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Older rants
Nov 14, 2017   Grace Vanderwaal - Just the Beginning
Nov 11, 2017   Tim Powers Signing at Mysterious Galaxy for Down and Out in Purgatory
November 4, 2017   Return to Disneyland, Halloween at the office, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Long Cosmos Maximus One year After War Dogs, Killing Titan Daddy, Stop Talking
October 29, 2017   Bruce Campbell Signing, Hail to the Chin, Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor
October 20, 2017   Meg & Dia, Imagine Dragons in concert, 2 Years 8 months and 28 Nights
October 17, 2017   All Apologies
October 16, 2017   Thrawn
Septempber 7, 2017   The Rage of Dragons, The Lincoln Myth
August 10, 2017   The Molly Ringwalds, Dia Frampton Musical awesomeness, Beauty and the Feast
July 28, 2017   The IT Sweatshop revisited, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, American Gods and The Magicians, Rogue One, Camino Island
July 24, 2017   CRV glovebox difficulties, San Diego Comic Con rant
July 11, 2017   Beauty and the Beast at the Lyceum, Earthweeds, Sons of Neptune Book 1, Aftermath, Empire's End, If Chin's Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
June 30, 2017   Eastwood: No Direction Home book 2
June 23, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 4/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes, my new record, record player, and Emeli's site is live!
Jun 14, 2017   A noteworthy eBook mention before I return to my vacation ranting - No Direction Home
June 9, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 3/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes...almost. More pictures of spooky old houses, trees, rocks, and other things that nobody cares about! Plus, Goonies stuff
June 2, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 2/4) - The PCH family vacation tale continues... And more pictures of trees and other things that nobody cares about!
May 31, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 1/4) - Way more detail than anyone wants about our vacation up the coast of California and Oregon. And lots of pictures of trees!
Apr 26, 2017   Resurrection America, Pizza Studio art, AmandaLynn, Emeli art, and Disney art, and Gifted
Apr 14, 2017   My San Fransisco OSI PI adventure & "Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be"
Apr 12, 2017   Neil Gaiman speaks, Norse Mythology, American Gods comic adaptation, The Magicians TV series, and Dirk Gently on TV
Feb 2, 2017   A trip to the ever-less-magical land of Disney, The Prince of Outcasts, the Whistler, and a brief mention of The Magicians.
Jan 21, 2017   An update to my nerd wall at work, Found out about Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac) being gone, A list of all the stuff (or most, anyway) I've given up to new homes, A review of Dave! and Warp, and a couple of new doodles.
Dec 23, 2016   My final visit to Potterland and a couple of doodles
Dec 11, 2016   Books and related comics, and free/cheap stuff. Not taco Bell Material, President Me, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, The Hedge Knight (comic), The Sworn Sword (comic) Ooma, Ringplus, Amazon prime and other money-saving stuff.
Dec 4, 2016   I'm sharing my sad doodles with the world again. They're not very good, but I'll bet they're better than your scribbles!
Nov 12, 2016   Yet another trip to The Wonderful World of Harry Potter!
Nov 7, 2016   Blathering on about a few of the books I've read recently - Spire, The Check, and Dangercide, Pirate Detective
Oct 7, 2016   Yet another Visit to Harry Potterland. Oh, and my lease-mileage calculator.
July 25, 2016   Another Visit to Harry Potterland, a new car, a new shirt, a new dog, and a whole lot of the same old complaining
May 17, 2016   Email spoofers, Phishing emails, and scammers galore!
Apr 30, 2016   Winter's Edge and a Management zombie attack
Apr 23, 2016   Harry Potter land re-visited
Apr 9, 2016   Xenia...again
Apr 2, 2016   Sing Street, Batman vs Superman, Craigslist griping
Mar 1, 2016   The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood preview, fun at work, Xenia's new song, A Vanishing Glow, Our Fair Eden, Race Wars, The Force Awakens
Jan 27, 2016   Text Wars, Books I've read... Yup, that's pretty much it
Jul 30, 2015   Xenia Martinez news Still selling stuff on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half (the book), The Path Between the Seas, Trigger Warning, In Fifty years We'll all Be Chicks
Mar 17, 2015   Selling my treasures on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half, the Long Mars, Gray Mountain, Anathem, The Golden Princess, The Given Sacrifice
Mar 12, 2015   You'll be sorely missed, Sir Terry
Jan 21, 2015   More BBC 4 radio dramatizations by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett: The Amazing Maurice, Guards! Guards!, Neverwhere, Night Watch, Small Gods, Wyrd Sisters
Jan 10, 2015   JabberWocky, Neil Gaiman style!
Dec 24, 2014   The Good Omens BBC treatment
Aug 03, 2014   Every hobby has to end eventually, right?
Oct 8, 2013   Warning: Extreme Geekness ahead!
Oct 1, 2013   The Bloody Crown of iGoogle
Aug 26, 2013   Headphones at work
Aug 22, 2013   The guvmint is gonna getcha
June 25, 2013   Dweebs vs Big Bang vs IT Crowd
Jul 3, 2012   Xenia Martinez & Dia Frampton concert
Feb 24, 2012   Reading...just not much
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Being an idiot with Lev Grossman
Jan 7, 2012   If it ain't broke...
Aug 22, 2011   non-ComicCon report 2011
A Thousand Splendid Suns
An Act of Self Defense
May 5, 2011   On Stranger Tides
vs.
On Stranger Tides
March 2, 2011   I'm a gigantic slacker...
Ikariam
Wild Guns
Lord of Ultima
Metin 2
Lord of the Rings Online
Dec 15, 2010   Bring out your dead!
Aug 17, 2010   San DiegoComicCon 2010
August 11, 2010   I'm not dead yet...
May 3, 2010   Hero Comics
Liberty Comics
Dr Horrible
Neil Gaiman & Sam Keith in Batman
The Guild, Felicia Day
April 27, 2010   Mean Gene Wilder! Grrr!!!
April 24, 2010   If it's not one Jihad, it's another...
April 20, 2010   The Satanic Verses
March 15, 2010   Unseen Academicals
Feblueberry 8, 2010   The un-reading shelf (from most of 2009)
Feblueberry 2, 2010   Emily the Strange, the Lost Days...a novel
Nov 25, 2009   Happy Halloween, Mom!
Nov 18, 2009   Summer Vacation in Idaho
Aug 20, 2009   San Diego ComicCon 2009
Aug 12, 2009   I'm a big, fat slacker
June 05, 2009   The networks are helping me cut back on my TV viewing
June 04, 2009   Mandy Moore's Amanda Leigh,
Chris Isaak's Mr Lucky
and
My name is Bruce?
and Emmy Rossum? Where am I going with this?
May 21, 2009   Randy would have really liked Fanboys...sigh
May 3, 2009   The Spring reading shelf
Apr 21, 2009   Holidays On Ice (a little late for Christmas)
Apr 18, 2009   Leviticus Cross and other Hector Sevilla comic book stuff
Apr 16, 2009   The fantastically amazing and banal Badbartopia RSS Feed
Mar 31, 2009   Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl
Mar 30, 2009   My Amazon mis-order turns out to be not so annoying as previously expected...
(AKA the Dr Horrible soundtrack)
Mar 23, 2009   Stephan Pastis & Richard Thompson have me looking forward to the 2009 SD ComicCon
Mar 19, 2009   Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,
The Guild
Mar 08, 2009   The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comic adaptation,
Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters
Mar 04, 2009   Little Brother
Mar 1, 2009   Pete & Pickles
Feb 11, 2009   She & Him
Flakes
Pushing Daisies
Jan 26, 2009   The Scourge of God,
When You are Engulfed in Flames
Jan 14, 2009   On the Road = hippy nonsense
Jan 12, 2009   One-by-one, my fish have met their maker
Dec 26, 2008   My Azeroth-avoidance continues
Dec 23, 2008   Nothing to see...move along
Dec 15, 2008   New scribbles
Dec 10, 2008   The Oct-Nov-Dec reading shelf
Dec 1, 2008   Shalimar the Clown
the economic impact of the events in Mumbai
Nov 21, 2008   Star Wars: Allegiance
Nov 20, 2008   Daredevil Black Widow: Abattoir
Nov 17, 2008   Travel Team
Nov 16, 2008   A new comic adaptation of The Wizard of Oz
Nov 14, 2008   Berke's Books:
The Last Basselope
Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Mars Needs Moms
Opus: 25 years
Nov 13, 2008   Return to Azeroth?
Nov 12, 2008   Goodbye, Opus
Oct 29, 2008   Halloween costumes of 2008
Project Superpowers
Marvels
Ruins
Oct 23, 2008   The Graveyard Book
Interworld
Oct 16, 2008   Nation
Oct 10, 2008   The Joy of Programming
My foray into Ajax
Oct 9, 2008   My Saturn Scare
Opus ends
Terry Pratchett's condition
Oct 3, 2008   The Hitchhiker's Guide, Book 6...by Eoin Colfer?
Oct 2, 2008   Media master - music online
Sony builds a "better" camera
Sept 24, 2008   The September reading shelf
Sept 17, 2008   Still missing Randall
The Fish tank...again
The Graveyard Book
Sept 15, 2008   Slacking...as usual
The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang
Sept 9, 2008   The dearth of Opus strips
yes, I meant to say "dearth"
Sept 8, 2008   A new monitor goes bad...but it all ends happily
Sept 3, 2008   A Boy and His Dog,
Richard Corben,
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
Sept 2, 2008   A slightly newish look
(aka "why I will never be a graphic designer")
Aug 11, 2008   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in all its incarnations Mike Kunkel's re-imagining of Shazam
July 29, 2008   San Diego Comiccon 2008
July 24, 2008   Neil Gaiman
July 17, 2008   Chris Isaak!
June 30, 2008   The Woman Who Wouldn't
Legends II
Mouse Guard Fall 1152
the Jetta's latest round of repairs
fishtank overpopulation
June 10, 2008   The Reading Shelf
Fish tank jungle
Attack of the bees
June 3, 2008   Missing Randall
May 9, 2008   My French Whore
Apr 28, 2008   Fish tank fatality
Flight of the Conchords
The Dangerous Alphabet
Mar 5, 2008   Gene Wilder book signing at Borders
new fish tank
subpoenaed!
Jan 11, 2008   The Jetta Strikes back!
The Plucker
The Anubis Gates
National Treasure II
Nov 8, 2007   San Diego on Fire,
A clean break from WoW,
UCSD Extension Java I graduation (kinda)
Making Money
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Oct 2, 2007   Back to school, Java class at UCSD
AT&T's Uverse
new sketches
Blockbuster movie pass
August 28, 2007   Mandy Moore concert!
Aug 19, 2007   ComicCon 2007 - Neil Gaiman, Iron Man and all the usual suspects
May 22, 2007   World of Spamcraft (and other spamalicious topics), forum fun...gus, the woes of being a contractor and PIRATES!!
Apr 5, 2007   I'm a conservative - bite me!
Timbaland? Dumb!
Marie Antoinette - snaggle teeth and teasing glimpes. Sweet!
John Q - a lesson about fatherhood or a liberal-propoganda film?
Mar 30, 2007   Things that make me grumpy-er,
employed again at last,
Finn and assorted other ramblings
Feb 8, 2007   The search for employment continues..and the unemployment benefits are NOT pouring in!
Jan, 22, 2007   Freed from the bondage of employment, a very brief review of a few books and films
Dec 17, 2006   Sad excuses, The Innocent Man, 1776, THe Man in High Castle, Absolute Sandman, Wintersmith, garage sale treasures: Ghost in the Machine
Aug 20, 2006   Writers of the Future XXII/Tim Powers, more movie reivews
July 20, 2006   San Diego ComicCon 2006
July 15, 2006   Superman Returns, inconsiderate morons, Peewee's Playhouse returns, my plea for more pirate movies
July 8, 2006   Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Wild Animal Park critters, site remodeling
Jun 27, 2006   The good, the bad and the mediocre (a bunch of movie reviews in the new forum).
June 15, 2006   Because of Romek - A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir
May 21, 2006   The DaVinci Code, Aeon Flux, Everything You Want
May 12, 2006   World of Warcrack, the Office, Coraline, my apologies...
Jan 24, 2006   Christmas Vacation 2006, Syriana, Traveling Pants, Wish You Were Here
Dec 19, 2005   Festive Neighbors, the death of Olivia, Media Misinformation surrounding Brent Wilkes/ADCS, Make Love the bruce campbell way
Nov 15, 2005   Microsoft Technet 2005 launch party, Lexmark printer problem, a bad, bad day, changing dentists.
Oct 22, 2005   Thud!, Anansi Boys, Where's my cow
Oct 18, 2005   Terry Pratchet Thud! signing, Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys signing
Oct 15, 2005   A very, very late Comiccon 2005 report.
Jun 23, 2005   The black hole of Warcraft, The Years of Rice and Salt, After the Sunset, Madagascar, Mr and Mrs Smith, Taxi.
Jun 3, 2005   All is quiet on the PM Front, War of the Worlds (the novel), Kingdom of Heaven, Sahara, Star Wars Episode III, Flight of the Phoenix
May 9, 2005   The program managers strike again, More of my horrendous sketches, Spanglish, A Lot Like Love, Elektra, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the film)
Apr 9, 2005   Stuck in Corporate Hell, a few of my recent sketches, Miss Congeniality 2, Collateral
Mar 21, 2005   Revenge of the Jetta (car problems), a Newegg purchase, a few new drawings, more Opus
Feb 13, 2005   The Mail mystery solved, more of my crappy sketches, A few new photos of the girls, bill-bert (introducing the new Project Manager), sweet phone skills, Opus, Dungeons and Dragons, In Good Company
Jan 27, 2005   Mystery mail, new photos of my beautiful kids, some new sketches, an Episode 3 spoiler, Opus, Going Postal, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, Remember the Titans, Lemony Snicket`s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dodgeball
Jan 7, 2005   Christmas 2004, Update to the site, Elf & King Arthur revisited, National Treasure, Opus, Blade Runner
Dec 18, 2004   A new Stephanie sketch, another Target web page goof, the SD Union Tribune confirms Greg Bear`s research for Vitals, Miramar VW proves my dealer service assertions wrong, neighborhood Christmas fun, Opus
Nov 24, 2004   More of my mediocre drawings, nw russian mail-order coins, Star Wars toys, a big green spider comes to visit, Opus, Dies the Fire, Digital fortress, The Incredibles, Twisted, Van Helsing
Nov 03, 2004   Some thoughts regarding the 2004 election, rants about the environment, a memory rebate update, new computer issues, Opus, The Lone Drow, Deception Point, Roswell season 2 on DVD
Oct 12, 2004   An interesting quiz, mal-in rebates, a parrot joke, my new computer, thoughts on frame removal, web logs, Opus, Vitals, Star Wars trilogy on DVD, Ladykillers
Sep 23, 2004   My "Heath" sketch for Mark Oakley, an update on my a PNY rebate check, the fictitious AWNA Act, Browser Issues with the site, Opus/Pickles, The DaVinci Code, Garden State (Natalie Portman), Man on Fire
Sep 11, 2004   A new drawing: "Stephanie", redneck wisdom, my salary to hourly reclassification, funny video: news from iraq, an update on my mail-in pny rebate, a new rebate through Costco, Ella Enchanted, Highlander Endgame, Princess of Thieves, The Whole Ten Yards
Aug 27, 2004   Fun with my VW Warranty, Opus, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, The Land of SokMunster, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Wedding, Napoleon Dynamite, Hidalgo, Chasing Liberty, Out of Time
Jul 23, 2004   San Diego ComicCon 2004, the family summer vacation, Bruce Campbell, Opus, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, Angels & Demons, Folk of the fringe, Bourne Supremacy, i robot, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Cody Banks 2, Hellboy
Jul 19, 2004   *** PNY Rebate fun, IE Patch, Linux and socialism, liberal scum, Opus, BIM, timeline, master and commander, tad hamilton, stuck on you,cold mountain, 50 first dates, the terminal, spiderman 2, king arthur, a hat full of sky, the thousand orcs, meditations on middle earth
Jun 20, 2004   Memorial day pictures, Duplex, Mark Oakley/Heroes, Wild Animal Park Dinosaurs, B-52s concertman, Say After Tomorrow, Big Fish, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Eragon, A Hat Full of Sky, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
May 08, 2004   Pat Tillman, LOTR Toys, 13 Going on 30, Mean Girls, Tolkien Miscellany, Last Juror, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Pork Tornado
Apr 06, 2004   Roswell season 1 DVD and a some other mindless drivel
Feb 19, 2004   Highlander site contest results, new downloads, princess gallery updates, lord of the rings toys, harry potter, underworld. lost in translation, the hunted, a tolkien miscellany...
Feb 09, 2004   Murder at 1600, Radio, Cheaper by the Dozen, King Arthur, Spiderman 2, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Tolkien Miscellany, Mark Oakley, massive snow in Idaho...
Jan 28, 2004   Swat, Uptown Girls, Somethings Gotta Give, Along Came Polly, Seabiscuit, Ashley Judd Marathon, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Science Fiction Bok Club, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, RA Salvatore, Mythology (Alex Ross), Fastner & Larson, Best page in the universe, etc, etc...
Jan 07, 2004   Clint`s rules, X-Men 2, Holes, Pirates, Two Towers, Freaky Friday (Haley Hudson), new drawings, Thieves` World, Playskool Star Wars, new Interest section
Jan 02, 2004   nothing all that interesting...
Dec 21, 2003   Nemo, Highlander page, Christmas vacation 2003, star wars kid
Dec 12, 2003   E.T. (Erika Eleniak), new drawings, Opus, Santa Claus 2 (Elizabeth Mitchell), Legolas toy/pics, How to Deal (Mandy Moore), Myth update, Last Samurai
Nov 27, 2003   Another Fine Myth, Elf
Nov 22, 2003   Dude, Where`s Bill & Ted
Nov 18, 2003   Not much to say
Nov 15, 2003   Disneyland, Astronaut`s Wife, Dumer and Dumber-er, Monstrous Regiment
Nov 10, 2003   Terry Pratchett, Matrix Revolutions
110103   School of Rock, Terry Pratchett signing, Darth Vader MBNA bust, San Diego fires
Aug 17, 2003   Johnny English, San Diego Comic-Con
Jun 17, 2003   Assorted ramblings
May 28, 2003   Not much to say
May 24, 2003   Almost nothing of note
May 17, 2003   Matrix Reloaded, Pirates
Mar 23, 2003   The Police, Pirates, Lord of the Rings grievances part II
Mar 16, 2003   Lord of the Rings grievances part 1
Super auld stuff   A big list of old submissions with boat loads of broken links

Another nearly Potter-free post!

I made my final visit to Harry Potterland last week (final for the year, anyway, and probably for several years - that traffic in L.A. is a killer), but I still need to go through all the photos to see if I managed to take any worth seeing. I also have some sad news for anyone who hasn't had a chance to attend the park yet. But more about that a little later. For now, you get another installment of Bart Blathers aBout Books!

Not Taco Bell material

If you're a fan of Adam Carolla's angry old white guy schtick and hearing him point out how he's surrounded by narcissistic idiots, then Not Taco Bell Material is the book for you. I read this one several months ago, but just haven't bothered to say anything about it because it's an older book and...I'm lazy. A secondary title for the book could have been Places to Find Adam's DNA, as the book details his progression from one rathole to the next until he finally becomes successful and starts buying houses in the ritzy part of LA. The stories about his moves around LA (that's Los Angeles, not Louisiana) are intertwined with the misadventures of a guy who no one ever thought would make it anywhere, especially the management at Taco Bell, who wouldn't even let him make burritos.

One of the many colorful stories in the book is tangentially about Beth Ringwald, Molly Ringwald's hotter older sister. And just so you know, I didn't inadvertently make this a giant run-on paragraph. that's how it appears in the book.

One hot day in July I was out on a delivery run in the liquor store's station wagon up in what we referred to as Hebrew Heights. I was passing the Weez's cousin Michelle's house, so I decided to stop in. She was a good friend of mine and I had some time to kill. I knocked on the door and it just swung open. Like the house was haunted. I heard music coming from inside. So I stepped into the entryway and called her name a couple of times. There was no reply. The house was laid out like the letter C with a little grassy area in the middle. As I was walking through I looked out the window into the courtyard area and saw two completely hot and completely naked chicks sunbathing. I knew them from high school. One of them was The Weez's cousin and the other was Beth, Molly Ringwald's sister, a girl I'd had a crush on for a while. Unfortunately, from my angle all I could see was that they were naked and not much else. So I crept around to the back of the house to get a better view from the master bedroom. I climbed up on Michelle's mom's dresser to get a view from an upper window. Unfortunately, all I saw was half an ass cheek as they walked into the house and slid the door closed behind them. I was cut off: There was no way to the front door and no back door to get to. I was hoping they were going to walk in for a drink and walk back out, but they didn't. I was trapped like a rat with a boner. So all I could do was hide in the closet. I couldn't just walk out of there - that would make me seem like a weird perv who broke in as opposed to a lucky perv who happened to catch them at just the right moment. So from the closet I could hear them talking about needing to take a shower. Fortunately not together: That would have blown my mind and I would have passed out in the closet because all the blood would have left my brain and gone to my wang. Beth said she would take the first shower and got in, but I was still trapped in the closet because Michelle was wandering around God knows where and I could have easily run into her. At a certain point I decided to take my chances and make a break for it. I was supposed to be on a fifteen-minute liquor delivery and I'd been gone almost an hour at that point. I slowly crept out of the closet, snuck down the hall, and peeked around a corner and saw that she was still naked in the kitchen, on the phone, with her back turned to me. I had about eighteen feet of carpet to cover, then a hard left to freedom. I went like a blitzing linebacker shooting the B-gap. I was two steps away from being in the clear when she spun around and spotted me. She dropped the phone and started screaming. So I started screaming, too, and pretended like I didn't know what the hell was going on. I sprinted out of the house, jumped into the car, and sped off. It was all very innocent, but it was such a traumatic experience that to this day I can barely beat off to it.

There are also quite a few photos of places/people throughout the book, one of which is this photo of Chris and Ray, who have been big parts of Adam's life (generally in a negative sense). There's a story about the two girls in the photo and the jealous violence that ensues.

I genuinely laughed out loud several times as I was reading this book, so if profanity and stories that are intended for an adult audience don't offend you, you'll probably enjoy it, too.

I didn't read President Me right after Not Taco Bell Material, but I'm going to talk about it next anyway. If I had already read Daddy, Stop Talking (it's on my shelf to be read sometime in the near future), I would probably have talked about that one after President Me.

President Me

If you're anything like me, you've pontificated about "If I was King/President/Galactic Emperor, this is what I'd do..." Well, Adam Carolla complains about the things that annoy him on his podcasts every day and wrote a book about what he'd change. This is another book full of stories about narcissistic idiots and the wanton destruction of the little puds growing up in this screwed up society crafted by the dope smoking hippies who came out of the 60's. And it also offers solutions of what can and should be done to right the ship. Case in point...

Voter ID Laws
I'm constantly accused of being a racist. One of the reasons is because I am. Also I'm completely for so-called voter suppression. I don't think asking someone to produce a valid ID at the polls is a hate crime. I understand that yes, there are going to be more minorities who can't produce ID, and yes, the people pushing this rule are always Republican trying to keep people who aren't voting for them away, but these motives aside, it's still a good idea. I'm not into "big government" but I do think post-9/11, anyone should be able to produce a government-issued photo ID when requested. This is compulsory. This is the bare minimum. Whether you're driving a Maserati or a tractor, if you get pulled over you need to show it to the cop. What can you do without an ID nowadays? Not much. You can't get a credit card, you can't get through airport security, and you can't check a book out of the fucking library. Why should you be able to vote?

And who's the racist here? No one said all black people need to have ID. It's not a racial issue. The people making it a racial issue are the ones who are saying or, more accurately, thinking but not having the balls to say about those who don't have ID, "They're not up to the challenge of securing a.n ID. They're not capable of completing the simple task the rest of us accomplished as teenagers." Good job, asswipes. Way to help them feel helpless. Why not demand something from people and have them rise to the occasion? I don't think standing in line at the DMV for an hour and getting your picture taken is too tall an order. Whether you're black, white, Hispanic, or Asian, I think that if you can't get it together to obtain photo ID, we don't need your vote. Your ID doesn't matter, it's your IQ I'm worried about.

I'll take it a step further. As president, I'm directing the Federal Election Commission to require not only ID at the polls, but also a recent pay stub. If you're on welfare, you're not contributing to the economy. So why should you get to vote? You're just going to vote to get more Free shit anyway.

But while I want all voters to have ID, I don't want the candidates to be identified. From now on, all voting will be blind voting. When you step in the voting booth you'll just see a list of positions on issues. No names, party affiliations, or pictures. We do way too much voting based on "he looks like me" and "her last name sounds like mine" in this country.

If that didn't make you chuckle at least once, this may not be the book for you.

Amongst the many photos and other imagery in the book is this photo taken inside an elevator in LA. Every bathroom, restaurant, hallway looks just like this all throughout California. it's enough to make you hate everyone.

There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in this book, but if you're a grumpy old curmudgeon (as I am), you'll find plenty of material to make you wave your impotent, wrinkled old fist in the air about. If there wasn't any profanity and maybe a little less "adult" material, this is a book I would encourage my kids to read.

And now for something completely different from Carolla, which is funny, because it's a book Carolla himself would never read (well, he doesn't actually ever "read" books)...



A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

When I saw this hardcover on the shelves of the bookstore (let's be honest - I saw it first at Target), I thought it sounded familiar, but I didn't remember having read this actual collection of Hedge Knight stories (though I did vaguely remember Hedge Knight comics from quite a few years back). So I spent a little time on the Google (that's what we old people call Google) and realized that I had read at least one of the stories in another collection of short stories called Legends II (which I purchased because it contained a Neil Gaiman story). I even very briefly mentioned it here. There was a Legends I that contained the first of these stories, but I didn't ever pick that one up or read it. The third story, The Mystery Knight, was also in a collection of short stories I have never read.

Here's an excerpt from one of the more defining moment's of Dunk's character. And it also shows that members of the Targaryen family line were just as horrible then as they were ninety years later in the events of A Game of Thrones.

"Ser! Ser Duncan!" Egg burst in panting. His hood had fallen back, and the light from the brazier shone in his big dark eyes. "You have to run, he's hurting her!"

Dunk lurched to his feet, confused. "Hurting? Who?"

"Aerion!" the boy shouting. "He's hurting her. The puppet girl. Hurry." Whirling, he darted back out into the night.

Dunk made to follow, but Raymun caught his arm. "Ser Duncan. Aerion, he said. A prince of the blood. Be careful."

It was good counsel, he knew. The old man would have said the same. But he could not listen. He wrenched free of Raymun's hand and shouldered his way out of the pavilion. He could hear shouting off in the direction of the merchants' row. Egg was almost out of sight. Dunk ran after him. His legs were long and the boy's short; he quickly closed the distance.

A wall of watchers had gathered around the puppeteers. Dunk shouldered through them, ignoring their curses. A man-?at-?arms in the royal livery stepped up to block him. Dunk put a big band on his chest and shoved, sending the man flailing backward to sprawl on his arse in the dirt. The puppeteer's stall had been knocked on its side. The fat Dornishwoman was on the ground weeping. One man-?at-?arms was dangling the puppets of Florian and Jonquil from his hands as another set them afire with a torch. Three more men were opening chests, spilling more puppets on the ground and stamping on them. The dragon puppet was scattered all about them, a broken wing here, its head there, its tail in three pieces. And in the midst of it all stood Prince Aerion, resplendent in a red velvet doublet with long dagged sleeves, twisting Tanselle's arm in both hands. She was on her knees, pleading with him. Aerion ignored her. He forced open her hand and seized one of her fingers. Dunk stood there stupidly, not quite believing what he saw. Then he heard a crack, and Tanselle screamed. One of Aerion's men tried to grab him, and went flying. Three long strides, then Dunk grabbed the prince's shoulder and wrenched him around hard. His sword and dagger were forgotten, along with everything the old man had ever taught him. His fist knocked Aerion off his feet, and the toe of his boot slammed into the prince's belly. When Aerion went for his knife, Dunk stepped on his wrist and then kicked him again, right in the mouth. He might have kicked him to death right then and there, but the princeling's men swarmed over him. He had a man on each arm and another pounding him across the back. No sooner had he wrestled free of one than two more were on him. Finally they shoved him down and pinned his arms and legs. Aerion was on his feet again. The prince's mouth was bloody. He pushed inside it with a finger. "You've loosened one of my teeth," he complained, "so we'll start by breaking all of yours." He pushed his hair from his eyes. "You look familiar."

"You took me for a stableboy."

Aerion smiled redly. "I recall. You refused to take my horse. Why did you throw your life away? For this whore?" Tanselle was curled up on the ground, cradling her maimed hand. He gave her a shove with the toe of his boot. "She's scarcely worth it. A traitor. The dragon ought never lose."

He is mad, thought Dunk, but he is still a prince's son, and he means to kill me. He might have prayed then, if he had known a prayer all the way through, but there was no time. There was hardly even time to be afraid.

"Nothing more to say?" said Aerion. "You bore me, ser." He poked at his bloody mouth again. "Get a hammer and break all his teeth out, Wate," he commanded, "and then let's cut him open and show him the color of his entrails."

I may not have picked up all the collections of short stories the Adventures of Dunk & Egg stories appeared in, but I did get all the Hedge Knight comics, so I'll talk about those in a minute.

But first, let's talk about the illustrations in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. This is the third time I've read at least one of these stories, but the first time with the amazing Gary Gianni illustrations. Gary also illustrated a Conan collection I mentioned here. They're great. Here are a few of them from A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms -


A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a great introduction to Westeros for Game of Thrones readers and shows the alliances and grievances between the houses in power about ninety years before the events in Game of Thrones. And beyond that, it's a nice story about a young man with a big heart and good intentions struggling to be a noble knight in a world of deceit and power struggles well outside his experience. It bears a lot of similarities to one of my favorite movies, A Knight's Tale, starring the too-soon deceased Heath Ledger before he creeped everybody out as the joker.

Only two of the three stories from A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms were adapted into comic book format, The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword. I've heard that the third story will also be adapted into comic format in the future, but I will probably never see it because my comic collection already takes up too much space.



I guess that's enough talk about books (as if anyone will have actually read this far down the page). Let's talk about something else I enjoy - being cheap! Building on my love for RingPlus, here's another shout-out to cheapskates!

What makes me a cheapskate? Well, let's see...

I cut the cord from cable TV around 8 years ago and rely on streaming* services and streaming my DVD collections of TV series for TV-type entertainment. It doesn't work if you're a cable news junkie or care about sports, but works fine if you're not. I do have to pay for high-speed broadband to do this, but I'd be paying for that anyway. I save around $50/month, which isn't a ton, but better than paying an extra $59/month.

I use Ooma for my home phone, so I don't have a phone bill. Ooma also has an app so you can make phone calls/listen to your voicemail from pretty much any data-enabled device/wi-fi device using your phone/tablet.

I drive the cheapest new car I could find. I'm still loving my little Nissan Sentra, even if I can't drive it as much as I'd like to because of the lease.

I've been getting stuff for or nearly free (deeply discounted) from people looking for reviews on Amazon. Mainly books and eBooks, but I've also gotten steep discounts on bluetooth stuff, a solar phone charger, a backpack, and a few other small items. And my reviews are always honest. And often not very favorable unless I really am happy with the item I'm reviewing. Oh, and I also use the free Amazon prime free shipping as often as possible. So there's that, too.

I listen to free-to-download podcasts at work all day every day. This is nothing "revolutionary" - there are a million of them out there for just about every interest. As for me, I'm listening to:

  • The Adam Carolla Show (to be honest, I have paid the subscription fee on occasion to access old podcasts that I'd missed which were no longer available, as well as the Take a Knee motivational podcasts - but it was a minimal amount of monney, around $4, for the hours of entertainment I get from this podcast)
  • Reasonable Doubt with Mark Geragos and Adam Carolla
  • The Adam and Drew Show with Dr Drew Pinski and Adam Carolla
  • #SorryNotSorry with Jenna Kim Jones and her husband, Hasbrown Al
  • Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend (but I only listen to the Thursday show with the group setting - I can't take the Alison one-on-one interviews. They're awful)
  • Weird Adults (I find Little Esther [Esther Povitsky] really sweet and funny, even though her podcast is hit and miss with the funny)
  • Anna Faris is Unqualified (thanks to her superstar husband, Chris Pratt, she has access to a lot of really interesting guests - most notably Chris Evans - that create some listenable podcasts)


And speaking of RingPlus, my love for their service has diminished just a little. The wife, kids, and I all had free cell plans (free except for MMS messages - which didn't cost very much. 4-5 cents each), but that's coming to a screeching halt by the end of the year. Two of the four phone plans have already been replaced with lesser plans (fewer texts, minutes, etc). There is no longer any kind of free unlimited plan, so I now have a small monthly bill to pay for two of the phones. And though still free, the other two plans have a much. much smaller allotment of free minutes, texts, and data (some MMS is actually included in these plans, though). The service itself is still pretty dependable (Sprint network) and works well. So even though I'm not super happy about the change, I'm satisfied for now.

Thus ends another post no one will ever read to the bottom of...



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