", "nnuts", etc...

OK, well, moving right along...

I watched this mini-documentary last night, and thought it was great. I immediately thought my mom would enjoy it, so I'm posting it here for her. If the rest of y'all want to watch it, if you like music, you'll like the film as well, I'm sure. It's about a small town North Carolina barbershop that locals gather at on Saturdays to play music together in the back room... that likely sounds boring to you, but it really intrigued me. It weighs in at 20 minutes, so grab a snack...

Pickin' & Trimmin' from Matt Morris Films on Vimeo.

For those of you with shorter attention spans, I'll also post the trailer to the new Three Stooges movie coming out next year. I have to admit, I laughed hard (and continue to do so) when I watched it... WARNING: woman in bathing suit at the 1:00 mark. If that offends you, cover your eyes!

Looks like they nailed the casting on that one. Those guys are PERFECT. I'm not a fan of the Farrelly Brother's movies (with the exception of Dumb and Dumber), but I may go see that one. Good old fashioned screwball slapstick. That spot where the bell falls off the church roof and hits that person in the head with a big BONNGGG! gets me every time...

On a religious note, I've noticed a strange sort of fatalism creeping into my prayer life lately.

Wow, from Three Stooges right into prayer? Sure, why not? I make up the rules here, don't I?! Sheesh!

Anyway, I've found it harder to pray lately, since this idea keeps weaseling its way into my thoughts... "Why pray? What's the point? God's going to do what He wants to anyway! I mean, can I really sway what He will do, in any given situation?" Yeah, I know... either my cynicism is ripening to dangerous levels, or that thought has its origins "elsewhere"... anyway, I shall assume if I persevere, it shall dissipate, and leave me be. But for now, it's a bit of a struggle.

Hey, see how open I am with you? That just shows how much I love you! Yeah, I know, "Never talk about politics, religion or the Backyardigans," I get it... sorry, I'll move on...

"That's not funny; that's sad." - Sister Mary Cornelius

There, that brings us back in line with the spirit of this blog...

OK, fine, you want more theology? So I have a couple of "e-friends" who have recently made blog posts that blew me away. If that sort of thing interests you, the links are HERE and HERE.

So I was remembering something funny that happened between my brother Bryan and I one time, back when he still dwelt upon the earth. I was giving him a ride home from work one time (we worked together, at our family business here in San Diego), which was a rare occurrence for me. We each had our own cars, of course, and each drove alone, being on different schedules, etc. Anyway, for some reason, I needed to give him a ride, which I was happy to do. The freeway was packed, as was normal back then (before all the construction made the ride smoother), and Bryan reclined his chair to nap while we inched our way up the road.

Normally, as I said, I drive alone. One thing I did a lot (and still do) is while driving, sort-of subconsciously put my hand over on the back of the passenger-side chair back, up by the head-rest. I stretch my arm out, then back over the headrest, and lay my hand across it. I've done it so often, I do it without thinking, like a reflex.

Anyway, so we were crawling up the freeway, and I was bored, listening to the radio (softly), my mind drifting. Of course, I forgot Bryan was in the car with me, since he was reclined (and out of my peripheral vision), and normally I drove alone. So out goes the arm, and I place it on the now-missing chair back... when I let my arm drop, instead of resting where it normally does, my hand plummeted and smacked Bryan in the face...

He wakes up, of course, looking at me like I was insane, saying "What the heck?" In that split second, I imagined trying to explain what just happened to him in a way that would make sense, especially seeing as how he was just asleep. I mean, look at how many paragraphs it is taking me to tell this to you, and you're all awake (I think)! So I just said, "sorry", and looked forward again. He went back to sleep. Perhaps he thought he'd dreamed it, I don't know. I've never been smacked in my sleep before... must not have seemed funny to him at the time.

Not sure why I recalled that today. Sorry, Bryan, wherever you are!

Hmm... well, I suppose I should leave things here for now. Don't worry, I'll be back soon with more hot air! Don't cry yourself to sleep over it! No, stay awake and brood instead.

Adios for now,

Dave the Gump

PS 21st Anniversary today. 21 down, 75 more to go...

Friday, December 9, 2011

I Might Have Nothing To Say Today... Let's See, Shall We?

Dang... you know I'm down to the dregs in my picture archive when I open with a picture like that... Time to lurk around PhotoSIG some more, and replenish my landscapey-photo supplies.

Although that is a pretty cool art installation... From what I understand, it's supposed to honor the inventor of the clothes pin, but perhaps that was spontaneous nonsense, who knows... kinda clever, in any case...

OK, so, just so you know, I have nothing to say tonight. Nope, absolutely nothing. Not a word.

Well, I do have this picture of a funny sign modification...

... but that's it. Nothing else to share. Nope. Nothing.

Well, I mean, I am reading a really good fantasy book, called Theft of Swords, by Michael Sullivan. I mentioned it a post or two ago. Good, solid characters, a swiftly-unfolding plot, nice action, some humor, clean, easy to read and follow, shows great promise.

By the way, in case you were wondering, I failed miserably at the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. I made a good start, then fell a day behind, then two... once I was three days behind my pace, the whole thing fell apart. I was sunk by a combination of competing projects, an amazing game, and in-home turmoil. Those are my excuses. Valid, but still excuses nonetheless. Plus, the play, of course. I took on too much this year again... I really need to learn to delegate better. We had practice tonight. It was a good one, though certain key people were missing. We are officially 8 days away from performance time, as I write this. I go back and forth between sheer panic and total confidence. I plan on spending most of Saturday going over my monologues like a fiend. If I can really nail my part, it will anchor the play solidly, and hold the entire thing together, shoring up any weak areas. If I spend the rest of the time focusing on the weaker areas, but fail to nail my part, the whole thing could dissolve in my hands, and I can't have that.

There, see? I told you. I have nothing to say tonight. Nope, not a word.

But I do have this drawing...

So, we are now a "Two-Kindle Fire" family. I bought one for Katie for Christmas, and once everyone got a look at it, I ordered another one for Wifey (who will be "sharing" it with our Youngest). Eldest decided she didn't want one, otherwise we'd be a Three-Kindle Family. It finally dawned on me two days ago, the play-on-words with that gadget's name. Believe it or not, I never associated the word "kindle" with "fire" before that... as in "kindling a fire"... well, I certainly hope none of the Wagner Women decide to use their kindle as kindling...

But beyond that, absolutely nothing to talk about tonight, as I said.

Except we are having in-laws coming for the holidays, and I'm not sure how we are going to fit everyone under our roof. My brother-in-law John is coming, with his wife and three kids, plus they are bringing Wifey's mother along as well. They will be here from about Dec 20 through the New Year. Don't get me wrong, I love them, and always enjoy their company... it's just going to be a madhouse around here... it galls me to have to have people I love sleeping on the floor, but we don't have enough beds/couches to accommodate everyone comfortably... I'm trying not to get stressed about it, but rather look at it like it will be an adventure...

Nope, nothing to say tonight.

Dang... looks like a school-yard rumble about to begin... my money's on Hobbes...

I'd post a video, but I've been having Flash-related crashes lately with Chrome, so I can't browse like I usually do... I do have a couple good ones slotted, once I get the problem fixed... but until then, nope, I have absolutely nothing to say. Mum's the word tonight. Yep, complete silence...

By the way, I am SUCH the dragonslayer, you know... yes, that's a Skyrim reference... if you aren't playing Skyrim, shame on you. Don't you want to be a hero and kill dragons and explore stuff and save the world? DON'T YOU!? Well, what's wrong with you, then!? Not the heroic type, eh? Well, then why are you wearing that necktie, then? Yeah, those are heroic colors for a necktie, you must have it in you to be a hero! You MUST! There, it's been decided then. Buy Skyrim, play it, slay dragons, live. LIVE!

But beyond that, I have nothing at all to say.

Except one question... Why on earth does Yogurtland only serve Eggnog Yogurt ONE DAY PER YEAR!? Don't they know I'd buy it every day if they only had it?! Is there anything better in the world than Eggnog Yogurt, with graham cracker crumbs, some shredded coconut and a few dark chocolate flakes on it? I mean other than Jesus, of course... come on, you don't really think I'd rank Eggnog Yogurt higher than Jesus on The List of Best Things in Life, do you? Sheesh, come on! The list is this: Jesus, then Eggnog Yogurt, then listening to Toxicity by System of a Down REALLY loud on your car radio as you drive, followed by a baby's laugh, Skyrim, Steam Sales, a good book, the LOTR Extended Trilogy DVD set, getting a fat paycheck, and finally a nice, healthy bowel movement. Yes, that is the complete Top Ten. If you beg to differ, post your own list in the comments!

Man, I'm so sorry I have nothing to say tonight...

I do have another picture though...

Come on, admit it... that's pretty funny...

Quick, say this out loud: "So, you sold your soldier's soul?"

Yeah, like that. Cool, eh?

Suddenly, Dave was very tired. He glanced up from his monitor to the clock. It read 11:40 pm. He yawned and contemplated the weekend that stretched out before him. He wondered if the weekend would prove to be productive. Much there was for him to do, and strong was the impulse to flee it all. But flee he could not do, for that is not the way of the hero. A hero owns up to his responsibilities and shoulders them like a champ. Would that describe Dave by the time Monday appeared? Or will his weekend be characterized by game-playing, book-reading, responsibility-shirking and copious amounts of flatulence? Dave supposed only time would tell.

Until that time (Dave typed), farewell!

Dave the Tired

Monday, December 5, 2011

I've Been Down This Road Before, Methinks...

Greetings all y'all.

That includes all of the "real" people checking in, as well as most of my imaginary ones... a few of my imaginary visitors deserve no greetings. They've secretly formed a subversive counter-blog movement and have somehow blamed me for their angst over a supposed lack of quality updates lately, on this and a few other tangentially-related blogs... what they don't know is that I've purposely fostered such a false perception for the sole purpose of flushing out the rebellion and identifying the key players, with an eye toward capture and swift, painful eradication. Which is tricky, seeing as how they are imaginary to begin with. So far, the most successful methods of identification involve sacks of unbleached flour, lasers and bad puns. Plus, as you can see, I've installed infrared surveillance cameras in corners of the blog room, since they mostly read this blog at night, after I've left the blog and turned off the lights (well, except for the Christmas Tree in the corner over there (next to the bidet)).

That reminds me, the surveillance cameras have captured some of my more "normal" readers doing some odd things as well. It's fun to see what you guys do while lurking around in this blog, when you think no one else is watching... MUAHAHAH!!! Look for the highlight reel to be posted soon....

And now, Words of Wisdom by Will Smith...

My sister posted a link to this video the other day on her Facebook... it intrigues me, because I'm torn. On the one hand, it's very inspiring. On the other hand, not sure how it squares with a Biblical world-view. Will Smith is an intense person! Something about him seems very sincere - like he actually tries to follow what he's talking about, rather than just saying it because it sounds good, or because he's trying to impress people or some such.

Anyways, a few of the more theologically-minded among you might want to post some thoughts in the comments about it; I will covet such comments accordingly (in a good way).

That's an image snapped of an erupting volcano in Chile earlier this year. It is among many images in a photo gallery on Buzzfeed, under the header of "The Most Powerful Images of 2011"... here is a link to said gallery - a very worthwhile browse, if you have two minutes to spare...

Sadly, this image was not featured in the gallery...

Nicolas Cage as Gandalf... it doesn't get much more powerful than that...

My personal trainer destroyed me today. I took it personally. See, because he's a "personal" trainer, see? (Don't groan - it's another attempt to flush out the subversives! Bad puns, remember?). We did "drop sets" focusing on chest and back. "Drop sets" loosely translates into "make you feel like a complete, yammering weakling." At least, that's how it worked out for me. (Get it? "Worked out"? I'm on a roll!) How bad was it, you may ask? Well, my post-workout shower was delayed ten minutes while I tried in vain to remove my sweaty T-shirt... I lacked the requisite upper-body strength needed to lift a t-shirt up over my head... I was eventually successful, meaning I didn't have to shower with my shirt on...

All that to say, it was awesome, and I can't "weight" to do it again! BUAHAHAHA!!

There! A malcontent! In the top hat, with the metallic naru jacket! Grab him!

Excellent. I'll clean up this blog audience yet...

GAAHHH!!!! The Christmas play is two weeks away! Help! Defend me, friends! What if I mess the whole thing up!? What if I forget something important!? What if I accidentally pass wind during one of my monologues?! Heck, what if I purposely do it?! What then?!

OK, good, the panic attack is over. Good thing it was a quiet one... I might have awakened the baby!

Well, I've procrastinated on the January Piranha Newsletters long enough... gotta get back to work. I trust you all shall have a terrific week, and are enjoying the build-up to Christmas. For gift ideas, remember to check my Amazon Wishlist. I want every item on that list this year, and I mean it! Do your part already, as a grateful blog reader should! Otherwise, you'll be broken on the rack in front of a large, raucous crowd dressed in medieval garb, howling for blood n guts!

OK, sorry, got a little carried away there. My apologies.

Adios for now,

Dave the Well-Traveled

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Retrospection, Offensive Vegetables and the Epic Bidet Sketch

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

Pumpkin Heads, Frozen Earths and Bitter Antelopes

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

Comments, Collateral, Cats and Crispin

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

Heroes, Adventurers and Lackwits, Oh My!

No, that's not a screenshot from Skyrim... pretty close, though. But not on my system. Sadly, in order to keep the game playable, I've had to lower both my graphics settings and my resolution. Ah, First World Problems! Some people don't have a place to live or food to eat... my biggest problem is not being able to play a $60 game with all the bells and whistles turned up to 11...

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.

Skilgannon The Damned and Druss the Legend make quite a pair. Both are impossibly good (and completely unalike) warriors, who use enchanted weapons. Druss has his battle ax, called Snaga, and he's built like a tank. A tank with a big bushy beard. Skilgannon is tall, handsome, clean-shaven, with piercing blue eyes (lol), and is a master swordsman, wielding two swords, called The Swords of Night and Day. Their paths cross, and they join forces to embark upon an Impossible Quest, each with different motives.

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

Blue Moods, Amazing Hats, and Perfect Saturdays

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...

It was called Sandman Slim, by Richard Kadrey, and it's about a magician who is back on earth (in present day L.A.) after having spent the past decade in Hell. He's back, though he doesn't know how he got back, and he's eager to track down his "friends" that betrayed him a decade earlier, to exact a little tasty revenge for sending him down into Hell (alive, no less). While in Hell, he's learned new magics, and has become very proficient at killing things. They never thought they'd see him again, obviously. But he's back, with a vengeance. The story behind what he did while in Hell, who he really is, and why he was sent back to earth, is really quite fascinating, and written like a noir detective tale.

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

A Snack-Sized Serving of Stuff

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?

I don't!!!

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

Lonely Trees, Toxicity and Weird Mental Imagery

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

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Nonsense and Other Important Stuff

That... is an incredible picture. Saw that yesterday (as I'm sure many of you did as well; it was everywhere) and knew I had to post it here. Click it to see a nice high-res version. Mt Ranier casting a sunrise shadow on the clouds.

Anyways, hello, y'all. Wasn't going to post today, but I've collected a good amount of Halloween-related nonsense and I'm running out of time to post it! The day is almost upon us! What's a Dave to do!? You know how flighty we Daves are... but we have our redeeming qualities as well. We may be unreliable, and smell odd, and often take forever making camp videos, but hey, at least we think farts are funny, and we stop at every Starbucks we see! So, Dave's are cool. In fact, maybe you should dress up as a Dave for Halloween this year... the costume is easy. Just carry an iPad in one hand, a Caramel macchiato in the other, and wear the same pair of jeans 10 days in a row. You'll be great.

Anyway, here's a couple jack-o-lantern related items for you...

Um... yeah... it's a little weird, admittedly... but you can't second-guess the carving skills. Pretty cool...

Here's another funny one...

Yes, I really did just post a lolcat photo on my blog. Some might consider that a new low for this blog, but I don't care. You need the lows every now and then, so you can better appreciate the highs. I realize that this week's blog donations will likely take a hit because of it... but I shall assume your previous generosity will see me through the post-lolcat lull. The holidays approach, so I'm sure that will reinvigorate your giving.

Here's a video of pumpkins being smashed in both slow-motion and reverse slow-motion. What more can one ask for in a Halloween-theme blog post?

It's pretty cool full screen, you know... you could have clicked it full screen, if you wanted to... you could have, you know.

OK, fine, here's a cool Haunted House made of legos I saw on Geekology...

It took the creator 600 hours to build. 600 hours!?!?! Holy mackerel! That's almost as long as it takes me to finally get around to working on my novel! Cleck here to see the article. Or you could click it even. Click or cleck, whatever. We Daves sometimes leave typos, just to be hip and trendy...

OK, fine, enough Halloween nonsense...

The memorial service for Dr. Diane McIntosh was today. As usual, I was ensconced in the Upper Room, video-recording the proceedings. It was moving, as was to be expected. I was especially moved by what was shared by Diane's husband, Wayne. He was so open and raw, I was amazed. It struck me that what he shared was the type of unfettered emotional reality that one usually reserves for those closest to you, safely squirreled away in the confines of one's home... not in front of a church-full of people that range from family to acquaintance to stranger. It was like he shared treasure with us; I was humbled and touched. I told him so afterwards; he seemed legitimately surprised to hear such a thing.

Anyway, I better change the subject before I get all weepy. Yeah, we Daves are soft like that. We want to be stronger (which is why we read books like Gates of Fire), but really, we're just big teddy bears. Yes, I said "big"! Hey, look at these biceps! (Dave flexes his guns) See?

Yay! There's a new video out from World Order!

There's something undeniably cool about these chaps.

On an unrelated note: HELP! I keep buying games from Steam! What is wrong with me! HEEELPP!! Their Christmas sales haven't even started yet, and already I'm adding games to my library at an alarming pace! Want to know how I justify it? I say, "Hey, if I can get 4 full games for $5, then it should be no problem getting $5 worth of enjoyment out of at least one of them! It's cheaper than going to a movie! And I could end up playing each game for many hours! It's not like I'm spending $50 or $60 each game!"

Yeah, I know, weak argument. There's an embarrassingly large number of games in my library that I have still not played.

Yeah, I've discussed this before, I know. I'll stop talking about it and move on...

I watched a Japanese movie the other night called 13 Assassins on NetFlix. Not sure why I'm bringing it up, since I know none of you will ever see it, or have even heard of it, nor did I even particularly like it, or would I recommend it! So why did I bring it up!?!?! Well, to be difficult, that's why! (Holy crap! It got 95% on Rotten Tomatoes! I guess a lot of people dug it!)

I did finally watch Life In A Day last night... for free, on YouTube! Yes, it was cool. The film is the result of a worldwide project, whereby random people from all over the world recorded what they did on a certain day (July 24, 2009) and posted the footage to YouTube, submitting the link to the filmmakers. They collected 4,500 hours of footage, culled through it, and made a documentary of the results. It is quite inspiring and fascinating, actually, as I'd hoped it would be. CLICK HERE to go to the YouTube page and watch it. If you have 90 minutes to kill, that is...

Well, what can I say? I started a new post and this is what came out! If you made it this far, you have both my appreciation and my congratulations. I'll have more nonsense for you soon. My archive is busting at the seams.

Dave the Common