Uncategorized

This Is That Bluehost Commercial

Every video.  Every.  Single.  Video.  I understand how AdBlocker works, and I understand this would be a moot issue if I’d stop being lazy and just install the thing and be done with it.  I do.  I’m not even sure why at this point I haven’t if only for a case of short-term (or maybe long-term, I honestly don’t know) memory loss.  But because of my laziness, every YouTube video I fire up has this commercial before it: the girl with the Pixar quivering lips reaching slowly across the table, the man grinning as he watches her while they play out the facsimile of a first date and we discover she’s not reaching for him but her computer mouse in order to make a purchase with him on the other side of this phone call helping her select the proper pair of sunglasses.  I don’t make it too far in, hitting SKIP as soon as it’s available, so perhaps there’s a redeeming quality at the end I’m unaware of.  Doubtful, but possible.

I’ve had to use Bluehost for a number of years, and never found them terribly helpful.  Their systems go down with a frightening amount of frequency, and communication is often limited to waiting in a queue for online chat only to have whomever you’re talking with tell you “their systems are down”.  Though Bluehost is far from the worst offender to be sure, I don’t need to see them represented every time I want to watch a video of dogs doing something funny by someone wearing a sly-knowing smile when the reality of that grin is far more mediocre.

Honestly, I’m just tired of seeing them.

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Nature

This Is My Neighbor’s Dog

And he/she is a jerk.

The breed is Boxer with something else.  At least I think it’s Boxer.  I’m bad with dog breeds and tend to lump them together into more easily definable categories.  My first encounter with the dog was fine, comical even, as I was taking my dog out to the bathroom and the neighbor’s dog seemed a little bashful at first warming quickly toward playful.  My dog Jenkins is typically aloof, happier to spend his time at the dog park hanging out with humans over his kind, and as such, sniffed at Neighbor Dog for a few seconds before moseying off to do his thing.  Nothing more.  End of encounter.

Neighbor Dog lives on the first floor with one of the bedroom windows facing the grassy area most of the dogs gather to relieve themselves.  Every time I take Jenkins past that window, it’s like a lion freaking out having seen a piece of meat.  Neighbor Dog’s sudden need to maul feels so heavy there are times I’m concerned a simple sheet of glass will do nothing to sake the ire.  I’m not sure what prompted the change – did Jenkins ignoring them set off some already faulting wire? – but the result is less-than-necessary.  I often put myself between the two while Jenkins again does his thing, still unconcerned, me staring into the agitated black eyes of the beast while it salivates.  I saw a video of a Norse man confronting a charging moose, and though not entirely similar, I like to think my braveness level in this is creeping even.

I don’t know what would happen should the two meet again.  It’s strange to me how nice the neighbors seem too.  They have two boys.  Perhaps Neighbor Dog is concerned the other dogs are looking to mug them, I don’t know.  I tend to wrongly approach every dog as though they love me and want only my attention and affection.  But not Neighbor Dog.

Neighbor Dog is a jerk.

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Food, Uncategorized

This Is Buffalo Wild Wings’ Blazin Sauce

I don’t know.  I’m not convinced.  The website says to keep away from your eyes, pets and children.  I’d also argue the same holds true for 90% of their sauces, as that just seems like common sense to me.  Maybe I’m overthinking it.  Anyhow, the sauce itself wasn’t that fancy.  There’s heat to it to be sure, though it wasn’t a complex heat used to enhance the overall flavor but rather a micro-furnace ignited in the core of your mouth and left to smolder a handful of minutes.  Some guy in my office started to sweat after he ate it, so do with that what you will.

Overall: boring.  Eat Spicy Garlic instead.

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Movies

This Is Kung Fury

I’m going to sell Kung Fury to you in just a few lines.

An 80s love song of a movie featuring kung fu, evil arcade machines, time travel, dinosaurs, Thor, Valkyries, Hackerman, Hitler, and a triceratops cop named Triceracops.  Seriously, the trailer was one of the best and most ridiculous things I’d seen in forever, and the film tops it by a mile.

For a while I thought I was watching a live action Streets of Rage.  That’s possibly the highest praise I can give anything.

Just go.  Watch it.  It’s free.  Have a blast.  Then watch it again.

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Drinks

This Is The Coffee At Work

I saw some images the other day of water polluted by fracking.  The coffee at my office tastes like what I imagine that water does, both liquids brackish and filled with indiscernible flecks of soot like the runoff from some terrible storm left to cook untouched on a hot plate for hours.  We have a guy here, we’ll call him Ted, who drinks the stuff as though it were the last pot he’ll ever set eyes on, and watching him ingest the drink in a continuous loop, makes me less fearful of sudden onset death.

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Food, Travel, Uncategorized

This Is Key West

I kept referring to (and still refer to) Key West as “Cuba” every time I mention it.  I’ve never been to Cuba, so I’m not sure how far away from the truth I am when comparing the two, but the Cuba of my imagination is similar to Key West for one reason or another.  I do, however, have some minor experience with the Caribbean which Key West strongly resembles, appropriately, so maybe it balances out.  Key West is a strange mix of tourism and not, the island broken into what feels like districts catering to either locals or visitors.  This is most apparent as you first cross over the bridge and see the familiar hotels, chain restaurants, chain stores and markets.  Nearer the opposite side of Key West where the United State’s Southern Most Point marker can be found seems to be the other large tourist chunk, this area defined more by the coast and series of road arteries with higher priced boutiques and bars.

We didn’t do much I’d consider touristy, though it wasn’t completely for lack of trying.  The Ernest Hemingway Home was a little expensive for our taste ($13), so my wife took a picture at the entrance being careful to block out the wall and ticket booth to make it look more like we went.  I’ve only recently gotten okay with Hemingway again so it would have been neat to make a visit as a part of that reconnect, but I figured I could just as easily look up pictures online and spend the saved money seeking the best Cuban coffee in Key West.  Place called 5 Brothers Grocery and Sandwich Shop won out.  We checked out the southern most point.  Saw a number of roosters.  Key West has roosters the way large cities have pigeons.  At the Six-Toed Cat – right by The Hemingway Home and a spot where you can get some great french toast – the birds just walk around beneath the outside tables which made for a strange (and strangely welcome) experience.  Lunch was eaten at a place a little off the beaten called Firefly which my wife said seemed like “us”, a result of the music, the food, and the overall atmosphere.  Casual would be a good way of describing it, though casual steeped in late 90s, early 2000s rock.  Though the food didn’t knock our socks off – BLTs and Fish Tacos – it was far from bad with a price more tourist than local friendly.  Recommended still.

Overall Key West wasn’t the most amazing place I’ve been to, and if I had to do it again, I’d personally say fly in rather than drive in.  The Time Spent to Interesting ratio isn’t skewed favorably enough to warrant the extra hours.  I think Key West would be an excellent spot to go to if you’re planning to sit for a week where you can hang out on the beach or the pool in between visits to the hotel or trips “downtown”.  Though I’m sure it’s an obvious conclusion, Key West doesn’t feel right when experienced quickly as there’s little to hold the attention for too long.  Dolling out time is the better way I’ll bet, and as that’s something we didn’t do.

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Food, Nature, Travel

This Is Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda is (about) the halfway point of the Keys.  The island of Marathon is about ten to fifteen minutes north with Key West around forty minutes south, which wasn’t too bad a place to be.  Admission is eight bucks per car, but if you’re staying overnight (which was something like thirty, maybe), admission is included, and staying at Bahia was easily one of the best decisions of the trip for my wife and I.  There are two beaches, one on the Gulf side which was mostly lame since it’s sectioned off making a bit of an impromptu lagoon and facing both the original bridge and the current bridge, so the view itself wasn’t all that spectacular, and one on the Atlantic side which was really a series of beaches broken up along the coast.  Though the beach(es) on the Atlantic side were narrow, seaweed and rock infested things without a place to lay out comfortably, the swimming was pretty great.  No real waves to speak of.  Clear waters.  A bunch of aquatic life I both recognized and didn’t.  My wife saw a barracuda.  I saw a stingray.  We were “caught” in a school of fish, tiny and in the (seeming) thousands, them inciting a brief moment of panic where I wondered what they might be swimming from.  Saw sea urchins.  Other stuff.

The Florida Keys Astronomy Club meets in one of the parking lots there.  It’s billed as a “come and learn” type of event, though it was more the Club is allowed to come as they please to stargaze as long as they entertain the questions of campers who might wander by.  Just my wife and I showed which made it a little awkward and difficult to escape when the time came as we both felt the need to be overly invested/interested regardless of what they showed.  I personally thought it was awesome getting to see Jupiter and Venus and hearing the mythology behind a number of the constellations, though I think my wife went in expect NASA images not realizing how the process works, so she was understandably disappointed.  A good time in spite of, and the two guys we met were a pair of sixty-year-old kids.  Giddy to the point of infectious.

My wife and I are not nightlife people.  I mean, I’ll be up late, but we don’t go out doing what I would assume someone correlates with a “nightlife thing”.  In fact, I had my first real “club” experience this past weekend at the tender age of thirty-four.  Still, there is little to do on Marathon after hours.  You can go to the grocery store.  There’s that.  An IHOP is open twenty-four hours, which turned out way better than it should have been.  And this is not me saying I wanted something “touristy”, but one you option is grocery store, IHOP, or bar after 7 p.m., that’s a little sad.  Par for the course in experience, though, with reality not quite living up to expectation.  At least give me some Go Karts.  Go Karts between the islands.

Lastly, the nature center at Bahia Honda is depressing.  Not so much a nature center as a nature room, and one filled with equally depressing models of wildlife and a video playing on loop.  However, we were able to identify the barracuda I was initially convinced was not a barracuda after the story was first related to me.

 

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